3 Common Chiropractor Marketing Mistakes to avoid
If you’re a chiropractor or the marketing manager for a chiropractic office, and you’re not “all in” with online marketing, chances are you’re getting left behind by your competition.
Word of mouth and referrals aside, there is no more cost-effective way to grow your business than online marketing. But, what does “all in” look like? Read this chiropractor SEO and online marketing case study and we’ll help answer that question, and show you how our services can help chiropractors get more leads and patients from the web.
Here are some chiropractor marketing mistakes we found: (see if any of these apply to your practice):
1. NO SYSTEM TO TRACK ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
The single biggest chiropractor marketing mistake is failing to accurately measure and track their advertising and marketing investments (including their website). Most chiropractors fall into the ‘small businesses’ category which means they do NOT have the luxury of a large advertising budget. When you rely primarily on gut intuition to make marketing decisions, you end up over spending on some strategies and failing to adequately invest in others. Just like you wouldn’t run your business without an accounting system like Peachtree or Quick Books, you should not be investing in advertising and marketing without a system in place to accurately track and quantify your results.
Undoubtedly, every chiropractor wonders:
How much should I pay for a website (or for website upgrades)?How do I get my business to the top of Google for relevant keywords?How much should I spend on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?Is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising worth it?What are my competitors doing to market their businesses?
These (incredibly) common questions cannot be intelligently answered without key metrics derived from a marketing analytics system (tracking system or service). With the right tools in place, it becomes easy to quantify website updates, SEO campaign performance, and PPC ROI. Virtually none of the chiropractic websites we surveyed had the tools in place to determine things like true visit-to-lead conversion rate, or cost per patient inquiry by traffic source.
2. DUPLICATE AND LOW VALUE CONTENT
As we analyzed various chiropractic websites, we found that a surprisingly high number of them shared the exact same content and articles (to see if your website content is found on another site, visit copyscape.com and paste your web page address or URL into the box – it’s FREE). Many chiropractors have “stock” content about whether chiropractic care can help people with ADHD, allergies, asthma, bed-wetting, etc. It looks to us like they get this shared content from one of a couple companies that specialize in creating websites and cookie-cutter content for chiropractors. These companies create a handful of website templates and dozens of articles and offer chiropractors the opportunity to “rent” the site and content from them. Some chiropractors don’t even realize that they are renting the website and content. They think they own it!
There are two problems with shared, cookie-cutter chiropractic content:
The first problem is that your website should be your number one sales and marketing tool. When done right, your website is more important than any other business asset you have – from your office to your x-ray machine. To not have 100 percent ownership and control over something so important is a risky proposition. Although unlikely, the company that actually owns your site could turn around and rent it to a competitor tomorrow. A website that you own is like a marketing annuity. Every dollar invested in it can provide a return for months – even years to come. You don’t get this value with a website you are renting from someone else.
The second problem is that duplicate content is (constantly) under fire from search engines like Google. Take a look at this screenshot taken from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
“Don’t create multiple pages, sub domains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.”
Google is trying to connect searchers with the most relevant and authoritative websites. Both relevance and authority are determined by on-page content as well as off-site factors like backlinks. Duplicate content makes it harder for them to identify the most relevant and authoritative websites.
Higher quality search results mean more people returning to Google every time they have a question or are looking for a service. More return visitors means more impressions and opportunities for a searcher to click on one of Google’s paid ads – the source of nearly all of their revenue. When someone does a search and a dozens sites are returned – all with the same or nearly the same content – it doesn’t help the searcher make better decisions and it results in frustration.
So, as a business owner, the foundation of your online marketing strategy should be to establish and promote yourself and your practice as THE authority for chiropractic care and wellness in your target geographic market(s). You want to LEAD. Using shared content is not a step in the right direction. Furthermore, if you ever decide to move away from the platform or provider of the content, you are going to have to make a HUGE investment in new content (because you don’t actually own the content on your site today – you’re renting it!).
3. NOT INVESTING IN MULTIPLE ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES
At the highest level, online marketing success is about one thing: real estate. If you were interested in generating more patients for your chiropractic business and time and money were no object, you would be everywhere online. You’d have multiple websites – each focused on a specific aspect of your practice and/or geographic area, you’d have multiple SEO campaigns, multiple PPC campaigns, multiple email marketing campaigns, you’d have a profile and actively update every social media site, you’d have a web TV channel, and much more.
Because time and money are limited, growth-oriented chiropractors should use data to prioritize their marketing TESTS and investments. However, no matter how small your practice, you don’t want to become overly reliant on a single marketing channel. If you’re good at what you do, referrals and word of mouth will always be a source of new patients. However, referrals and word of mouth can only take you so far. Most businesses need additional lead generation campaigns to meet their growth goals.
In almost every situation, the online marketing campaigns that consistently produce the highest return on investment for chiropractors are SEO, Opt-in Email Campaigns, and PPC Advertising. Of the chiropractors and chiropractic websites we evaluated, very few were actively investing in all of these. At best, they were utilizing one or two.
Our Chiropractor Marketing Results
When we engaged with our chiropractic client, the first thing we did was a comprehensive website audit along with a competitor analysis. During the process, we identified the issues with his current website – inaccurate tracking, duplicate content, etc. We also were able to see which of his competitors had an online marketing strategy and identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for our client.
At the conclusion of this initial step, we re-coded his website onto new platform – giving him full ownership of the site and our team the control required to set up accurate tracking and start the SEO process. Over the next month, we determined his true visit-to-lead conversion rate (~10 percent) and identified the best online marketing channels to cost-effectively increase traffic, and patient inquiries. We also consulted with him to determine the value of a new patient as well as the percentage of initial visits that convert into long-term patients.
Today, our team acts as a “virtual online marketing manager” for our chiropractic client. For a fraction of the cost of employing a full time online marketing expert, our team provides website maintenance, consulting, PPC, SEO, Social Media, tracking, and custom monthly reports.
Here a few screenshots detailing the traffic and lead growth from the web:
If you’re a chiropractor or the marketing manager for a chiropractic practice, and you’re interested in growth, you should be “all in” with online marketing. Your website is not a brochure; it’s a virtual sales rep for your practice. As your most valuable marketing asset, you should own your website and have complete control over it. Accurate tracking is a must and you should make sure that the content on your site is not duplicated on other websites – unless it’s your content and the other websites are referencing you (complete with a link back to your site) as THE authority in your market/industry.