Physical therapists work in a crowded space. The level of competition for physical therapists is exceedingly high, and people are always searching for a physical therapist when they're told they need to see one.
The way people end up selecting a physical therapist is via a variety of methods:
Referrals from Physicians
In this blog post, we're going to talk about how physical therapists can position their practice in a way that ranks them highly in Google search and gets them new patients on autopilot.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website, both on-page, and off-page, so that it's discoverable on search engines like Google. While it's not easy and competitive, it's a process that can be learned and implemented effectively. To be successful with SEO, you have to have a long-term outlook and patience.
Four Things Physical Therapists Can Do to Increase Their SEO Rankings:
1. Write Long-Form Content
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your physical therapist practices website is by creating high-quality, long-form content. When you make original content that answers questions, Google will acknowledge that and rank that in the search engine results pages. When written correctly, this can be a great way to get potential readers, who are close to your practice, to contact you regarding consultation. By including a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the content is essential for that reason. When we say long-form, you should try to write, at minimum, 1,500 words. The reason being, it's hard to answer a question or explain something on an expert level in less than 1,500 words. Don't get me wrong, it's possible, but Google likes content that is longer.
An example of a way to create content that answers a question, ranks, and drives new business is looking for what kind of content ranks. For example, when typing in "should I see a physical therapist," the first position belongs to www.self.com, where they answer the question, "How to Know When You Should See a Physical Therapist." This content ranks highly because the website publishes much content, answers a clear-cut question, and long-form, meaning it's educational and informative.
2. Guest Post on Relevant Blogs
In SEO, you'll hear a term called backlinks a lot. Backlinks are essentially websites that link back to your website. There are many ways to secure backlinks, but one of the best ways to acquire backlinks for your website is to guest post on other, industry-relevant blogs. Guest posting means that you write content, include a link back to your website in the content, and the blog owner publishes the content to their site. It's a win-win for everybody involved; the blog owner gets new, high-quality (hopefully) content for their blog, and you get a backlink for your website.
As a physical therapist, there are many blogs out there that publish content regarding physical therapy. The best way to find these blogs, is again, by doing a simple Google search. Go on Google and type in "physical therapy blog," and send an email to the blogs that rank on page one and two. In your email, explain to these physical therapy blogs that you're willing to write content that aligns with their message and would be more than willing to work with them on deciding a topic. Remember to make this piece quality and informative; having a long-term relationship where you're a frequent guest writer is a great way to position yourself as an expert in the physical therapy industry and build your backlink profile.
3. Make YouTube Videos
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine globally and that Google owns it? That means that Alphabet, the Google parent company, owns both the number one and number two largest search engines globally! According to Statista, there are almost two billion YouTube users in 2020. It is incredible the number of viewers that YouTube gets and the diverse content that gets published to the platform. For those reasons alone, incorporating video content into your SEO strategy is an excellent way of helping your physical therapy practice grow. If you have a large amount of physical therapy knowledge, why not use it to your advantage and share it with interested people?
Your videos don't need to be Hollywood level quality. You can record a five to ten-minute video on your iPhone and publish them to YouTube for free. Similar to creating written content, try to be an educator, and come off as an expert. For example, something like "a day in the life of a physical therapist" would be a great way to engage viewers and broaden your practices reach.
A great way to capitalize on video content and help your SEO is to publish a video that answers a question, write a long-form blog post explaining the answer in words, then embed that video in your post. Once that article is live and indexed, the guest posts on another blog and links back to that post. BOOM!
4. Managed Your Online Reputation
Let's face it: nobody is going to choose a physical therapist that has many awful or no reviews at all online. We, as consumers, are all guilty of this. Whenever we hear of a new doctor, local business, or eCommerce store, we always look them up to see what others had to say about them. If many people say that this business is unprofessional, rude, and lacks customer service, why in the world would you think anyone that sees that would choose you over your competition?
Sorry to break it to you; they won't.
That's why it's exceedingly crucial for physical therapists to use a reputation management tool. Managing your reputation is not just asking a client to leave you an excellent review. With a reputation management tool, you can get more positive customer reviews on any site of your choice and privately handle any unfavorable reviews! You can include a review widget on your website, in your email footer, or on a thank you page. By doing this, you have many ways that clients can review your physical therapy practice. If they rate you positively with 4 or 5 stars, they instead are prompted to leave a review on any site you choose! If the customer rates you 1-3 stars and expresses the negative sentiment, they are led to send you a message privately – giving you a chance to handle the issue.
By having a healthy, positive online reputation, this also helps your SEO rankings. Like we said before, but in terms of Google, why would they rank a physical therapist highly with many negative online reviews.
Again, they won't in your ability to rank for keywords be a lot tougher. Hence why managing your reputation is essential for your SEO.
As you can see, many things go into an SEO strategy for physical therapists. Focusing on quality in your online efforts will take you a lot further than by pursuing quantity. If you want to do your physical therapy business to the next level with SEO, follow these four pieces of advice, and in time, you'll see how much your business grows. The ROI that SEO provides speaks for itself.
If you don't have the time to manage your SEO and are searching for a reliable SEO partner, contact our SEO agency. We'll gladly help craft a strategy that works for you and your physical therapy business.