Are you concerned about the ‘competition’ in Private Practice?
Checking out what your fellow Private Practice competitors can be time well spent – and here’s why…
If you’re not looking over your shoulder at what other people are up to, you may well get left behind.
When we’re working in Private Practice, it can be tempting to get your head down, get the patients in and out through your clinic door, and then get home. It’s easy to ignore what’s going on around us, until you see a temporary façade being placed around building works opposite your clinic’s front door, with the words ‘Giant Super Physio Clinic opening next month’ emblazoned across it.
It’s important to know who your competitors are in your field, so that you can learn from what they are doing online and do it better.
Try this exercise and see what you find out…
Do a Google search to look for your competitors.
You may think that you know who your competitors are, but in my experience, when I coach physios in Private Practice and I ask them ‘do they know such and such a person two roads away from where they work?’ they often look blankly at me.
Your first goal is to find out who is around you in your vicinity. This might look like typing ‘physiotherapists in Waterloo, London’ into Google, or using a postcode search, e.g. SE1.
Get a pen and paper and make some notes on each practice in your geographical area on from the first three Google pages, then you’re going to have a little nose around their websites.
Is your competitor’s site quick to load, professional looking, with decent headshots on the about pages?
Does it contain lots of really useful content about hamstring injuries, or specific niche areas, or is it frankly, rather generic?
Are they using any video on their website, and are they regularly producing blogs and vlogs, if so, what can you learn from them, and the kinds of keywords they are listing in the titles?
Does your competitor display their prices?
Are they doing a very nice job of providing helpful links to insurance details (e.g. do they talk about ‘if you’re a patient looking to use your AXA / PPP insurance to cover the cost of physio with us, our provider number is ‘XXXXX”)?
Are you doing as good a job as them at this? When it comes to self-funding costs for physio treatmemt, it’s hugely important you display your prices – this is because patients get really annoyed if they can’t tell how much it costs for them to see you.
Now you may have a nose at your competitors’ prices and think ‘Gosh, they’re charging a whole lot more than I am’, or ‘Gosh, they are charging a whole lot less than I am’. Resist the urge to drop your prices, and instead, take advantage of the opportunity to write a piece of content on your website that talks about what physio costs, and why you are charging ‘X’ for your services.
Write a blog article comparing Physiotherapy costs in your area.
You could look up your competitors’ costs and write an article called ‘How much does physiotherapy in Waterloo, London cost?’. You could go on to describe how the physio prices in Waterloo range from ‘X’ to ‘Y’. Here are factors that might push the cost down, e.g. a less recently qualified physio treating you, and these are the factors that may push the cost up (e.g. being treated by a highly experienced physio with 19 years of treating this particular problem in professional athletes).
You could then write about why you’re decided to set your price at ‘X’. Patients regularly search for ‘cost’ questions on Google, and you’ll attract patients to your site (and away from your competitors’ sites) if you start talking about money.
Go on. I dare you.
Write better meta descriptions on your website.
Why not get even cleverer by doing some super sleuthing using a free downloadable tool called: www.screamingfrog.co.uk
In the bar at the top, you’ll see a box that reads ‘Enter URL to spider’. Next pop in the home page address of your physio competitor and press Start. You’ll see the ‘crawl’ bar filling up with green. When it’s finished, you can then take a nose in the tabs below such as ‘Meta Description’ and ‘Meta Keywords’. This will tell you what kind of content is showing up on their physio website.
Now chances are, there will be some big gaps in the ‘Meta Descriptions’ of some of your competitors’ websites. You can then have a think about whether you can fill some holes on your own website.
In other words, repeat the process for yourself.
For example, if you’re a physio who treats women’s health problems, use Screaming Frog to look at your competitors, and if they’re not really taking advantage of writing a decent meta description for a particular webpage or blog on their site, then you can try and gain some ground on your competitor by making sure you’ve got that covered on your site.
What’s a meta description?
It’s a little bit of prose that tells the reader what that webpage is all about when they’re searching on Google. Now whilst Google doesn’t use this to rank your page, readers take big notice of it, and will tend to click through to your webpage, if they see the little prose that confirms to them ‘oh yes, that’s just what I’m after’.
If you’re a physio who looks after women’s pelvic problems, your meta description could e.g. be ‘book today to see a women’s health physio about pelvic pain’.
Keep an eye on your competitors using Google Alerts.
Finally, get wise to when your competitors are getting some new content online. This is easy to do if you set up a ‘Google alert’.
How do you do this?
Go to https://www.google.com/alerts type in the name of a competitor and let Google tell you what they’ve been up to. If they’re written a killer piece about 25 ways to help with plantar fasciitis pain, it might just nudge you into action.
If you’re looking for new ways to get the edge on your competitors, why not consider some
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