Today I’m talking about marketing for physios and how to get found online.
What are the best ways to get your physio website found online?
I’m going to be talking about:
- Getting a professionally made website
- Getting a Google My Business account
- Optimising your website for local search in Google (local SEO)
- Aiming to appear as the ‘featured snippet‘ in local search.
All of these things are within your capability as a physio to do yourself.
What are you currently doing to market your physio practice? Start by asking yourself, “How do my patients find me?’
Gone are the days of patients finding you in the Yellow Pages or advertisements in the local newspaper.
Today, it’s likely to be one of these ways:
- A GP or an Orthopaedic Surgeon referred them to you
- A previous patient of yours, or a work colleague recommended you
- A Pilates teacher, coach or other clinician suggested you
- The patient knew they needed physio, and they researched online and found you.
Chances are, you’re going nicely with numbers 1-3, but not so well at number four.
Guess which strategy is going to be the most important for you as you grow your physio private practice? Yep. Number 4. If you’re not visible online, you’ll fall behind your competitors who are out on the internet.
So, what’s the best way to get found online?
1) Get a professionally made website.
Obviously! But let’s dig a little deeper.
2) Show up in ‘local’ search on Google.
The vast majority of us will see patients in a brick and mortar location, which means we want to be attracting patients who are local to us. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. You might be willing to travel a couple of hours for a one-off visit to see a super-specialised, clinical genius, but we probably won’t be too keen to travel that far each and every week. Providing good clinical care as private practice physio means seeing your patient several times. That means, your locality is a factor to be considered when patients are making a choice about which physio they should visit.
You need to make it easy for patients to find you, so that when they type into Google ‘Physiotherapist in Saffron Walden’, you appear. It might seem as if Google will intrinsically be aware of your brilliance, but you have tell Google about your geography. This is all part of ‘local SEO’ (search engine optimisation), and if you’ve not already done it, you should start by getting a ‘Google My Business’ account – more of that in a mo.
When patients search for ‘physiotherapists near me’ or ‘physios in Saffron Walden’, Google will drum a up a list of physio practices. You can easily spot the ‘local search’ area in the Google listings, because of the map with the list of physio locations scattered over it. Here’s how it currently looks for physios in Saffron Walden.
Underneath the map is a written list of the various physio practices. You’ll spot that there are three, and Google will typically show three results in the local search. Note there is a ‘More Places’ area at the bottom of the local search results, but If there are more than three physio practices in your locality, you ideally need to make sure you’re going to show up in those first three that are visible…So how do you do that?
3) Optimise your website for ‘local SEO’.
If you look closely, you’ll see in the local search results the name of the physiotherapy practice, underneath that, you’ll see the number of Google reviews (here none of the physio practices have any reviews, so they are listed as having ‘no reviews’. Next, there’s a written address, a phone number, whether or not the physio practice was literally open at the time of the search (or when the practice next opens), and after that comes what time the practice closes for the day.
Finally, on the right-hand side, you’ll see a link to the website of the practice, and a directions button. The directions button is the Google’s way of helping a patient plan their journey to your practice, so make sure your post code is up to date and correct. Sometimes, if your practice or premises is relatively new, Google’s red pin marker might not have your correctly placed. You can apply to Google to get it nudged to where it should be.
Get a Google My Business Account and optimise it.
How to get a Google My Business (GMB) Account.
- Log into the Google account you want to use for your practice. If you don’t have one, set one up by going to www.google.com, then click ‘Create an account’ – it’s easy from there.
- Go to https://www.google.com/business and look in the top right-hand corner for ‘Start now’
- Fill out the name of your Private Practice, and the address.
- If you visit patients in their homes, you could make use of the Delivery area section and check the circle that says ‘Deliver in person within distance from business’
- Choose your business category – duh.
- Add your practice’s phone number / website address
- Go through the verification process.
What do I need to do get the best out of my Google My Business (GMB) account?
The best thing about GMB, is that it’s free. And it gets better.
As well helping you show up in the local search panel, if you have a GMB account and someone searches for your practice by its name, Google will then display what’s called a knowledge panel. What does the knowledge panel show?
Well let’s use the first listing of the three that showed up in the local search as an example:
At the top of the knowledge panel are pictures, and underneath that is a statement ‘Physiotherapist in Saffron Walden’, and the address of the practice. Here’s the important thing you need to understand – where it reads ‘Suggest an edit’, literally anyone can suggest to Google about making possible changes your listing. This could be potentially damaging for your SEO, if someone cheekily popped a message to Google suggesting that it be listed as a physio practice in Cambridge (not in Saffron Walden).
Putting it another way, when you go into your GMB account, make sure you give Google all the info it’s asking for, and very importantly, bookmark in your calendar to pop into your GMB account, to make sure that settings are all as you would like them to be, as Google might not always tell you if things have been changed.
The fun part starts when you optimise your listing on GMB. First, make sure you add in some good quality images – these could be a photo that depicts your practice, some headshots, or images of you ‘physio-ing’.
You’ll find the ‘Photos’ icon over on the left-hand side of your GMB account page.
(Square or 4 x 3 ratio pictures are favoured by Google)
You’ll also see an icon called ‘Posts’. This is a brilliant way of displaying your talents when people are searching for a service such as yours, so if you’ve written a killer blog post, post a few lines of it here, and put in a link to connect the reader to the full article on your website. Google gives you 1,500 characters, which is enough to entice the reader to want to read more.
If you’re holding an event (e.g. to launch a new Pilates service), you want to tell people about a fab new physio who’s joined your team, you can also include it in the post area here too.
One of the best things you can do is to link a video to your GMB page. To do this, ‘Photos’, and then on a menu ribbon you’ll see ‘Video’. This is a great place to upload a video about your practice, how you can help people and show a bit of your personality. You can record this on a smartphone and then simply upload. Keep it short and snappy – around 30 seconds is about right.
Lastly, don’t forget to ask patients and colleagues for reviews to be added to your Google listing. ‘Social Proof’ is hugely powerful and will help you to stand out from your physio competitors. Here are my tips on how get great patient testimonials (including making it easy for patients to leave a Google review: https://www.privatepracticeninja.co.uk/how-to-get-great-testimonials-from-your-patients/
I’ve got a Google My Business Account, but I’m not showing up in local search – why not?
For obvious reasons, Google needs to check you out, to make sure you’re legit.
Once you’ve gone on line and started your GMB listing, you have to get it verified. The way you do this is to sign in to your GMB account, click ‘Verify now’.
Check that the address that is listed is accurate, because the next thing you’re going to ask Google to do, is to ‘Send postcard’. You need to recon on this taking about two weeks for it to show up in the post, and don’t make any changes to your GMB listing during that time (obvs).
Google will send you a little postcard with a numeric code that you use to verify your account with, online. Cute.
It’s worth mentioning that some physios will have a name that they’re widely known by (e.g. ‘The Saffron Walden Awesome Physio Company’, but they might have a business name that they use for billing and correspondence (e.g. ‘SWAPCassociates’) that doesn’t match. You’ll want to make sure it’s your widely known company name that you use on GMB.
Aim to appear as the ‘featured snippet’.
You may have noticed that if you pop a question into Google (e.g. ‘What physio practices are in Saffron Walden?)’, Google will bring up a list of results, and in addition, some information that appears at the top of the listings in a box.
This is called a ‘featured snippet’.
Google says that a featured snippet is designed to “enhance and draw user attention on the results page”.
The featured snippet may appear under some Google Ads (if there are any pertaining to that search question), and the underneath it, are the organic search listings. Because the featured snippet appears above the organic listings, it’s sometimes called ‘position #0’.
If we use the example of our physios in Saffron Walden, and we ask Google ‘What physio practices are in Saffron Walden?’, Google gives us the feature snippet below:
There are 3 main kinds of featured snippets; lists, paragraphs and tables.
In a nutshell, Google looks to go and find the best content out there on the internet that gives the best answer to the question being asked by the searcher, and then it reformats words and phrases from that chosen piece of content, and displays them in a featured snippet, either as a list, table, or a paragraph.
Why is this important? Well, if you want to try to win the coveted featured snippet place, it pays to help out Google.
‘List featured’ snippets.
In the example of the Saffron Walden practice, they have some prose on the home page, which Google will have crawled over, scraped up, and dished up as the featured snippet (in a list form). This how it originally appears on the physio website – and you’ll notice the list of ‘Conditions Treated’ matches the list that Google draws up in the featured snippet:
How could you help your practice be noticed more by Google? Well, we know that Google loves lists, and It also love articles that solve problems, and these answers show up as ‘paragraph’ featured snippets.
‘Paragraph featured’ snippets.
To aim for a paragraph featured snippet, write a blog or info on your website that answers a question such as:
‘How do I?’
Here’s an example about cervicogenic headaches:
‘Table featured’ snippets.
If you’re writing a blog where you’re talking about data, think of putting it into a table, to make it super digestible for Google. Here’s an example about calorie expenditure with exercise:
My challenge to you is to optimise your website and ‘Google My Business’ account.
Want to cut to the chase and get this done? Don’t have time?
We get it. Get in touch, and we’ll get it sorted for you.
Now it’s time for you to grow your Private Practice.
email or call us 0207 993 6425