Your website is often one of the first impressions a potential client will have of your allied health business. But did you know that many potential clients spend less than 20 seconds when they click onto a new website?
This doesn’t give you much opportunity to capture their attention. You need a website that will encourage visitors to explore beyond this initial 20 or so seconds.
This article outlines 7 key tips that can help you to capture the interest of potential new clients, encouraging them to stay longer and explore your website. It addresses the following:
1. Know who your ideal client is
When potential clients first click onto your website, the format and content should immediately speak to them. To make this connection you need to understand who your potential clients are and what they are looking for.
This information will define your marketing strategies.
Begin by identifying your ideal client and target audience. Your ideal client is a person whose specific needs are satisfied by the services and products of your allied health practice. They see the value of your service, will frequently visit your website for information and are likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Your target audience consists of all potential clients who share similar characteristics to your ideal client. Marketers typically define target audiences based on demographic details such as gender, age, profession, income level, education level, location, hobbies and interests. For an allied health practice, these characteristics are viewed in the context of the services you offer. A physiotherapy practice specialising in sports physiotherapy will have a different ideal client and target audience to one offering paediatric care services.
A useful strategy, when seeking to identify your target audience, is to look at the characteristics of your existing clients. Information can be gained from information held by your practice, analysis of traffic to your site engaging on social media, or by distributing client surveys. This information can help you determine what information your target audience is looking for and which communication platforms they use most.
Identifying your target audience means you now know where to focus your marketing efforts.
This selective targeting does not exclude potential clients. Instead, it focuses your business efforts on an audience most likely to need what you provide. This will be more effective than a more generalised approach.
2. Focus on Clear Marketing Messaging
Clear, relevant messaging helps potential clients understand why your service will be useful to them. Visitors to your website often have a problem they want resolved. They come to see what you can do to help them. You need to show that you understand this. Your website, rather than talking about the characteristics of your allied health practice, should focus on the client and their problem.
You need to be clearly client focussed.
The StoryBrand Framework, developed by Donald Miller, is a useful tool to ensure that you focus your website’s content on your target audience and their problems.
The framework comprises seven components:
- The character: your target audience should be the focus of your marketing. Each page on your site should clearly focus on the character
- The problem: the specific problem your target audience needs to solve. The emphasis is on the character’s problems, rather than on the services the practice provides
- The guide: your practice is the guide who helps the character to clarify their issues and goals.
- The plan: your practice suggests a detailed strategy for the character
- The call to action: you encourage the character to take the next step such as booking an appointment, or signing up for a program
- Avoiding failure: you explain how not taking action may lead to a poor outcome
- Successful outcome: You then explain how the call to action leads to a successful outcome for the character.
Thus, the StoryBrand Framework helps you adopt a client focus. Is your marketing message focussed on your potential client?
3. Check Your Competitors
Many allied health practices compete with other practices. To stay competitive and attract potential clients, you need to ensure that you are achieving high rankings in online searches. To do this, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Begin by analysing the marketing strategies of your competitors. This can help you create and refine your own marketing campaign. For example, a Google search, using your target keywords and your location (for example city, town or suburb) may help you to identify competitors offering similar services in your geographic area. The search will also highlight your biggest competitors. They will be at the top of the results.
Once you identify your competitors, you could look at their websites to identify how they present their services. You might identify gaps in their marketing strategies that you can utilise. For example, you may find that your competitors do not use social media, which your analyses might identify as very popular with your target audience. This could provide an opportunity for you to stand out and build a large following.
Knowing the marketing strategies of competitors can help you to refine your own strategies to highlight what sets your practice apart for your identified target audience.
4. Create a Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel is a series of strategies that guides website visitors from potential to actual clients. There are three stages in the funnel.
The top of the funnel is where visitors first view your site. They may not know much about your practice and may not yet feel that they need your services. They are gathering information. Marketing at the top of the funnel is about visibility, credibility and relevance. Your strategies could include local SEO, paid advertising and provision of information on social media platforms used by your target audience.
The middle level of the funnel is when potential clients start showing an interest in what you do and what you have to offer. They are considering whether you can help them. They may be starting to engage with your practice, following you on social media, or signing up for a webinar. They may also be considering other services. Marketing at this level continues to emphasise credibility and relevance by providing more in-depth content in the form of articles, webinars, customer case studies and frequently asked questions. The focus is on providing specific reasons for prospective clients to choose your practice over your competitors:
The bottom of the funnel is reached when potential clients are ready to become clients. You’ve successfully gained attention, built their trust, fostered a relationship with them. Your marketing now focusses on motivating them to action – like booking an appointment.
The marketing funnel is presented as a linear journey. However not everyone follows this. For example, someone might jump directly to the middle or bottom of the funnel because they’re already aware of their problem and your solution, and are ready to sign up.
5. Foster Positive Client Reviews
Focussing on high quality services where everyone receives the very best service helps increase client satisfaction. High levels of satisfaction can generate positive feedback. For example, clients may mention how satisfied they were with the services, how friendly the staff were, or how convenient the booking system was. This feedback can be used as testimonials on your website.
Client reviews on Google and other major platforms can influence your search rankings and therefore your ability to attract new clients.
Client reviews can be very effective. However, you need to comply with relevant advertising laws in your region.
For more information about allied healthcare advertising, click here.
6. Use Local SEO to Attract Visitors
You want your website to appear at the top of the results when someone searches for the services that you provide. Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is particularly useful for allied health practices targeting customers in a specific region, city, or neighbourhood. It uses localised keywords, citations on local directories and strong a business profile.
Local SEO includes on-page and off-page activities.
On-Page Local SEO
On-page local SEO includes adding localised keywords on all relevant pages of your website. Each page should have a focus keyword that is used throughout the title, headers, and content. Secondary keywords are included to help search engines better understand the intent of the page. However, you should avoid stuffing – using the keyword too many times. Keywords should only be used naturally in the content.
Your website also needs consistent contact information. The name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website should be updated regularly.
Off-Page Local SEO
On-page local SEO is supported by off-page local SEO. An important off-page task is ensuring that your Google My Business (GMB) profile is reviewed and updated regularly. Your GMB profile includes your business details, including the hours of operation. These need to be current if potential clients are to find you and feel confident that you are on the ball.
Off-page local SEO also involves gaining local citations and backlinks from reputable websites. Citations are any online mentions of your business. They include basic contact information such as business name, website, address, and phone number. Again, it is important to regularly review the accuracy of online citations. The information should be identical and up to date on all platforms and websites.
In addition to major platforms, local listings and directories are also good sources for citation building.
7. Use Paid Ads for Instant Traffic
Paid traffic can quickly boost your online visibility and attract visitors to your landing pages. Paid advertisements, promotions, or campaigns can be placed on Google, social media, websites or within apps. When people search online, they’ll see an advertisement with a link to your site.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can be particularly effective. PPC involves bidding on specific keywords, such as podiatrist near me or emergency dental care. When people search for the keywords that you bid on, your ad may appear in their searches. However, you only pay when they click on the ad. The ad then sends them to a landing page of your choice, such as a new patient welcome page.
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is the leading paid advertising platform. It is easy to use and provides flexible options for creating a custom PPC ad campaign. You can easily create a campaign with just a few steps:
- Set a budget: You can set a budget of just a few dollars per day or more, depending on your goals and available funds.
- Choose a bidding strategy: The bidding strategy helps determine the placement of your ad based on how much you are willing to spend per click.
- Set up geo-targeting: Geo-targeting is one of the most important features of Google Ads. it ensures that your ads appear in local searches.
The tips discussed can help you attract more clients online. As noted, the starting point is to identify your ideal client target audience. Your marketing focuses on this audience. You need to deliver a clear, client focussed message. Strategies identified as helping you to focus your marketing included developing an understanding of your competitors, using tools such as marketing tunnels, generating positive reviews and implementing local SEO. Paid advertising was also identified as a means to send more people to your website.
Now it’s time to review your strategies.
Will your website encourage visitors to explore beyond the usual 20 or so seconds?
If you want help implementing a successful marketing strategy, get in touch with a marketing agency. Allowing experienced marketers to handle your online growth will free up more of your time do what counts most – provide high quality services to your target group .