Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Advice to a friend

I wrote up some advice to a friend who is trying to get his new chiropractic practice off the ground.  The advice is valid for many local service companies, so I thought I would share it.

Get your business listed locally.  You don't have to list with everybody. Localeze
, Infogroup, and Acxiom are the three data providers for 90% of the internet including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and anyone else you've heard of.

Its important to make sure your Company Name, Address, and Phone Number are written exactly the same for each listing.  (Type it up in word so you can just copy and paste.)  It will take 1-2 months for these companies to push your information to the entire web, but they will.

Claim the listings you want to embellish on.  Ie. On Google Local and Yelp, you may want to flush out your profile, share pictures, and offer more information.

The reason you want to be found locally is obvious, but listing with the above 3 data providers and maintaining a few key profiles can often do more for you than a website.  Yelp, and many other similar local listing companies, go to great lengths to be #1 in the SEO game.  Thus, they will make sure you are found in organic searches as well.

Update your LinkedIn profile to project the image you want and set up a Company page.

Your LinkedIn profile is definitely complete, but a little too much so. As a Dr. people get nervous and lose trust when they see irrelevant job experience. Remove anything that doesn't relate to your current (or desired) image.  As well, you can have someone take a picture of you at your office in your work clothes.  It helps add trust and portray passion for your work.

A LinkedIn company page will do a lot of the same things that local listings do.  LinkedIn is very concerned with showing up at the top of search results.  By maintaining a basic company page, you can easily be found and researched by prospective patients.

If you choose to create a website, build it for your patients, not your company.  By that, I mean, answer their questions and make it useful for them, not a site that tries to "sell" people or is a virtual brochure of your company.  A nice website that helps a potential patient make a decision and helps patients prepare for their visit will do more for you than a flashing banner that offers a "free massage" for new patients.

My last advice is toward how you write about yourself and company.  I feel I know more about medicine and the body than most, but I had no idea what NUCCA or TSFL was.  It's good to use these acronyms because anyone who specifically wants this service will use the acronym to search, but you should also give a 1-2 sentence explanation of why its important that you provide the service (for those who don't know what it is).  If written well, you will end up converting people searching for "Chiropractor" to searching for "NUCCA Chiropractor."

Free Consult Fridays
As a reminder, I do free consults on Fridays.  This is a sample of what you'd get if you need some help with your web strategy.  I also do site reviews to give you tips for increasing your conversion rate.  Just fill out the contact form on my site to request a date.