As the owner or manager of a growing physiotherapy practice, you know how difficult it is to convince the sceptics of your clinic’s therapeutic value. It’s not always easy to attract qualified patients with a physio clinic website. Even among true believers, it’s foolhardy to assume people will select your clinic over others in your area to treat their ailments.
So, how can you stand apart from the competition? Maybe you’ve heard how websites help businesses stand out from a crowd, but aren’t fully convinced a physiotherapy clinic website can motivate visitors to contact you for that critical first appointment.
Make no mistake; competition among Australia’s private physiotherapy clinics is fierce. All too often, marketing for physiotherapy clinics are given short shrift by the business owners with disastrous consequences. Sure, patient care and medical administration are your primary focus and rightly so. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could exploit the power of online, physiotherapy-specific marketing to give you that crucial, twenty-first century business edge?
There were fifteen million visits to private physiotherapists in Australia in 2008 alone; prompting calls by the APA to make private services more affordable for all citizens. As more patients shift away from public hospitals towards private clinics to address critical physical movement needs, an unprecedented growth opportunity is emerging for proactive owners with the vision to seize it.
How can a physiotherapy website increase your flow of patients? Here are seven ways:
1. Make the case for physiotherapy treatment
Physiotherapy has never been, nor should it be considered the exclusive domain of elite athletes and primary industry workers. Show how it can help anyone regain, maintain and improve functional use of their bodies and enrich their lives.
2. Establish your physiotherapy clinic and staff credibility
Don’t be shy about showcasing your physiotherapists’ qualifications and competencies! People trust their health to proven professionals, so ease their doubts with images of your clinic and patient care in progress. Put up your staff profiles and expertise – staff photos are excellent for adding a personal touch.
3. Content, content, content!
Nothing speaks louder than rich, relevant content in appropriate form (text, audio or video). If your practice specialises in lower back pain in middle-aged men, for example, you can tailor your content, blogs and articles accordingly.
4. Present current, verifiable testimonials
What better recruiting tool than the glowing words of satisfied customers? In general, you can ask patients who have been satisfied with your services; offer evaluation forms that grant permission for use of comments on their experience, or seek expert testimonials from others in the field (e.g. the doctor who originally referred the patient to you). If client confidentiality is an issue, consider offering seminars where you present your services and have attendees comment on the presentation instead of your direct physio services.
5. Special offers
Without compromising your medical or business standards, consider innovative “loss leaders” (e.g. free assessment and diagnosis of one injury) to entice prospects.
6. Calls to action
Use your website presentation to tell visitors what to do next. For example,
“At [your clinic’s name] your health comes first. Why prolong the agony or stay on a waiting list when you can start your road to recovery today? Call now for an appointment”.
7. Encourage visitor interaction
A frequently asked questions (FAQ) list, facilitating visitor comments and sending pages to friends from your website are great ways to generate interactivity and marketing for your physiotherapy clinic. Online social media is no longer a business anomaly – it is a mainstream vehicle can become your growth engine! When considering a website presence, make sure that it can offer:
- Memberships and member-only pages
- Newsletter facility
- Blog functionality
- Social website and Twitter integration
- Sending pages to friends
You may not have the time or energy to carry them all out, but at least make sure that when you are ready, that your website will offer all the tools you need without forking out a bundle of cash or confusing tech-speak.
 Elston, Danielle. “Private Physiotherapy Essential to Public Health.” www.physiotherapy.asn.au 14 May 09 http://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/index.php/policy-and-communications/news/news-archive/1511-private-physiotherapy-essential-to-public-health