Would you like help creating an online marketing strategy for your private practice? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll discuss easy (and affordable) strategies for marketing your practice to your prospective customers online.
The Very First Thing You Need (Drum roll please)
A functional website.
In this post, we’ll discuss a lot of things you can do as a private practice to advertise online, but a website is crucial to your online success.
A Facebook business page is a poor substitute for your own central online hub.
You need a central location to operate online. This is where you’ll send people who want to learn about your business. A dedicated business website is far superior to a social media profile because it looks more professional and you have more control over how you communicate with your audience.
Your website doesn’t have to be the slickest one out there, but it does need to be easy to navigate and informative. You don’t need to have a ton of images and videos. A blog is useful, but it can wait. You don’t even need a large library of content.
At the very least, you should include the following on your website:
A Home page
On this page, you’ll include a welcome message and a snapshot of all of the most important information your site visitors want to see in a flash. This includes your address, directions to your facility, your phone number, a brief overview of services you provide, current news, and promotions.
An “About Us” page
Clients like to know (and see) you before coming into your office. Take a moment to get personal. Create a biography for all client-facing staff. Discuss who you are and why you entered the profession. Include photos to establish an immediate connection.
A “Contact Us” page
Don’t forget to provide your customers with ways to reach you. You may have included this information on your homepage, but you can repeat it on a dedicated “Contact Us” page. Some site visitors won’t see it on your homepage.
A Services Page
What services do you offer? List it out on this page and then go into detail about what each service entails. Discuss who benefits the most from each type and explain what you do during them. Include how long each service lasts.
The more information you can provide on this services page, the better. It will reduce the amount of time your front desk staff spends answering common questions about your provided services.
A “Downloadable Forms” Page
Give your clients (and your staff) a solid head start by including all of the required forms and files your clients need to fill out on your website. This list includes everything from the initial form a first-time client fills out and your payment policy.
Blogs can be great for establishing yourself as an expert. It can provide a lot of valuable content to your site visitors. You can use a blog to highlight testimonials, discuss common concerns, and share your professional opinion on topics that are interesting to your site visitors.
Now, let’s roll our sleeves up and get to affordable online advertising:
Buy Google Ads
Have you ever done a search on Google? The first two listings that come up (along with every listing in the sidebar) are actually advertisements.
Image Courtesy of Google
Businesses, just like yours, bid for ad space on Google. Fingers crossed, this ad space is in a prominent place where Google users will see it and click. Each time a Google user clicks on a business’ advertisement, the business pays Google.
Google ads may not be free, but they can be affordable. The amount you spend is dictated by you. Unlike billboards or direct mail advertisements, you determine exactly how much you’ll pay. For example, you can set a daily limit for $10. Each time a Google user clicks on your ad, that $10 gets chipped away. Once it’s at zero, your ad is no longer displayed until the next day. It’s known as Google Pay Per Click (PPC) for this reason.
You’ll start by figuring out what keyword phrase (search term) you’d like to target for your ad. What would your prospective client search for in Google to find you? Maybe your type of practice + your city name, i.e. Family Therapy Dallas, Texas.
If that’s the keyword phrase you’d like to create an ad for, start the process by heading over to Google AdWords and creating an account.
By the way, if you’d like to use Microsoft Bing ads instead, the process is similar. Start with Microsoft Bing here.
As I mentioned before, social media won’t take the place of your website, but it’s still an important part of your online marketing strategy. You may be asking yourself:
Which social media platform should my business be on?
Ugh. Don’t you hate that kind of answer? Let’s figure it out together by answering the following questions:
Which platform do your clients use the most?
Which platform is the most comfortable for you to navigate?
If you’re not sure, I can offer a sure bet. Facebook is the undisputed giant of all social media platforms. One out of every seven people on earth have a Facebook profile. It’s hard to go wrong by creating a Facebook business page. Be sure to fill out every bit of information you can provide (including a link back to your website).
Image Courtesy of Facebook Business Ads
While you’re on Facebook, create an ad campaign there, too. Just like with Google ads, you can set a daily limit of how much you’d like to spend.
Create an Email List
An email list is a collection of people who’ve given you their email addresses to receive updates from you. Your email list is your single most valuable asset when it comes to online marketing.
And it’s free. Hooray for free.
Why is an email list so valuable?
Your email list contains a group of people who want to hear from you. Unlike paid ads, these people haven’t just landed on your site, dazed and confused. They’ve had a chance to look around and get comfortable, and they’ve decided that they want to create an ongoing relationship with you. They want to know about your upcoming events and get notified about blog updates.
You can start collecting emails on your website or even on your Facebook or Twitter pages. Use a plugin like Hello Bar or SumoMe to collect emails. I recommend offering something immediately in exchange for their email. For example: offer a free report like, “5 Tips to Choose the Perfect Mental Health Specialist.”
Image Courtesy of Hello Bar
By giving away something for free, you’ll get more people to subscribe to your list. Otherwise, it’s just like submitting your email to a black hole. No one wants that.
Now, Let’s Get Started
Online marketing for private practice can be overwhelming, but not if you start slowly. Begin with these four (a website, a paid ad campaign, a social profile, and an email list) to get the biggest return on your marketing efforts. Good luck!
Want some more tips on how you can increase your on online presence without increasing your marketing budget? Check out our webinar here!