The Best Chiropractic Websites in 2014
The Definitive Article on what a new site must have in 2014.
This article will explain to you exactly what to look for in a website for your local chiropractic practice. After reading this article, you will be able to have confidence that you know what you’re looking for, so you won’t be one of those people wasting time and money with a practice website that doesn’t deliver, leaving you frustrated and feeling scammed. You can avoid the common mistakes that chiropractors make, and end up with a great practice website that brings in new patients online, helps to retain the patient’s you already have, generates patient referrals from email lists, and pays for itself one hundred times over.
Having a chiropractic marketing website that drives new patients into your chiropractic clinic is absolutely essential for marketing, but let’s face it, the task of making the best decision for your practice can be daunting. Your task becomes much easier when you realize that although there are so many companies and chiropractic layouts to choose from, most are behind the times and can be eliminated easily. They’re using old school functionality and are utter failures when it comes to providing the newly required chiropractic marketing features for a decent price.
There are a few things that your chiropractic website absolutely must have if you want it to be successful. These critical marketing features are discussed below.
There was a time when it was said that you should have a reactive design because a growing segment of people were searching for chiropractic practices on smart phones, and by having a chiropractic websitesite optimized for phones you could pick up a chunk of those people.
Well those days are long gone. It’s no longer a growing segment of the population that use their phones to search online, but rather the majority of people. iPhones and Androids have grown in both use and functionality to the point that people don’t need to walk over to their PC or Mac to search for a chiropractic practice online. The screens are big and high def, the operating systems are fast, and enough websites are optimized that if you don’t have a reactive design, you might as well not even have a chiropractic website.
So what is a reactive design exactly?
First off I’ll tell you what it’s not. If you have a page with a left hand column that takes two-thirds of the screen, and a right hand column that takes one-third, that’s not good enough. Sure, the widths of the columns will resize fine between a wide-screen monitor and an average sized laptop display, but what about a cell phone that’s only 480 pixels wide? Your main content would resize to 320 pixels, and your side bar to 160, and you would have an unreadable mess. The iPhone user would bounce off of your site within seconds.
The reactive design uses something called “media queries” to determine the size of the screen on which it’s being displayed, and reacts accordingly. The way it reacts is determined by the website designer who put rules in the styesheet during development. So, for example, the developer used media queries in combination with stylesheet rules to tell the website that one row of your page (say row 4), which included 3 columns that each took up one-third of the page in width, should now change to three separate rows (becoming rows 4, 5 and 6), with one column each, and now taking up 100% of the width each. In other words, one row with three columns became three rows with one column solely because of the size of the screen on which people are viewing it. This now delivers a fantastic internet experience for the cell phone user.
How do you know if a website has a reactive design?
One way it to minimize the page and see how the page reacts. Most sites will squish up smaller and smaller until eventually the content on the right side of the screen is cut-off, and you’ll see a scroll bar at the bottom of the browser. This is not a reactive design.
Another way is to take the url address of the site you’re considering, and paste it in at ipadpeek.com. This lets you pull online content into a frame the size of an ipad, and then click different buttons to see it on different versions of the iPhone. You’d be surprised at how unreadable most chiropractic pages are on a phone, but you won’t be surprised why most users bounce off your practice site in seconds.
A Blog with an RSS feed
There was a time when blogs were silly. You had a picture in your head of some delusional person writing down his every musing and posting it online where nobody would read it but his own mother.
In today’s world, a chiropractic practice blog with a feed is the fastest and cheapest way to reach your current patient’s. Think of being able to send a newsletter to everyone’s email at a moment’s notice for absolutely no money.
The trick is, the blog needs to be connected to a feed, and that feed needs to be connected to an email list of your patients and prospective patients.
Now imagine that outgoing email had a reactive design, and your head should spin. If you’re using a site with a blog built on something like WordPress, you could sit down at your computer, type up a reactivation offer in less than 5 minutes, hit publish, and that offer would be in every single one of your patient’s emails within minutes, assuming they were on your email list.
Now add a link or a button in the body of that email that connects to your online appointment form on your chiropractic page which has a reactive design, and your patient’s could take you up on your offer, and book the appointment online directly from the phone they read the email on.
What’s a generic opt-in?
Whenever you go to a web page and see a place to enter your email address, that’s an opt-in. Now ask yourself how often you actually enter your email address in one of those boxes. That’s right. Never.
The problem with most opt-ins:
The problem with most opt-ins is that they don’t offer anything of value in exchange for the email address. The point of getting somebody’s email address with an opt-in is that they are likely sitting on the fence about choosing a chiropractic clinic, and you want a chance to follow-up with some marketing. We’re talking about lead generation.
One of the difficulties with Chiropractic:
One of the problems faced by chiropractors in general is that a majority of people are completely ignorant about what we do, and wouldn’t come see us even if it was free. I’ve heard estimates that the percentage of people who would consider chiropractic treatment is between 3 and 10 percent.
When you do something like direct mail marketing (which can be very successful marketing when done right) you have a relationship between what you spend per unit and your open-rate. Think postcard marketing versus a big silver box with glitter and a nice bow on top. Every single person will open the big silver gift-wrapped box, but it will cost 5 bucks per mailer. It’s a tradeoff. Most of your postcards will end up in the trash without ever being noticed, but the big box will absolutely destroy you if nobody cares about your offer.
We can spend more marketing money per unit if we have better target marketing. Think about a combination of a more expensive mailer, however, we’ve been able to eliminate from the list all of those people who would never take us up on our offer, and are only marketing to the 10% who would.
Now imagine we’ve narrowed it down even further, and of that 10%, we’ve been able to target in on an even smaller segment that we know has a problem right now. We could put much more effort into marketing to that list of people, and still have a higher return on investment than either of the options above.
What does the opt-in have to do with it?
That is the point of the opt-in. The true opt-in is looking to build a list of people who would consider chiropractic as a treatment option, and are currently having a problem. These are the people who landed on your chiropractic website in the first place. It is up to you, as the marketer of your chiropractic practice, to figure out how to get these people to hand over their email, and it’s absolutely not with a 15% off coupon.
Once you have them on your email list you could offer to send them some free sample packs of Biofreeze. Now you not only have their home address, but they wouldn’t have wanted the Biofreeze if they didn’t have pain somewhere. Now you can send the big silver box with the glitter and bow to this list without loosing your shirt.
This is not a marketing article, and you will need to do your own marketing, but you should be able to see how a true opt-in can be used to generate quality leads 24 hours a day for literally no marketing money.
Bottom line about opt-ins:
So bottom line, you will want a website that allows you to test any and every opt-in you can think of without charging you for it, and without you needing to be a developer and put it up yourself. Their support should be there for you to make sure your ideas become actual working parts of your chiropractic website as often as you see fit.
Let’s face it. You site is only one type of media that you will use to deliver your marketing message to your target market. You need to be able to take control of that media and ensure that your marketing is tailored to your specific niche. Maybe you’re all about rehab, or you specialize in athletes. Maybe your goal is to own the word “arthritis” in your city, or be the go-to chiropractor for golfers.
Whatever it is that you determine is your marketing message, you will need to be able to tailor the copy of your pages, as well as your list opt-ins, to deliver that marketing message. Also, marketing is fluid. You should be able to make changes to your chiroprctic website quickly and easily every time you get a new idea without needing to be a coder.
That being said, the back-end of your site should be easy and intuitive. Many sites available to chiropractors are built on proprietary software. My recommendation is that yours be built on the WordPress back-end instead. There is a reason that WordPress is the most used content management system on the planet. It’s because it’s the best.
It is also important that the back-end be customized by your developer. WordPress is an all encompassing content management system that you could use to totally destroy your website. You could accidently delete your home page, break the HTML in your opt-in forms, delete your appointment bar or crash your entire website.
You do not need access to every nook and cranny of the back-end. Your developer needs to customize the back end experience to protect you from yourself, and your staff. You should be able to mess around with it all you want, and not be worried about breaking it. This is only possible with a customized back-end that was developed specifically to be used by a client who is not a webmaster. You should not have to be afraid of accidently breaking your website.
At the same time, your developer should be there to support you when you can’t figure something out. You should have the option of figuring something out for yourself, or of logging into your developer’s support area and opening a support ticket so they can do it for you.
There are options when it comes to the investment you want to make in online marketing. When first starting out, your budget may only allow for the website itself. You may not have the budget for a dedicated search engine optimization (seo) person, a dedicated pay-per-click marketing team, or a group of consultants who bill $900.00 per month and promise you more business.
It would be helpful if you knew that you do not need your website company to do this for you. You can add these on at any time from any number of businesses. The less you pay for the website itself, the more you’ll have in your online marketing budget for add-ons later. You will also have the opportunity to hire local businesses to do online marketing for you. This will also give you the opportunity to work with local people who may appreciate your business enough to send you local chiropractic patients, and will also allow you to change providers if you’re not happy with their results.
The WordPress back-end allows you to assign users, and grant them certain permissions like changing the copy, adding links, etc. You could easily hire a local SEO firm or google adwords account manager and grant them permission to the back-end with their own login name and password. If you fire them later, simply delete their user account and move on. Your next marketing company can easily pick up where they left off.
Analytic software can be installed onto a site, and will keep track of your site performance in regard to traffic and internet marketing. The most popular software is Google Analytics, and it is completely free. Your developer will need to set up an account, and place a tracking code on all of your pages. This will allow you to log into you google analytics account, and see what your visitors are doing.
You’ll be able to tell how much internet traffic has come to your page, and where it came from. This will allow you to examine the success of your efforts related to search engine optimization (SEO) or paid internet marketing. In other words, you can track the success of the internet marketing efforts of your chiropractic site.
You can see if the person arrived at your site because they were searching google, what word they were searching for when they found you, what pages they looked at while on your site, and if they exited without filling out a contact form or signing up for your opt-in list, you can see which page they left from. If people are all leaving from the same page, you’ll want to investigate and determine if changes need to be made. You’ll also be able to tell if they came to your site from a social network like Facebook or Twitter, which will give you an idea of your success using social media or video.
Obviously the better your SEO efforts are, the better your page rank will be, but analytics allows you to see what the visitors do after they get to your site. Without it you’re blind.
Wrapping it all up:
As you look around the web, you’ll notice that many sites include some of the things mentioned above. The problem is that you really should have all of them, and not just some of them. I’ve looked around the web, and I can hardly find a solution that has a reactive design. Add-on a blog with an RSS feed connected to an email list, true opt-ins with the unlimited ability to test, website changes, protection from yourself, support, analytics and scalability? Forget it. The only one I know of is ChiroLoop, and it only has those things because I developed it myself. That’s my shameless plug, but it’s true. Take a look and see for yourself. Feel free to compare, and ask lots of questions. Especially now that you know what questions to ask.
You are now prepared to go out there and get a top notch solution that brings in new patients, reactivates existing patients, generates referrals and frees up your time to help more people.
Hint: They will also work for your Chiropractic Clinic
(and 5 of them are completely FREE).