Physical Therapist Marketing

Everything You Need to Know about SEO and PPC to Attract Patients

If you’re confused by SEO and PPC—have no fear! Here are some great things you need to know about SEO and PPC and ways to get the most for your efforts in using them!

SEO and PPC are two ways for you to reach patients online. You can keep your brand top-of-mind and appear as the top choice for patients looking for physical therapy in their area.

SEO is search engine optimization. Improving your SEO can increase traffic to your website, increase your brand awareness and bring patients into your clinic without costing you a dime!

PPC is pay-per-click advertising. PPC works well with other marketing channels and yields quick results. As potential patients are searching for information relevant to services you provide, your ad will appear. If a user clicks on the ad, they will be directed to your website and increase the likelihood of the user booking with you for treatment!

Wow, these things sound great, but what in the world are SEO and PPC and how can I use them?

You came to the right place!

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of putting content on your business website that improves your site’s visibility to search engines—like Google—and search engine users. If Google determines your website content is relevant to a user’s search, it will place you in a higher ranking on the search engine results page, making it easier and more likely for the user to click and visit your website.

This is a FREE way to market yourself with Google or any other search engine! There is no cost to appear in organic search engine results pages and no one can pay for a better ranking spot. The more you focus on optimizing your website to provide clear, relevant, descriptive content, the more likely your website will appear higher on search results pages and increase visits to your website.

How to use SEO

SEO includes EVERYTHING you put on your website. It is so important to make sure you keep that in mind, and think about what your patients may be searching for and include those keywords in your writing on your web pages.

Make sure you’re only talking to the patients you want to visit your site. The Google algorithm, for example, understands the conversational search terms that your patients are typing into the search bar, and understand what information may be most helpful to that user. By just providing the best, descriptive, honest and relevant content to the search, your page will be ranked higher on the results page.

For example, a patient may search “what should I do for my chronic back pain?” Google understands this question and looks for websites that contain these keywords and offer helpful information to answer the user’s question. If you have a blog on your website titled, “What You Should Do for Chronic Back Pain” with great tips and advice (and an easy way for your patient to contact you for physical therapy, of course), Google will display your website and description of the blog on the results page. If you didn’t have this relevant content on your website, you wouldn’t appear on the results page and your patients wouldn’t know that you can help them with their back pain… Even if you’re the best PT in town!

The bottom line with SEO is that you have to know what your patients may be searching for, and include that content on your website. If you do this well, you will see a lot more website visitors and a lot more space being filled in your appointment schedule! Find out more on How to Improve SEO Using Educational Resources.

What is PPC?

Focusing on Google, “AdWords” is Google’s PPC advertising solution. PPC (pay-per-click) is a type of paid online advertisement which appears next to similar searches and other places on the web. You only pay for your ad if someone clicks on it to visit your website or contact your practice.

PPC doesn’t necessarily help your SEO, but it’s helpful for connecting your business with a wider audience and grabbing attention when it matters the most.

Sticking with AdWords, you can create and tweak your ads or the patients you target any time when you want to reach a specific group of people or promote a specific deal. If you run a small practice, this might be great for you if you can’t always update your SEO to reflect your promotions or seasonal changes in offerings.

How to use PPC

AdWords allows you to place ads next to search results on Google when people are already looking for something you have to offer. You only have to pay for the ad if someone clicks on your ad. So, say a patient searches, “Yoga classes near me,” and your ad for a free yoga class for first timers appears, if she clicks on the ad, she is interested in trying your yoga class. If she attends the class and enjoys it, she’ll sign up for more classes or treatment at your practice. If she’s not interested in the first free class, she’ll keep searching and you don’t pay a dime for the ad since she didn’t click on it (BUT—she still saw your brand, and may be interested in the future). Pretty sweet, huh? That way, you only pay for the ad when you are likely to see return anyway!

You want to use the right keywords to create relevant and highly searched ads and landing pages. This will help Google determine if your content will help the user.

If you’re interested in Google AdWords, check out this awesome How-to guide to PPC Advertising.

SEO and PPC are a match made heaven

Now that you know what SEO and PPC can do for you, let’s talk about the perfect love story between the two.

This story isn’t a mushy one but it’s important nonetheless. There are a number of Ways PPC and SEO Are Better When Used Together.

  1. Visibility: Combining PPC and SEO efforts adds exposure on the search engine results page. Dominating these two strategies will increase traffic and give an impression that you are a strong brand and have an established presence in the healthcare industry.
  2. Share Keyword Data: Simultaneously running these campaigns gives you twice the data to analyze. Once you discover which organic and PPC keywords are converting the most patients, you can use that information to optimize your whole strategy.
  3. Use Best Performing PPC Ad Copy to Inform Your Organic Content Strategy: “What works for PPC often works for SEO,” (MOZ). The great thing about running PPC ads to test your web pages is the immediacy of results. The sooner you know what works with the PPC ads, the sooner you can improve your web pages and boost your SEO.
  4. Integrate E-Commerce Feeds into AdWords Results: Google has some nice features when it comes to e-commerce because you can now link specific product pages to your PPC ads. The ad features the product and sometimes reviews of the product, and leads the user straight to the purchase page. If you are offering any retail products at your practice, this can be an easy way to boost those sales.
  5. Combat Negative PR: Someone may write a bad review or post a negative comment about your practice. It’s bound to happen at some point, however, you can guide the conversation about your practice towards your good side. You can help maintain a strong relationship and boost your brand perception with both SEO and PPC.
  6. Social Media Visibility: Social media is an ever-changing landscape. One of the best changes lately has been the emergence of highly targeting advertising opportunities. Using Facebook profile information, for example, can help you target a very specific and precise group of people if you want to. This helps refine your SEO strategy.

SEO and PPC can be confusing if you didn’t go to school for marketing or business. However, it’s not hard to understand the benefits of SEO and PPC, like quick and immediate results, cost effectiveness and incredible targeting options.

There are a lot of mistakes that can also be made when dealing with these strategies. If you put some effort into your research and keep up with your SEO and PPC, you could see huge ROI.

These two strategies have a big hand in helping your practice’s website stand out on search result pages. With so many people turning to Google nowadays, how can you choose not to optimize your website?

If you’re still unsure how to effectively use SEO and PPC for your practice goals, that’s OK! Website optimization and marketing can be very challenging and time consuming when you have a business to run.

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