As a new physical therapy clinic, you’re the underdog in more ways than one. Every day, you’re doing battle against your biggest competitors and fighting for new leads and patients to help you grow and market your practice.

Right now, it might seem impossible to make your website rise above the giants. But the truth is, a physical therapist really CAN compete with the big dogs with physical therapy marketing the right way online. You just have to start small and work your way up to bigger results. Word of mouth marketing is as potent as it use to be. Inbound marketing strategy is the name of the game. If you want to start acquiring organic traffic from competition, it’s imperative you create a customized marketing plan and strategy to help with your online marketing efforts such as search engine optimization.

Outrank Competition

With just a few easy changes, you can begin to “hit ‘em where it hurts.” Here are six simple ways a physical therapist with their own clinic can outrank the giants in SEO.

  • Say goodbye to your low-traffic, low-value pages

What could be easier? All you have to do is identify the low-value pages on your site with the least traffic. Think pages you can merge, outdated content and blog posts, and anything that isn’t adding real value. Continually “prune” the low-traffic pages you don’t need and you’ll easily boost your SEO. A tip: don’t simply delete the low-value pages — that will destroy any value they’ve already created for your site — you’ll want to set them up as 301 redirects.

Use Your Network

  • Build up your internal links

A simple technique to solve an easy problem. Internal links are one of the best ways to help search engines find more of the pages on your website and help patients find the content that answers their key questions. Embed internal links from page to page, and you’ll ramp up your SEO by increasing ‘link equity’ to pages stuck on page 2 and 3. But remember not to overdo it with too many internal links, or you’ll overwhelm both search engine crawlers and visitors.

  • Give your site some structure

If you have a “flat” site structure, you’re not showing search engines and patients and clients any clear organization or giving them a real idea of what’s most important. It might seem like this is a minor, behind-the-scenes technical detail — but how your pages are structured determines how search engines will value each page within your site.The first step to creating a clear site hierarchy is to change the default permalink settings (most content management systems, like WordPress, make this really easy to update). Then, set up your links to reflect their new structure under three levels. Second-level pages are the most important ones on your homepage, and third-level pages fall as subpages under your second-level pages.

Setup Proper Site Architecture

  • Customize your URLs

While you’re restructuring your site’s links, why not rewrite them for an even greater impact? Search engines and site visitors prefer custom URLs. Why? Because they’re easier to read and they offer some real context. In the search snippet when people are looking for answers, your URL tells them what your page is all about. That’s exactly what you want.A few easy ways to customize your links:

  1. Keep your URLs relatively short, easy-to-read, and descriptive.

  2. Use only lowercase letters.

  3. Avoid using ‘stop’ words in your URLs.

  4. Avoid spaces and underscores between words — use hyphens instead, like this: “/meet-the-team.”

  • Leverage your existing relationships to create inbound links

You’ve built strong partnerships, referrals, and friendships already, so why not leverage them? It’s hard to create high-value inbound links to your pages from other sites. The good news is, even the giants in your industry struggle with this. To maximize the relationships you have, and ask other physical therapist owners to promote specific links to your content — that’ll help your pages build authority and do wonders for your SEO. And you’re much more likely to get a “yes” from someone you know that if you reach out cold to another company with the same ask. And, when it makes sense, think about collaboration and cross-posting opportunities with those same partner sites. Do they write blogs that overlap with your content? Ask if you can write a guest post, or even a series of healthcare digital marketing related posts, for their site with links pointing back to your site. And you can also invite them to do the same on your site — hosting their original content and expertise boosts your site’s authority and can help widen your audience.

Content Is King!

  • Be smart about your content

Okay, maybe this one’s less of an easy win. Developing your content takes care and thought through a strong content strategy. But what it doesn’t take is a massive budget. And who knows your content better than you? So, for the “little guys,” this is a really straightforward way to beat out the “big guys.”It starts by reviewing search engine results pages (SERPs) to see how your competitors rank. Additionally, to find any bad exact-match domains, low-quality or outdated content, or any pages with low link counts. From there, you can really analyze what’s out there, and use the results to beef up your content for better rankings in search and to meet your users’ needs. Take the time to find out what questions people are asking, and then be sure your pages are clearly answering them.

In short, start with these six steps to begin seeing real results that help you match up to the competition in physical therapy marketing tactics. Once you master these steps, there are plenty of other tactics to implement to compete with the big guys. Anything we missed? Share your ideas in the comments. If you need any help, contact us today on our website or on social media!

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