So your practice has a website. In fact, you have more than just a website. You have listings on Google Local and Yelp. You have a Facebook page for your business. You might even have a well-tended blog. But you’re still not seeing as much web traffic as you think you need to drive traffic and improve business. Don't panic. Learning how to market your practice is a process, and even those companies with the best web strategies have room to improve. With these five tips you can start improving your practice's online presence right away.
1. Make Your Website Shine
Just having a website isn’t enough. You need to have a good website. In fact, having a bad website is as bad or worse than having no website at all in the same way that making a bad first impression is worse than making no impression.
Luckily, a good website doesn’t need to be complicated. Modern web design best practices are all about simplifying your site, making it as simple and intuitive as possible for visitors.
To make sure potential clients have a positive experience when they land on your site, ensure that your site is:
- Optimized for mobile. More people now access the internet with their phones than with a standard computer. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re guaranteeing a bad experience for more than half of your potential clients.
- Easy to navigate. This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many sites are still maddeningly difficult to navigate. So keep your navigation bar or menu easy to find, and make sure all your important pages are included. To start, make sure you have the following tabs: Home, Contact Us, About Us, FAQ, Pricing, and Blog. If you want to see examples of websites with great navigation, take a look at this article from Lean Labs.
- Fast. If any part of your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’re losing business.
2. Optimize Your Business Listings
Listing your business with Google Local and Yelp is a good start, but if you want your practice to rank well in the local results, you can’t just wait for it to happen. In order for your listing to land at the top of the local search, you need good reviews — and more than a handful.
To optimize your business listings, encourage and incentivize your clients to take the time to review your business. Not only will good reviews help make your business look good, but they’ll also help drive traffic to your website.
3. Engage With Your Social Media Following
Having a Facebook page is good, but if you’re not interacting with your social media following, you’re missing out on the massive potential of social media. When people reach out to you on social media — when they comment on a post, write directly on your wall, or send you a direct message — they expect you to notice and respond. Social media is defined by these kinds of interactions. You won’t ever develop a dedicated following — the kind of brand champions that can make or break a business — unless you put in the effort to engage your audience this way.
4. Build Backlinks
There’s nothing sexy about building backlinks, but doing it can dramatically increase your website’s visibility. Backlinks are links to your website that have been placed on other sites.
When other people link to your site, Google and other search engines assume that you have important content worth linking to. Therefore, the more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in searches.
If you’re partnered with any association or organization, contact them and ask that your website be added to their "partners" page. If you work with any other local professionals, ask to be added to their "recommended" page. If you give discounts to local schools, churches, or anyone else with a website, ask to be added to their "sponsors" page.
5. Contribute Guest Blog Posts
Keeping a good blog is great for business, but this tip will work even for those who don’t want a blog on their website. Even if you don’t have your own blog, writing for someone else’s site (like ours!) can help drive traffic to your site and establish you as a thought leader. Look for local businesses whose clientele overlaps with your target audience and approach them about writing an article for their blog. Not only will guest blogging help build your backlinks for SEO purposes, but you will also increase your exposure and directly drive more traffic to your site. Two birds, one digital stone.
Now that you have a plan to improve your online presence, it's important to stick to it. A good strategy won't mean anything if you don't dedicate the time it takes to implement it. Comment below and tell us which tips you're most excited to try!
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