To kick off the practice website series, I want to focus on giving you some why before the how. Understanding exactly why your website will contribute to practice growth makes it a lot easier to dedicate the resources to creating your first website or improving your existing one.

Although you can make money directly online – you can sell supplements, run ads, sell books, etc. – the reality is that it takes some time and dedication to make money doing business this way. For the average CAM practitioner, your practice website is about patients. And although you can create good reasons for people to regularly re-visit your site, it’s new patients that provide a particularly compelling motive for having a website and making sure it does its job.

Prospective patients who visit your website are doing so for two reasons. Satisfy those reasons, and they become your new patients.

Reason #1: They Need a Practitioner
Let’s start with a real example:

I’ve been watching the stats on Tara’s website. Each month a large number of her site’s visitors come from people searching with some variation of “collingwood naturopaths” – naturopath collingwood, collingwood naturopaths, naturopaths in collingwood, naturopathic doctors collingwood, etc.

These “keyword phrases” are words people typed into a search engine (like Google), which in turn led them to our site. This is called organic traffic – people who arrive at the site from search engine results.

What’s so special about these particular visitors? They’re all looking for a naturopath in our area. Not Tara specifically, but a naturopath. That means they’re all new, local patients who are up for grabs. They’re already interested in naturopathy. What’s more, they’re actively seeking an ND. What could be better?

In fact, we’re projecting 100 new patients in 2008 from Internet searches alone. That’s one hundred new patients who just show up at the office because they were looking for a naturopath and found the site. One hundred patients that cost virtually nothing to attract. That’s cost-effective marketing, and it’s more than we’ll get from the Yellow Pages, at a fraction of the cost.

What’s important for these patients: search engine optimization (i.e. ranking higher on Google – more on that later in the series).

Reason #2: They Want More Information on a Known Practitioner (You)

These are the folks who already know your (or your clinic’s) name – in our case, they account for the other big chunk of the traffic to the site. Once they know you, it’s easy for them to find their way to your site – optimization’s not as critical. For these patients, your goal is to give them the information they need and get them to make contact.

What are they looking for? A variety of things, including:

  • Your contact info (many people would rather use the Internet than pick up a phone book)
  • Directions and office hours
  • Pricing/rates
  • Services offered
  • Credentials, training, licenses, experience, etc.
  • Testimonials and other compelling reasons to call

What’s important for these patients: information and conversion. (Conversion is the process of turning visitors into customers.)

Want 100 new patients of your own? Commit to your website. It’s worth the effort. Over the next few posts we’ll look at how to do this by:

  • Creating a decent website (or improving your existing one) on a budget
  • Improving your search engine ranking (for those Reason #1 visitors)
  • Improving conversion (for those Reason #2 visitors)
  • Using your site to increase return visits from existing patients

Join the Journey!

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2 Responses to “100 New Patients: Why Your Practice Website is Critical”

  1. Carmen says:

    Thank you for this, it’s all extremely helpful! I am very interested in the “conversion” aspects of a website. Do you have any material that goes into more depth on that? Thank you!

  2. […] Website Optimization for CAM Practitioners On September 18, 2007, in your practice website, by Dan The other day I gave a little insight into how our website is going to bring us an estimated 100 new patients next year. […]

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