Having a website is important, but it's only one part of web-based marketing
Not too long ago I was fortunate enough to tune into a webinar about online marketing, and I was shocked to hear that 53% of small business in Australia still do not have a website. This figure seems ridiculous, considering how many people now go online to search for particular products and services, however about 50% of small businesses in Australia also go broke within the first 2 - 5 years, so maybe there is a correlation.
Content Is King
If you do have a website, do you add new content on a regular basis, or has your website been sitting there idle for a number of years. Having an idle website is better than having no website, but if your information is it out of date, it will be frustrating to your potential patients.
It's extremely important to be adding good content to your website on a regular basis, because Google, Bing and Yahoo will rank your website up or down based on content added, and how relevant it is to your readers.
People love watching videos. especially instructional videos, so adding these to your website is important. You should also consider having a Youtube account.
A blog is really just a short article, giving your opinion on a particular subject, and there's no limit to the number of blog articles you can write, and add to your website. In fact the more you do, the more often you will be found in searches. If you don't have a website, try using Blogger to get yourself started. In addition to my own website blog, I also write blogger articles on podiatry topics, and business topics.
Collect Email Addresses
It's important to understand that your website has two purposes. The first is to educate, and the second, which is more important than the first, is to collect email addresses that can be added to your database, or customer relationship program (CRM). Once you have collected a persons email address, you can commence drip campaigns to stay in touch with them, and build a long-term relationships. The best way to collect someones email address is to offer them something for free, such as a free book, a free report, or a brochure with more information.
In August 2014 I wrote a small 26 page book titled 'Why Do I Have Heel Pain', and via my website patients could request a copy, in exchange for their email address. In the first 6 months I posted out over 300 books.
Social Media And Other Sites.
Like it, or hate it, it's here to stay. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc are not going anywhere soon, so you need to embrace it...you can still hate it, but you need to embrace it and you need to learn how to use it to your business advantage. If you have these social accounts, then next step is to once again add content.
Pinterest is one of the newcomers to the social media block and it is fast becoming a giant, especially amongst women. I have an account myself and it is very worthwhile, and each and every month I do have people find my podiatry website via Pinterest. The skill though is learning how to use it.
Linkedin, which is one of my favourites, is an account that every Podiatrist should have, because it is solely a business networking site, not a social networking site. You'll not see a cat playing the piano on Linkedin. It is an awesome site for making contacts, especially media contacts.
Online Directories and Search Engines
A recent statistic I read said that 85% of all purchases begin with an online search. That is an amazing figure, and makes you realise that if you do not have an online footprint, you are going to be left behind and become a dinosaur. This is why you need to have your business registered with as many online directories as you can. For example, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp are all free listings, so you should make it a priority to have these done.
If you don't have a website, you need one. If you don't have social media accounts, you need to set them up immediately. The number one excuse I hear from people is that they are too busy to worry about all this stuff, which is fair enough comment, but if you don't start looking after it now, you will have plenty of time soon enough, because your patients will be leaving you and seeing the other podiatrists that are making all the online noise.