Everyone says you need a website. Now they’re telling you how to get noticed. They’re telling you to blog. They’re telling you you can make money online with advertising. Web marketing isn’t your business. It shouldn’t have to be. Here are three things to consider when creating, adding or updating a website.
First, who is your website target market. Use the language people will use to look for you throughout your website. If I live in “Somewhere, USA” then my audience will look for me under “Somewhere acupuncture” or “Somewhere acupuncturist”. I should use those terms in my site on headlines, titles and in the content. My name and my business name are likely to draw people who already know about me from a referral or who have seen me before. I should use those terms so they can find the site for contact information but when it comes to new patients, the local area and the words “acupuncture” and “acupuncturist” are important.
Local area terms don’t need to just be your city. I live in the Seattle area. The broadest area is East King County. I also work in the Snoqualmie Valley. The first general term is probably too broad as East King County covers a lot of area (and a lot of acupuncturists) but the second term is appropriate for patients as many of the cities in the Snoqualmie Valley are small and potential patients may search that term for someone nearby.
Second, if you’ve decided that writing a regular blog is important, who do you want to read your posts? Web masters talk about keywords all the time. They’ll give you places to go to see what terms are being searched and suggest you write articles that incorporate those ideas (for instance, “acupuncture and weight loss”). The problem with this approach is that it’s too broad. Keyword searches typically search larger areas than most acupuncturists will use. You don’t want to write for Google search, either, because a search engine is a piece of software and unlikely to use your clinic for help. Talk to people at any local gathering places. Find out the concerns of your local area.
I live in an area that floods. Perhaps I can write about the types of health problems that flooding can cause. Or I can take an energetic approach and talk about dampness. If I live in an area with high winds, that’s an excellent time to talk about Wind as a pathogen. Your posts will be timely and targeted towards the people you want to bring in.
Third, your website is there to bring in new patients and create added value to existing patients. Throwing up google ads on your site defeats the purpose. Your existing patients are likely to find the advertising annoying. Potential new patients may see an ad that takes them off the site to another site that offers them something instead of an acupuncture treatment. You might get .03 cents for such a click but you’ve lost the income from that potential patient. Advertising has a place. Finding targeted information your potential patients and existing patients want can be very effective.
Patients often want to know more about acupuncture. Reviewing a few acupuncture books for lay people on Amazon and using affiliate links to those products can be a way to make some extra money. Other ideas are to advertise products you already promote, if that seems appropriate. Some practitioners love the biomat. You can promote the sales of the biomat on your site. Several acupuncture website practitioners have e-books and items of interest that you can use on your website to bring in some extra income. In all cases, these items are designed to supplement what you do and offer an added value (as well as some passive income) rather than just letting people click off your site without ever coming back. Consider your advertising carefully.