“So I have some very special guests that are joining me here today, and we’re gonna be talking about how to set up your website to attract new patients.”
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Hi folks, Jeffrey Grossman here. And thanks again for joining us with another installment of a live broadcast from the American Acupuncture Council, bringing you some great information, um, business building and marketing and coding and all these great things streaming to you live. So I have some very special guests that are joining me here today, and we’re gonna be talking about how to set up your website to attract new patients. And with me today, we are going to have, um, the, uh, the team from our sister company called Acu perfect websites. We’re gonna have Ben Thibert and Ken Moorhouse that will be joining us to answer some of those questions that have come in over the years around, you know, attracting patients to your website. So thank you, Ben. Thank you, Ken, for joining me here today.
Thanks Jeffrey. Thanks for every for having us. Thank you, AAC.
That’s awesome. Good, good. So, um, you know, a lot of practitioners are, you know, they just assume they can just put a website up there and just, you know, and just attract patients in these, uh, throngs of patients just started streaming into their door and that’s pretty much further from the truth. And so I kind of want to get some clarity, you know, that you guys can share based upon the fact that you work with hundreds of acupuncturists, you build a hundreds of websites every single month, you’re, you’re managing these services for them. And, um, you know, so you’ve, you’re, you’ve got your finger on the pulse literally. Um, and, um, you know, I think that it would be great to kind of share some of this insight into some of this information with, um, our members. So one of the first questions that I’ve heard over the past, and you probably, you guys probably hear about it too, because I think a lot of our clients come over from other companies to join our S um, so what are some important things that people miss when they’re doing their own website on services like Squarespace and Wix?
Yeah. So I think one of the most important things to think about when you’re building your website is content. Uh, content is what drives traffic to your website. So when you write content about TCAM and acupuncture and the different conditions that you treat people in your community will have access to that, if you set up your website correctly. So content is still king, uh, bill gates coined that term back in 1996, and he was talking about the future of the internet and sure enough content is still king on the internet. So it’s really important that you write good quality content on your website, and that can be blog posting. We’ll talk a little bit about, and you can also talk about landing pages as well. So in terms of blog posting, you want to write some content about TCM and acupuncture and how it can help conditions and be sure that when you’re writing your content, doesn’t have to be very long, 600 words will suffice, but you want to have a good quality post that talks about the condition, your location, how you help people in your community with those conditions and what modalities you may use.
So that’s a really good, good way to start attracting traction and getting people to visit your website. Uh, the other part of that is also landing pages are really important. Uh, Ben, did you want to talk a little bit about landing pages?
Yeah, just content in general. Um, one thing that we see is, you know, Google doesn’t rank sites based on how they look, it’s all based on what’s on the site and the content. So you could have a beautiful website, but if you don’t have the content on your homepage or your about page, that matches what people are searching for it, you’re not going to get ranked. You’re not going to get people to your website. Um, I mean, having a good looking website is, is important, but not in Google’s eyes. Um, so it’s important to have, you know, like on your homepage, for example, you want to make sure you list all the, um, services you provide. You want to list the main conditions that you treat. So when people are searching for acupuncture for back pain, you know, it’s going to come up. Um, it was one thing we see missed a lot is people will have, you know, maybe their mission statement or some, you know, quote that they like on the homepage, but they don’t have any information about what they do or what they offer, or even sometimes where they’re located, people miss that.
So you want to make sure you have all that stuff that Google is going to pick up and use to rank your site, uh, in your content, across all your pages, put your address. It was basic. It seems like it’s basic stuff, but it’s amazing how many people, it’s hard to find where they’re located or what their phone number is. If like dig through all their pages to find it. Um, that’s something that’s missed a lot. And, um, like as Kay mentioned, landing pages, that’s where you can get, get a little more detailed. So you can kind of use your homepage to list your general overview of what you do, what you offer. Um, but if there’s a specific service that you provide or a condition that you treat that you wanna really focus on and you can create a whole separate page for that, and that’s just called the landing page. So for example, if you focus on anxiety, you can have a whole landing page that talks about how acupuncture can help with anxiety, the different treatments that you offer, kind of your, your plan that you, when someone comes in to treat anxiety. But the important thing is to have a separate page that has all your good keywords in there that Google’s going to pick up and use to rank you for different, different conditions.
I think. Yeah, I think, I think that’s a big thing that people overlook is they just assume that they have a pretty looking website and that is just going to be the patient attraction tool for them, but having content with specific meta-tags and alt tags and title tags. I mean, that stuff that you know is what is, what, what you guys do. It’s what you guys focus on, which isn’t what a lot of practitioners do, um, in that way. But like when, when Google, when people like type in acupuncture, you know, back pain, Seattle, all of that information should be part of the content on some level, right?
Yep. Yeah. We could talk a little more about the meta-tags too. So it’s one thing that we see miss a lot is someone does their website on Squarespace or something, you know, even if they have great content on there on the page itself, um, we’ll see that their, their title tag for the page is just the word home or, you know, something really generic, but that the title tag is one of the most important meta-tags, that’s what Google uses to actually list your site in the listings. So each page use your title tag, and that’s what shows up when you search in Google, those are the title tags for each page. So you need to make sure that you have all your information in your title tag, that, you know, you have to keep it short. And I think it’s something like 60 characters. Um, but you want to have, you know, your business name and your city, and if your business name doesn’t include the word acupuncture, you want to make sure that you have, you know, have that in there as well. So you are targeting acupuncture in your city, in your title tags. That’s when we see missed a lot as the title tags aren’t set and it’s something has to go and manually do when you’re in Wix and Squarespace, you have to go and set those for each page.
To your point to Jeffery, all tags are sort of treated the same way as any time. If you have an image that you upload to your website, make sure you have a good description of that image, and also include some of that information. Some of the keywords that we’re talking about, your city, your location, and then a description of the image. And that really helps that with SEO and Google ranking, right?
I think a little bit into, I was gonna mention that that’s a big part of the, we’ll talk a little bit about ADA compliance too. And, um, accessibility and L tags are a big part of that, but go ahead, Jeffrey.
So, so as far as title tags, clarification on that, the title tag is the title of whatever content piece you’re putting out, whatever blog posts you’re putting out. Right.
It’s the title of that page? Um, yeah, so right. Yep. Okay.
And then, and then as far as pictures go, Ken, that’s a really good point because a lot of people just pick up pictures like, oh, me at the beach, right. Or whatever that is, or me doing moxa or me doing cupping, but like, it’s, you know, I mean, if someone puts up a picture of cupping, it should be like, Jeffrey’s acupuncture clinic, Seattle cupping. Right. That should be yeah.
Treating patient with capping or something similar to that effect. Yeah,
For sure. Yeah, because that all plays into like getting search when, when the search engine crawlers are out there, they’re like those search, not only the title tags, but the, the, the other alt tags in the photos, which is, I think I would, you know, I never knew that until I started, you know, you guys started jumping into the websites, informing us around that. So, um, cool. Um, and, um, so what is another question is like, what’s the best way for practitioners to reach more prospects in their community? Like how can they get out there and be more forward facing? So people when they are searching that they’re found?
Yeah. I think the number one thing that people miss as a practitioner is setting up their Google, my business account. Um, so if you go to google.com/business, uh, you can create a listing, uh, inside of Google and Google will, uh, rank your website better when you create that listing. And what it does is essentially it tells Google what you do, the services you offer, and also verifies that you’re actually a real business. And that’s really important to get a better ranking in search results. And also to, it allows you to appear on Google maps, which is really important because your patients will go to Google maps to try to seek you out. And part of Google maps includes reviews and reviews are really important. So if you think about going to a restaurant and a, you choose a five-star restaurant, uh, that, uh, that your peers have reviewed at five stars versus a one-star restaurant, you want to be part of that, that community that Google is putting in front of you. Um, and that’s through Google my business. So, uh, Google my business is really important, uh, way of getting in front of your community and making sure that you’re ranking well for some of the conditions and, uh, the modalities that we mentioned earlier
And Google my business it’s free. Right. There’s no cost to getting that set up.
Right. Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of third-parties that I’m sure a lot of people have gotten calls from, uh, you know, solicitors calling and saying, Hey, we’ll set up your Google business for you for, you know, X amount of dollars, hundreds of dollars. Uh, but it is free through Google if you do it yourself. Um, and a lot of times too, um, Google will, you know, use the yellow page listings to auto-generate your Google business listing. Um, but it’s, you know, usually lacking a lot of content. It’s just the basic. So you, even, if you have one up there, you want to make sure that you go to google.com/business and claim the listing. If it exists already, I go through the verification process and then you have full access to put all your information and make sure your hours are up to date. Um, you know, during COVID, you can, you can list your specific COVID changes that you have on your listing, um, and also have access to the reviews.
So you can interact with your views that come in. Um, that’s one thing that is important is, you know, you want to make sure that you’re encouraging your patients to leave reviews and then that you are going in there and actually responding to the reviews and interacting with them. And that shows Google that you’re, you know, not only have a lot of patients coming in, cause they leaving reviews for you, but you’re actually being proactive and using your listing and responding to both positive and negative reviews, hopefully all positive, but you can still go in and just say, thank you to people who leave reviews. Um, and that’s something that Google notice and, you know, if you’re really active with your listing, Google, you’ll start bumping up in the, in the ranks, especially if you’re in a competitive area where there’s, you know, dozens of, of competitors trying for that top, top, the top three spots on Google maps, those are the really important spot to get to because that’s where you show up kind of on the first page, when you search something that shows like just a couple map results, when you search, you know, you want to be great if you can get up in that top three spot.
So reviews will help a lot with that.
Yeah. Because these days, people don’t really scroll past the first page when they do a Google search. And you know, the first thing that shows up there are I think, paid ads and then sort of the map, you know, like the map listings and then, then other other generic rankings. Is that right?
Yeah. That’s one thing that, you know, a lot of people coming to us thinking that there’s a quick way to click one button to get to the first page of Google. And you know, it it’s a process, especially if you’re in a competitive area. Um, if you’re in a smaller town, you can see it as possible to get up to the first page within, you know, a month or so. But if you’re in a competitive market, it’s going to take time to build that, that ranking up and get to the first page or two. Um, but the, the easy, quick way to do get it to the first page is through the ads. And I mean, it definitely is a cost involved. Um, it can get expensive doing Google ads, especially in a, in a big market, but that’s really the only way to guarantee to get to the top spot immediately,
Yeah, I think it just really is to summarize everything like Google my business is great and setting it up, but we have to also remember that Google loves fresh content, right? So if you’ve got a website that you’ve built and it looks great and it just goes dormant because you’re not adding fresh content to it related to the service that you provide, then most likely it will drop in organic ranking. So you’ve got the paid advertising, you’ve got the map and then you have the organic, you want to get into that organic space, the first page of Google. And that’s what takes time. So writing good quality blog posts about, um, your, your practice and the conditions you treat is really important. You got to keep feeding, Google that content, and the more you feed it, the higher you will rank compared to a site that doesn’t post anything. So that’s really what drives your ranking. Um, and then there’s some other, other, other factors that we talked about, like all tags and metatags, I want to,
Another thing I want to mention too is, um, you know, if you’re, especially, if you’re starting out and your site’s new and you’re starting at kind of from square one, you’re buried in the listings. Um, and it’s gonna be hard to get people organically to go onto your site. They’re not going to find you on the fifth page of Google. So one of the important things to do when you’re first starting out is to find other ways to get traffic to your site. So that’s through, you know, if you have a social media following, you know, you can start putting your blog posts onto social media. So people click through to your website. Um, if you have like a, you know, a newsletter list, sending out newsletters that link out to your website, um, even just first starting out, just sending your website to friends and family and have them visit because Google will see the traffic started picking up and that’ll say, oh, you know, people are getting to this website. This must be important enough to move up the rankings a bit. It must be relevant. Um, so that’s one thing that I think sometimes people miss, you know, if you build your website and it’s brand new and it’s sitting on the fifth page of Google, you know, you gotta find other ways people to get to the website first, before it can, you know, start moving up to the first page or so.
Cool. Um, okay. Um, another thing that I’ve heard in the past, and maybe you guys can shed some light on this is the fact that it’s important to have your website be mobile ready in order to, is that helpful for rankings at all or anything like that?
Oh, absolutely. Um, and it it’s something that it seems like it’s becoming more standard now. It is, it is the standard. So we see it less and less of people not having a mobile ready site, but we do still do see it. So, you know, having a mobile radio site super important, if people are searching for businesses, they’re doing it from their phone in 90% of the time. Um, so you want to make sure your website is mobile friendly because Google will tell if it’s not, and then they will lower your rank on mobile searches if you’re not mobile friendly, um, cause they want the sites that are easy to use to are the first ones that are popping up. So that’s super important to be mobile readily mobile ready. Um, you can search on Google and Google has its own mobile ready test. You can go and plug in your website and it’ll tell you if it’s coming back as mobile friendly or not.
Um, and then the other thing is, um, having SSL security is really important. That gives you that little lock icon in your browser that shows that you’re secure. Um, that’s pretty much standard at this point, it’s it? You know, it’s every host should have it an easy way for you to get that. Um, Google’s even say not secure if you, if you don’t have the SS SSL security on your site. And that just gives people peace of mind when they’re sending con your contact form through or messaging you. So yeah, mobile friendly and SSL are super important to have. And at this point, if you don’t have it, then you’re kind of behind the times.
Okay. Yeah. And you could tell, like, there’s a big difference between the way a website loads, that’s mobile friendly versus a website that is not mobile friendly. Cause I mean, some of the sites that, that, that you guys have worked on, literally like there’s a button, a big button, you just click to call, click to schedule, you know, click to send a message, right. I mean, let’s just seem super efficient.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s important to make it easy. And then one thing that we can also mention too, is, you know, having your website get found is one thing, but you want to make sure that it’s easy to use once people get there, you want to make sure that it’s easy. You want to have this really strong call to action. So when someone gets to your site, they know what to do next they know to contact you. They see a big contact us button. One thing you can do is, you know, go to your website and see how long it takes you to find the button, to see, to make an appointment or to call it. And if it takes more than two or three clicks, then you probably need to make it a little easier for people to find because people will give up quick and move on to the next thing. If it’s not easy to use or easy to find what they want.
Yeah. And it’s also important to put that call to action closer to the top of the page so that people don’t have to scroll down to get to it. And you want to make sure it’s front and center. And like Ben said, two or three clicks to get the, take the person down the path that you want them to go down is the, is the key. So go to your website and check it out and see how long it takes you to contact yourself. So
Right. Or what call to action you have like available on your site. It’s like, you know, you need to have a schedule. Now, call me now, download this free report now and all this stuff like right front and center. So if people don’t schedule with you right away, what’s the next action that they can then take to, you know, communicate or reach out to you or just stay in your loop.
And one thing, one thing you can do is, you know, contact, uh, you know, maybe, uh, an elderly relative or patient and have them go and test your site. Hey, is this, can you, can you find how to do this? Somebody who’s, doesn’t ha hasn’t been to your site. Maybe it’s kind of not super tech savvy and to see if it’s easy for them to, to navigate and navigate the site and get to what they want. Because if you, if you’re in there everyday working on it, it’s easy for you. Cause you know, everything is, but sometimes you kind of forget that other people don’t have the, the prior knowledge to know everything is like you do. So can I seeing some fresh eyes on your site and see if it’s easy to use? That’s important. Okay,
Cool. Cool. Okay. So, um, well I think that those are all the main questions that I have for you. Is there anything else that you guys would want to share?
Yeah, I think one thing that we, uh, we’re going to talk a little bit about just because it was a kind of, uh, came up this year as a ADA accessibility. Um, it’s one thing that, you know, beginning of the year, there were a lot of kind of reports of practitioners getting, getting sued for their website, not being accessible, um, mostly out of California. Um, so, you know, what’s one thing that we looked at a lot this year is, you know, making sure that our sites are, are as compliant as they can be. Um, you know, we got extra tools in there for, for accessibility, but just to talk about a few things, if you’re doing the site yourself to, to look for, um, the important thing with ADA accessibility is, you know, one of the, one of the most important things is making sure that your website is, is usable with just a keyboard without a mouse.
Um, and that’ll kind of mimic to what if people don’t have feel using like, you know, voice commands to use a website. You want to make sure that everything is accessible. So you can go, go and test your site and make sure that you can, you know, for example, navigate through your menu with just your tab key and your space bar, um, making sure you can get to pages, just using your keyboard. Uh, that’s an important thing to do. Um, you mentioned alt tags before in images. Um, if someone’s blind and using a screen reader to go through your website, you want to make sure that all the important images are, have the descriptive alt tag, um, behind them. So if you, someone can actually see the screen, it’ll describe what the image is. So, you know, patient receiving acupuncture or something on, on, uh, on the acupuncture picture. So that’s really important. That’s one of the thing that people get dinged. As you know, they’ll run through the website using a screen reader and to see if it’s broken or not. And that’s kind of as a red flag, if, if your site is not easy to use with a screen reader or a keyboard, um, anything else you wanted to add to that kin?
Yeah, I think the other part of that is screen readers is being aware of your heading tags. So your heading tags are basically the different sections of a page and Screenagers need to be able to determine what those sections are. So if you have a section about what is acupuncture and then some information, and then the next section is what about what is a moxibustion that kind of thing? Things a headings are important. Part of ADA accessibility, and like Ben said, active, perfect websites includes, um, the accessibility testing, making sure that your site is built correctly to meet some of the most of the requirements. And, uh, you know, it’s, we, we try to do our best to, to guide you along the way. If you want to make changes yourself, we give you the tips and tricks on how to make sure that when you’re uploading content or adding images, how to make your content ADA accessible so that you don’t get dinged by any, any of the ADA lawyer stuff that’s going on right now in California.
Cool. And one last thing,
I’m sorry, man. I was going to say Daniel, if anyone, you know, feel free to contact us, we’re happy to, you know, take a look at your website. We do have an evaluation available. Um, yeah. So feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this, we’re happy to go in more detail with you. Um, you know, actually look at your website.
Yeah. So there’s, so if you guys want a free website evaluation, um, there is a link right now, that’s up on the screen and, uh, I guess, uh, once you sit, once you go to that page, you submit your site and Ben or Ken or, or Ian, or reach out to you and, and take the next steps to evaluate your website. Um, and one thing that’s, I think really important to get across is the fact that a lot of times when you work with Wix or Squarespace, you’re actually, the practitioner is actually working on and building and updating and doing the website and upkeeping it and doing it all themselves. Whereas what you guys do like day in, day out, you guys are doing all that for the, our clients. Right, right, right.
He didn’t go to acupuncture school to become a web tech builder. You’re eight. So that’s what we’re here for. We take that off of your hands and it frees up more of your time so that you can treat more patients, you can attract more patients to, through our service, which is great. So that’s why we’re here. We’ve been building websites since 2011. So we’ve been going for 10 years now has been a great ride. So
It’s actually Ben’s baby, but don’t kill anyone, right? Yeah. Uh, so other than the evaluation is, is that the,
Yeah, just go to that school. I go to that site, um, you know, they’ll have our other links there for signing up for a free trial. If you want to try us out, uh, the free trial is really easy. You just give us your information, we’ll set up a new site for you. Even if you already have an existing one, we’ll set it up at a temporary address. You can kind of just see how it is, you know, click around, see how it works and you know, be ready to go. If you want to make the switch and make it all easy. We do all the tech stuff for you. Now. You don’t have to be knowledgeable in any of that. We’ll try to make it as easy as possible.
Yep. And one last thing. So you just mentioned switch. So a lot of people are scared to switch over because they think it’s a daunting, massively, huge thing to do so, but like that’s what you do. Like you literally do that, right?
Yeah. We do it in a way. So there’s no downtime. We’ll build your whole new site kind of at a temporary page, so you can see it, make sure you approve it. Everything, once everything’s in place, then it’s just a quick little switch at your domain name and everything goes live and there’s no downtime. So we walk you through all the steps that you need and do all the do as much as we can from our end to keep all the tech stuff out of your hands. So you can just get to work.
Sounds good. Well, thanks guys for, um, you know, joining me here today and sharing some insights and wisdom with, uh, the AAC and those that are watching here. Um, next week you can join, uh, Sam Collins is going to be here and he’s going to be, uh, talking about some great things, um, on, uh, billing and insurance. So comeback then other than that, thanks guys again for joining us. Thank you. The AAC for, uh, allowing me to bring, um, you know, some guests onboard to share some insight and some wisdom. So thanks everybody. Take care. Bye Ben. Bye Ken. Bye. Thanks Jeffrey.