Revenue-Capturing Website Secrets for Entrepreneurial Physicians

Module 10: Driving Traffic to your New (or Revamped) Website — Part 1

The secrets to getting traffic to your website that I am sharing here all depend of a couple of important insights:

  • you need to have your website URL (address) visible in as many places on the web and offline on your promotional or educational metrials as possible
  • you should be regularly adding your valuable thoughts, ideas, reactions and comments (your content!) in as many legitimate and well-trafficked places as possible
  • one goal is to build your authority and online presence as an Expert
  • a second goal is to be known, liked and trusted (or at least be perceived that way in cyberspace, once people are familiar with your name or that of your business or practice)
  • a third goal is to build contacts and, more importantly, relationships, even if many of your new friends are not yet people you’ll be able to have a weekly coffee with!

The marvel of the Internet is that it has dramatically facilitated your achievement of all these goals, globally.

In this and the next module (Number 11), I share many tips (along with a downloadable checklist at the end of Module #11) for how to achieve these three goals.

Traffic Tip #1

Set up signature files in your email program(s) – Outlook, Apple Mail, and any of the web-based email programs you use such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.
Include your website link, plus a brief, clear call to action.
e.g.

Mary Jones MD
The ABC Practice
1-800-123-4567 (Eastern Time)

Get your free report “7 Secrets to Better Sleep” at www.theABCPractice.com
Find me on twitter at maryjonesmd

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #2

Put your domain URL on all your new marketing materials (as Corey Perlman of “E Boot Camp” says – you need to ‘hurl your URL’). You can use www.theABCPractice.com or simply theABCPractice.com

Display your website address on your:

  • business card
  • brochure
  • any ads you are running
  • office flyers
  • patient education handouts
  • office stationery
  • business thank you cards
  • corporate holiday gifts

You’d be surprised how often people forget to add a website address to their “stuff”!

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #3

Keywords, keywords, keywords.

Keywords in your meta description, meta tags, any tags you use for your blog posts or images, first and last paragraphs of each major page, and lightly sprinkled throughout your content (it still needs to make grammatical sense); even keywords in your domain name if possible!

Now is the time to revise in Module 4 how to discover the best keywords for your website (the ones others would use to search for your services, not the ones you’d use!)

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #4

Set up Google Alerts for each of your keyword phrases – receive a daily digest of all references to each phrase. Where relevant, comment intelligently and helpfully on any blogs that show up in the Google Alert, leaving your URL along with your name associated with your comment. This creates inbound links to your website which the search engines view as giving your site more authority. Commenting on popular blogs with search engine high rankings adds even more weight to the back link.

Use this Google Alert tool to monitor the web, news, and blogs for any topic you wish to follow.

Helpful teaching resources

How to set up a Google Alert (and why it is a good idea)

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #5

Participate actively in forums and discussion groups – your valuable insights will create curiosity about you, and your name is usually associated with your URL such that others can find out more about your website.

To find active forums, list servs and discussion boards, go to www.google.com and type in Forums x (where x is your keyword phrase or area of interest)

e.g.
I typed in “Forums physician practice” in the Google search box:

and this is what I got (part of the first page)

As you can see, some of the first finds are relevant to my search.

The key is to sign up for the active online communities where discussion is taking place on your topic of interest, and then lurk for a while or jump right in and comment, question or acknowledge.

Note – some of these forums will not be searchable by the search engines as they will have been set up as private. Any traffic you get will come instead from participants intrigued by you!

Another handy tool to find these discussion boards is BoardTracker (free).

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #6

Create downloadable PDFs with valuable content and active links back to your site. Most PDFs now have active links within them that permit access to a website with a click on the online document. Be sure to have the URL visible too in case the PDF has been printed up for reference.

You can create create these PDFs for:

  • free reports
  • questionnaires
  • white papers
  • self-assessments
  • mini workbooks
  • e-books
  • flyers
  • patient visit forms etc.

… and remember to “hurl your URL” in the PDF.

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #7

Offer to provide thoughtful online testimonials to colleagues or service professionals who will appreciate your kind words for their websites and be happy to  ensure the practice or business name you use for the testimonial is hyperlinked to your website.

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #8

Set up your LinkedIn page with your website URL as part of your profile.

LinkedIn is a valuable networking platform devoted almost exclusively to forging business connections (unlike Facebook and MySpace).

Helpful teaching resources

LinkedIn Learning Center

Physicians – boost your LinkedIn smarts

How You Should Be Using LinkedIn — But Probably Aren’t

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #9

Set up your Facebook page, with your website URL as part of your profile.

Facebook is tricky to handle as a business owner as you need to make a decision — how much of your personal life do you want to make visible to the public and your potential or existing patients or clients?

Fortunately Facebook has recently added a number of ways to control who sees what on your page, so the weekend BBQ pictures with you in a tank top or tatty T-shirt can be visible just to friends and not business colleagues!

Helpful teaching resources

How to Use Facebook

Facebook for Grownups (a 10-part video series)

How to Create a Business-friendly Facebook Profile

How to Use Facebook for Business

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #10

Set up your Twitter account, with your website URL as part of your profile.

It’s taking many business people and professionals a while to figure out what Twitter is and how to use it most effectively. I didn’t get it for the first 6 months of being aware of it, but I now find it a valuable additional way to connect to an audience of “followers” and to be alerted to useful information from people I am following. I often get ideas for blog posts from the tweets I receive.

So just what is Twitter?

The simplest way to describe it is: Twitter is a social messaging tool. With the ability to follow people that interest you and have followers who are keen to hear what you have to say , and the ability to interact with Twitter on your cell phone, Twitter has become the perfect social messaging tool. It’s a great tool for quickly communicating a message to a group of people.

You can use Twitter to:

  • ask a question of your followers
  • survey your followers
  • be kept informed of current news, events and happenings
  • share your latest blog posts
  • pass on (“retweet”) useful information to your followers, thereby adding value to the conversation
  • deepen relationships
  • find resources for your clients and patients
  • bypass officious administrative assistants (many CEOs can now be found on Twitter)!
  • search Twitter for people you’d like to connect with and send then a direct message (DM) even if they are not following you
  • and many other possibilities

Helpful teaching resources

Twitter – Getting Started

How to use Twitter to Grow Your Business

62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business

Healthcare Uses for Twitter

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #11

Set up a Blog that either “points to” or is integrated with your website. A good webmaster will help you do this.

If you have an existing website, consider adding a blog. Even if it is on a different platform, you can have a navigation tab labeled “Blog” that, when clicked on, takes your visitor to your blog “outside” your website.

And if you are starting from scratch, this is an ideal time to consider building your website’s static navigable pages on a blogging platform such as WordPress or SquareSpace, and integrating it with your blog on the same platform.

Since your blog content is ideally “fresh, and relevant” to your expertise and those who are searching for your offering (your practice or business services or your products), the search engines will love you and deliver your website pages onto Page 1 and to your ideal traffic quickly!

Blog at least 2-3 times a week, being careful to include your keywords and phrases strategically in your post titles and content. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will be able to “train” the search engines to index your content in a few hours. This means it will be discoverable in a search – and yay, that means more traffic.

Helpful teaching resources

Blogging Basics 101

How a Blog Can Grow Your Business

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #12

Set yourself up at Hootsuite to distribute each new blog posts automatically to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites.

This simple self-explanatory tool allows you to send one update (usually a blog post) to multiple places of your choosing, all at once, without having to log into each place. It saves time and helps you rapidly “hurl your URL”)

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #13

Have a sign-up box for your newsletter or “freebie” on every page of your Web site. Each is a potential landing page when approached from a search engine.

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #14

Use the back of your business card to promote your “freebie” or your newsletter. Give them a reason to go to your website!

Mine says “Get your Free Report at www.entrepreneurialmd.com”

—————————————-

Traffic Tip #15

Encourage others to reprint your newsletter or blog articles. You gather links back to your site (“back links” — a search engine favorite!), along with potential new readers. Just request clearly that they add your contact information and link details  (“Please feel free to reprint this article for your newsletter. All I request is that you credit me with it as follows: ‘This article is provided courtesy of Mary Jones MD at www.theABCPractice.com’”).

—————————————-

Phew! Lots to get done to drive traffic – hey? And we are only half way there.

In Module 11, I provide another collection of Traffic Tips, along with a Check List to serve as your worksheet.

A word of encouragement – if you were to do just these 15 things alone, you’d be way ahead of the competition!!

Homework for Module 10:

  1. Select your top three tips to implement as soon as your website is ready. (Hint – pick the easiest to get going with!)
  2. Create a realistic timeline for implementing these three actions.
  3. Get them done on time!
  4. Plan your next three, etc.

Until the next module, have a creative time with this!