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It’s a constant balancing act for chiropractors: taking care of existing clients and constantly trying to figure out how to get more chiropractic patients.
Chiropractors across the country see an average of 168 patients each week. Multiply that times fifty weeks a year, and you’re looking at about 8,400 treatments and consultations. It’s no wonder you’re tired at the end of the day! If we assume that the average patient comes for six treatments, we can divide 8,400 by 6 to get the number of different patients seen in a year. That means chiropractors could be treating as many as 1,400 different patients within a year (or more).
With average attrition rates between 20% and 25% annually, you could be losing as many as 350 patients. In other words, you need to bring in about thirty new patients a month just to maintain your customer base. If you want to grow your practice, you’ll need to add even more.
Compare these numbers to your practice, and you’ll get a good idea of why figuring out how to get more chiropractic patients is essential.
The Challenges of Growing a Chiropractic Business
There is no shortage of challenges to growing your chiropractic business. Perhaps the biggest one is that you’re already busy!
A study by Seton Hall University showed that one in five chiropractors admitted that they were burned out—and that study was done well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Burnout can make it tough enough to get through the day, let alone find time to advertise and market your business effectively.
Even if you’re not burned out, there can be a motivation issue when it comes to growing your business. Most chiropractors went to school to learn how to help people, relieve pain, and provide a better quality of life. While you’re doing that, you also have to manage a business, which may feel less rewarding. To grow your practice, you’ll need to bring the same passion that you bring to your patients.
In every business, time is a limiting factor. There are only so many hours in a day. Marketing takes time and it takes time to work. Advertising is expensive and not always effective.
Now add in all the administrative work, including paperwork, insurance, staffing, and scheduling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many chiropractors are feeling overwhelmed.
If you want to turn it around and grow your practice, you need a strategic plan.
A Growing Chiropractic Business Needs a Strategic Plan
In business, growth rarely happens without a plan and relentless attention to execution. In today’s connected world, that plan needs to start with building a robust online presence to attract new patients.
The internet has changed how patients look for healthcare. Sixty-two percent of people search online for health information. They look up not only symptoms and treatment options but also healthcare providers. It’s great if they wind up on your website, but eight in ten searchers will look at multiple sites, including competitors and reviews.
So, besides having a solid website, you also need to make sure potential patients can find you in the first place. When they do find you, you need high-quality reviews to give them the confidence to reach out.
You Must Optimize for Local Search
Local search is when people focus their search efforts within a specific geographic area. That’s important to know because the vast majority of chiropractic patients come from within a specific area.
About two-thirds of chiropractic patients live close to their doctor’s offices. In a large city, that might be a radius of just a couple of miles. In suburban areas, most patients will come from within five to ten miles. In smaller communities, that might stretch to twenty-five miles.
In the past few years, there’s been a nearly double increase in people searching for terms like “chiropractor near me.” If you want to be found online when people search within your area, you’ll need to do a great job at local search optimization.
Make sure your website uses localized keywords, such as city, towns, and neighborhoods where your patients live. While these keywords will have lower search volume, they will serve as a target for local search.
Here’s an example: high-funnel keywords might be “back pain,” and related questions might be “how to relieve back pain.” By comparison, localized keywords might be “back pain [CITY NAME]”.
The keywords can also be used if you are doing paid online advertising, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads on search.
Google Business Profile
Formerly known as Google My Business, you need to make sure your Google Business Profile is accurate and up to date. Google uses this information as a significant part of its algorithm to determine which results to show when people search.
It’s worth regularly checking your Google Business Profile even if you think that everything is correct. A recent study by Yext showed that 37% of businesses have the incorrect name in their listings, 43% have the wrong address information, and 19% are missing links to their website!
Understanding the Patient Journey
If you want to understand how your practice is doing on search engines, you can get a decent idea by just going online and conducting a few searches yourself. Think about what patients might search for and see what results pop up.
- Search for “near me” and target keywords that people might use to search.
- Conduct searches on both desktop and mobile, as you may see different results.
- Look for areas where you don’t show up prominently as places for improvement.
- Take a look at any competitors that showed up higher to see what they are doing differently.
Analyze each touchpoint in the patient’s digital journey to make sure you are operating at peak performance.
Reviews are crucial to growing your chiropractic practice. There’s a direct correlation between reviews, reputation, and appointments. A recent study of more than 300,000 patients demonstrated just how important this is. Practices that have strong reputations have 200% more online positive reviews. Nearly 80% of patients say that they depend on reviews to make informed decisions about choosing a healthcare provider.
Also, search engines use reviews as part of their algorithm to decide which practices to show. Google now displays star levels from reviews in their “map pack,” which shows locations close to you. Chiropractors with the highest star levels get the most clicks.
So, not only do you need five-star reviews, but you also need a significant number of them to provide proof of the quality of your services. They need to be recent too. Searchers typically discount reviews that are older than three months, which means you need to constantly be adding new reviews to remain relevant.
You need a proactive way to add a regular stream of positive reviews. This is one place where Zingit excels. On average, it increases patient review levels by up to ten times and helps manage your online reputation so you can acquire more patients.
Six More Tips for How to Get More Chiropractic Patients
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing can play an important role in establishing you as an authority in your field and gaining trust with potential patients. It can also attract additional attention to your website, especially when you can provide relevant information for people seeking healthcare information.
Every day, Google handles more than one billion health questions from people who are looking for relief and may be potential leads. If they find the answers that they’re looking for at one of your competitors, you may miss an opportunity.
While most searches in 2021 involved COVID, other searches for health information consistently related to back pain. In 2022 so far, the top searches for back pain included:
- Back pain doctor near me
- Sharp pain in lower back
- Back pain doctor
- Lower left back pain female
- What causes lower back pain
- Back pain specialist near me
- Back pain treatment without surgery
A free online tool to discover what people are searching for is Answer the Public. You can typically find nearly a hundred questions that people are searching for on any topic.
Content marketing may seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be. You can create content for your website, share information on your social media, or send information to your current clients. If it’s relevant, it helps improve your brand awareness and trust. If it gets shared, your reach goes even farther.
Content marketing that is effective for chiropractors includes:
- Press releases
- Guest posts
Relevant content can also help establish your authority scores on search engines, so it plays a significant role in search engine optimization in helping move your site higher in search results.
Think about what your patients might be looking for, and then tell your story. Provide valuable information that helps educate your patients, and avoid creating copy that reads like an ad. Searches want information and will avoid advertisements whenever possible. In fact, one of the reasons that content marketing is successful is that about 40% of internet users in the US use an ad blocker on their devices to actively limit the number of ads that they see.
2. Paid Advertising
If people are blocking ads and trying to avoid them, is there still value in spending money on paid advertising? The short answer is yes.
Pay per Click (PPC)
PPC ads on Google appear at the top of the page before those shown in maps or before organic results. If you want to make sure people see your chiropractic practice when they search, paid search ads will do it. While there’s a cost, you only pay when people click on your ad and head to your website. Also, PPC ads on search don’t get blocked by ad blockers.
With PPC, you have control over targeting, so you can limit your ads to those in certain geographic areas, age ranges, and other demographic groups.
Direct response can be effective in attracting new patients to chiropractors.
In direct-response marketing, you are trying to get people to take immediate action. For example, you might offer a bundle of services at a discount for new patients. Offers should be time sensitive to provide recipients with a sense of urgency to activate.
Direct response can include:
- Social media ads
- Referral programs
- Direct mail
- Display ads
- Traditional advertising
You can also include direct-response offers within your content marketing or ads.
There’s still value in other forms of advertising. You can purchase digital or video ads on specific websites or use ad networks to target audiences across multiple sites and video-streaming services. Radio and TV are still effective mediums for exposing your brand to potential new patients.
Strong paid advertising campaigns can let patients know about your business, as well as inform them about and create demand for your chiropractic services.
One effective approach for how to get more chiropractic patients is to grow your referral network. You can offer referral incentives to existing patients. For example, you might offer a discount for family members who need your services.
Many chiropractors cultivate relationships with physicians in the area to become a source of referrals. Some doctors will refer patients to chiropractors for ongoing maintenance even after the patient feels better. Orthopedic doctors and younger physicians are generally more open to alternative treatments, such as chiropractic.
In fact, one of the fastest-growing areas in medicine is integrated health services, where MDs, DCs, and other specialists are teaming up to provide more holistic care.
4. Optimizing Your Marketing
Businessman John Wanamaker made a smart observation about advertising and marketing. He said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; The trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Amazingly, he made that observation in the 1920s, well before the internet, TV, and modern media, in a time when people weren’t being bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, you can find out which ads and approaches are working. Digital marketing can track what people respond to and whether they book appointments. You can A/B test ad headlines and copy points. Most marketing platforms will do this for you automatically by serving multiple headlines or copy points and then determining which best meets your goals.
When you can figure out what half (or parts) of your advertising and marketing are working, you can eliminate wasteful spending and focus on what brings you new patients.
5. Efficient Patient Communication
Efficient patient communication is a key ingredient in building your practice.
Once you’ve got someone interested in your services, you want to get them in as soon as possible. Offering online booking that’s available 24/7 will help make it easy for them to schedule appointments.
Adding this one simple component can help you grow significantly. A study from Healthgrades found that when patients were given a choice between doctors with similar experience, proximity, availability, and positive ratings, as many as 77% chose the practice with online scheduling.
Online booking systems also make it easy for patients to change appointments if necessary.
No-shows are problems in every chiropractic practice, and each one costs you money.
No-shows are especially concerning for new patients because they may not rebook. Offering online appointment scheduling can help.
Another powerful tool is text reminders for appointments. These keep appointments top of mind, especially when patients have booked visits in advance.
However, you need to go beyond basic text reminders or a “type C to confirm” solution. A better method is two-way text communication to respond to questions or last-minute changes. This makes it easy for patients to reschedule.
The best patient engagement software will also offer website-to-text options, so when visitors fill out a form, it launches a text conversation that you can respond to quickly.
Communicate with Existing Patients
Growing your business means staying in touch with your current patients and encouraging repeat visits. Once they have opted to receive messages, you need a simple way to send targeted or group texts.
You can also let patients know when you have special offers, add new product lines, add new services, or open new locations. You can even target patients who have been inactive for three months or more with specific messaging.
You want to reduce friction and make it easy for new patients during onboarding. Incorporate online tools that can help you do:
The right patient engagement software will also enable you to automate tasks to streamline your workflow so you and your staff can spend more time delivering patient care.
6. Subscription Services / Membership Plans
One specific marketing strategy that several chiropractors are using to attract new patients and extend the length of time that they continue to come in for treatments is subscription or membership plans.
These are similar to gym memberships in that you can offer unlimited adjustments or a specific number of treatments for a set monthly fee. For example, you may offer four treatments a month for $99, which might be slightly higher than a single treatment but less than a patient’s copay for four treatments. This can help encourage patients to stick to care plans and continue with visits to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Subscription plans also offer affordable alternatives for patients without insurance, opening up a larger pool of potential clients. Many chiropractors have adopted a membership plan to transition to a cash business, reducing reliance on insurance providers.
These plans encourage patient loyalty, retention, and greater customer lifetime value.
How Zingit Helps Attract New Patients and Grow Your Practice
Zingit Solutions offers the best patient engagement software for chiropractors to grow their practice quickly and easily. It is a customizable cloud-based platform that integrates seamlessly with more than 150 different electronic health records practice management software solutions.
Zingit helps you by:
- Attracting and securing new patients
- Retaining and reactivating more patients
- Automating administrative tasks
- Reaching more patients in less time
With real-time text-based communications, Zingit enables chiropractic offices to respond quickly and stay in touch with new and existing patients. This allows for a more personal connection.
Zingit also helps you grow faster and increase revenue by:
- Attracting new patients 24/7 with a more polished online reputation, local search, and web-conversion tool kit
- Zingit clients see an average of twenty-three new reviews in the first month. Some grow their reviews by as much as 300% within the first year.
- Keeping your appointment calendar full with automated scheduling and appointment reminders
- Many Zingit clients see their no-show rates fall by 5%.
- Automating patient engagement with two-way text to answer questions quickly and avoid voicemail phone tag
- Reaching individual patients by text using your practice phone number or sending group texts to everyone in your database
- Engaging new and existing patients to build strong first impressions and lasting relationships
How to Get More Chiropractic Patients
If you’re searching for how to get more chiropractic patients for your practice, turn to the experts at Zingit Solutions.
Here at Zingit, we make it easier for chiropractors to market their practices, improve patient engagement, and manage their digital reputations.
If you’re ready to get new patients with ease, contact our specialists today!