This may be a controversial opinion, but I love IKEA furniture: it’s stylish, minimalist, affordable, and very Scandinavian. Okay, so there’s a chance you’ll have a few screws and bits of fiberboard left over after piecing together your new Fjӓllbo TV stand—but as long as you have the right tools, putting it together is far from rocket science.
That principle isn’t exclusive to Swedish-made furniture. For instance, marketing your outpatient physical therapy practice can seem just as confusing as determining which rectangular slab of plywood is piece A. But if you have the right tools, the process will go a whole lot smoother. To that end, here are the best marketing tools for physical therapists (organized by category):
This should be a no-brainer, but having an attractive website that’s easy to navigate and communicates exactly who you are and what you offer should be your number-one marketing priority. But building such a site can be as confusing as assembling furniture when you’re a few screws short. That’s why we recommend the following tools to help you get your site up and running (and lookin’ good):
WordPress.org is our favorite tool for building websites—and it’s totally free and fully customizable. If you’ve got some coding knowledge, you can even edit the site’s raw code. However, WordPress doesn’t include hosting—which means you have to pay for a hosting service to get your site live. Plus, more customization options often mean more work—and a steeper learning curve.
Known for their easy-to-use, drag-and-drop design capabilities, Wix sites are just the ticket for those who don’t want to deal with complex site design. (And unlike its competitor WordPress, Wix includes hosting as part of the deal.) That said, Wix has limited design and SEO customization options. You must also pay at least $132 per year to unlock critical features like an ad-free site experience and a reasonable amount of storage.
For more help building a great PT clinic website, check out our website guide for PTs.
Is blogging really worth your time? The short answer is “yes.” As WebPT’s Meredith Castin explains here, “In addition to providing valuable information to your current, past, and future patients, a blog helps keep your website fresh and relevant—as opposed to looking like nothing more than a digital brochure for your clinic.” It can also boost your website’s search engine ranking. To that end, here are some tools that can help you cultivate an excellent blog experience:
When it comes to protecting your original content, Copyscape has you covered. This tool is a free online plagiarism checker that detects potentially duplicated content and ensures the text on your blog (a.k.a. the copy) is wholly original. The benefits of this tool include:
- keeping you out of hot water with other content creators by making sure you’re not stealing their intellectual property;
- alerting you when other people tout your content as their own; and
- improving your search engine rankings by eliminating duplicate copy on your own website.
I know I’m not the only one who has earned the spell check seal of approval—only to later find a glaring error. That’s where Grammarly comes in. It’s a super-intelligent, super-helpful tool that not only reviews grammar and spelling, but also analyzes tone—not to mention, recognizes the difference between “your” and “you’re.” It also works on various social media sites—and even Google Docs! Even the most prolific writer can benefit from this tool.
Social Media Management
Much like a website, having your clinic on social media is non-negotiable. (That is to say, you need it.) It helps you not only bring in new patients, but also connect with—and retain—past ones. But to truly stand out on social media, you must consistently post relevant and captivating content. And not everyone has time to sit down and do that every day. To that end, a social media automation tool allows you to:
- create, track, and manage your posts,
- schedule out multiple posts in advance, and
- Track the ROI of your social media campaigns.
Here’s the one we suggest:
Buffer is an excellent social media management platform for any small-to-medium-sized PT practice. You can:
- manage multiple social media accounts;
- schedule bulk posts in advance (10 posts with the free version and 100 post with the paid version);
- create images for your posts with Buffer’s own image creation tool; and
- upload videos and gifs.
It also has a competitive pricing plan compared to some of its competitors (free with limited features or $9.99 per month with additional features), so you can play around with social media automation and decide whether it’s worth the investment before making a commitment.
Speaking of social media: From Facebook to Twitter, social media is all about the image—literally. (This is especially true for image-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.) If you really want to get the biggest bang for your social media buck, posting attractive, engaging images is a must. (This article from the Content Marketing Institute provides some tips on how to accomplish that.) This even holds true for platforms that aren’t image-based. In fact, according to Buffer, “Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets.”
If you’re not a graphic designer, fear not! Here’s the tool we recommend to help you easily create gorgeous images for your social posts and blog:
In the world of graphic design, there’s a barrage of tools you can use to create beautiful images—but few are as lightweight and user-friendly as Canva. With this simple design app, you can make gorgeous, professional-looking images to use on your social media pages or blog. Canva also has three different pricing models, all of which offer different features and range from free to $30 per month per user.
According to the marketing gurus at HubSpot, “72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video,” and this HubSpot resource states that “social media posts with video have 48% more views.” So, if you run a small-to-medium-sized PT practice, video marketing can be just the thing that sets you apart from the competition. But, where to start? These are the apps we like:
If you have an Apple device—like an iPhone, iPad, or Apple computer—chances are, you already have the iMovie app installed. You might’ve even used it before! If not, don’t worry; it’s super easy to use, and there are tons of free online tutorials on how to make pretty, click-worthy videos at no cost.
8. Adobe Premiere Rush
If you’re ready to get a little more serious about using video in your marketing (and you’re prepared to invest), you might want to consider Adobe’s mobile video editing app. While iMovie certainly has Adobe Premiere Rush beat on price (free versus $9.99/monthly), the Adobe app allows for higher frame rates and more complex editing scenarios. It also uploads directly to the cloud automatically, making it easy to switch between your mobile app to your desktop app.
Of all the different forms of marketing, email marketing is certainly one of the most important (and effective). That’s because the vast majority of people who use the Internet have a personal email address. In fact, in the United States, 89% of people check their email every single day. And as we explain in our guide to modern marketing for outpatient rehab therapy, “Users report an average of 222% ROI on their email services.” That’s one heck of a return.
But using a regular old email service like Gmail or Yahoo for email marketing is like using a flat-head screwdriver when you really need a Phillips-head: it’s not impossible, but it’s gonna be a pain. Instead, we recommend using one of these services for small-to-medium-sized practices:
9. Constant Contact
Constant Contact has been in the email game since 1998, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s outdated. With more than half a million small-business clients, it’s a proven solution that boasts a 60-day free trial (for up to 100 email addresses), discounted pricing options, and phone support.
Mailchimp positions itself as the more hip alternative. With a free option and plenty of features, it’s definitely worth checking out. Be aware, though, that phone and chat support is only available for customers on paid plans.
Reach is WebPT’s very own marketing platform built specifically for outpatient rehab therapists. (And maybe we’re biased, but we think it’s the best.) That’s because, in addition to automated email campaigns, Reach also boasts:
- landing page creation,
- patient satisfaction tracking using the Net Promoter Score® survey,
- performance data, and
- a bevy of tools to help you boost your clinic’s online reputation.
If you’re new to online marketing, you might wonder why shortening your links is even necessary. Well, take a look at these two links:
The first one is messy, jumbled, and frankly, way too long. If you try pasting that into a patient-facing email or the website field on your business’s Instagram bio, it’s going to scream “amateur” at anyone who sees it. The second link, however, is neat, tidy, and complete enough to give you an idea of where it leads. But beyond making URLs look clean and orderly, link shorteners also allow businesses to track which of their ads bring them the most traffic by embedding UTM parameters. So, which link shortener is the best? Here are the ones we suggest:
Of all of the link shorteners out there, Rebrandly is one of the most robust. Not only does it allow you to customize your links, but it also provides analytic data. You can also completely delete your URL if need be, which is not something most link shorteners can do.
TinyURL is a barebones URL shortener that lacks a lot of bells and whistles—including customization or built-in UTM tracking. However, at the low, low cost of “free,” its price can’t be beat.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You’ve most likely heard of SEO. You may even know what it is and why it’s important for your practice. (If not, the short definition, according to Moz, is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”) And because a growing number of patients begin their quest for a healthcare provider online—with 72% searching for online reviews—keeping your clinic’s name at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) is more important than ever. But SEO can be intimidating—not to mention confusing. Fortunately, the following tools will make the process as painless as possible:
14. Google Analytics
If you only use one SEO tool, Google Analytics should be the one. This essential website tool will provide you with useful information—such as which pages and posts drive the most traffic to your site—thus informing you about what topics you should cover.
15. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a great resource that’s totally free to use. Not only does it show status updates on how Google sees your website (such as site errors), but it also provides information on the keywords people search before landing on your site.
16. Google Trends
Simply put, Google Trends is a free tool that shows trending keywords for various topics—as well as their performance over time.
AnswerThePublic is a visual research and content tool that is also free to use. Specifically, it provides a visual report to help you find search queries your target audience runs on sites like Google.
One of the most common ways PT practices hurt their SEO value is failing to update their NAP (that’s “Name, Address, and Phone Number”) across all web listings. And even if the NAP is up to date, any tiny discrepancy (e.g., “Road” versus “Rd.”) will count against you. Fortunately, WebPT Local stays on top of this for you by automatically searching for, updating, and managing your practice’s online listings. This gives your site’s SEO a serious boost, which means it’ll be easier for new patients to find you online. And all of that translates into practice growth—without any additional time or effort on your part. Plus, when you get Local, you’re really getting two apps in one, because it also helps you manage your social media posts and online reviews in addition to optimizing your search engine ranking. Talk about the Swiss Army knife of SEO tools!
A good craftsman never blames his tools, but using the wrong ones—or worse, no tools at all—creates unnecessary work. Before you set out to build your marketing strategy, you’ll need a comprehensive set of instructions, which is why we created a totally free, downloadable marketing e-book for physical therapists. (Get your copy here!) With that in hand, you’ll be on your way to marketing greatness—no Allen wrench required.
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Approximately 342,000 billboards dot American roads and highways, according to Statista, with nearly 9,000 of those being video billboards that cycle through ads every several seconds.
About 15% of Americans own cellular phones that aren’t smartphones, according to Pew Research Center. That means in a room of 20 people, three are likely using flip phones — and not the emerging foldable smartphones, but old-school devices that were once the rage 15 years ago.
One more stat: Radio — the AM/FM channel you listen to in your car or maybe even now stream — reaches 92% of Americans every week, per Nielsen.
If you feel like you’ve time-warped back a couple of decades, we understand: These are communication channels that have a pre-smartphone, pre-internet, or pre-microchip quality to them. Yet here, in the new decade, these technologies remain viable, strong marketing avenues to reach potential customers. Heck, even the newspaper industry that’s sinking fast still has a cumulative Sunday circulation of 30 million, according to Pew Research Center.
Today’s marketers may be hyper-focused on digital channels, and rightly so — but the old-school marketing methods are still quite effective all these years later. Such classic channels seemingly suffer from a lack of advanced analytics capabilities, because when someone calls a phone number they see or hear, not only was knowing what channel they consumed difficult, but also further tracking the buying journey could be complex.
Google Analytics, which is so helpful in measuring online interactions, had no means of doing the same for offline connections — or for connections that mix online and offline events — until now. By integrating Google Analytics with CallRail’s call tracking technology, marketers can realize better attribution reporting and take advantage of all the metrics both platforms offer. And pairing the two solutions is easier than you might think.
Gaga for Google Analytics
With its debut in 2005, Google Analytics forever changed how marketers measure and report website traffic. With Google Analytics, businesses and agencies could:
- Set and track manageable, measurable goals
- Generate traffic and lead reports for performance, growth, and conversion rates
- Track behavior flow — how website visitors navigate their way through the website, from page to page or event to event
Engage in deep attribution reporting — a free feature in Google Analytics — to get a complete picture of the journey leads are following with your website and your brand
You’re likely familiar with these benefits of Google Analytics and how they drive an advanced marketing strategy and allow you to keep close tabs on everything prospects are doing and consuming on your website. There’s just one problem — these benefits are difficult to apply to channels that don’t organically bring visitors to the website. Ultimately, Google Analytics loses some of its mojo because it can’t thoroughly track leads who arrived from “traditional” sources.
No lead left behind
Although prospects may come from a myriad of sources, and conversion rates from those sources may vary, every lead matters. Connecting with someone who found a business via an internet search is just as important as the lead who made a simple phone call after seeing a billboard.
If anything, measuring the journey of leads from traditional sources is more urgent because of uncertainty over how they reached you. A prospect who finds you by reading your blog post or seeing a Yelp review brings a clearly defined touchpoint to the table. Ones who called you — and might not even remember what led them to your business — can easily get lost because they aren’t instantly linked to your customer relationship management system and to Google Analytics. You aren’t just missing out on valuable marketing insight: You might be missing out on business.
Therefore, multi-channel attribution reporting is necessary to track all leads, no matter what channel they are coming from. Just because a prospect is calling instead of clicking doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable to your marketing strategy and metrics. Google Analytics can track these unique leads — with some help from another marketing solution. That’s where CallRail comes into the picture.
Why pair CallRail with Google Analytics?
Comparing online and offline leads may feel like an apples-and-oranges proposition — digital prospects reach you one way, phone callers are doing so another way, so how can you effectively measure them side by side? CallRail gives you the means to track the offline interactions and touchpoints, and through a painless integration, you can mesh that data with the advanced metrics Google Analytics is accumulating from the internet.
Through this integration, marketers are better able to:
- Understand what’s working and not working
- Track ROI
- Inform and optimize their marketing strategy
- Compare the efficacy of offline and online channels and determine how well the two approaches are working in tandem
The last item in this list is especially important because, more than ever, leads are not limiting their interactions with you to one channel or device. Someone may see an ad for a business, call for more information, visit your website, download an e-book, subscribe to your Facebook page, call again to speak with a sales rep, email you with questions, share an interesting tweet from your feed, and so on. Every interaction in this multi-channel experience must be not only tracked, but also measured on its own and as part of the overall journey. When integrated, CallRail and Google Analytics deliver a total view of your leads’ behavior, no matter how they are engaging with the brand.
Making the integration happen
About half of CallRail users integrate with Google Analytics and enjoy a similarly high level of reporting from incoming phone calls as they would from a lead originating from online sources. The integration achieves this by moving any tracked calls into Google Analytics as an event-based goal. When a potential lead calls from a single tracking number from your or your client’s website, Google Analytics notes this action as a single, unique goal completion.
Moreover, if someone calls a tracking number more than once, CallRail counts each instance even if it originates from the same session. The integration lets users track all callers or just segments, which is useful for businesses with support or success departments managed apart from their sales teams. Also, you may choose to track only first-time callers, thus giving you a clearer idea on the percentage of leads who are truly new to the relationship.
What’s also nice about the CallRail/Google Analytics pairing is that it’s one of the easiest integrations marketers can use in Google Analytics. All you need to do is supply a domain — no unique identifier is required. Once activated in CallRail, you can immediately set up goals and begin taking full advantage of the attribution reporting data.
To set it up, there are five easy steps:
- Click Analytics in the navigation bar on the left.
- Click Settings at the top of the page.
- Choose the company you’d like to integrate with Google Analytics.
- Select Google Analytics from the list of integrations.
- Enter your website’s URL, and then click Create.
After this, you will also want to set up call, text, and form goal tracking in Google Analytics so CallRail can report events. Learn more here.
Other innovative integrations
CallRail’s integration with Google Analytics is just one example of the potential our platform offers when combined with other marketing tools. Other integration possibilities include:
- Search and social analytics: Amp, Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, Bing Ads, Data Studio
- Bid management: Acquisio, Kenshoo, Marin
- CRM: Salesforce, Pipeline
- Marketing automation: HubSpot, Marketo
- Website optimization: Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, Unbounce, Visual Website Optimizer
- Chat and notifications: Slack
- Other integrations: WordPress, Stripe, Zapier
The multi-channel attribution CallRail’s integrations help build maximizes campaigns and casts the widest marketing net without adding more time, expenses, or resources to your operation. Your marketing comes out stronger, and, ultimately, the potential for more customers grows.
The post Better attribution reporting with Google Analytics and CallRail appeared first on CallRail.
Having trouble deciding what type of advertising you want to try in 2020? Print advertising can be difficult to track, and pay-per-click marketing is too expensive. Maybe it’s time to give Facebook advertising a go. As with any software, there’s a small learning curve with Facebook. But, it can be a great way for rehab therapists to attract new patients and stay top of mind with their current clientele. With that in mind, here are some tips for making Facebook advertising work for your local business.
1. Pinpoint a specific objective and strategy for each ad campaign you run.
If you haven’t mapped out your clinic’s business goals yet, start there. (This blog post will help.) Then, develop a specific strategy for Facebook advertising that aligns with those goals. Facebook has some built-in functionality to help guide you, but ultimately, you’ll have to make the decisions. Whether it be driving conversions, website clicks, or video views, having a strategy that aligns with what your overarching business goals will make it easier for you to measure success in the long run.
Keep in mind that by and large, Facebook users are not actively seeking out rehab therapists on Facebook. That’s why it’s so important to have a strategy behind your Facebook advertising. If you’re torn between two strategies, you can always run two campaigns with different objectives at the same time and see which one performs better.
Regardless of which strategy you choose, getting new patients in the door should always be your top priority. So, your Facebook ads should always focus on providing value to potential new patients.
2. Target the right geographical locations.
Most PT clinics are local businesses, which means it’s crucial to target the correct geographic area. Most of us have seen ads for things we’re interested in while we’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram—whether it’s a restaurant showing off its new happy hour menu or a realtor highlighting a new listing. I know I have. In some cases, though, I’ve clicked on an ad only to find that the restaurant is located in a different state.
Before you set your target area, ask yourself, “How far will people travel to get physical therapy?” If you’re in a remote area with fewer clinics, you may be able to target a larger area compared to clinics in larger cities with many clinics.
3. Target the right audience.
Facebook has more than 1.6 billion daily active users. How do you narrow that down to make sure you’re targeting the right users when you create your ads?
I recommend starting with your current email database. Facebook will match your email list to its account list and show those people your ad. This is a good strategy for re-engagement ads (i.e., ads to get past patients back into your clinic).
Facebook can also use your email list to provide insight into your ideal audience’s age, gender, and interests. You can then use this information to create look-a-like audiences to target potential new patients.
4. Be bold with Facebook ad images.
Facebook’s color scheme is blue and white. If those are also your company’s colors, you may want to break out of your normal branding, because using blue and white in your ad may cause it to blend in with the newsfeed. Take chances with strong colors that stick out when somebody is aimlessly scrolling.
Don’t be afraid to make multiple variations of your ad images. Test different background colors, button colors, and text. When I’m creating a new campaign internally at WebPT, our design team typically creates four or five versions of each ad so we can test which one is most effective at reaching our measurable objectives. Here is an example of a WebPT Reach ad we recently ran.
5. Give people a reason to click (i.e., provide incentive).
There are very few things in this world that get people more excited than a good deal. Due to regulatory restrictions, rehab therapists often shy away from providing free services. But even if you don’t want to give away PT services, there are other incentives you can offer. Free swag is always an option; you can provide new patients with free t-shirts, mugs, or even water bottles. Using the word “free” in your imagery is sure to get people’s attention and pique their interest. Other ideas include partnering with a neighboring restaurant or store to give away a gift certificate.
6. Post organic content on your Facebook page.
The majority of this article pertains to paid advertising; however, posting organically (i.e., without running an ad) can give your overall Facebook strategy some momentum. Posting on Facebook consistently is the key to retaining and engaging your current followers. You may be wondering how you could ever produce enough content to post daily or even weekly. Here are a few tips:
- Create a blog and share your posts on Facebook. (Yes, you should have a blog. Here’s how to get started.)
- Share a weekly exercise tip. This can be filmed on your smartphone.
- Write short employee spotlights.
- Shout out local community events or sporting events.
With some practice, dedication, and optimization, you’ll be able to turn your Facebook page into a patient driver that’ll help your rehab therapy clinic thrive in 2020 and beyond! What Facebook advertising strategies have worked for you? Share them in the comment section below.
Josh Golden is WebPT’s Digital Marketing Manager. A proud Rhode Island native and avid New England sports fan—go Celtics!—Josh uses his eight-plus years of online marketing experience to keep WebPT’s digital marketing game in tip-top shape. When he’s not optimizing WebPT’s online presence, Josh spends his free time with his wife, Emily, and their puppy, Eleanor (a.k.a. Ellie). Josh also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and riding his bike to local breweries.
The post 6 Ways to Make Facebook Advertising Work for Your PT Practice appeared first on WebPT.
Let’s talk about agency pricing. Value-based retainer pricing models are a hot topic in today’s agency world. The idea that you charge clients based on the value you provide rather than a flat rate has emerged as a remarkable step toward delivering outstanding, innovative results for your customers.
From this concept, points-based retainers emerged. Point pricing allows agencies and clients to devote standard units of work to certain tasks. A whole month of deliverables and campaigns can be planned from the stash of points, proactively working toward immediate and long-term goals. Agencies and clients alike enjoy dynamic flexibility and aren’t afraid to try new things, because if something doesn’t work, you simply don’t spend points on it in the next month.
But is points-based agency pricing truly a better option than flat-rate retainers? Both billing models have their pros and cons, and knowing the ins and outs of each is essential to deciding what will best suit your team and your clients.
Flat-rate pricing, explained
Flat-rate pricing is well-known to most agencies and generally self-explanatory: You charge a fixed monthly rate for a fixed set of deliverables each month. Prices are usually set in stone because they are tied to your ROI as well as a client’s budgeting — you can’t change fees midstream because it will mess up carefully crafted scopes of work as well as your staffing and strategy.
Yet, flat-rate pricing simplifies the relationship with a client: It pays you for a specific deliverable, and you produce that deliverable and are paid — period. Hourly pricing offers a little bit of extra flexibility, although hours may be capped so that projects don’t go beyond scope.
Pros of flat-rate pricing
- Easy to understand: Again, a flat rate is just that, with no haggling, no scope creep, and no complex budgeting. A client wants a marketing action achieved; the agency charges a set amount for that service.
- Clients pay for only what they need: If a client wants an agency to handle just a few marketing projects, flat-rate pricing allows it to pay for those projects without a long-term commitment.
- Defined deliverables: On a more concrete retainer, the client pays x to get a strictly defined set of deliverables. In this way, expectations are set, and the client can let the agency produce the work basically on its own.
- On-the-fly projects: If a client wants something not covered by the SOW, the agency can quote a one-time price, possibly leading to additional work. Furthermore, with an hourly model, the client can simply pay for more hours to get the out-of-scope work it needs.
Cons of flat-rate pricing
- Limited vision to expand scope: Flat-rate pricing not only hampers flexibility to move outside of scope but also inhibits vision to imagine something beyond that scope. If a client is focused on this and that, all it will get is this and that, and it will possibly resist any suggestions or strategies that don’t fit the narrow idea of what it’s paying for.
- Project limits: Your agency may find itself needing more resources or time to truly make a deliverable great and impactful, but your people back off because the flat rate prescribes a certain ROI that won’t be met if you put in extra effort.
- Missed ROI: Similar to the previous con, if you fail to accurately gauge what’s needed for a project or task, you’re on the hook to still finish the project, ultimately resulting in a lower return and time away from other projects, whose ROI also suffers.
- Time-consuming SOWs: Because flat-rate billing must define exact scopes and pricing, the SOW process can take time. If the client wants to try something unique, determining how to deliver consumes resources before the project even starts.
- Escalating hourly costs: When agencies charge by the hour, they might be given carte blanche to take as many hours as needed to finish the job, which can add up quickly — and stun the client — if the project isn’t accurately scoped or the client requests changes. However, when hours are capped, the project ends when time runs out, whether or not it’s ready to go.
- A lack of long-term potential: The fixed-rate model invites the client to use the agency for just what it needs and nothing else, which limits a grander marketing strategy many clients would benefit from (and many agencies would profit from).
- Little flexibility: With a flat-rate approach, things are either in scope or out of scope — there isn’t much room for creativity, versatility, or contingencies if something unexpected comes up.
Points-based retainers, explained
A points-based retainer flips the traditional flat-rate model upside down by allowing for a range of services within a set number of points every month. This approach embraces the flexibility of a value-based retainer while still using the ROI-driven, budgetary-conscious principles of fixed-fee models to deliver impressive scalability and agile, strategic results.
The points concept is straightforward: Instead of a client paying x dollars for a defined set of deliverables (either on a per-project basis or a monthly fee), it purchases a certain number of points each month. The agency’s service catalog lists tasks and projects by points instead of dollars, and your team and the client determine on a monthly basis which deliverables those points will be applied to.
Pros of a points-based retainer
- Outstanding flexibility: With points, you and the client aren’t locked into the same deliverables every month and are able to change course much more easily than with a flat-rate model. Strategy can be adjusted practically instantly — simply move points to the tactic you want to pursue from something that maybe can wait until next month.
- Consistent pricing: A client that likes a la carte deliverables may wrangle with budgeting as it determines how much to set aside each month for your agency’s services. With points, it pays one rate and won’t worry about crunching the numbers. The points are there when the client needs them, for whatever it needs them for.
- Plan for big projects and campaigns: If, for example, a client is launching a new product, it can dedicate more of its points to marketing that product without upending its budget or the continuity it has established with your agency. Points can be mapped out months ahead and then adjusted as needed when circumstances or tactics change.
- Scale beyond scope: A deliverable that goes beyond scope can lead to an adjustment of points, but with this model, simply buying more points — without the need for an updated SOW — also becomes an efficient option.
Cons of a points-based retainer
- Not every client will like it: Points-based retainers require deep collaboration between client and agency, whereas some clients just want to pay for a deliverable and have it delivered. In cases when the client trusts your agency to apply points in whatever way you see fit, the freedom is nice but could end up being more work if you’re running everything by the client for approval.
- The value of a point: Your service catalog must be precise and expansive for points to produce a solid ROI. Although you may already have achieved that on a project-based model, translating that to points — and the precise value you charge for one point and how many points each deliverable requires — is imperative. Set the value too high, and you risk clients balking at the idea or buying fewer points. Set it too low, and you’ll hurt your bottom line.
- Your team must be ready: This isn’t necessarily a con as much as it is a caveat — if your team has never worked with a points-based retainer or a value-based model, expect an adjustment period. Points offer exciting new ways to craft a marketing strategy that your coworkers will most likely appreciate, but don’t be surprised if, at least at first, their marketing plans for clients don’t look much different than under a flat-rate or hourly model.
Is point pricing right for you?
Although the points model brings numerous advantages to the table, it doesn’t always work for each agency. As already said, this is a different way of thinking that requires time and resources to successfully adjust. Some agencies are so entrenched in traditional billing that switching to point pricing may be met with resistance — or be too daunting to adopt.
Moreover, the services an agency offers may make point pricing more of a challenge. For example, consulting-driven services are almost solely based on hourly billing — and, subsequently, less on concrete deliverables — that may not lend itself to the flexibility that points provide. Or, implementation services that are more susceptible to scope creep can be chaotic if you aren’t perfect with the points.
Also, the nature of your clientele may drive whether you switch to point pricing or stick with something more traditional. If most of your customers prefer the buttoned-up, no-loose-ends structure of flat-rate or hourly billing, convincing them to change might be difficult.
Don’t let any of these considerations discourage you: Ultimately, there isn’t a right or wrong answer on the decision to switch to point pricing. Some agencies successfully rely on points with many of their clients but use flat-rate retainers with others.
The flexibility and potential of point pricing can help agencies expand their tactics, possibly including call tracking with a solution such as CallRail. The future is unlimited — both for your agency and for your clients — when your billing structure lets you be daring, purposeful, and versatile.
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Here at WebPT, we’ve got a fair bit of marketing experience under our proverbial belts. You might even say we’re experts in the field. Well, we’ve compiled all that expertise into one lengthy blog post to give you our top nine occupational therapy and physical therapy marketing ideas that you can put into practice immediately to reach more prospective patients—and convert them into actual ones. Without further ado:
Create a plan and a marketing budget. According to the APTA, marketing efforts are the “most effective if they are highly targeted—from age and gender to income bracket and the type(s) of publications your potential patients read.” In other words, before you start actually marketing, you need to know who to market to (and the best way to reach them)—and that requires a marketing plan. Along the same lines, you’ll also need to know how much money to spend on your marketing efforts—and that requires a budget.
Establish your brand identity and value proposition. As WebPT’s Kylie Mckee explains here, successful marketing requires not only a deep understanding of ideal customers, but also a “strong identity” and an ability to “present [the] brand in a way that appeals to [the] target audience.” To start, McKee recommends performing a self audit and exploring your competitors to determine what does—and does not—resonate. You’ll also want to ensure you know exactly what you offer to your patients that makes you unique (in other words, your value proposition). That way, you can focus your messaging to play up your strengths (i.e., the reason why patients should seek out your services).
Connect with through community engagement. As WebPT’s Melissa Hughes explained here, “Community events are a great way to draw potential patients to your clinic—especially if your practice is in a small town or a tight-knit community.” But, regardless of the size of your town or community, “you can use events to showcase what your practice is all about, or even just to interact with patients in a relaxed setting, when your mind isn’t buzzing around productivity requirements or Medicare’s latest data-reporting program.” In other words, hosting community events is an exceptional way to provide value to prospective patients and improve brand awareness for your practice—and rehab therapy in general.
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- Polish your online presence. Today, most prospective patients go searching for potential healthcare providers online, which means it’s imperative that you have an online presence that is both professional and findable. That means you’ll need:
- A mobile-friendly and search-optimized website with clear information about your credentials and practice philosophy—as well as how to reach you;
- Active social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram);
- Plenty of positive (and real) online reviews on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, and Zocdoc; and
- Content (e.g., a blog and contributed articles) that establishes you as an expert and drives relevant search traffic to your website.
You’ll also want to ensure you have consistent and accurate online listing information on every possible platform. To achieve that, you can leverage WebPT Local’s online presence and listing management tool to create—and publish—a robust profile for your practice that will be consistent on hundreds of online directories and social media platforms. That way, when patients search for your speciality in their area, you’ll come up first.
- Perform keyword research. According to WebPT’s Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, “Keywords are the phrases (or standalone words) that people type into a search engine (e.g., Google) to find the information they’re looking for.” For example, if a patient is looking for an OT in Williamsburg, he or she might type something like “occupational therapy in Williamsburg” or “Williamsburg occupational therapy.” Either way, if you’re an OT in Williamsburg, “you want to ensure that your website displays in that patient’s Google results,” so “weave those keywords into the text on your website—in page titles, headers, body copy, URLs, and meta descriptions.” But do so subtly; not only will keyword-stuffed copy turn off prospective patients (it’s not fun to read), but “Google dings you if you haphazardly pack [keywords] into your website copy.”
- Collect and use emails. As McKee explained here, “The vast majority of adults worldwide use email (about 3.7 billion as of 2017), and targeted email messaging can help you connect with those who aren’t on social media.” With a robust email list—and explicit permission from patients—“you can send relevant content directly to current and past patients, which can prevent patient attrition and spark patient reactivation.” You can even “curate that content to be even more specific to a patient’s condition and speak to him or her directly.” For a complete guide to email marketing for rehab therapists, click here.
WebPT Reach’s robust patient relationship management [PRM] platform can help you craft targeted email marketing campaigns and automate content delivery to reach both prospective and current patients at optimal intervals.
- Consider paid ads. While paid ads may seem daunting at first, they’re actually pretty easy to manage—not to mention effective, especially because most physical and occupational therapists aren’t yet taking advantage of them. As McKee wrote here, you’ll want to make sure to use keywords that directly relate to “your location, service, and discipline,” and point those ads at landing pages or messaging that “aligns with the advertisement.” That way, you’ll be more likely to convert prospective patients who click on your ads into actual ones.
- Link to landing pages. Speaking of landing pages, as McKee wrote here (based on this resource), “a landing page is ‘a keyword optimized, stand-alone page on your website’ that prospects land on when clicking links from:
- search engines (e.g., Google and Bing),
- social media posts,
- website banner ads,
- marketing emails or newsletters,
- blog articles, and
- website or social media pages.”
In other words, you can use these targeted pages to provide tailored information that converts.
Referral Marketing and Word-of-Mouth
- Tap pleased patients to be brand ambassadors. Social proof is an incredibly effective marketing tool for prospective patients and referral partners alike, and who better to establish that social proof than your already-pleased patients? They have firsthand experience with you and your practice, which means they’re well equipped to provide honest (and glowing) reviews of your services to their personal networks, online networks (via those online review sites mentioned above), and provider networks.
In most cases, all you need to do to develop a team of superstar brand ambassadors is identify your loyal patients using a tool like Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) tracking. Then, ask them to write you a testimonial or review—or to share their story directly with their physician or friends.
NPS surveys and email requests for reviews are fully automated in WebPT Reach, making the entire process completely seamless. You can also use WebPT Local to monitor all of your online reviews and provide timely responses—all from one integrated platform.
- Prioritize relationships—not gift baskets. As Hughes writes here, “Not too long ago, [therapists] were expected to turn out their pockets and buy catered lunches, gift baskets, and the like to ‘butter up’ potential referral sources. But, these delicious reminders aren’t as effective as you might think—especially in this day and age.” After all, “if everyone is buying goodies, then no one stands out”—not to mention the fact that goodies don’t actually provide any concrete information about your practice or your ability to best serve patients. Instead of goodies and gift baskets, build mutually beneficial collaborative relationships that prioritize patient care.
- Give referrals. As Jannenga wrote here, you don’t have to wait for another “healthcare provider to refer patients to you”; instead, “pick up the referral gauntlet and refer your patients to them (when it’s medically appropriate).” Then, “follow up with those providers and form mutually beneficial referral relationships.” After all, “referring out patients is a great way to bump your (and your practice’s) name to the tip-top of other providers’ mental list—which makes them much more likely to think of you when they encounter a patient who could benefit from physical therapy.” As a bonus, initiating referrals also helps establish rehab therapists as first-line care providers who are capable of directing a patient’s healthcare journey.
- Leverage outcomes and loyalty data. According to Hughes, “Collecting patient data (and improving your treatment methods until that data is wholly positive) is the best way for you to demonstrate your value to patients and physicians alike.” And that should include both outcomes and loyalty data. Referral partners—and prospective patients—want to know you’re “the go-to provider” for their condition or their patients.
- Create a workplace that your staff wants to talk about. Creating a great company culture benefits your staff and your patients in so many ways. And employees who work in a great company environment are not only more productive, engaged, fulfilled, and joyful—which, quite frankly, are wins on their own—but also more likely to spread the word about their great company to their social networks. In other words, provide excellent patient care and a great place to work, and your staff will automatically become your very best marketers. On the other hand, if your work culture is lacking and your staff is burned out, they probably won’t be drumming up any new business on your behalf.
Have too much on your plate to even consider these occupational and physical therapy marketing ideas? Then it might be time to hire a freelance marketing person—or two. Check out this article to learn how to hire—and manage—the very best freelancers. Have your own marketing ideas for PTs and OTs? Leave them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear them.
Designing an effective contact form or lead generation form can make a huge impact on the number and quality of leads you attract. Still, designing an effective form for your company is no easy task. The good news is there are many form builders available to help you develop high-quality webforms. Form tools are by far the simplest way to create webforms like contact and lead generation forms that are tailored to your business’s specific needs.
Finding a form builder that meets your unique needs and performs well can be tricky, since there are so many options to choose from. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the top five form builders and tips on how to choose the best one for your company.
The top 5 form builders
1. HubSpot’s Free Online Form Builder
HubSpot’s online form builder is one of the best tools around for creating webforms. It has advanced features that let you do much more than the average form builder, but it doesn’t require any technical knowledge and is totally free. Its drag-and-drop features let you develop a form quickly, and helps you to convert your website visitors into leads. After a user fills out your form, they’ll be automatically added to your HubSpot CRM. You can then opt to call them or send personalized emails to follow up with your contacts and start the lead nurturing process. If you’re looking for a lead generation form and a way to better manage your marketing funnel, HubSpot’s form builder is an excellent option that lets you do both.
If you need a high-quality lead generation or lead capture form, Leadformly is one of the best available options. This form builder tool makes it easy to develop a high-converting form that helps you win over more leads. Leadformly offers a wide variety of pre-tested templates so you can select the best one depending on your specific needs. It also has more than 1,000 integrations, over 15 different types of questions to choose from, and lets you create an unlimited number of forms. Leadformly is pricier than many other options, with its Essentials plan starting at $37 per month. But if you have the budget and you want access to some of the best-performing lead generation form templates, Leadformly is an excellent option.
3. CallRail Custom Forms
Another excellent form builder with multiple customization options is CallRail Custom Forms. This form builder has a lead form template with many field types, a simple drag-and-drop interface and a form preview feature. It offers multiple customization options, such as the ability to edit CSS and create a plain HTML version of the form, and also includes a WYSIWYG editor. The form builder also features a CAPTCHA to help prevent spam and also lets you create HIPAA-compliant forms for regulated industries. In addition, there are several different ways you can implement the forms, such as inserting a standalone link, embedding code, or adding plain HTML.
4. Contact Form 7
If it’s a simple contact form you’re after, Contact Form 7 is an excellent option. Contact Form 7 is an extremely popular free WordPress plugin that lets you add contact forms to your web pages quickly and easily. All you need to do is activate the plugin, copy the form shortcode, and paste it right into your post or page. When site visitors fill out the form and submit it, the information is sent to your email inbox. Although you’re given a default form, you’re free to modify it or create a new form. There are many different field types you can include in your forms, like dropdown menus, checkboxes, and quizzes. Contact Form 7 definitely makes designing and adding a contact form easy. That said, the plugin doesn’t have many advanced features, so it’s best for people who just need a basic contact form for their website.
5. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a WordPress plugin that lets you build highly customized forms. Unlike Contact Forms 7, Gravity Forms has many advanced features so you can build much more than just a contact form. Although there’s no default contact form, Gravity Forms lets you create new forms effortlessly with its drag-and-drop form builder. The plugin also has a conditional logic feature that determines what form fields are displayed to a user based on their previous responses. Gravity Forms also has an anti-spam feature to reduce form spam, and has advanced add-ons that let you integrate with third-party services like FreshBooks, Help Scout, PayPal, and Slack. Gravity Forms will cost you $59 per year for a basic license, but it’s well worth the investment if you need to create advanced forms for your WordPress site.
How to choose the best form builder for your business website
Here are five important questions to consider when selecting a form builder:
1. Is it compatible with your business goals?
Make sure you choose an option that will help you reach your business goals. It’s important to consider if you just want to ask a few basic questions or if you have more advanced needs. For instance, do you want your site visitors to schedule an appointment? Do you need to build in logic based on responses to certain questions? Do you require respondents to upload a picture or a file? In other words, you need to make sure you choose a form builder whose features are compatible with the questions you need to ask to capture leads and turn them into customers. It’s essential to be clear of your business goals so you can choose the option that best meets them.
2. How much does it cost?
Many form builders take a variety of different factors into consideration in determining the cost. These include access to integrations, access to features like custom branding, multi-logic, and uploads, as well as the number of forms and form submissions. In some cases, the cost is determined by a combination of these factors. While most form builders are relatively affordable, you obviously want to choose one that meets your company’s needs and fits your budget.
3. How user-friendly is it?
Also consider what kind of learning curve each form builder requires. Although most form builders have a WYSIWYG or drag-and-drop editor, some are easier to navigate than others. Pay attention to what kind of display and user interface each form builder has when evaluating your options. Is it easy to navigate and access each of the features? Are the instructions easy for non-techie people to understand and follow? Another thing to consider is how easy it is to implement and what your options are for adding the form to your website. For example, do you get a code that lets you embed the form on your website? When it comes to form builders, It’s important to choose an option that’s compatible with your level of technical expertise.
4. What features does it offer?
Once you’ve figured out what kind of forms you want, look at the features for each option. Find out if the form builder integrates with the analytics platforms, CRMs, payment processors, and campaign management platforms you’re currently using. Also consider what notification options are available. Can you send yourself an email or text message when a form is submitted? Is it possible to respond directly to the lead in an automated way? Where is the form sent after users submit it? Is there a way to prevent spam submissions? Other features to consider include: multi-step logic, reporting options, and the ability to create HIPAA compliant forms.
5. Can you customize your forms?
Ideally, you’ll want to create a form that’s a good match for your company’s brand. Many form builders have pre-designed templates, and the extent to which you can customize them varies widely. Consider how you want your completed form to look and keep this in mind when exploring form builder options. If you just need a basic form, a form builder with predesigned templates may work just fine. But if you want to design a form that really reflects your company’s brand, you might select an option that lets you customize your forms. Some of the ways that form builders often allow customization include: changing colors on form elements, choosing fonts, adding custom CSS, and the ability to remove branding on paid versions.
There are tons of form builder tools to help you design professional web forms for your business. Still, designing and evaluating your form as a channel for generating leads is an ongoing process. You need to regularly ask yourself if your form is performing well, and if the marketing activities that led people to your form are effective.
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You may be wondering whether starting a clinic blog is worth the time and effort. The short answer is yes: healthcare providers definitely benefit from including blogs on their websites. Read on to find out why.
Blogging: It’s a lot of work, right? If you’ve considered starting a blog at some point in your career but decided against it, I’m guessing it’s because:
- you don’t have the time;
- you don’t feel like you have enough unique ideas; or
- you’re not sure how to get started.
If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to Website4MD:
- about 40% of healthcare providers say they don’t have time to run a blog;
- 35% say they don’t have enough ideas; and
- 16% say they don’t know anything about blog setup or management.
But the fact is, putting in a little effort now can pay off in a big, big way later on down the road. According to the 2018 State of Inbound report from the marketing experts at HubSpot, healthcare businesses that have a blog on their website see 55% more traffic and are approximately 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI each year compared to their non-blogging counterparts. That’s because blogging plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO). According to WebPT’s own SEO specialist, Matt Berger, “Writing blog posts helps improve your web visibility so you can get in front of potential new patients. Every business can benefit from having a blog, and smaller practices, especially, can use this as another tool to help gain exposure among larger practices with bigger audiences and marketing budgets.”
How does blogging boost website visibility?
Simply put, the more frequently a website is updated, the more search engines like Google or Bing will prioritize it—and thus, display it.
Berger compares it to a neighborhood on Halloween night, with each house being an individual website: “Trick-or-treaters can go to any house to try to get candy, but the Internet is a big, big neighborhood—too big for trick-or-treaters to hit every single house. So instead, they go to houses that have lights on and lots of Halloween decorations and skip the ones that aren’t decorated for the occasion.” Similarly, a clinic website that isn’t actively maintained with updated content will be harder to find, and search engines will be less likely to deem it the right choice for the online searcher.
How can PTs make sure their blogs are seen by the right audience?
There’s a lot that goes into boosting post visibility, but essentially, you should write posts that answer the types of PT-related questions your patients search for on Google.
According to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online,” which has created a unique opportunity for physical therapists to connect to new patients through healthcare blogging. For this reason, you’ll want your blog to touch on topics that:
- are relevant to your practice and your patients, and
- demonstrate your expertise.
Posts could teach readers how to do something (e.g., a particular exercise) or provide answers to common questions—questions related to your specific practice as well as more general therapy questions. You’ll also want to blog about new services and other clinic updates.
All of this will increase the probability that the right searchers will land on your site when they perform related online searches. Not only will this help you generate new leads, but it’ll also establish you as an authority to your patients—as well as Google. After all, the more traffic your site gets, the more authoritative it appears to search engines—which helps you get even more traffic. It’s a bit of a snowball effect.
What are some ideas for blog posts?
You can use your daily experience—as well as social media—to mine for all kinds of content ideas.
As I mentioned above, you’ll typically want to create content based on your ideal patient’s most frequently-searched questions—both specific to your practice and physical therapy in general. Bear in mind that not every blog post has to be a six-page essay. Instead, consider scannable, bite-sized content like:
- step-by-step tutorials,
- myth-versus-fact articles,
- case studies,
- success stories,
- expert roundups, and
You can also mine relevant interest groups on Facebook and discussion sites like Reddit for topics. Look for questions people frequently ask, and be willing to engage with other participants. You can even use these forums to promote your posts, although you should always check with the group rules before doing so. You should also be careful not to come off as too salesy—especially on Reddit—as this can actually turn people away from reading your blog.
If you’re not one to surf the web regularly, not to worry—you can get plenty of inspiration from your daily interactions with patients. What sorts of questions are they asking when they call to book an appointment? What about when they start care? And which answers could you expand into a standalone article?
What are some blogging dos and don’ts?
There are a few basic need-to-knows when it comes to blogging. In short, keep your posts concise, conversational, and relevant.
You may not be a published writer, but your blog should still look professional and compel people to read it. Fortunately, your expertise as a therapist already gives you some credibility, but here are a few specific dos and don’ts you should consider before you start posting content:
- Do create a headline that entices people to click on the title (often a question or declarative statement).
- Don’t try to wax-poetic or speak in a corporate tone. Instead, keep it conversational.
- Do have an opening paragraph that connects to the title, grabs the reader’s attention, and prompts him or her to continue reading.
- Do use keywords. According to Berger, you should choose one primary keyword for a blog post and include it in the body of the post, the main headline, and the first paragraph. This helps search engines determine whether the content is relevant to the keyword.
- Don’t try to stuff keywords in places where they don’t belong. Any keywords you use should sound natural and flow with the rest of the paragraph.
- Do use free search engine optimization (SEO) tools. There are tons of free tools out there to help you find good topics, pick keywords, and optimize for search engine visibility. Here are the ones we recommend:
- Google Analytics: If nothing else, Google Analytics is a must-have for any PT practice website. This will provide you with information like:
- who visits your site;
- which pieces of content they read;
- which of your marketing strategies are the most effective; and
- a lot more!
- Google Keyword Planner: This is available through your Google Analytics account. It provides search volume, difficulty score, and more to help you find new, relevant keywords.
- AnswerThePublic: This tool helps you determine the questions and queries your audience searches for most by creating visualizations and reports based on keywords you enter.
- Google Trends: This tool shows trending keywords and the performance of keywords over time.
- Google Analytics: If nothing else, Google Analytics is a must-have for any PT practice website. This will provide you with information like:
So, there you have it: the basics of blogging for PT clinic websites. Have any blogging-related questions? We know a thing (or two) about the topic, so feel free to shoot us a question in the comment section below! For more great advice on how to launch and run a PT clinic blog, check out this post.
It’s essential for small business owners to regularly evaluate their marketing tactics so they can focus on the ones that will help them grow their businesses. If you’re a small business owner, then you’ve definitely heard of Google Ads. But do you know if you’re displaying the ads that are best for your business? Many types of businesses can benefit from using a type of Google Ad known as a click-to-call ad. But what is a click-to-call ad anyway, and how do you set one up? This article breaks down what you need to know about click-to-call ads, how to set up click-to-call in Google Ads, and how to know if these ads are right for your business.
What are click-to-call ads?
Click-to-call ads are an ad unit within Google Ads that call a business directly when a prospect clicks on them. They can only appear on mobile devices and can be an essential part of a mobile marketing strategy. There are two situations where an ad can become click-to-call: when running a call-only ad or when running a call extension on a text ad.
When we talk about call extensions, we’re referring to phone numbers that appear alongside text ads and give prospects the option to call the business. On mobile devices, the ad will appear with a click-to-call button, and on desktops or tablets the phone number will appear next to the ad.
Should you use click-to-call ads for your business?
Click-to-call ads work better for some businesses than others, and they are mainly effective for businesses who’re more dependent on phone calls, or want to encourage prospective customers to call. Some types of businesses that might benefit from using click-to-call ads include car dealerships, travel agencies, and home services.
That said, any business that invests in paid search ads can benefit from attaching a call extension to their ads. It can help them increase conversions, potentially decrease acquisition costs, and gives them an edge over competitors that aren’t using call extensions. Prospective customers are already researching online about these products and services, and click-to-call ads make it easy for these prospects to move forward in the sales process.
No matter what industry they’re in, it’s essential for companies who use click-to-call ads to have a streamlined process in place for handling the calls, as well as customer service and sales representatives who are highly trained and provide an excellent experience for prospects.
Before diving in and investing in click-to-call ads, it’s essential to consider if they are the right fit for your business. It’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are click-to-call ads effective for businesses in my industry?
- Are my prospective clients searching for my products on their mobile devices?
- Do I prefer prospects to call me or visit my website?
- Would a call help to move prospects down the sales funnel? Or do they need to go to my website for that to happen?
- If my prospects are searching on mobile, is their intent different than if they were searching on desktop? In other words, are they at a different stage in the sales funnel? If so, be sure to adjust your message so it’s relevant to that prospect type.
By considering these questions, you can get a clearer sense of whether or not click-to-call ads would be a worthy investment for your business.
What are the benefits of click to call ads?
Industries that are well suited to click-to-call ads can benefit from them in many ways. Some of the most important benefits of these ads include:
They improve conversion rates
A company’s number of conversions generally decreases if their website or ad doesn’t display the business’s phone number. In fact, a recent Quick Sprout study showed that adding a click-to-call ad resulted in a 400 percent increase in call-to-conversion rate. On top of this, click-to-call ads give your business the chance to upsell consumers on the phone. Why do click-to-call ads have such a dramatic effect on conversion rates? Well, consider this. When users click-to-call on your mobile ad, they’re already thinking about buying your product, which means they’re pretty far down the sales funnel. In many cases, talking to a sales or customer service representative is just what you need to win them over.
They give you an edge over your competitors
A recent Google study of 3000 mobile searchers found that 95 percent of small-to-medium sized businesses do not use click-to-call features. But nearly half of these mobile searchers said they would search somewhere else if click-to-call features were not present. This means that not having these features can significantly harm your business’s sales. In addition, 70 percent of mobile searchers use click-to-call and consider calls to be an important channel for consumers. The study also found that 61 percent of the searchers considered click-to-call to be “Extremely or Very Important” when deciding to make a purchase, and that 47 percent described feeling “frustrated,” annoyed,” or “more likely to explore other brands” when they were not able to directly call the business.
They make it easier for prospective customers to get in touch with you
With click-to-call ads, the phone number is placed at the top of the page with the word “Call”, and the call button is displayed right next to the copy. This means the phone number is in a very prominent location, which makes it easy for prospects to see it and take action. Click-to-call ads also simplify the process of getting in touch with you. Instead of sending customers to a landing page with a phone number, all they have to do is tap on a click-to-call ad to call your business. This helps motivate prospects to take action and can move them down the sales funnel more quickly
How to set up click-to-call campaigns in Google Ads
There are two ways that you can set up click-to-call campaigns in Google Ads. One way is by adding a call extension to a normal ad. This is where you set up a call extension so that when your text ads appear on a mobile device, your phone number and a click-to-call button will display beside them.
The second way to set up click-to-call campaigns is by running a call-only ad. This is where you set up a call-only ad from a normal or call-only campaign, which lets you aim for click-to-calls only, instead of aiming for calls and website clicks.
Let’s take an in-depth look at both methods of setting up click-to-call campaigns in Google Ads.
How to add a call extension to a normal ad
Call extensions let you add phone numbers to your Google Ads, so people can click or tap a button to call your company directly. Adding a call extension is the only way to add a phone number to your existing ads. Google Ads doesn’t allow phone numbers in the main description text fields, so your options are call-only ads or call extensions.
To set up a call extension, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- On the page menu, click Ads & Extensions.
- Click Extensions then click on the plus (+) icon.
- Select Call Extensions. The Add Call Extension view will appear.
- Select whether you want to add the call extension to your Account, Campaign, or Ad group.
- Select Create New to make a new call extension, then enter your phone number, or
- Select Use Existing if you’ve previously created a call extension. Then select your number from the list that appears.
There are also some optional settings that you can implement if you choose:
- Call reporting is now turned on by default, but you can turn it off in account settings if you want. You’ll then choose which conversion you want to associate with the calls, or you can create one here if you haven’t yet.
- Under Device preference, choose Mobile if you’d like Google to prioritize mobile placements over desktop ones. Note though that this doesn’t mean your extension will only appear on one device or the other. To control the latter you need to use device type bid adjustments at the campaign level.
- Under Advanced options, choose if you’d like to schedule your call extension to show only on certain days and hours.
How to set up a call-only ad
When setting up a call-only ad, you have the option of setting it up in a normal ad campaign, or as part of a call-only campaign.
If you’re setting up a call-only ad in a normal campaign, follow these steps:
- Start by clicking the red +AD button from within your Ad Group of choice
- Then select Call-Only Ad. This process is very similar to setting up a normal ad with some slight differences, including:
- There’s no destination URL
- Google will ask for your business name
- You’ll need to input a phone number to direct the call to and two website URLs. One URL will be displayed in your ad, and the other URL will link to a landing page where Google can confirm that the number used in your ad is also on your website. The number on the landing page needs to match the number displayed in your ads. You can also “verify” via Google Search Console or by placing a retargeting code from your Ads account onto your website.
If you’re setting up a brand new call-only campaign, here’s the procedure you’ll need to follow:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Navigate to the page menu on the left and click Campaigns.
- Click the plus (+) button and select New Campaign.
- Either select a sales or leads goal OR continue without a goal.
- Choose the Search campaign type.
- Navigate to Select the ways you’d like to reach your goal, check the box next to Phone Calls and enter your phone number.
- Click Continue.
- Type your campaign name at the top of the page.
- In the Add Display Network select No.
- Select your target goal and bidding settings.
- Enter your daily budget and any other campaign settings.
- Click Save and Continue.
To set up a new call-only ad, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click Ads & Extensions, then click Ads.
- Click the plus (+) button.
- Select Call-only ad.
- Click Select an ad group to choose your ad group and save the ad.
- Fill in the following fields:
- Two headlines. (Filling in two headlines lets you include more text in your ad.)
- Your business name and phone number.
- Two descriptions. (Only one is required.)
- Your display URL and verification URL.
- Navigate to Call Reporting and click On to collect call data.
- Select a Conversion action.
- Click Save New Ad.
How do you know if your click-to-call ads are effective?
Once you’ve started running your click-to-call ads, it’s essential to make sure they’re actually effective. It’s important to track your calls and conversions for your click-to-call ads to make sure they’re helping you meet your marketing and sales goals.
One way to do this is through Google Ads, which contains features to help you track and analyze the performance of your call extensions and call-only ads. These let you see call details, including the number of impressions your call ad received, phone calls received, and the phone-through rate (PTR).
Another option is to use a call tracking provider such as CallRail to measure the effectiveness of your click-to-call ads. CallRail offers a call tracking integration specifically for Google Ads, which lets you collect and analyze call data and measure phone call conversions from your click-to-call ads as well as other marketing campaigns.
If you’re a small business owner who hasn’t explored click-to-call ads, now’s the time to consider trying them. Remember that these ads are best for companies that rely on customer phone calls to conduct business, or who want to encourage their customers to call. If your company fits into either of these categories, consider investing in click-to-call ads to benefit your business.