There are many modalities and disciplines involved in natural therapy, and a majority of those are well-suited for online business.
Aromatherapy, homeopathy and western herbal medicine are three obvious candidates, but even massage therapy and reiki businesses need to have information shared, tools supplied and clients attracted. The sky is the limit for online natural therapy businesses, but it is important to use trusted methods and avoid the classic pitfalls associated with internet marketing.
Steps to Take
To get noticed online, a natural therapy business needs to use the same steps as other online businesses. Never lose sight of the fact that your focus is on natural therapies, and enlist the aid of online experts anytime you feel it is necessary to do so.
Search Engine Optimisation - SEO is the practice of using special keywords and phrases throughout your online content to create a feeling of reliability. Although the algorithms which calculate the effectiveness are regularly updated, a good rule of thumb is to have the keywords you want to score well on repeated at least once for every 100 words, and avoid a keyword density greater than 4 percent. SEO applies to all content on your website, even your “About Us” page, and should also be applied to blogs, video content, podcasts and social media.
Effects of Social Media - Social media is a goldmine for online marketing that is only beginning to come into maturity. There has never been a medium that was more effective at reaching vast numbers of people with targeted information, and a savvy online natural therapy business would do well to maintain a positive presence on multiple sites. To get a head start on this, start thinking about your Social Media presence at the planning stage, when you're building your Business Plan.
Content is King - To be recognised as a leader, you have to provide a steady stream of applicable content to your website visitors. This can be short how-to videos, a blog or eBooks that provides quality information that fits your practice. The main thing is that your website has fresh new content posted regularly, and that the content stays focused on your business, or its products and services.
Analyse and Compromise - Monitor your campaigns to see how well they are doing. If social media marketing is showing a greater return, put more focus on your social presence. If search engines are bringing in the most hits, then look at other ways to build performance in that arena. You do not have to invest in every digital marketing tool available, but you may have to experiment to find the ones that offer the most benefits.
Mistakes to Avoid
There are two sides to every coin, and an online natural therapy business has to be wary of common marketing mistakes. None of these errors are going to ruin your business, but they can all contribute to slowing down the responses you were expecting.
Going Blogless - Your blog is important in multiple ways. First, it shows your visitors that you are serious about your business, and informs search engines that you are topical and trustworthy. On another note, blogs are a great way to present marketing campaigns, typically in a sidebar that uses ads as targets to keywords in the blog posts. A blog is a very powerful marketing tool in itself, and failure to maintain an authoritative one can be the difference between long-term success and failure.
Failure to Reconnect - Allowing your customer list to get stale is a marketing mistake of epic proportions. Not only are previous clients a great source of testimonials and repeat sales, they are also your ticket to social media fame. Businesses that fail to send out follow up emails and initiate future contact are allowing paying prospects to get away.
Excluding External Links - To build reliability, your blog posts and product sheets should include links to reliable sources outside of your practice (such as the IICT). Search engines view external links as a way to become more relevant, and human visitors will see them as confirmation that you are providing reliable information. Internal links to earlier blog posts are also a good idea, but make it a point to include at least one external link in every post.
Digital Marketing Takes Time - Online marketing requires a fair amount of time, but you can hire third party services to do most of the marketing. Where blog content is concerned, hiring a third party will probably net better results anyway, since the providers will be aware of how and when to use SEO. Either way, expect 3 to 6 months before you see the effects of online marketing.
Starting a natural therapy business online requires a lot of work, but you will find tools and partners along the way, and the benefits of success are well worth the time you invest to achieve your goals.