Does your practice have a hole in your local patient acquisition strategy?

by Chris Ransick

This week I spent some time performing an audit of my city's local physical therapy clinics using local Google search and looking at their use of clinic location pages and UTM codes, with some surprising results.

What is a clinic location page?

A clinic location page is a unique business web page created for a specific site, location, or clinic. It should display the clinic's interior and exterior images, the correct address, phone and website information, hours, directions, services offered, and staff information. Quite honestly, according to local SEO practices, clinic pages should be content-rich and designed to help in patient acquisition.

What are UTM codes

UTM stands for "Urchin TrafficMonitor" and is a small snippet of code added at the end of a URL to track the source, medium, and campaign name of a marketing effort enabling companies to understand the performance of campaigns and content. If you look closely at pretty much everything you click on the internet, you will find UTM codes tracking the request's source. 

UTM Code example: utm_source=GMB_medium=web_campaign=3400CoorsABQ


Using Google and the search term:"Physical Therapy in Albuquerque." I then clicked the website link on each of the first 150 PT clinics local Google My Business (GMB) results to understand:1) if the pt clinic had a unique clinic location page2) if there was a UTM code attached to the web address to track the click-through source.  


- Reviewed top 60 Google search results
- Number of unique PT practices: 25
- Number of PT practices with multiple clinic location pages: 7
- Number of multi-location PT practices linking to clinic location pages: 3 
- Number of PT practices using UTM codes: 0
- Number of PT practices without websites: 3
- Number of PT practices with un-secure websites: 2


The four main results from my audit are:
1) There are still practices that haven’t shifted from un-secure HTTP to the secure HTTPS
2) PT practices which employ clinic location pages outperformed clinics that didn't employ clinic location pages in local Google search
3) PT practices with the most robust clinic location page outperformed clinics whose web page presented just basic information
4) No PT practice was tracking local click-throughs from local Google search using UTM codes


After reviewing the results, it is evident that there is an ample opportunity for many PT practices to improve their local search results. Since many potential patients only consider the first page of a local Google search, it would behoove all PT practices to maximize their digital footprint by providing robust clinic location pages and work on their ranking. I was also surprised that most PT practices are not tracking GMB click-throughs to their website using UTM codes, which would seem to be a large hole in many new patient acquisition strategies. 

To find out how your practice is competing locally, the Clinic Builder offers a complimentary local digital marketing analysis of your local clinic pages, Google My Business implementation, social presence, and digital footprint. Clinic Builder will share all their findings. Every issue and concern found along with suggesting fixes, both in detail and summarized by priority level. To find out more, contact Chris at 

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