In 2015 and beyond, simply having a healthcare website isn’t enough to grow your practice. Today, there is an abundance of free website builders along with an ever-growing marketplace of inexpensive website designers and coders overseas, making it easy for anyone to set up a decent website in a few days for a few hundred dollars.
What actually makes an impact is when your website steadily receives traffic and converts that traffic into new patients. Unfortunately for most healthcare practices, their websites fall short to drive the growth they expected due to several key factors. In this article, we’ll explore the top 6 factors your website isn’t attracting new patients like clockwork and what actions you can take to improve your online presence.
1) Your Site Traffic
The first (and most obvious) reason you aren’t getting leads from your website is because nobody visits your site in the first place. This is easy to measure if you are using tracking software, like Google Analytics. However, sometimes here at Points Group we notice there are established practices who aren’t even measuring their traffic online. Without knowing how many visitors your site is getting and where they are coming from, you are flying blind.
The solution is to promote your website across multiple platforms including Social Media, Google, industry-related blogs, local websites in your area and news sites. At the end of the day, the more often other websites link to yours, the more often you will show up in Google, which will increase the amount of people visiting your website. The key is to promote your site in accordance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to avoid getting penalized and disappearing overnight.
2) Your Local Presence
While steady traffic is a necessary ingredient for online lead generation, it’s not nearly as important as your local presence. In other words, how often does your website (or your other third party listings) appear in the local search results when people search for you? If people in your local area cannot find you when searching for the words and phrases related to the type of care you provide, whether it be orthopedics, podiatry or spine surgery, don’t expect to acquire new patients from your website. You can improve your local presence by optimizing third party listings as well as creating individual pages for the specific locations you target.
3) Your Design
Your design is the first thing your visitors notice when they land on your website. Instantly, they make a snap judgment about your practice based on how clean, organized and appealing your layout is. If the text is hard to read, navigation is difficult to understand or the layout is lacking structure and visual appeal, they will have a negative first impression of your practice before they’ve even visited you in person. Your design should have medium text size, generous spacing between sections and a clean navigation structure that makes it easy for patients to find what they are looking for.
4) Your Content
Content is a critical area where many practices fall short. Your content is an opportunity to stand out from your competition and showcase your expertise in your field. The process of converting a new website visitor into a patient involves education, building trust and inspiring action. For content to be effective, it must be unique, well-written and connect with the patient’s specific problem, leading them to a solution. The most effective types of content tend to be patient stories and educational articles about specific procedures as well as announcements about your practice or events. Content does not just include the written word. You can use video recordings from local events, infographics or even radio interviews to grab a prospective patient’s attention.
5) Your Call To Action
Once visitors consume your content, they need guidance on what to do next. Otherwise, they will leave your site and forget about you. This is where a strong call to action comes into play. Depending on the type of care you provide, your call to action could be scheduling an appointment, requesting more information or picking up the phone to speak with a specialist. The key to a successful call to action is to make it clear, concise and easily visible. When visitors are ready to make a decision to contact you, your site must make it easy for them to do so.
6) Your Form
Your website form is your connecting point between your patients and your practice. If your form suffers from a poor layout, unreliable functionality or has too many fields, your conversions are going to be negatively impacted. Your form should have large text boxes with even spacing and clearly labeled form fields. Simply put, your visitors should not have to figure it out on their own. Rather, the layout and structure of the form should guide them through the process.
The Real Purpose of Your Website
If your website falls short in any of the six areas above, then you need to take the action necessary to improve them. Changing even just one of the above elements can reap significant benefits and begin attracting more patients immediately. However, the method that will give you the biggest leverage is simultaneously improving all of them at once due to the synergistic effects each factor has on one another. Remember, at the end of the day, your website isn’t a collection of pages and images. Rather, it is a one-to-many marketing tool for growing your practice’s bottom line. Treat it as such, and it will become a patient-generating machine for you.
If you find it too overwhelming to implement these changes on your own, contact us today to learn more about how we can improve your online presence and make your phone ring with new patients.