Our society has become highly dependent upon technology, says Jason Borody. Most people utilise the internet, often exclusively, as their primary source of information. In fact, 90% of prospective patients will visit your website before contacting you.
Therefore, it is vital that medical practices seeking to reach their target community have a patient-orientated cyber presence. It is also important to adopt targeted marketing strategies that prompt action on the prospective patient’s (or referral source’s) behalf. If you want to increase patient bookings through your website read through the below list and consider how well your website is performing.
#1. Personalise your website
What language does your website use to communicate with your audience? Seek to understand your audience and tailor your website to use language that will speak to them directly. By engaging with prospective patients on a personal level you demonstrate that you are willing to partner with them in a more meaningful way to best deal with their health-related challenges and concerns. Promoting this kind of doctor-patient partnership builds rapport with your
audience that will aid in converting them into loyal patients.
#2. Promote Action Consistently
How often do you encourage website visitors to take action? Your website’s goal is to grow the sales funnel of qualified patient candidates and create opportunities to nurture prospects into becoming patients. Don’t shy away from promoting multiple call-to-action opportunities on every webpage. For example, “Sign up for a health seminar”, “Subscribe to our newsletter”, “Book an appointment online” or “View our information video”. The chance of a prospect-to patient conversion is increased when they are given different ways to take the next step in becoming a patient.
#3. Provide online services
What services can your patients access online? In addition to online call-to-action opportunities, online services are convenient and add value to your website. For instance, provide opportunities to ask questions online, access to online forms and online payment services. Additionally supplying helpful medical information about recent developments in your specific health field (for example, in the form of a blog) demonstrates your expertise and builds reputation by implying to your audience that you are up-to-date in your profession. Subsequently, this gives people another reason to differentiate your practice from competitors.
#4. Prioritise clear and easy navigation
How easy is it to navigate and use your website? Treat every website page as your homepage by giving your audience a clear indication of where they are on the site and how to learn more about your services. A clear path in helping someone find what they’re looking for and what they may want to learn more about will encourage them to choose you over your competitors. Furthermore, ensure you build your website to be mobile-friendly to increase conversion of prospective patients.
#5. Promote discovery of your website using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Prospective patients viewing your site are seeking solutions to their health care needs. Thus, make sure your site has a high chance of discovery using search engines by building it with SEO in mind. The more visitors you have, the greater your chances of achieving a conversion.
#6. Present your practice professionally
In conjunction with the content of your website, presentation will additionally affect a person’s conversion from prospect to patient.
People are more likely to trust service-based businesses that present
themselves in a professional manner - this is even more pertinent when a person’s needs involve health-related issues. Thus, invest in a website design that will appropriately represent the professional standard your practice upholds. For example, avoid template designs and over-used stock imagery.
How well your website performs in the above areas determines how effective your site will be as a conversion tool. By prioritising these strategies, prospective patients exploring your website will gain a powerful impression of your practice without needing to step a foot
through your door. Subsequently, your practice will experience more business and more bookings.
The content in this article was published in The Private Practice Winter 2016 edition.