Written By David M. Williams | Chief Strategy Officer |
I spend the majority of my day researching, connecting and strategizing with physician group, ASCs, and hospital groups about how to attract new patients while better engaging with their current patients. In almost every engagement, I find poorly designed or severely out of date websites that no longer match the brand or the unique care offerings. Often times I hear “I know our website needs help but I don’t have time…” or “My wife’s sister’s son’s nephew designed our website a few years back.”
The internet has fundamentally changed the way that physician acquire new patients and engage current patients. A recent survey found that over 77% of prospective patient consumers begin their searches online. Potential patients’ first impressions are shaped by your online presence or in many cases lack thereof. A 2013 Google Small Business Survey found that over 55% of small businesses did not have a website.
The list below discusses the three most common mistakes your marketing person is making on your website:
1) No Web Analytics – In order to better engage your patients it is important to have insight into their browsing habits. In order to attract, hold, and convert potential patients; web analytics tools are necessary. Web analytics are important because it allows your marketing person to identify reasons that may cause current patients frustration, such as not being able to find clear directions, or the office’s phone number. Potential patients may choose to do business elsewhere because there is not engaging content or no easy way to request more information. Web analytics provide important metrics such as time spent on site, visitor’s click habits, number of pages viewed, and how quickly a visitor leaves after visiting your website. All of these metrics will give your “marketing person” clear directions as to how to better engage current patients and attract new ones.
2) No Conversion Points – The purpose of a medical practice website is simple. Websites serve to attract, nurture and in most cases convert new patients or cases. Websites should be built around specific conversion points. For example, visitors should be expected to perform a specific action upon arrival, such as filling out a contact form or signing up for a seminar. People do not like being sold to; instead they perceive the relationship differently if they receive something in exchange. A proper conversion point gives the user a compelling reason to contact you, such as “Fill out this contact form for a Free White Paper about the Dangers of Untreated Diabetes” or “Call today to reserve a seat for our upcoming seminar about Sexual Health over 65”.
3) Out of Date Blog or Social Media – For years, medical practices have been told of the importance of having a blog or a Facebook page. Physicians have visions of being able to better engage their patients with helpful advice, healthy recipes, and engaging content. Most blogs and/or social media pages are created with the best intentions in mind, however the person in charge of them quickly learns it takes time, a lot of time. From the eyes of the patient consumer this lack of attention and follow through could cause them to second guess their provider choice. It is better to have zero social presence than one that was started and soon tossed aside.