Converting site visitors into inquiries requires a planned approach. Each practice’s website is unique and each product conversion points have unique value propositions. However, over the course of driving millions of website visitors for medical practices, MD Connect has compiled this 10 point checklist to help guide your conversion optimization efforts because improving patient conversions is the key to website profitability.
1) Prominent phone number: Phone numbers should be easily accessible and users typically expect to find a phone number at the top of the home page. Upper right hand corner is best. High end design with the best intentions should not obscure a phone number. It is the basic function of a website to have a number easily accessible with 3-5 seconds of navigation time. In addition to ease of finding, phone numbers should always be text based – non images. As smart phone web browsing takes on more of the visit share (20% is not uncommon), Smartphone browsers are able to translate a text-based phone number into a click to call display; resulting in more conversions.
2) Contact Form –Distinction: How you collect data in a contact form is so important that the next three tips are devoted to solely improving your forms! Much like the phone number, users who want to convert should not have to hunt around for a place to submit their question or engage with your practice. If possible, the form should be accessible on all pages in an un-obtrusive way. Form prominence is a key conversion optimization tactic and if you can put the form on every page, even better!
3) Contact Form – Simplicity: Forms should collect the minimum amount of data required to consider the inquiry a lead and be able to contact the prospective patient later if necessary. The website form is not the place to take symptoms or medical history questions. A form is the first line of engagement and should allow a prospective patient to engage with your practice. Indeed, a lead form with ten or twelve questions might be a more qualified lead, however, collecting too much data will suppress and scare away tomorrow’s patient. Simplifying the amount of required data to the bare essentials reduces form fill friction. Name, email, phone and comments are the simplest elements to engage a prospective patient. Any forms containing more than these four fields creates friction and will reduce conversion rates tremendously.
4) Contact Form - Trust Enhancement: Creating trust in a visual sense around the form itself is a conversion optimization must. Examples of trust enhancers consist of any content within the eye path of the form itself that brings credibility to the form submission. For example, an accreditation logo or a trusted media logo both reduce the mental friction users can feel right before they submit their information online. Another way to bolster trust with prospective patients is by adding a simple line of text stating “100% SPAM Free”, or “No Data Sharing”; enhancing the user’s reticence of submitting data that may result in unwanted emails. The more the user trusts the website or medical practice, the higher the conversion rate.
5) Video: Video is an excellent opportunity to tell a story visually. The best videos for conversion optimization purposes are under two minutes long, feature the lead practice physician and contain great shots of the practice. Ideally, a patient testimonial is woven into the production. Patients are making medical choices online and videos can help solidify their choice of who to see and dramatically affect conversion rates. Most videos are well under $1500 to produce and can add a human element to your practice in a visually appealing way. Often medicine is clinical, cold, and analytical – video can change this!
6) Testimonials and Review Usage: Make sure you have any written testimonials featured on the website in some content form. Not only do people read testimonials, it can often be one of the more popular sections of the website. More than 50% of users seek some form of reviews online about Doctors, so having this content on the site (under your control) will not only give users content they seek, but will enhance conversions.
7) Real Photos: Transparency has been a buzz word in the business community for years. In the context of conversion, transparency via real images for use on the website works wonders. Any photos of smiling staff members, a waiting room with flowers, a group photo of the practice staff adds a human element to a website. Make sure that photos of staff or physicians show smiles, eyes are looking right at the camera, and include patients being cared for in an attentive manner. Flowers in the waiting room are a nice touch too. The internet has become a place where people socially engage and websites that feature real photos leverage this paradigm and convert at a higher rate.
8) Content Scan Optimization: By embracing the theory that few people on the internet actually “read” and instead, the vast majorities merely “scan”, you will be on your way towards content optimization. Writing for the internet is different than writing a term paper or magazine article. A website visit is often a result of some form of search query; therefore, it is important that all page content is broken up by easy to read, “scan-able headlines” that, when possible, will match the most popular queries of your site visitors. When a visitor sees the content they are looking for quickly in either a scan-able headline or a bullet list, they will engage with the site – the first step necessary before conversion. If you have dense content now, simply break it up and create scan-able headlines with a bulleted summary at the top of your content.
9) No gory pictures or videos: Many practices like to showcase procedures. Even the most benign procedure can look scary to a casual web browser. What is familiar to physicians is often alien to patients. Anything scary or gory is an absolute conversion suppressant and should be eliminated from website use. No surgery videos or pictures!
10) Be ‘realistic’ not ‘idealistic’: What is a realistic goal for conversion rate? Probably double where you are now. That means over the course of a realistic time period of conversion optimization, your digital marketing team (even if it is you) should take steps to address conversion rates. This process, however takes time! It is not realistic to expect overnight success, but it is realistic to strive towards meaningful (even double or triple) increases in conversion rate.
You've spent good money on your website and you're spending marketing dollars to increase your exposure, drive website traffic and find more patients. Make sure you're maximizing both investments by optimizing your website to convert your web visitors into revenue.