When leveraged correctly, these five strategies promise to turn more visitors to your hospital’s website into patients.
When it comes to online marketing, many hospitals still focus their attention on inessential metrics while ignoring others that are tied more directly to attracting new patients. While your current digital ad campaign may be driving heaps of visitors to your website, there’s not always a direct correlation between site traffic and conversion rate — at least, not without the proper approach to web presence optimization and patient engagement.
Let’s run through a few tried and trusted conversion boosters that will help you transform that website traffic into new patients and recurring revenue for your hospital.
1. Content Scan Optimization
Internet users today rarely read everything when they arrive at a new web page — instead, they quickly scan your site content for particularly relevant, eye-catching information. In turn, every last sentence on your website should be easily digestible and offer clear and actionable insights.
To this end, writing headlines that match up with common search queries helps readers more easily identify the area of your website or topic they’re looking for. Moreover, this strategy will bolster your practice’s rankings on the search engine results pages.
You should also supply this information within a clear visual hierarchy: large text and images first, followed by easily digestible, less significant details. Specifically, make sure the most relevant information and calls-to-action (CTAs) are visible immediately so that users don’t have to scroll down to find them.
2. Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, and Hubspot can also be useful conversion tools. They allow you to develop and implement targeted marketing campaigns that will nurture your relationship with potential patients until they are ready to schedule services. These tools are particularly effective for elective surgery procedures, which have a buying cycle of up to 24 months. With the right marketing automation tool, you can make sure that your facility remains at the top of a potential patient's mind until he or she is ready to schedule the procedure.
3. Visual Content
Featuring images of real staff members and/or patients humanizes your practice and breeds trust. That’s because an emotional connection to your brand is key to successful patient engagement, as one company found that including smiling pictures on their website increased their conversions by an incredible 95%. Pictures of the interior of your practice also establish a sense of familiarity among prospective new patients.
Videos also represent an effective means of reaching your target audience — in fact, consumers are between 64% and 85% more likely to make a buying decision after having watched a video. This type of content proves most effective when it’s concise, features individual doctors and nurses from the practice, and is formatted to every device that potential patients use to access the web. Finally, avoid “auto-play” functions: all videos should be user-initiated.
4. Contact Forms
It’s important to remember that people are often hesitant when asked to provide personal information online, so it’s essential that your platform is both optimized and frictionless. As such, make contact forms available in as many identifiable, but unobtrusive locations as possible — if the process is overly-complicated and hard to find, prospective patients will probably just skip it.
In general, try to keep your contact forms short and simple. For example, one company called Imagescape was able to increase its conversion rate by 120% when it dropped the number of fields on contact forms from 11 to 4. Although you want to acquire as much information as possible, keeping form fields limited will reduce potential roadblocks to conversion.
Don’t forget that the majority of your audience will likely be mobile users (40-60%), so ensuring forms are simple and easy to read is vital. To optimize responses, critical contact fields should be “required,” whereas comment sections should not.
5. Set Goals and Track Performance
Physicians and practices must constantly evaluate the performance of their websites, ensuring that they make every possible effort to reach their conversion goals. It’s a good practice to constantly A/B test different design features to determine what your audience responds to best. Even switching a call-to-action button to the other side of the page can make a difference. That said, be sure that your goals are realistic. Never expect a rapid, overnight victory — rather, strive for sustainable, long-term success through determined effort over time.