By Zvi Pardes
Head of Content Marketing, EyeCarePro
Oct. 2, 2019
There are three essential things your practice web site needs to convey within the first few seconds after a visitor arrives:
Who are you?… And we don’t mean just a logo and a name!
Where you are located?
How do I book an appointment?
If those three things aren’t made immediately clear on your homepage, you are going to see a lot more people leave the site, including those who might very well have become patients. What this means is that not paying careful attention to how those three messages come across on desktop and mobile alike can, and will, hurt your web site conversion rate and revenues in a big way.
Who Are You?
You have to present who your practice is and what you stand for visually. This is branding, meaning it’s way more than a logo and a name. How well are you communicating your identity and emphasis as a practice? What do you present as your attitude toward patient care and the things you do best? How expressive is your imagery, font, color palette, etc?
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Where Are You?
This one is pretty straightforward. A brief one-liner about your location at the top of your homepage is a good start. Even better is a built-up Hours and Location page, which should include a Google Maps address connected to your GoogleMyBusiness listing.
How Do I Book an Appointment?
The general rule is to convert a web site visitor into a patient as quickly and easily as possible. This means it needs to be dead simple to start and complete the booking process. While text and chat options to book are on the horizon, for now there are only two critical ways people book appointments: making calls and booking online. And there are three criteria to maximizing conversions and minimizing bounce:
1. Clear, consistent calls to action (CTAs)
2. Online Booking Options
3. Everything is Clickable
CTA buttons are crucial. Simply put, these are the buttons or links you can press or click that lead you to where you can book an appointment. It’s very important that regardless of which device a web site visitor is using (desktop, tablet or smartphone) CTAs be easily found, but without going overboard and appearing spammy. We typically recommend including them in the header for all pages. The homepage and any landing pages should have a set of CTAs right at the top and midway down the page. Subpages should have a pair in the sidebar.
Booking Online Matters
Booking online can be a direct real-time scheduling feature synced with your EHR, or a simpler appointment request whereby visitors enter their information and get a phone call response from the practice to either confirm the appointment or reschedule.
There is always a segment of the population who prefer to avoid phone calls as much as possible. If you want to book more appointments, you have to give the people what they want. Plus, there are advantages to the data tracking and flexibility afforded to staff by allowing for booking this way. Any way you go, make sure the form is easy to access, short and simple to fill out.
Clickability is Essential
It may surprise you to know that at least 50 percent of your web site traffic occurs on mobile devices. Among other things, this has implications for your CTAs.
At the risk of beating this point to death, we have to keep in mind how important it is to make the process as simple and fast as possible. People do not want to take the time to copy and paste phone numbers or write them down…so they won’t. Make sure your CTAs—even the phone numbers—are click-to-call, meaning that when you click on them on a mobile device it directly dials the practice.
Managing your practice web site may seem technical, and it requires effort. However, the results of doing things right are well worth the effort. A web site with a strong online presence—think SEO!— thoughtful design and intuitive and simple user experience is guaranteed to turn online visitors into patients filling your lane. And that means a growing practice.
Zvi Pardes is the head of content marketing at EyeCarePro, which provides ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org