02 Dec 8 Tips for Improving Conversions on Your Medical Practice Website
By Johnathan Babineau
Medical Practice websites are not necessarily judged against each other, but rather a patient’s expectations for your practice or hospital website are shaped by their favorite digital experiences—regardless of whether that experience was with Amazon, Apple, Uber, or any other multi-billion-dollar company. In fact, over 75% of people have admitted to judging a company’s credibility based solely on their website design.
Before optimizing your website, you should understand how patients interact with healthcare websites overall. Here are some interesting stats about how site visitors are viewing medical practice and hospital websites, and what they look for:
- 35% decide not to schedule an appointment if the website is poor quality
- 45% say a bad website is is worse than no website at all
- 30% think some of the hospital websites lack key features
- 29% frequently find typos and broken URL’s
Understanding the concept of a good conversion rate can be difficult, that’s why Physicians and Medical groups stand to benefit from gaining experience in website optimization, in turn, to increase their online conversion rates.
Here are the BEST 8 tips to help increase your Medical Practice website conversion rate.
First, you must decide what the purpose of your website is. Do you want visitors to schedule an appointment? Buy a product? Fill out a form? Download an eBook? This must be your initial concern. Once you identify the goal, make sure your website can track it using analytics. Unless you know your current conversion rate, you will never be able to improve it. It’s also a good idea to research benchmarks for the industry, so you have a realistic goal and can track your performance against a relevant benchmark for medical practice websites. Steel publishes industry averages and benchmarks for marketing in the key verticals that we work in – healthcare is one of those industries. Here is the latest benchmarks Stat Stack for you to reference.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
As the use of mobile devices increases, all websites including medical practice websites need to be mobile-friendly, if not designed to be mobile first. About 62% of smartphone owners use their device to look up health information, and 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local medical practice, treatment center or health facility. (You can view and test your sites mobile efficacy by inserting its URL on mobiReady.com)
Ensure Your Site Pages Load Quickly
According to a recent study on page speeds conducted by Akamai Technologies, Inc, a mere one-second delay in load time can cause a 70% drop in conversion rates. In addition to that, Google says site speed is one of the indicators its algorithm uses to rank pages. Therefore, in order to both drive conversions and increase your organic rankings, you need to ensure your pages are loading quickly.
Optimize Your “About Us” Section
An “About Us” page is a valuable opportunity to showcase your expertise and build trust with your patient base. The moment your visitors’ eyes hit your page they’re assessing whether or not to continue reading so it should be one of the first things a patient sees when they open your website. Your medical practice website should include:
- Pictures and Doctor head-shots
- Notable achievements
- Doctor pedigrees
- Any other information unique to your story and specialization
Use Patient Testimonials on your Medical Practice Website
BrightLocal says, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. And, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. A way to control what your visitors read about you is by including testimonials on your site. They help demonstrate trustworthiness to your website visitors in a more authentic way. Below are some tips for creating high-converting testimonials:
- Make sure your testimonials are brief and direct (2-3 sentences is ideal)
- Ask patients to be specific. Let patients know that upon giving you their testimonial, you may make tweaks and edits—without changing the meaning of what they said. Have them approve the final version before you publish
- Include patient names and head-shots under their quotes
Place each testimonial next to the service it mentions.
Beef up the “Contact Us” Section
If anybody visiting your website has any questions, or is interested in the services that you provide, you want them to be able to communicate that appropriately. Include a “Contact us” section on your homepage and make it a top-level menu item so it’s easy for visitors to locate.
- Include up-to-date mailing addresses and emails for each of your locations
- Include a phone number that can be tracked
- Include a live chat option so if a visitor has a question or is confused, they can instantly be redirected appropriately during business hours.
- Include a scheduling portal for visitors interested in scheduling an appointment can do so easily without worrying about any extra steps.
- For all other comments, questions, or concerns include a field where visitors can leave a message.
- Link to a “thank you” page after patients fill out the form that lets them know how and when you’ll get in touch with them
- To reduce abandonment, avoid unnecessary fields
Differentiate From Your Competitors
If you have competitors who are doing well, try and figure out the reasons. How is their website different or better than yours? Is there something you could learn from them? Why would patients choose them over you? Do a competitive review, it should compare your web presence to the web presences of your top competitors and identify opportunities you’re missing out on and pinpoint where your digital marketing priorities should lie.
Look at Your Practice as a Whole
There are many other significant factors, outside of web design, that can affect your conversion rate. You must consider these factors as well when trying to improve your conversion rate. Start by asking 5-10 people to sit down and give you feedback on your website and go from there. Here are a few factors to investigate:
- Are your prices competitive?
- Do you look like a credible practice?
- Do you have a positive online reputation?
- Do your services or treatments have positive reviews?
- Is your staff friendly and approachable?
- Is your competitor undertaking some prominent marketing activity?
When you have a medical practice it may seem like every day you learn about more work you’re supposed to be doing to improve results. Improving site conversions has guaranteed profit based results. Lets say your website has 50,000 visits per month, at a 2% conversion rate you are gaining 1000 customers a month. Just a 1% increase in your conversion rate would result in a 33% increase in revenue (source: the good.com). With those numbers it should seem like a no-brainer, but you must invest the time and money into improving your conversion rate. Soon you will be seeing the direct results and returns on that work. That’s the profit based results that medical practitioners are looking for. These are just a few steps to take in order to reach your practice’s full potential. (source: thegood.com, roi calculator)
Steel is here to help with your marketing, interactive or advertising campaigns. We have extensive experience in the healthcare industry including marketing for medical practices and health plans. Click here to read more about our healthcare specialty and our capabilities.
Based in Austin, Texas, Steel is a full-service integrated ad agency that uses a deep understanding of how families make purchase decisions to deliver brands that families love. In close partnership with our clients, Steel unites data, technology, creativity and influence to produce more stunning growth for brands in health, education, food and fun that serve the American family.
Sources: The Good ROI conversion calculator, Small Biz Trends, Akamai State of Online Retail Performance Report, BrightLocal Local Customer Review Survey