Creating relevant web pages
Provide the specific information potential patients want.
By Kay Coulson
In my first column, I discussed how to monitor web visitors: who is visiting, where they live, and how to tighten viewership radius. This month, let me share what we know about viewership of ophthalmology websites, and how you can best structure practice information on your site to maximize scheduling.
Would it surprise you to learn (based on data we’ve acquired):
• 85% of web visitors enter from landing pages, not the home page?
• 54% of people who enter through the home page look no further?
• The average visitor looks at 1.6 pages of the site?
• Visitors give you 48 seconds of their time?
• For every form submitted online, you’ll receive six phone calls?
What is a landing page?
If you’re marketing your practice using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, et al., then you should be using landing pages. Landing pages are constructed to answer individual search queries, for example “Symptoms of a cataract?” If someone types this question, they will see organic and paid search results for cataract symptoms, as determined by search engine algorithms. You may have a page on your website, titled “Cataract Symptoms” that receives high placement in organic search results.
But you may also bid on the search term “Cataract Symptoms” in PPC advertising, to ensure that potential patients consider your practice.
However, many of you will send this person, when they click the link or ad, to your home page. At that moment, you’ve lost their trust and interest. Why? Because the answer to “Cataract Symptoms” wasn’t on your home page. Your website visitors are going to be reluctant to search any further.
The four-step rule
How many steps a purchaser is willing to make to complete a transaction is an issue of some debate in the online community. Our own experience in ophthalmology says prospects will take four steps:
• Type the query.
• Click the ad or search result that seems to provide the best answer.
• View the page they have been sent to.
• Pick up the phone to call.
Anything more than this sequence results in lost conversion. So you must develop web pages that directly answer search queries. This technique means rewriting web pages from general topic areas, to specific answers to the most common searches. Each page should then quickly direct that user to pick up the phone or submit a form to schedule an appointment.
In our experience, 85% of visitors enter through landing pages. Only 15% come to your website home page. Landing pages that allow visitors to take all necessary action to contact the practice are extremely valuable in today’s search-oriented world.
Revisit home page layout
Your practice home page is primarily viewed for two reasons: to find a phone number and driving directions.
This month’s homework is to look at your home page on a desktop computer, a tablet and a smartphone. Can people find a phone number immediately? Is your address immediately apparent? Are both viewable without scrolling? Is the font large enough and presented in high-contrast for prospects who might have compromised vision? Is the phone number clickable? Can driving directions be printed with one click? Improve conversion by improving access and relevance on your web pages.
Build successful landing pages
1 LINK AD COPY AND HEADLINE
• Headline copy that is related to the search query will catch the reader’s attention.
2 BUILD TRUST
• Incorporate testimonials, trust seals, awards and press mentions to reinforce expertise.
3 USE A STRONG CALL TO ACTION
• Direct readers to schedule or call with questions. Make clear what their next step should be.
4 GO EASY ON LINKS
• Seven social media buttons look like you’re trying too hard. Vision content is not highly sharable, so don’t push.
5 KEEP IT ABOVE THE FOLD
• Important information should be viewable without scrolling. Pay attention to phone and address location.
Next time: I’ll look at how mobile devices are affecting website viewership and patient acquisition. OM
Kay Coulson is president of Elective Medical Marketing, a Boulder, Colo., consulting practice that assists surgeons in growing their elective services. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.