It’s now 2013 and long gone are the days when you could simply “throw up” a web page with a few before and after photos. Your website now needs to help to improve your visibility and credibility, as well as generate leads.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a plastic surgery center, med spa, cosmetic dentistry practice, ophthalmology center, or weight loss clinic. Your website is a reflection of your brand, your staff, and the quality of your services. In this day of instant information, people quickly make judgements upon visiting your website that may influence whether or not they do business with you.
In this article I’ve outlined some important things every cosmetic or medical practice needs, in order to be successful in 2013.
1) Mobile Compatibility: You’ve probably heard a lot about how mobile traffic is higher than ever, and some studies have even predicted that mobile traffic will soon surpass non-mobile web traffic. Our data only backs up this conjecture. Of our five biggest clients (in terms of total traffic), each had more than 50% come from mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
The good news is that, with WordPress, our preferred software for building websites, we can configure your website to adjust on the fly. The “responsive-ready” theme is a flexible blueprint, with a fluid grid system, that adapts your website to any mobile device and any screen size. Most traditional mobile-ready sites are static, meaning that if you change content on the main site you also have to go and update your mobile site. With the responsive theme it adjusts automatically. Another advantage to the responsive theme is it’s ability to adjust to any screen size. Now more than ever, phones and tablets are becoming bigger or smaller; there’s no standard size, so you need to have your website adjust accordingly.
2) Modern Design & Organized Navigation: One of the biggest issues I see with some cosmetic websites is that they look outdated. Unfortunately, often times this is the same practice that was ahead of their competition by creating this website over a decade go, but they’ve simply failed to update it. Just like your patients might need a facelift, so might your website. Have a third party (or even your patients) examine your background design, color-scheme, photos and overall layout. See if they think it’s easy to find what they’re looking for.
The best thing about updating your website is that it’s easier than ever. You’ll likely pay considerably less for a new custom design than you did back in the late 1990s or early 2000s. On top of that, updating your website is now significantly easier than in the past because of CMS software such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Even if you love your new-ish design, you may consider moving it to the WordPress platform. Here are five great reasons why you should move your website to WordPress.
3) Lead Generation: The key to any marketing plan is lead generation. This is how you generate ROI. Websites that we build are designed with lead generation in mind. This starts with having a properly located “call to action” with an easy-to-fill-out opt-in form, on EVERY page. You’d be surprised at the number of practices that fail to even include their phone number in their header. We can also add in features like Live Chat to help engage people and answer questions without even having to pick up the phone.
4) Social Integration: While you may not personally use social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, your practice should. Some doctors are wary of using social media, for valid reasons, but if you take the correct approach then it will only benefit your practice. YouTube is a great tool for showcasing news segments of the doctor, as well as patient testimonials. These videos can also be optimized to show up highly in search results. Best of all, with WordPress you can simply embed the videos right onto your website.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are tools that facilitate open communication with your patients and potential patients. These “touch points” encourage engagement and make it easy for people to get to know your practice. It is important to have your social networks integrated onto your website. Incorporate your social icons near the the top of every page to make it well known to visitors that they can connect with you via social media.
5) SEO: Last, but certainly not least, your website needs to be visible to search engines. This starts with having a website will no broken links, well optimized pages and images, and an XML sitemap, among other things. However, this is just the start. In 2013 you’ll need to have a comprehensive external marketing and optimization strategy, and this should revolve around blogging.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of blogging. It keeps your website fresh and enhances your credibility to Google and other search engines. Here are some ideas for what to blog about.
One last tip for a successful website is to utilize Google Analytics. This key actually ties into ALL of the points mentioned above because you can track: your website’s mobile usage, your bounce rates, where your leads came from & your conversion rates, social traffic, and search engine traffic. Our blog has extensive information on how your medical practice can better utilize Google Analytics.
Knowing where you can improve is the first step. The next is finding the right partner to help you. We recognize that here are many different marketing agencies and web developers out there, which is why we put together the “Turbo Difference,” a breakdown of why you should choose Turbo to build your next website.
If you’d like to learn more about improving your website, or to request a free website audit, just leave Turbo a note here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.