Your clinic website is more important today than ever. If you still have a static website (a brochure like website) with no fresh content, then you are loosing customers to your competition. In this article we will cover four of the most important things you can do to make your website effective in 2015 (with a bonus at the end).
We have not yet found one clinic website in Australia that hits it out of the park. That is, I have not found a clinic website that attracts potential patients, converts them into a lead and closes them into a paying customer.
In the last two years we have seen more and more clinics move their medical marketing dollars and PR dollars from traditional mediums like magazine ads, radio ads, television ads etc to online spend. Why, because the way a buyer purchases a product or service has changed.
If you want to influence a buyer’s decision in 2015, you will need to be communicating with that buyer online where they are doing 60-90% of their research before they call a clinic.
To have an effective website you MUST ensure you have all four of these website areas covered to a high standard:
1) Install and monitor Google Analytics
Add Google Analytics to your website, this is free, here is the link to register and install on your website(s): http://www.google.com.au/analytics/
Being able to analyse your website and measure the effectiveness of any marketing efforts is crucial. As a minimum you should know where you get the majority of your visitors. Is this from Google, Social Media, referrals or direct?
Analysing and adapting/ improving your marketing efforts is one of the major benefits online marketing has over traditional marketing. The beauty of online marketing is you can set up a marketing campaign and depending on the feedback you get from the analytics or the results, you can improve the campaign in real time, meaning higher conversions from visitors to leads and customers. This is not possible with traditional marketing like purchasing a one page colour ad in a magazine, once it is printed there is no changing or improving.
2) Have an effective internal linking policy
First a quick recap on linking and its importance. Links are one of the most important indicators to Google of what the page is about. Google puts huge SEO weight on a link. To have another website linking to your page is great. To have another website linking to your page that has a keyword or keyword phrase for that page in the blue underlined text is the best you can get.
Getting external links is something that takes a lot of time and hard work. The next best thing is having good internal links set up. What we mean by this is for each of your treatment pages you should have a link from your home page with the treatment name or the name you want that page to rank for in search engines. In the blue underlined text of this page you should have the keywords. Quick pro tip, make sure this matches the title of the page (see below for details on page titles).
Why are internal links important?
The blue underlined text in a link or “link text” or “anchor text” tell Google what the page is about that that link goes to. In Google’s mind if someone will link to your page and tell the visitor what it is about (the link text) then this is a very good indicator to Google of what they should rank this page for.
3) A blog that attracts and engages potential customers
If you don’t have any fresh content on your website then Google will forget about you. Your website will also be nothing more than a static brochure that potential customers can view. If you want to attract people to your website and engage with them to influence their buying decision, you need to have a blog that does this.
We are not going to go into how to start a blog and what to put on your blog in this article because we have written an excellent guide that tells you exactly how to do this. You can click here to download the free clinic blogging guide.
4) Everything that is important must be above the fold
In online marketing we talk about having all the important information on a web page above the fold. What do we mean by “above the fold”? Above the fold refers to what you can see on the screen without scrolling down the page. If you have to scroll down a page to read anything then this is below the fold. As a rule on every page you should have the relevant words, a picture and a call to action above the fold.
When you click to a website from Google, Social Media or a referral, all the information I am expecting to see should be in front of my eyes on the scree, or above the fold.
When a new visitor clicks on a link to your website they want to see exactly what they are expecting. If they don’t, if they have to scroll to find it they will just click back and look at a another search result on Google and you have lost that visitor.
One indicator that you have a problem with this is you will have a high bounce rate when you look at Google Analytics. A high bounce rate indicates that a visitor has clicked to your website and left immediately, they have not navigated around your site or viewed other pages.
5) Bonus 5th thing you MUST get right – Page Titles
At Engage Online Marketing we like to exceed expectations and this tip is too good to leave out. Page titles are one of the most important SEO factor to Google. More importantly it is what a potential patient will click on from search engines or social media.
Page titles are important for you to rank in search engines, but more importantly they must make someone want to click on the link through Google or Social Media to arrive at your site. We often say you must sell the click to a potential visitor. There is no point in doing the hard work to get to page one of Google and have a page title that does not make a visitor want to click on it to find out more.
Three quick tips for your page titles:
- Each must be unique, never repeat the same page title across multiple pages
- Always include the keyword or keyword phrase you are targeting for that page in your page title
- Keep each page title to 55 characters or less (including spaces)
As you are probably seeing it is very important to know what key words or keyword phrases your clinic are targeting before you set your website up. Your keywords will usually relate to the key procedures or products your clinic sells.