Evaluating your website for success Your website is often your first impression to prospective patients and their friends and family members. In the 1980s, and even the 1990s, if someone wanted information about your services, they had to call or go directly to your office. These days, a patient expects to find out everything they want to know from the internet before they call or set foot in your office. This means that the success of your practice depends largely upon the look and functionality of your website. Is your website an accurate portrayal of what you have to offer your patients? Is it clean in design and educational in content? Does your website come up right away or does it take more than 5 seconds to load? There are five main keys to having a website that keeps the attention of your audience AND converts this audience into patients. They are: Design Layout Navigation Content Relevant Calls to Action Key #1: Design There is really no structure, or lack there of, when it comes to designing a website, however there are a few “best practices” that will aid in keeping the attention of your audience. Colors We all tend to lean towards certain colors, both in our personal and professional lives. But, did you know that the colors you choose for your website can actually help people become more attached to your website? There are warm, cool and neutral colors. Each of them will evoke different emotions. Red – Love, Adoration, Passion, Anger, Rage Orange – Vitality, Joy, Energy, Power Yellow – Delight, Hope, Satisfaction, Deceit Green – Nature, Success, Prosperity, New Beginnings Blue – Peace, Calm, Sorrow Purple – Luxury, Royalty, Abundance Black – Mystic, Class, Mystery, Evil Gray – Demure, Old-fashioned, Formal White – Cleanliness, Purity, Holiness, Virtue Brown – Outdoors, Chastity, Trust Now that being said there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing colors for your website. Consider selecting colors that are in your logo and brand materials. Choose colors that offer contrast and match your practice. Often the best way to display your content is with dark font, like black, on a lighter background. Some people have issues trying to read white or light text. Don’t make your website difficult for them to read. If they can’t read it, they will be more likely to find a website they can read. This doesn’t mean you can’t use dark colors on your site. You can, just make sure that where ever you have text, you have a light background so the text is perceptible, or the text is large enough on a darker background. Incorporate an accent color for those call to action buttons (or next steps that you would like your web visitors to take). Graphics The sky is the limit when it comes to adding graphics to your website. Images are worth 1000 words and often you have just a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience and covey your message. Just don’t go overboard with graphic images. Graphics, such as icons, pictures, characters, etc. are wonderful tools to draw in an audience but too much can cause a distraction and prevent someone from finding what they are looking for. You want them to be educated enough to call your office. Make sure your graphics compliment the content on your website. This will assist your readers when they focus on what they are learning from your site. Graphics also includes video. This could be professional educational videos, patient experience videos or could be as simple as turning the video camera on your doctor as they talk for a few minutes on one of your procedures. Each of these will help to further your patients and prospective patients education on your procedures (and are great for SEO). Key #2: Layout The layout of your website should be fairly simple. Consistency! Don’t clutter your site with multiple page layouts. Keep your navigation in the same general place throughout all of your web pages, like at the top. Your contact information should be on every page of the site. The best idea is to have one layout for your homepage and then another layout for all the rest of your subsequent pages. This way, your audience won’t have to hunt and search through frustrating navigation. The main component for your layout is coding it for responsiveness (the layout, content and graphics change based on the screen size they are viewing the site on). It is imperative to build your site with mobile users in mind. If you were to look at your website analytics you would probably find that mobile viewers equates to almost 50%, if not more of your visitors. Key #3: Navigation When we work with new customers, one of the top issues we notice on their websites is the lack of easy navigation. In some cases, the content for some of your top procedures is buried 4 or 5 clicks deep in your website. While not every website is set up that way, you get the idea. If we, as trained website professionals, cannot find the content, imagine what your audience experiences when they look at your website. They don’t have a simple way to navigate the site and find exactly what they are looking for. And if they can’t find it with you, they’ll continue their search until they do find it – often with someone else’s site. Even if one procedure brings in the majority of your business, you should always have all of your services, or areas of service, listed on your homepage with a link to their subsequent pages. Make it easy for all of your patients to find out what you do and how you do it. Put your services at the top. This will prevent them from getting frustrated and looking elsewhere. Key #4: Content The content on your website has one main purpose – to educate the readers on what your practice has to offer. If you pull up a website on a product or service that you’d like to know more about and it doesn’t really tell you anything, are you immediately ready to do business with that company? When you put content on a website, your website is essentially talking to your audience for you. You should always keep your audience in mind and write like you would speak to them if they were sitting in front of you. Most likely they won’t have a medical background so using medical terms may bore them or keep them from understanding what you want to communicate. However, don’t treat them like they aren’t intelligent. A good test for this is to read your content out loud after you have written it. Is it conversational in nature? Is it educational without being too long or too short? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you probably have pretty good content. Key #5: Relevant Calls to Action Understand that you have two kinds of people that come to your site; those that will read and search your content and those that are a little lazy and are looking for some basics or just browsing. Using calls to action, images, and hot spots should be utilized as communication tools for those that are just browsing the internet. Content alone won’t convert your audience into surgeries. This is where Relevant Calls to Action, or as we like to call them “Hot Buttons”, can turn your website audience into patients. There are a few calls to action that have proven to be successful at generating inquiries. One example of a great call to action is a “low-risk offer”, such as filling out a self-evaluation for one of your procedures. The self-evaluation is low risk as it allows a user to take action but they don’t have to call or come into the practice. Having to make a phone call is perceived as “high-risk” (their thought is, “they might get sold something they aren’t ready to buy”). The self-evaluation also addresses a “Hot Button” that some people have – knowing if that procedure could even be an option for them. You should always have your phone number displayed prominently at the top of every website page. This will allow people the opportunity to call right away when they have a question or when they are ready to book a consultation. Websites can be pretty complex. We hope this has helped you just a little with your approach to your website. The first step is to evaluate your current site and look at it from a prospects point of view. If it isn’t responsive, that’s your first prompt to look at building a new website. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult or time consuming as you might think with our Website Leasing. If you would like to discuss these topics or find out more about what Fast Track Marketing can offer your practice, please give Brandi Musgrave a phone call at 303.731.2634 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.