First Impressions

Your first impression to your patients and prospective patients is your website.

Most of you would have thought it was how people answered the phones or even walking into your office but you are wrong.  If you’re website doesn’t wow them and give them what they are seeking, they will never call your practice, let alone walk into it.

Most potential patients expect to learn everything about you BEFORE they come into your office. They begin their educational journey by finding your website.  This means that the success of your practice depends largely upon the look and functionality of your website.

A shift in thoughts over time…

In the 1980s, and even the 1990s, if someone wanted information about vision correction options, cataract surgery, or any of your other 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 10 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:

  1. Design
  2. Layout
  3. Navigation
  4. Content
  5. Relevant Calls to Action

We will address the first three keys and we will have another post about the last two next week.

Design

There are really no limits 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

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. 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 clearly readable.

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. For example, if you are talking about refractive errors, include a diagram of the eye. This will assist your readers when they focus on what they are learning from your site. STAY AWAY from putting personal images and second hand images on your site.

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.

Navigation

When we work with new customers, one of the top issues we notice on their websites is the lack of easy navigation on their websites. The conversation often goes a little like this:

“I was looking at your website and couldn’t find information on cataract surgery.”

“Oh – it’s there. You go to the homepage, then click on the ‘Services’ button at the top. On that page, select ‘Surgical Procedures’. Then you’ll see a button for cataracts.”

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, like LASIK, 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 and keep 95% of your navigation in the first screen shot of your site. This will prevent them from getting frustrated and looking elsewhere.

Websites can be pretty complex. We hope this has helped you just a little with your approach to your website. 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 call at 303.731.2634 or email her at brandi@fast-trackmarketing.com.