The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter Drucker
Your clinic website is your marketing mothership.
Having a website that gives patients instant access to information about your practice, special expertise, and the products and services you offer is very critical.
in today’s digital age, patients go online and do research about the procedure, health and well being. By having an easily foundable website on search engines with relevant information, your practice can stand out against your competitors and attract new patients.
By customizing your site with the specific products and treatments you offer, coupled with compelling before and after images, patients will be able to find what they are looking for in a few clicks and make informed decisions regarding their own treatment.
Strive to design or update your site with fresh content on a regular basis—monthly for some categories and weekly or biweekly for special offers, blog posts, events, and so on. Create an inviting, aesthetically pleasing site that uses proven strategies people are seeking, such as a photo gallery, blog entries, special promotions, and downloadable educational brochures about your clinic and procedures, as well as pre- and postprocedural instructions.
Web marketing (now called digital marketing) is the most highly effective, efficient, and affordable means of driving patients to your practice. When done well and consistently, it provides the best return on investment (ROI), bar none. Let’s dig a little deeper of what needs to be done to make your cosmetic clinic website a marketing mothership.
- Staying true to Brand
- Be Mobile Friendly
- Above the Fold
- Right components of a Killer Website
- Showcase Your Skills
- Site Navigation
- Less is More
- Photo Gallery
- Microsite Marketing
Staying true to Brand
Having an updated and optimized website today is a mandatory initiative for all successful aesthetic clinics, and your website should be created to reflect the personality and positioning of your clinic. Patients are searching for local businesses online, so your site must be optimized for search engine pickup. If it isn’t, only people searching for you by name will find your clinic online.
Promoting your clinic is no longer only about having a pretty brochure or an adequate website. You also need to be present in all the other places where your patients go, live, read, and play. Marketing your clinic now is about creating multiple touch points to connect with your target audience in meaningful ways.
Be Mobile Friendly
57% of all mobile users will not recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive.(Source)
With the advent of advanced mobile devices becoming a fact of life across all demographics, mobile marketing has taken center stage. If your website is not searchable on mobile platforms, you are unwittingly turning visitors away. It is important to be readable on thumb-friendly mobile platforms because the majority of your website’s traffic will come from phones and other mobile devices. So, if your website is not easy to navigate, clickable or legible on a tiny screen, you are missing out on capturing the attention of most of your prospective patients.
Since the screen size of a mobile phone or tablet is small, the scope of content that can be displayed is limited. The best content for mobile devices, whether it is text, images, or video, needs to be a lot simpler than for desktops or laptops. At a minimum, your website should have the capability of being viewed on a small screen at least the size of an iPad mini and preferably an iPhone or Android phones. Reaching out to patients on the technology they use offers many unique benefits, including lower costs, improved customization, easier tracking, and reduced staff time.
Creating a mobile version of your practice website is a worthwhile investment. It does not have to cost a fortune to convert your existing website to a mobile-friendly version. If you are designing a new website, use “responsive design” to make it look good on all screens from the get go.
Above the Fold
The top of the landing page of any website contains the most valuable real estate.
You have only three seconds to convince visitors that your site is worth any more of their time. Therefore, the look and feel of your site should create the desired effect.
The landing page should contain the words or pictures that are already on the minds of your target audience, and it should deliver on any promise your external marketing program makes for consistency. The top of the landing page—above the fold—should contain the most important details. Tell visitors who you are, what you do, where you are located, and how to reach you by including a phone number, e-mail link, and/or scheduling form.
Every landing page needs a clear call to action (CTA)—a message that tells visitors what to do next. For example, having a “Contact Us” form for patients to fill out and submit for more information will help you capture inbound patient information for future follow-up and to add to your database. Another example is a readily displayed phone number to schedule an appointment. These should be prominently placed so visitors don’t have to scroll to find them. Place a “Contact Us” link near the top of every page throughout the site. Another example of a creative CTA would be a call-out on the landing page a complimentary consultation for a new service.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A GREAT LANDING PAGE
•Clinic credentials—Certification, specialty
•Location—Neighborhood, city, state or province
•Call to action—Scheduling form, e-mail contact, phone
•Testimonials—From patients, media
•Trust symbols—Organizations, brands, affiliations, awards
•Photo(s)—Doctor, staff, facility
•Map/navigation—How to find you
•Key services—What do you offer?
•Photo gallery—Section most visited by consumers
•All social buttons
Right Components of a Killer Website
Web content is one thing clinic managers have control over, so do not overload your site with excessive nonessential or irrelevant text. The motivation is understandable—your website is the hub of your online marketing presence; you want to share everything you can about your clinic and make sure your keywords are included in your text. This strategy can be a detriment to functionality as users can get lost in pages of text, or may be turned off by too many clicks to get to what they want to read. Since the attention span of users is so short, text should be short and to the point.
Your site should have two primary goals: to provide brand awareness and to generate new customers. Keeping your content short and to the point will inspire customers to contact you. Landing page content should be easy to read and understand and tell the story that is on your visitors’ minds. Show how your products and services help a potential patient. Use words and phrases they would use to describe the problems they want to solve.
Keeping text brief on the landing page makes it clear and uncluttered and helps people understand what you are saying quickly. It also downloads and performs faster, giving users a better experience so they will stay on the site longer and convert to customers more often. Do not be afraid of some white space.
Showcase Your Skills
A curriculum vitae (CV) is much more than a résumé for physicians. It serves as a record of a lifelong accumulation of milestones, training, degrees, and accomplishments and follows your career from your undergraduate experience through to retirement. Therefore, do not expect anyone to take the time to read through every research project you did in medical school or conference attended. In many cases, these additional facts will just dilute the most important highlights you want to convey.
Aesthetic physicians should maintain a consumer-friendly bio that includes the accolades they are programmed to look for in priority order (i.e., most important first). It may be useful to have several versions at the ready for different purposes; a one-paragraph biographical description of under 250 words, as well as a brief bio of your expertise. A valuable video introduction is also useful and consumer friendly.
Include a brief narrative followed by bullets of key details. A full CV can be added as a link to a separate page or downloadable PDF. Focus on major professional accomplishments, education, and training. It should be concise and deliver the message that you are qualified and have the requisite expertise to leave the visitor wanting to know more about you. To personalize it, add a quote in the first person that expresses your philosophy about aesthetics, medicine, or patient-centric care.
Your photo should be current, taken in the last 3 years at maximum. If you had a full head of dark hair once, and have a sparse head of gray hair now, you will look very different to patients when they first meet you, which can be misleading. A personal video introduction on the landing page is a welcome addition to make patients feel comfortable with you before they come to the clinic.
ELEMENTS OF A CONSUMER-FRIENDLY BIO
•Name and degree
•Board certification or other qualifications
•Areas of specialization
•Honors and awards
•Current hospital appointments
•Academic positions or professional titles
•Relevant professional memberships
•Education (graduate, fellowships, training)
Navigation is how visitors go from page to page or section to section of the site and how they find what they are looking for. There are three basic ways to navigate a website. It is recommended to implement all three navigation types throughout your site for a consistent user experience:
1. Horizontal navigation (across the top)
2. Vertical navigation (usually on the left side)
3. Footer (at the bottom of each page)
Web surfers have short attention spans, and they will not spend extra time on a site if they cannot find their way around easily. Place the navigation where users expect to find it—either across the top horizontally or on the left as a vertical sidebar—and place the navigation menus in the same location on every page for consistency.
Maintain the same style, fonts, and colors throughout the site, and do not go too crazy. By following these simple design principles, users will get used to the style of the site and the look and feel of your brand. As they get comfortable, they will (hopefully) spend more time browsing, which is the ultimate goal.
Use phrases in your navigation that are specific. Avoid vague terms like “News” or “Resources.” These can be left open to interpretation. Choose terms that are clear and three words or less, such as “Patient Gallery,” “About Our Clinic,” and “Meet Our Doctors.” Make it easy for users to find what they are looking for in under three clicks. If it takes more than that, they may give up and leave the site in frustration.
Think about what you like and do not like about the sites you visit. Does the page load quickly? Is it easy to get where you want to go? Are there any “Page Not Found” notifications popping up?
Less Is More
Site navigation and organization are key components of effective search engine optimization, so if you want to be found by Google, be specific. A good number of links to consider for your menus is six or eight items maximum. Do not overwhelm users with too many choices that can cause confusion. Drop-down menus can be used for more specific terms, but these may not get picked up by search engines.
Make sure you have a visible link on each page so the reader can get back to a previous page or the home page quickly to keep it user friendly.
The footer is the series of links that appear at the very bottom of the site’s landing page. This area contains technical information, including copyright and date, name of the site’s owner, business name and address, links to key pages within the website, and an e-mail link.
One picture is worth a thousand words. Fred R. Barnard
We live in a very visual age where pictures draw more attention than words.
A robust photo gallery of actual patients to showcase your results is usually the section that consumers go to first. If you do not have good photographs to post, your site will be at a supreme disadvantage. It is important to avoid blacked-out eyes, pictures of facial regions instead of the entire face, and blurry photos with bad lighting or inconsistent angles, or makeup, too much hair on the face, and jewelry. Consumers are very wise to the tricks of photo enhancing, so if your photos do not ring true, they may be suspicious. Descriptors let visitors know exactly what treatment was performed and the interval between the before and after photos. Wherever possible, select photos that match the target audience to which you are marketing. For example, if you are targeting men, a page of photos of women is not relevant to that audience.
I strongly recommend watermarking all patient photos you post online so they are less likely to be lifted and end up on Facebook or RealSelf or another clinic’s website. Remember that patient photos require written consent from the patient that should be kept on file in their chart, and this consent can be rescinded at any time.
A microsite allows you focus on a specific purpose, such as promoting a treatment or category of treatments such as “body contouring,” or featuring your special expertise in a specific area, such as “vaginal rejuvenation” or treating a unique group of patients, such as men. The design and navigation of a microsite may differ from your main site, but it does not have to. Ideally, it should compliment rather than just duplicate your main site to set your microsite apart. Microsite marketing can be an effective technique to drive additional visitors to your site. The concept of developing microsites specifically targeted to new segments of potential clients allows your practice to establish a broader presence online among niche markets.
But there are pros and cons to this strategy, as Google’s search algorithm tends to reward trusted, well-established domains and unique content. A microsite may risk diluting your brand and hurting your search results in some cases. However, the benefits may outweigh the risks if you want to create a targeted, strategic marketing campaign.
A microsite is basically an edited selection of web pages that are differentiated from a parent or main website through unique design and layout, limited navigation options, and a unique domain name or URL. These can also be used to promote specialized, short-term offers or new product launches, but the main advantage is to attract new segments of patients and customers. A microsite focuses on a specific area, such as promoting your services for a particular procedure like breast enhancement, or on a specific group of consumers, like those seeking mommy makeovers. They are intended to target only one area of your practice, usually a procedure in which you specialize, or a specific geographic location, or a patient group from which you would like to attract more clients.
Microsites may be used to focus on in-depth information about a narrower area of specialization with a unique visitor experience. The microsites will be linked to your main site, so they can create better traffic from all the online sources to your main website. Because a microsite is often designed to target one primary search term, it can move quickly up the search engine rank for the primary term you select. Typically, a microsite will mirror similar branding, imagery, and design of the main site. In some cases, the design and navigation may need to differ slightly from your main site to attract a different audience entirely.
One commonly used example is to market to a specific ethnic group of potential patients, such as Spanish-speaking patients or patients from the Middle East. In this case, it may be wise to develop a microsite that is linked to the landing page of your main site, as well as build a unique URL for that page (e.g., xyzclinic.com and xyzclinicenespanol.com).
12 POPULAR MICROSITE THEMES
- Skin of color
- Breast enhancement
- Body contouring
- International patients
- Spanish-speaking patients or any other language
- Cosmetic procedures for men
- Acne treatments
- Hair restoration
- Vaginal rejuvenation
- Mommy Makeover
- Skincare/spa treatments
A microsite strategy can be effectively combined with your search campaigns so that as your microsite gains rankings in search engines, it begins to take on organic links and establish a greater presence for your clinic. Along with the added value of your microsite, your main site gains additional value in the form of referral traffic and optimized links. Instead of depending on one complex megasite to feature content about everything you offer, the option of increasing your footprint on search engines offers another way to attract more clients.
Microsites can be just a few pages, so they are affordable compared to an overhaul of your main website and can be created in less time. Microsite marketing can be a rewarding strategy to add and a worthwhile investment when designed with your specific goals and endgame in mind.
A microsite enables you to position yourself as an expert in a specific procedure category. Visitors will most likely find your microsite while looking for a specific procedure in your geographic location, they are considered highly qualified. By providing valuable procedure-specific information, a related photo gallery, and unique videos and content, visitors will identify your practice as a leader in the field.
Another option is to have a few larger sites for specialized areas that contain a steady supply of updated content. For example, you may want to identify two or three key areas of your practice that are worth investing in to grow. These might include categories where there is less competition in your market to allow for a higher return.
Look for domain names that have popular search phrases used by potential customers. Consider how consumers will use the web to search for the procedure you are marketing (e.g., HairrestorationUK.com or BreastliftsMiami.com). Domain names can be chosen based on keyword research to determine which would yield the best traffic from the major search engines. Another commonly used strategy is to create a microsite for nonsurgical or skincare and spa services that are linked to your main site, which may focus on more invasive procedures. Many practitioners also maintain a microsite that contains a shopping cart for their own branded skincare or cosmetic line.
Whatever you decide, make sure the strategy has been well researched for validation, and that it will not dilute your marketing budget by stealing valuable traffic from your main bread-and-butter site.
To summarize the whole ordeal
- A website with proper, useful and easy to navigate information is crucial and critical in today’s age.
- Mobile visitors are increasing day by day, so keep your website mobile friendly.
- You have 3 seconds to capture users attention, so keep above the fold information precise and attractive.
- Showcase your skills, degrees, associations clearly
- A photo gallery with proper before and after images will make it real for the visitor.
- Microsite can be used to establish yourself as an expert of a specific procedure or a service e.g Hair Transplant, Spa e.t.c.
If you want more information or want a free analysis of your current website, please book a consultation call with our experts absolutely free.