IS YOUR SITE IMPRESSING YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENTS?
We’re celebrating our 9th Birthday this year in healthcare marketing. It’s been an interesting journey and the landscape that we and our clients now find ourselves in is quite different to the one which we stepped into in 2009.
The evolution from a fairly protected sector to one that has seen creeping competition is the most remarkable. The internet has, of course, been the main driver for this. People turn to Google when seeking information, or they check out a practitioner’s website before they decide who to visit.
The introduction of choice has seen many new entrants to the market and also a change in attitude to building up a practice.
In those 9 years there’s been one recurring theme that we see time and time again:
Many practitioners are uncomfortable promoting their services; this means that we frequently come across new clients with websites that don’t actively sell or give the client what they are looking for. They don’t realise that many patients are ‘shopping around’ and that they are in a competitive environment.
However, if you are planning to develop a private practice then you very much are in a competitive field and here’s the crucial thing: other practitioners are promoting their services – if you don’t, you’ll get left behind.
Below are some considerations you should be thinking about when putting your marketing plans together.
THE SALES FUNNEL
The above chart is a standard sales funnel that is used in any business that requires a sale. The market is at the top and prospective clients are fed through the stages of the funnel until they become a customer at the bottom of the funnel.
You may not think you use this funnel but you actually do. What’s up for discussion is the effectiveness of your funnel and, specifically, the crunch point at the bottom – the ACTION part where the person going through the process goes from being interested in what you do to becoming a client.
So there are some key elements to consider with your current set up.
Do you appear on search engines, on directory websites and on specialist websites that you are affiliated with?
CLEAR EASY TO READ INFORMATION
Once they find you (your website) are you giving them the information they need in a way that they can respond to it?
Is the information presented in a way that appeals to you (and your peers) as a professional in your sphere or are you talking in a language that they understand?
Are you telling them the benefits of your procedure to them or are you explaining what the procedure is in dense medical terminology?
Is there a video of you so they get to meet you before they meet you? Research has shown that knowing who they are speaking to puts their mind at ease and makes them more likely to come and see you. If you have a pleasant bedside manner then use it as a tool in your armoury to be used. See our post on shooting your own video.
When they are on your website can they find the information they are looking for easily – usually within three clicks?
Half your visitors will be viewing your site on a smartphone or tablet – does your site work on mobile devices? If your site is more than five years old it’s likely that it isn’t responding to the device the site is being accessed on. Check your own site on your phone now. Also check this page on your phone to see what a mobile optimised page looks like.
ASK THEM TO CONTACT YOU
Are you suggesting they come and see you and are there calls to action always visible on the page? A ‘contact now’ button, a local phone number, an enquiry form? They should be able to get to you from any part of the website. Make it easy for them to contact you, not hunt around seeking a phone number.
Once they enquire, are you responding quickly? You’ve got them wanting to come and see you but so many people fall down at this stage. Start to seal the deal. Let them know you care. Remember, they’ve been on a journey to get to this point, they’ve been through your funnel, you’ve possibly even invested money in getting them here. DO NOT FALL AT THE FINAL HURDLE! We live in an age of instant gratification and people expect a rapid response.
Make sure your staff understand how important an inward call is. An inward call is what we’re here for, it’s our purpose. If you aren’t doing it well then use a phone answering service to deal with that initial enquiry, a human taking the call and saying someone will call back is 1000 times better than an answer message or a phone ringing out.
Your happy clients are an untapped source of awareness building and new clients. Ask them to review you on Google, get a testimonial for your site, send them a birthday card. Start to think of this vast army of people who you’ve done a great job for as people on your team. Most will want to support you so leverage this ocean of goodwill by throwing out the net to increase the people coming into the funnel.
Start thinking of your funnel. Think about how you get people in the top and then think about how you move them through it and then really work to make it as slick as you can.
CAN WE HELP?
Our healthcare marketing business has grown in the past decade to provide support for clinics and healthcare practitioners. It may be something small like putting some more buttons on your website, assessing your SEO, linking up directories or a larger project like answering your phones or revamping your website.
Or you might have it all sorted out, in which case we’ll tell you that too and it’ll give you peace of mind.
If you need help, then join the other 150+ clinics we’ve helped to increase business for in an ever increasingly competitive market.