In these days of intense competition, it’s a given that generating traffic to your practice website is a key factor in marketing your practice.
That is the incontrovertible truth but it’s not the whole truth.
The fact is that getting people to visit your practice website is of limited value if they don’t take any further action once they get there. And while many marketers focus on optimizing search-engine visibility, aka, SEO, true success requires paying at least as much attention to the latter, i.e., converting those visitors into leads through CRO, or conversion rate optimization.
A website is not a receptacle for traffic. A website is a machine for conversions… The reason why I want to improve traffic to a website is so the users who land on that website will do something, sign up for something, order something, visit something, or otherwise convert on that website.
It’s not about having slick features — the fanciest website in the world won’t convince aesthetic consumers to choose you — but rather providing an experience that helps visitors as they pursue their aesthetic goals.
Do that well and website visitors will stick around longer, giving you more opportunities to make an impression and, yes, convert them into leads. Here are three key pillars of effective CRO:
It all starts with content — credible, captivating content
Not captivating in the sense of “charming” but as in “capable of attracting and holding interest.” A well-designed (not flashy) homepage, for example, can attract interest via great images, an inspiring video, or patient testimonials. From there, the mission shifts to holding it, which you accomplish by sharing your expertise, generating trust, and encouraging visitors to continue their research via the rest of your non-promotional, patient-centric content.
Clear navigation is a necessity
Think about it: How many times have you abandoned a website that didn’t help you find what you were looking for immediately? The same is true for aesthetic consumers, who will click away if they’re not sure what their next steps should be. Well-designed websites, on the other hand, make easy navigation a priority, using tabs, photos, and drop-down menus to provide clear paths to other pages and a better user experience.
A compelling call to action sets the stage for an ongoing relationship
It’s estimated that 96% of website visitors considering a purchase aren’t ready to buy and the number is probably even higher for emotion-laden, potentially expensive “purchases,” such as aesthetic services. So, instead of trying to get website visitors onto your surgical calendar, work on getting them into your database by making a special offer, inviting them to attend a special event, or encouraging them to sign up for your monthly newsletter. With the contact information they provide, you’ll have converted one more website visitor into a viable lead.
Make website visitors’ experiences better and better conversion rates will follow
An elaborate (i.e., expensive) SEO plan may bring a surge of visitors to your practice website but it’s wasted money if at least some of those visitors don’t convert. And with conventional wisdom suggesting that typical conversion rates are just 2–3%, there’s plenty of room for improvement. You probably have neither the time nor inclination to crunch your own numbers; your web team, on the other hand, should not only be doing so, but also be ready to explain what they’re doing if your conversion rate isn’t up to par.