Before and After Galleries that Get Results (Web Design 101: Part V)

Homepages, landing pages, About Us pages — as recent posts have made clear, there’s a lot more to web design than picking out fonts, colors, and layouts. Sure, the basics matter, but as the late Steve Jobs so aptly put it,

Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.

Jobs, of course, was talking about Apple products, but the same rules apply to practice websites. It’s not what this or that page looks like; it’s whether the content it contains performs as intended. Simply put, good design helps turn website visitors into viable leads; bad design turns them off, and nowhere is that more true than in the before & after photos you choose to share.

And with two-thirds of patients saying that before & after (B&A) photos are critical to their research before selecting a doctor to contact, the question becomes “Is your before & after gallery up to the task?”

Ensuring that your gallery pages adhere to the following best practices can deliver the answer that turns pageviews into patient contacts:

More photos, more leads: From Amazon to Zappos, consumers love to click on photos. The same is true for aesthetic consumers, which is why you can’t have too many images in your B&A gallery. Take your cue from the above retailers and highlight your most popular procedures; incorporate images that utilize multiple angles, and keep adding new ones on a regular basis. (Bonus tip: Whether it’s clothes, shoes, or aesthetic outcomes, people like to get the full view of their options, so include images of each procedure from multiple angles.)

More recent photos are more convincing: Need another reason to continue adding images? Think of how tastes and fashions change over time. Having spent untold hours perusing images, potential patients are highly attuned to details that suggest a doctor’s best work is behind them. (Think dated hairstyles, clothing, etc.) If your images are reminiscent of bygone days, viewers are likely to get the same impression of your practice.

Consistency dispels skepticism: Constantly confronted with online scams and deceptive ads, website visitors will bolt if they suspect they’re being manipulated. Forget PhotoShop; for today’s consumer, even small changes — different makeup, better lighting, or a bit of jewelry — can raise big red flags. Promoting consistency in your B&A procedures, on the other hand, instills confidence.

Diverse images reach a larger audience: Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and the people who pursue elective, aesthetic treatments run the gamut of age, anatomy, and ethnicity. The more diverse your photo gallery, the more likely visitors will see images of people like themselves. That makes it easier for them to envision their own potential results while underscoring your familiarity with their face or body type.

Authenticity is everything: It sounds counter-intuitive, but today’s aesthetic consumers aren’t really seeking perfection. In fact, they’re actually skeptical of doctors who profess to deliver it: When we asked what’s most important to aesthetic consumers when they browse before & after photos, their top answer was ‘Seeing a range of outcomes including outcomes that aren’t as good.’ Including images that encompass a range of results proves you’re human, demonstrates authenticity, and gives visitors the confidence that they’re someone they can trust with their care.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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