Turn Aesthetic Consumers into New Clients with a Patient-first Practice Website

Mobile apps, social content, telemedicine, as noted in a previous post, potential aesthetic patients have an ever-expanding number of ways to connect with your plastic surgery practice.

With all these other tools, it’s important not to neglect the most obvious one — your practice website. Your practice website is your digital front door, and it must provide visitors with both informative content and a satisfying online experience.

As a new report from Altimeter puts it,

Given the outsize role websites play in shaping the customer experience, brands competing in the digital age can’t afford to build sub-par web experiences. And a sub-par web experience is one that is company-first, instead of customer-first.

For aesthetic practices, that raises the question: Does your practice website demonstrate that you take a patient-first approach or not? It needs to be visually appealing, of course, and optimized for mobile, but the Altimeter research highlights five other elements that make it clear that patients’ needs are your top priority.

A patient-first presentation

You want to highlight your services, but most visitors to your site aren’t looking to purchase something—at least not yet. They’re looking to solve a perceived problem or concern. Images that showcase your work are important, but sharing content that shows how a treatment will relieve a visitor’s uncertainty, anxiety, or self-image concerns puts the emphasis on their interests, not yours.

A consistent brand experience

The proliferation of channels is a boon for patients, but can be a problem for practices, especially when you consider that providing a consistent experience is a primary driver of customer satisfaction. Successful practices achieve it by coordinating content, images, tone of voice, and more across all touch points. Potential patients are dealing with their health and well-being, this is not the time to raise doubts about your attention to detail.

Less jargon, more conversation

Plastic surgery is obviously a highly technical discipline, but visitors to your website aren’t med students. They’re in search of information that will help them make more confident decisions, and a professional yet friendly tone will encourage them to stick around longer than a journal’s worth of medical jargon.

When writing a blog post or responding to inquiries, “talk” to visitors as you would in a face-to-face consultation. It’s a great way to show your personality and practice philosophy and can even improve your SEO.

Seamless navigation 

The usability of your practice website — or lack thereof — is a clear indication of whether or not you put patients first. Organize website content to guide visitors along their journeys, make sure that links in ads or search results lead directly to an appropriate landing page, and make it easy for them to follow up with a strong call-to-action and readily available contact information.

A personalized experience

Your website analytics contain a wealth of information about where site visitors come from (e.g. search, social media, or review site), what pages they visit, and what prompts them to convert. Savvy practices use those “digital breadcrumbs” to consistently deliver more personalized experiences, showcasing content that mirrors each visitor’s decision journey, and making it easy for them to fill out a consultation form or pick up the phone.

Doctor Takeaway

Putting patients first starts with a patient-centric website

Your plastic surgery practice website is more than a repository of information— it’s a tool of discovery and an indicator of your practice philosophy. As the hub of your entire digital presence, it also presents an opportunity to prove that you put potential patients’ needs and interests first. The better you make that experience, the more likely they’ll become real ones.

Join RealSelf for our newest webinar on June 13 for a conversation with Dr. Brannon Claytor on “Mastering Marketing on the Main Line.” 

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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