It may seem counter-intuitive but the fact is that many aesthetic consumers do not get their first impression of your practice when they walk in the door; for them, that expectation-setting experience happens weeks or months beforehand when they decide to check you out online.
Your practice website — and especially its homepage — will almost certainly play a role. As previously noted, there are certain elements that constitute good homepage web design but they are, at best, general guidelines. After all, the real goal of good design is not to grab people’s attention for the sake of grabbing it but to make an actual impression that entices them to explore further while helping to differentiate you from the competition.
In that light, good design is greater than the sum of individual design elements. It’s about providing an experience that addresses visitors’ needs and concerns, demonstrates that you can help them accomplish their goals, and encourages them to take action. As the examples below demonstrate, there are many ways to accomplish it:
Read the stories members of the RealSelf community tell and it’s clear that many of them consider themselves to be on journey that’s often more about personal happiness than enhancing body parts. The homepage on Tampa plastic surgeon Isidoros J. Moraitis, MD’s practice website echoes that with an eye-catching, full-screen image and copy that suggests a pathway to achieve it.
From the newsstand to the multiplex, there’s no denying the drawing power of celebrities, a reality that the practice website of Beverly Hills dentist Kevin Sands, DDS uses to great effect. It probably won’t “break the Internet” but the ensuing slideshow (with Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, and you know who above) is hard to resist.
You won’t find famous faces on the homepage of Scottsdale-based plastic surgeon Shaun Parson, MD; instead, it showcases a diverse gallery of women under the tagline “real patients, real experiences.” They’re not celebrities but rather women seeking, as one explains it, improved versions of themselves, a desire that many visitors to the website can easily relate to.
At RealSelf, our research shows that a doctor’s experience is one of the most important factors potential patients consider when deciding to pursue an aesthetic procedure, a factor that takes top billing on the practice website of Chicago plastic surgeon Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS. Linger on the homepage and the ensuing slideshow underscores his skills, honors, and commitment to the field.
As this screengrab from the practice website of Boca Raton, Fla.-based plastic surgeon Andrew M. Ress, MD shows, video can be a great differentiator in a field where beautiful (but static) images are essentially “table stakes.” Equally important, incorporating video has been shown to improve search rank, time on site, and conversions.