How Conversion Rate Optimization Affects Website Optimization
You may think that medical practices don’t need to make website optimization a priority for growing their business and increasing their bottom line. But you need to think again. Patients today are highly proactive in selecting specialist referrals made by their primary care doctors.
Indeed, modern patients -including the Baby Boomer set- not only use the internet to scrutinize specialists, but regularly research primary care physicians as well before making the decision to visit a practice. Invigo Media, a leading integrative marketing business that specializes in medical practice-related web presence, has seen this trend skyrocket in the past few years alone. Today, web optimization is critical in growing every medical practice.
What does this mean for you?
It means that if you want to grow your practice and increase your bottom line, you better get acquainted with the bold new world of website optimization. But relax. Learning just a few basics isn’t that hard, and will give you what you need when the time comes to choose the right integrative marketer for your practice.
Website Optimization Basics
So, be honest. You’ve probably been stuck in the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s notion that the main reason to have a web presence was to offer a quick description of your practice and provide a phone number and address. Website optimization is the furthest thing from your mind.
It’s okay to admit it. You are far from the only one. But the days when a web page was just a glorified Yellow Pages is long, long, gone.
The websites of today are not your parent’s (or your retired partner’s) website.
They are a testament to your practice’s professionalism, integrity, reputation, and expertise. It may be a hard fact to accept, but patients in the market for a new doctor will decide to call your office -or not call- based on your website. And that’s why quality design and website optimization are so crucial in growing your practice.
So, what exactly is website optimization? Also known as search engine optimization (SEO), website optimization is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website. To increase your online visibility, your site must be attractive, provide content that is helpful and informative, and be easy to navigate.
A website that is difficult to navigate, does not look trustworthy,
When a new patient doesn’t trust what’s on your web page, they don’t “click through” to request more information or set up a consultation. This follow-through by the new patient is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). And in today’s highly competitive medical markets, CRO is an element of website optimization that significantly affects your practice’s bottom line.
Why CRO Matters to the Growth of Your Practice
So, how exactly does conversion rate optimization work? CRO can mean many things to many different types of medical and nonmedical business alike. But for most medical practices, CRO is tool to accurately measure how effective your website is in converting site visitors into new patients.
But its role in website optimization goes beyond that. CRO also proactively manages the data. It allows your site to make the most of -or “optimize”- its flow of traffic, and provide accurate measurement of data so you can see exactly how well your website functions as an influencer of profit margins.
These two main elements of CRO are your website’s greatest levers of profitability.
Over the course of 6 months, a year, or even 2 years, driving your CRO higher will mean greater profitability for your practice. Let’s take a closer look at 5 elemental aspects of conversion rate optimization, and why CRO is an essential part of any successful website optimization.
1. Online competition is always increasing
Whether we’re talking about the medical fields or standard commerce, the internet has driven a need for successfully competing against other like businesses. Understanding the importance of website optimization isn’t just a matter of simply adding new patients. For many medical practices, it can be a matter survival.
One of CROs most valuable functions is to make it easy for new patients to contact your practice, request more information, and set up their first visit or consultation. Bluntly put, if your competitors’ web optimization design makes the process more efficient and understandable to those searching for a new doctor or specialist, they win. You lose.
2. Conversion Rate Optimization boosts the efficiency and cost effectiveness of website optimization.
Web-based marketing ushered in a whole new era of advertising. In doing so, it also dramatically drove down the costs of marketing. But, of course, this drop in advertising costs is a double-edged sword. Not only does digital marketing make it easier for medical practices to advertise their presence, it has made it absolutely critical to do so in order to bring in new patients.
In today’s world, if you want to grow your practice you must have a website that acts as business tool. And just like any other business, the tools you use to bring in new patients (i.e. new business) need to be cost effective.
In the world of website optimization, CRO helps you manage the costs of digital marketing.
Unlike with television, radio, or hard copy advertising the ability of website optimization to really pinpoint what is successfully bringing in new patients, and what is not, is easier to measure. And utilizing conversion rate optimization makes the numbers far more accurate.
That old axiom about knowledge being power is never truer than when it is applied to your profit/loss ratio.
3. Social media goes hand-in-hand with CRO and website optimization.
The importance of social media in web optimization should never be discounted. Four of the most-used venues -Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest- are now well-established tools for keeping patients informed and attracting new ones.
A well-run social media page is an essential companion to your practice’s website. It validates your doctors’ expertise and authority as well as builds patient loyalty.
Social media increases the number of visitors to your website.
That, in turn, translates into improved CRO numbers. But only if you capture and maintain the attention of potential new patients. In today’s atmosphere, consumers’ attention spans have shortened. The good news is that quality web optimization knows how to attract and hold new patient attention, and give them the right reasons to click through to set up an office visit.
Social media is where your practice can really open up and shine, by having your web marketer write informative articles that show new patients why you’re unique and worthy of their time and trust.
4. A closer look at the dilemma of the public’s ever-shortening attention span.
It’s no longer just speculation. Many psychological studies have established that the generations that have descended from the Baby Boomers have shorter attention spans that their predecessors. We can lament that all we want. But it is nevertheless something your practice must take into consideration in order to grow your business.
If new patients can’t quickly find what they’re looking for on your website, they will certainly move past you. They will find one that answers their questions and succinctly provides the information they need. At the very least, they want a few short sentences that entices them click through to learn more. This ability to capture the potential new patient’s attention in a matter of seconds is essential in effective website optimization.
A well-developed conversion rate optimization design takes all of this into consideration.
CRO should be developed around “clickability.” Quality web optimization offers sound reasons for new patients to stick around, to learn more, and gives them legitimate reasons to click through to get your practices helpful brochure or to contact your office with questions.
If your website doesn’t do this, that patient will find one that does. Frustrating as it may be, even if your competitor’s quality of care may not meet yours, if that competing practice’s website meets the basic needs of today’s shortened attention span, guess where that new patient will go.
5. Demonstrating your practice’s legitimacy.
Your website is your practice’s first best impression. You know your doctors and staff are exceptional. But in this day and age, a new patient equates a website design and the ease of navigating click-throughs as indicators of your practice’s legitimacy. That’s why quality web optimization effects that perception.
In the eyes of a new patient, a medical facility with a site that is continuously being optimized for maximum engagement and ease of navigation looks more legitimate than one that does not. Quality web optimization helps promote confidence in your practice through techniques like an FAQ page, profiles on a practice’s doctors, techs, and staff, and ensuring that the new patient can easily click-through for appointment setting.
Summing It Up
Today, most medical facilities must ensure a steady influx of new patients to stay solvent. And while most specialists are introduced to a new patient through primary care referrals, those new patients no longer rely solely on that initial referral. They take to the internet to research those recommendations.
The internet tool those prospective patients rely on most is the website. Effective website optimization isn’t just a matter of looking good while providing basic info like phone, address, and office hours. It’s about answering new patient’s basic questions and making it easy for them to “click-through” to contact your office for more in-depth information and set up an appointment.
That “click-through” depends heavily on sound conversion rate optimization (CRO).
CRO is one of the most valuable aspects of effective search engine optimization. It is cost effective, provides pinpoint accuracy and detailed feedback on what works with your website and what does not, and grows your practice by attracting new patients.
A well-developed CRO design also takes today’s shortened attention spans into consideration, offering good reasons for new patients to stay on your website to learn more and contact your office.
Effective website optimization also integrates and manages social media.
Pairing your website with social media increases the number of visitors to your site and multiplies the avenues available for new patients to discover your practice.
In short, quality search engine optimization and CRO ensures that your page make sense to new patients. It makes for maximum engagement, ease of navigation, reduces new patient anxiety, and shows them why your practice is the right one for them.