Updating Your Website In 2021: 21 “Must-Do” Tips
The impact of the pandemic has changed how you market to Millenials, and almost every strategy is driven by the internet and moble. And regardless of the marketing platform or strategy, the vast majority of prospects will funnel to your website at some time in the marketing cycle. Practices need to assess and update their website more frequently to adapt and convert more of these visitors into leads.
Even Google’s big May algorithm update focuses on how user engage with your website – May 2021 Page Experience Update.
Since it is 2021, I thought it would be helpful to provide 21 useful website marketing tips. Implement these strategies, and you will generate more online business without spending more advertising dollars by maximizing the traffic you already generate, and gain more organic visiblity on Google.
- Update images. If you are not ready to invest in a whole new website design, consider updating your website images, and invest in custom photography. This Includes shooting more candid photos of doctor, staff, patients in different office settings that help tell your story and promote your brand. New custom photography can give your website the facelift it needs without the time and cost of building a new site.
- Take it a step farther with custom video production. Get extra mileage from your investment of time, thought and resources by combining custom video with your photoshoot. Quick doctor, team member and patient interviews, along with candid B-roll video footage can be used in a wide variety of ways on key pages. More than ever, building rapport and creating a sense of “connection” with visitors is essential in website designs.
- Make it virtual. Today, “virtual” has become synonymous with Virtual Consultations. But it is also a way for visitors to experience your office. Consider doing a “Virtual Tour” of your office where visitors can walk through the facility that you have invested so much in to ensure a great patient experience. You can also use a Google-certified photographer to shoot and produce a 360 degree virtual tour to validate the legitimacy of your business and location in the eyes of Google.
- Re-assess your calls-to-action. To get more engagement and leads, go beyond “Schedule a Consultation” as the only next step for visitors. Most visitors are not ready to book, so lower the barrier of entry and engagement. Identify a wider variety of actions they can take and create procedure-specific calls-to-action for your most important or trafficked pages.
- Make them visible. Invest in creating visually compelling graphic action elements that increases their visibility and conversions, and helps users navigate to key destination pages.
- Phone-focused lead generation. Telephone leads convert into patients, so make sure you promote your phone number as the primary way to contact your office, particularly on your Contact Us page. Use action-related colors, fonts, text, and frequency to make it professional looking, but not camouflaged.
- Offer more ways to communicate. Although phone calls are a priority, not everyone that visits your website is comfortable using the telephone as the first communication with your practice. In addition to email forms, consider implementing instant engagement Live Chat and/or Text Messaging services and make them visible on every page.
- Take a navigation test drive. Visitors are destination focused. So make sure each of your most important pages and sections are highly visible and accessible within 1-2 clicks. Do not simply hope visitors get to key “destination” pages, drive them there and ensure it!
- Add spice to your internal pages. Be sure to include relevant photos, images, graphics, videos, etc. on all key informational pages and blogs. Not only will these elements improve the look and feel of your pages, but studies also show they improve comprehension and conversions!
- Ensure readability and relevance. Some of your website content may have been written many years ago and transferred with every new website design. Take the time to read a handful of your most important pages and check for accuracy, timely relevance, and readability. For more informational pages, avoid using white text on a dark/black background. This may be great for things you want to stand out, like headings and calls- to action, but studies have show it lowers readability.
- Use key text links within your content. As you read through your prime pages, also look to see if you are utilizing link text links in the body of text to help visitors (and Google) navigate to other relevant, supportive pages. Assisting visitors to reach more pages and engage with your website will also elevate your user engagement signals to Google. Keep in mind, as people read your content, their eyes are focused on your text and will click on links within it.
- Use headings and subheadings. We all realize that visitors do not go through and read websites like a book. They scan until they find highly desired pages with the content they are seeking. Help them find the content they want with optimized keyword headings. In addition, Google puts extra weight on words designated as headings, as it helps it recognize the subject matter of the content beneath it.
- Use your phone. When most doctors/practices take the time to review and check on their website, they are accustomed to doing it on their home of office desktop. Yet, most visitors to a medical-related website view it on their smartphone (with the exceptions of some markets and specialties). Assess all the items in this list on both. I encourage you to also check on desktop because many practice websites have spikes of traffic on desktop during weekday, lunch-hour dayparts, which is prime for high-value telephone lead generation.
- Make it “touch-to-call”. Since mobile visitors are already on their cell phone, make sure all telephone numbers are “touch-to-call,” even when it is in the body of text and as a call-to-action at the end of the content. Avoid dead-end pages that leave visitors wondering what to do next.
- Use persistent or dynamic navigation banners. Since mobile visitors have limited screen space, visitors spend more time scrolling down the page and key navigation or actions can become hidden or require more work to find. Persistent or “sticky” navigation elements keep these important elements visible, where dynamic banners can slide up into the screen as they get to the bottom or start scrolling back up. Either way, these can make your site more user-friendly and convert more visits into leads.
- Scrutinize your photo galleries. We all know that your before and after photos play a huge roll in building your credibility and stimulating interest and desire for your services. Make sure they are representative of the quality of your work and view them through from a marketing perspective, not just clinical. Visitors will judge you as a provider based on the quality of your photos, so remove old, dated, grainy photos and replace them with higher quality cases that are consistent in size, lighting, and angles. The goal is not just more examples, but better ones. And if you have a lot of high-quality cases, make sure your gallery is set up for users to easily view more of them, without a lot of clicking or work.
- Add descriptions and action elements. Elective patients choose to pay for expensive treatments emotionally; they use logic to justify that decision. No other section of your website has more ability to stir your visitors’ emotions and desires than your galleries. Make sure you strike while the iron is hottest by adding descriptions (can help you SEO too!) and create strong calls-to-action in your galleries.
- Update your About pages. If your “about the doctor” page consists of a profile photo and CV-type of biography with a list of accomplishments, you can help your online visibility and conversions by updating it. In many cases, your About page is one of the top 10 visited pages of your website and users want to get to know you and your team. Medical marketing in 2021 will be much more about building relationships, forming connections, and creating likeability, than simply selling surgery or treatments.
- Be social. There is no question that social media has a big impact on medical marketing, and it needs to be integrated with all your other online marketing, especially your website! Heat mapping data shows that social media icons are some of the most clicked elements. Don’t hide these important elements, promote them and your social media platforms. Keep in mind, your highest quality prospects are those that want to get to know you and your team on a more personal level.
- Contact Us. Users typically do not go to the Contact Us page by accident. It is probably your most important destination page and lead conversion is the main goal. Of course it is important for existing patients but develop it with prospective patients in mind. Try not to do too much and avoid cluttering it with other distracting elements that may divert and take prospects away. And again, focus first on calling the practice for more immediate assistance.
- Use data. Although this may be last on the list, it is probably the most important. Make sure you have access to your Google Analytics data to understand when visitors come, what they do when they get there, how your key pages perform and how well are you converting expensive traffic into leads. Use this valuable data to determine what you can do to improve your website for 2021.
If you would like a free assessment of your website, call (202) 779-0588, or Email Us to request one.