By Nancy Rausman,
Managing Editor, Eyecarepro
Sept. 26, 2018
How confident are you that your web site is up to par? Does it get traffic? Does it bring in new patients? Your web site is the face of your practice online, and just as there are certain standards for an in-person professional appearance (to look put together, introduce yourself, smile…) there is also a formula for creating an effective web site.
After all the effort you put into creating your web site, you want to make sure that it is as effective as possible in reaching and converting your audience into patients, and making a positive impression. Here are some of the basic elements your practice web site needs to succeed:
Key Info & Messaging Should Be Front & Center
Your audience has no time to dilly dally. You want to give them to find the information they came for quickly and easily. This includes answers to the following questions that they have when searching for an eye doctor:
● Who are you?
● Where are you?
● How do I contact you?
The answers you provide on your site to these questions should contain all of the practical information about your practice, such as contact information, hours and location (including a Google map), doctor information (full bios and good, clear pictures), insurance information and links to office forms. The links to the relevant sub-pages should be clear and easy to find. This information should be front and center as soon as a visitor arrives at your page:
Strong & Clear Calls to Action at the Top of the Homepage
Calls to action help direct your audience to the next step in conversion (call, make an appointment, fill out a form, order contacts, and they should be bold and located in prominent and strategic places on the web site, such as the header. These should include buttons to instantly call or schedule an appointment online:
Strong & Clear Unique Value Proposition on Homepage
Once the visitor knows who you are, and where you are located, you want to emphasize why they should choose you! Include a paragraph describing your practice, the services you offer and what makes you different – show how you stand out from the pack:
An Aesthetic Design & Clear Navigation
Your site should feature high-quality photos (especially of the team, the office and some frames if you sell optical) and an uncluttered, up-to-date and modern-looking design. The navigation should be clear and user-friendly:
Optimized for Mobile Devices
This is key for a number of reasons. First of all, your audience is mobile and most of them are likely connecting to your page from a mobile device (some of them may not even have a computer anymore!). You want to think mobile first and make sure that your site looks good and is set up for optimal viewing and use on a mobile device. Otherwise all of these efforts you are putting into an effective web site will be fruitless and maybe even counterproductive.
Secondly, mobile optimization is now essential for Google ranking, and this better matter to you if you want to people to find your web site! If you aren’t sure whether your site is mobile friendly, test it on Google’s Mobile Friendly Website Test:
If your site is not optimized for search, no one will find it. SEO helps your site rank higher and be more visible to potential patients searching for an optometrist in your area. While there is much more to SEO, here are a few steps that you can take to improve your SEO which won’t require professional services:
● Google Reviews should be featured on the home page.
● Robust content and as much unique content as possible.
● Keyword research and usage, including title-tagging
● Fast loading time and site speed
● Ensuring that the Google My Business Page and the web site NAPs (name, address and phone number) are consistent and up to date.
● Include links to Social Media such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites.
Side note: How do you know when it’s time for professional SEO help? Well, here are two quick tests you can do:
- If you do a search on Google Maps on your phone while standing outside of your office and your practice doesn’t appear on the first page, you need professional help.
- If you do a Google search on your phone while standing outside of your office and don’t see your practice in the local 3 pack (the three local Google listings that are highlighted in the maps section), you need help.
If you can put a check-mark next to each of these web site must-haves, you can be confident that you are on track for an effective practice web site.
Nevertheless, the only real way to determine if your web site is working is to track how many new patients it is bringing in. If you are struggling in this area, it’s time to take a good look at your site (or maybe hire a professional to do so) and start making changes to up your web site game.
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Nancy Rausman is managing editor at EyeCarePro, which provides ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro is one of the leading providers of online marketing and practice improvement services in the industry. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org