Search engine optimisation or SEO is a big target for many clinics. But is this really the focus you should have for your website?
Don’t get me wrong, we are a big fan of having an optimised website and getting the basics right, but if you do make sure your website has all the SEO elements it needs, will this bring you new visitors? Maybe. Will it bring you new customers or patients? Probably not. SEO is the start of an online journey and will not get you new customers by itself. In fact if you look at SEO in isolation then it will definitely not lead to more customers on an on-going basis.
I think we would all agree that websites and the Internet as a whole have changed dramatically in the past five years. Five years ago social media was just a whisper. What has not changed in the last five years is the medical marketing approach of many clinics and their websites. The majority of clinics still have a static, brochure like website that rely on a potential customer picking up the phone and calling their clinic. The opportunity to engage customers, nurture them to a sale is not achievable with a brochure like website, this is one of the lowest converting websites you can get.
Often clinics focus on the immediate problem of a poor performing clinic website and stop once they have fixed the surface problem. But this approach fails to look at how you attract a potential customer, how you engage them and how you move them from a visitor to a lead and then to a customer.
Getting visitors to your website is a good start, but it is just that a start for a website. If you truly want to have a website that can get you new customers month on month, this is very possible. This approach requires a change in mind set. The change that is needed is a switch from viewing your website as a cost to viewing your clinic website as an investment. We suggest you view your website as a sales person or sales resource. If you were going to invest in a sales person or sales resource for your clinic to double or triple your turnover, what would you need to invest? What targets would you put on this person, what resources would they need to do well?
The good thing about today’s websites and online marketing is you can track return on investment or ROI. You can have a report every month on how many people interacted with you on your website or on social media, how many people gave you their contact details and what procedure they are interested in, when they plan to have a procedure, their phone number (a lead). You can also have a report on how many of these leads have booked a consultation with your clinic and how many then became customers. This is all possible with today’s websites.
Once you have this level of reporting and you are seeing results (new customers), your website now becomes an investment rather than a cost. If you can get a return of 10 new customers a month with average spend of $2,000 then you are generating $20,000 each month. So if you increased your investment and got a return of 20 or 25 new customers a month… you get the picture.
If your website sells a product or service that is paid for online, then it is even more important that you are analysing each interaction or touch point with a customer. Analysing your online pipeline is crucial to increasing conversions. If you are having a large amount of potential customers drop out at checkout, this needs addressing.
The Internet has moved on in the last five years, it is time that your clinic website also moves on and becomes the useful customer generating sales tool that it is capable of becoming.