How to be Found, be Remembered, be CHOSEN!
Medical websites are one of the most effective pieces of marketing you have – but they can also be one of the quickest ways to turn off potential patients.
There are a few simple and effective ways to ensure that your website ranks at the top of organic search results, is memorable, and puts you in a better position to be the provider of choice.
Let’s start with some facts:
- Google processes 3.5 billion searches each day!
- 83% of adult internet users search online for health information.
- 5% of all Google searches are health related.
Data on the percent of healthcare consumers that ran a search before scheduling an appointment is:
All you have is 15 seconds
Data analysed by search tells us that 15 seconds is the time you have to capture the attention of a visitor. Also, the longer you can keep someone interested and engaged on your website, the greater the chance that they will decide to use your service.
How to be found and keep people engaged?
There are two key ingredients that help websites to rank highly in a Google search, and make them relevant and interesting.
- The Copy – key search words, tone, quantity, and quality
- The Imagery – authenticity, relevance, and quality
Getting found in search
Ranking in organic search results is essential to reach potential new patients who are actively searching for options – that is if someone is searching for a term rather than knowing you and your practice name.
As an example, lets choose a bariatric practice and a search conducted for “Weight Loss Surgery Sydney” rather than a search for a particular clinic that is known to potential patient such as “Dr I.M. Thinner”. The first 3 search results that are displayed by Google are ads, followed by maps, and then the organic search results. Google tells us that 70% of people by-pass ads and go to the organic results when conducting a search, highlighting the importance of ensuring that your practice ranks at the top of organic search.
Content is king if you want to rank in organic search results
Unique, memorable content is the starting point in getting your website to rank in organic search results. Unique means that your copy is not plagiarised and speaks in your voice. Plagiarism is a common problem with medical websites. Google has language skills and recognises if your website’s copy is duplicated from another site and will then penalise your site which will affect it’s ranking.
Unique is also important from a visitor’s perspective. As well as looking for information, they also want to know about you and your service. To be memorable, you don’t want copywriting that is rubber stamped and reads the same on every website they visit.
The amount of copy that Google considers sufficient varies for each country based on its individual algorithm. For Australia, Google wants to see around 450 – 500 words per page to recognise your site as an authority and return it in search.
If you want your website to be found in organic search for terms (eg. weight loss surgery), this term must be embedded in your website copy.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Remember that Google processes 3.5 billion searches each day. The algorithms for being returned in Google organic searches are complex and ever-changing (over 600 algorithm changes every year). That over 70% of people choose an organic search result highlights the value of organic search programs as a marketing strategy. To achieve good organic ranking results on Google’s search engine requires an ongoing SEO (search engine optimisation) program for your website.
Who is your medical website talking to? Be reader relevant
In most instances, the person visiting your website is a layperson – not another clinician. Consider that when you are in consultation with a patient, you adjust your language to ensure they can understand you. Otherwise, you would be constantly revising your wording in consultations to meet their needs – or worse, they would leave not understanding what you have told them. Having overly clinical information on your website works in the same way. It doesn’t assist the visitor in understanding and can result in their becoming frustrated and leaving your site to find a source that provides the information more clearly.
Patients who have been referred visit your website before they visit you
Data tells us that even when a patient has been referred to you, they still visit your website. Therefore, it’s just as important to have a professional medical website even though you have a strong referrer base, as it could be a deciding factor in that patient NOT wanting to see you and asking the referrer for another option.
What role does imagery play in your website’s visitor experience?
Your medical website is your 24/7 digital practice, and the imagery on your website allows visitors to get a feel for who you are and what to expect from you and your service.
Look at your website and check if it is filled with images from stock libraries, and ask yourself, does our website give an insight into our practice and our team? Real imagery is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. Your website images should showcase areas of the practice and include interactions between the different practitioners, receptionists, and “patients”. These images together with the copywriting on your website work together to tell the story of your service and provide the visitor with feelings of belief and trust, all part of the journey of choice.
Striking the right balance in providing information that is both clinical and easily understood by the layperson is essential to ensure your visitor is informed and engaged.
NOT SURE WHAT TO DO NEXT?
CJU’s creative services include professional copywriting and photography as well as complete website review and strategy. If you feel you need help to improve your website, please call us on 1300 941 250.