13th July 2016
Seven essential goals for your website
In last week’s blog, we looked at how to target the right clients online and explored how important it is to understand who your website is talking to in order for it to attract the visitors that are most likely to convert to patients.
As well as understanding who you’re trying to target and attract, it’s also essential to identify tangible goals for your website so that you know what you want it to achieve and have a way to measure whether it’s doing its job. Do you want new patients, to build your mailing list, promote a specific treatment, grow your passive income or something else altogether?
Having worked with hundreds of cosmetic medical and dental clinics over more than a decade, we think the following seven goals are essential for most practices:
1. New patient consultations
Although you should be working hard to keep your existing clients because it’s much easier to sell to someone who’s already a customer, the reality is that your client base can’t and won’t stay static. Therefore, it’s essential to attract new patients to your practice to help it maintain and grow its position in the marketplace.
To support your goal to attract new patients, you might want to think about including the following on your website:
- A prominent and short sign-up form for new patient appointments
- Information for new patients
- A free initial consultation
2. Enquiries (calls & emails)
Many clients tell us that once they are able to speak to potential patients, either face-to-face, over the phone or via email, they can convert the enquiries to registered patients. With this in mind, one of the goals of your website should be to prompt people to call and email with their enquiries.
- Feature strong calls to action linking to an enquiry form or other contact method so that people know what they need to do next
- Make sure your contact details are visible on every page of your website (possibly in the header)
- Make your enquiry form quick and easy to fill in by only asking for essential information
3. Email addresses / data from visitors
One of the truest statements for any business is that your money is in your mailing list. Each person on your mailing list represents a warm lead, someone who has shown an interest in your practice and given you permission to contact them in the future. It is far easier to sell to these people than to someone who’s never heard of your clinic before.
Yet, despite knowing this, one of the biggest mistakes we see on websites is no mechanism to capture data from visitors. This means that traffic that comes to your website is anonymous and uncontactable unless they pick up the phone to make an enquiry. Therefore, a priority should be to capture data from visitors. You might do this by:
- Providing an enquiry form on your contact page
- Having a form on every page to book a consultation
- Creating some sort of irresistible freebie that people can download, such as a free guide to teeth whitening or skin rejuvenation, or a series of skincare tutorial videos, in exchange for their email address
4. Provide client information
These days, most of us will visit a website to get some insight into the product or services a business offers before we pick up the phone to make a booking. Your website needs to provide potential and existing clients with the information they might be looking for.
- Think about frequently asked questions and answer them online
- Show benefits of a treatment – how will it make your patients’ lives better or solve a problem?
- Provide enough information to create interest but let potential patients know that, when you meet them, you will be able to give them advice that’s unique to them
5. Build and increase your brand
Your website is an aspect of your brand over which you have complete control. You choose the content and the images. This is in contrast to your social media pages, for example, which can theoretically be taken down at any time and are certainly subject to the platforms’ rules.
Your website is the ideal tool to show patients your:
- Range of products and services
- Ethos and values
- What makes your practice unique and desirable within the marketplace
6. Sell products / e-commerce
There are only 24 hours in every day, therefore every practice will reach a point when it’s impossible to create more appointment times. Although you may choose to expand to a second or larger site and recruit more staff, you may also want to look at ways that you can develop a new income stream that isn’t time-dependent.
For this reason, a growing number of clinics are choosing to sell skincare, dental or related products via an e-commerce branch to their website. This allows customers to make a purchase at any time of the day or night, and gives you the potential to connect with clients all over the world. It’s way to bring in revenue even when the clinic is closed.
If you do want to sell products, it’s important to give customers:
- An easy shopping experience so they can access the right products for their needs
- A secure and logical checkout process
- Clear information about returns, refunds, etc.
7. Reflect your professional status
Finally, your website should reflect your professional status and give your potential and existing patients peace of mind about your skills, knowledge and experience.
- Show membership of professional bodies
- Tell people about your credentials, including training and past experience
- Highlight times when you’ve been featured in the press as an expert in your field
Your goals, your business, your way
How you use your website to achieve these goals can and should depend on your business. Your priorities may be slightly different to the list above and the mechanisms you choose to use must fit comfortably with how your business is structured.
For example, you may prefer to invite email enquiries rather than phone calls to keep your reception staff free to speak to patients in reception. You may decide you want to offer and charge for an initial new patient appointment rather than provide a free consultation. The choice is yours. What matters is that, once you identify what your goals are, your website is built in a way that supports and converts these goals to actions.
If you need help identifying what your goals for your website are or how you can use your website to meet your goals, Cosmetic Digital can help. Call us on 0115 9140 640 to start a conversation.