20th July 2016
The top six common website mistakes
Many clients come to us in our capacity as web designers either wondering why their existing website is failing to attract enquiries or wanting a website for the first time. In our experience, there are six website mistakes that are made time and again, and can stop cosmetic medical businesses from reaching their full potential.
Common website mistake #1: No marketing budget
Successfully creating, launching and attracting traffic to a new website takes time and energy. In trying to keep their costs as low as possible, many businesses either neglect to allocate a marketing budget altogether and do everything in-house around their other commitments or look for the cheapest web design services available. But how does the saying go? “Buy cheap, buy twice.”
We see a significant number of businesses who have either ended up with a static website that can’t grow with their business, or a site that’s either failing to attract traffic or losing that traffic to a high bounce rate. In some cases, clients are several years into creating their own site but can never find the time to complete it.
It’s important to have a marketing budget for your business. You shouldn’t need to spend a fortune but the bigger your budget, the more choices you will have. If you work with a professional web design and marketing company, they will be able to give you the value of their experience to help your budget stretch as far as possible.
Common website mistake #2: Small website
Often because of the need to keep down costs, many practices choose to have a small website with all of the treatments on a single page. There are a number of disadvantages to this – potential patients may have to scroll through lots of information to find what they’re looking for; also, the search engines will find it hard to know what the page is about, which may weaken its SEO potential and prevent the website from getting found in online searches.
We always recommend having a page for each treatment or service to help customers and search engines understand what they’re looking at from a single glance.
Common website mistake #3: Content
It’s amazing how often businesses approach the content of their website as an afterthought. Yes, a website needs to look good, reflect your brand and give a good user experience, but if your content isn’t ‘on message’ website visitors will quickly navigate away.
Even those businesses that do have their eye on their content often make the mistake of talking incessantly about ‘we’, the business rather than addressing the copy to ‘you’, the customer.
Ultimately, people want to know what you can do to help them. They have a problem you can solve or there is a way that you can make their life better in some way. Show them how you can meet their needs and you will attract far more enquiries.
Before creating any content it is therefore important to think about what your customers might want to know. Tell them about your treatments, answer their questions, be transparent, show off your expertise (see point 6 below) and use your blog to provide more detailed information on specific treatments and concerns.
Common website mistake #4: Not mobile friendly
Back at the end of 2014, mobile search queries overtook desktop searches in Google for the first time, a trend that has continued. A recent white paper by comScore found that 65% of digital media time now comes from mobiles, with desktops becoming an important but less used ‘secondary touch point’. In recognition of how prevalent mobile searches are, Google introduced a ‘mobile friendly’ label, which tells mobile searches which websites will give them a mobile-friendly experience.
These days, businesses simply can’t afford to have a website that isn’t mobile friendly, and yet it’s still one of the most common mistakes. If you don’t want to change your existing website, it is possible to create a mobile version of your website as a separate entity. However, we would always recommend a responsive website if possible because you only have to keep one site up-to-date or worry about SEO for a single site and your visitors will get a seamless experience across devices.
Common website mistake #5: Poor SEO
SEO – search engine optimisation – is an ever-changing landscape, so it’s little wonder that many websites feature poor to non-existent SEO. Some of the most common errors include pages that are unpleasant to read because they’re stuffed full of keywords, too many keyword tags, duplicate tags, or meta data that’s far too long to appear properly in searches. We also see images without alt tags, headings without heading tags, and much more.
While it’s impossible for anyone to guarantee the number one spot on Google, simple changes to your SEO can yield excellent results in terms of impressions and clickthrough rates, i.e. how many people see your website in searches and how many people clickthrough to your site.
Common website mistake #6: Not highlighting your skills or knowledge
For potential customers, the biggest barrier to booking a service or making a purchase is fear. People want to know that they will not regret their decision, something that is especially important for dental or cosmetic medical patients who are entrusting their appearance to their chosen practitioner.
It’s amazing how many practices choose not to acknowledge patients’ concerns or provide reassurance.
Your website can be a fantastic vehicle for helping to allay potential fears. For example, you can and should tell patients about your skills, knowledge, experience, and track record. If you’re a member of professional bodies or work in an advisory capacity within your industry, this is information that can help to reassure patients that you represent a safe pair of hands and that other respected bodies are prepared to vouch for you.