3 Easy Ways to Earn More Appointment Requests From Your Website
This article was guest written by Cameron Martel, Director of Content and SEO at Marketing4ECPs
I don’t think I could have written a more clickbaitey title if I tried. Well, tried harder I guess.
But, hyperbole the title is not. For most of the people and business owners reading this article, there are a plethora of opportunities to improve their website, thereby benefiting their business.
In this article, I’m going to outline a few ways that you can easily improve the effectiveness of your website from a lead-generation and Google-ranking perspective.
Opportunity #1: Your About Us Page
“Seriously, he’s going to start with rattling off why an About page is important?”.
Sadly, yes. Yes, I am.
Across the 100 or so eye care websites I manage (from an SEO perspective), the About Us page is consistently in the top 10 most-viewed pages.
An eye care practice based in Toronto, Canada
An eye care practice based in Rockville, Maryland
Sherwood Park, Canada
This is interesting because the odds of someone landing directly on an About Us page from Google are very low. That means people actively choose to visit the About Us page after they have already landed on the site.
In other words, the visitor has learned what you do and now wants to know more about who you are.
In this way, the About Us page is really your most effective sales page: make it a stellar experience, and it’s bound to generate new patients and dispensary customers.
- Add doctor and team bios, and link over to relevant professional profiles (such as LinkedIn).
- Include plenty of photos of the interior of your practice.
- Highlight your community involvement, organizations you support, and other parts of your business that you’re proud of.
- Demonstrate your personality and get people engaged with your team and brand.
Opportunity #2: Your Blog
“Oh gee, another article about how important blogging is.” I can practically feel your eyes rolling from here.
But yes, another article about how important blogging is.
If you aren’t creating content that your patients, customers, and prospects find valuable, you are leaving out a vital engagement channel and ignoring an easy opportunity to build your brand.
The bottom line is that we (regular people that happen to have smartphone addictions) don’t like being sold. In fact, most of us resent it.
Today, people prefer to learn about new products and services via education and content as opposed to advertisements.
A blog post about the latest dry eye treatments might be especially helpful for someone learning how to manage their symptoms. If the post resonates with that person, there’s a good chance they’ll reach out to you regarding treatment.
There’s also a good chance that when you offer readers value through great posts, visitors will share your blog posts on social media, other blogs, and forums. This is extremely valuable from an SEO perspective.
The key here is to blog with purpose. Create content that could only come from you.
- Focus on topics that align with your priorities and specialties
- Provide expert insight that elevates your content compared to what else is out there
- Don’t be afraid to take a stance or tackle difficult questions
- Focus on being helpful and providing the best experience possible
Opportunity #3: Your Message
Our smartphone addictions have done a few things for us: greatly increased the rate of myopia among our youth, spiked cases of digital eye strain, and made it easier than ever to research a person, product, or place.
Luckily, your eye care website can help visitors with all three of those things!
I’ll let the medical professionals speak to myopia and eye strain and stick to what I know: making websites and content appealing to people.
One thing that helps frame this conversation is perspective: when a person types a search into Google, they are effectively asking Google a question. It’s up to Google to determine which websites best answer that question and to rank them accordingly.
But there’s a component to the search that the user needs to know that they aren’t directly asking Google. If you can answer those questions, you’ll not only rank higher… but you’ll generate more leads as well.
Creating Landing Page Experiences Instead of Just Service Pages
This is where a bit of insight into your customers and patients matters, as you’ll want to predict their needs and create a content experience that addresses them.
Let’s use an example: a family-focused eye care practice will want to place extra emphasis on not just how “what” and “how” of a service, but also the “who”.
After all, young families tend to have additional needs compared to middle-aged professionals. Things like:
- Financial constraints - Kids are expensive, especially if their smartphones have cornered their corneas. Offering direct billing or calling out relevant state or provincial medical coverage for pediatric eye care is a great way to tell someone “don’t worry about the money, you’re covered” without having to initiate an awkward conversation about finances.
- Time constraints - Not only are kids expensive, but they’re incredibly time-consuming. Between school, extra-curricular activities, friends, and other life events, it can be hard for parents to get their children to appointments during the day. If you offer evening or weekend availability, let them know!
- Uncertainty and doubt - Healthcare is a touchy subject, especially for new parents dealing with situations they may not have encountered before. Educating parents on what to expect during an eye exam, or the next steps in addressing an eye alignment concern, not only helps them feel at ease… it builds trust as well.
Don’t Sell, Educate
While people resent being “sold”, they sure do love to go shopping.
The difference between “buying” and “being sold”, however, comes down to perception.
If you educate someone on their options and next steps, them choosing to purchase new frames or invest in contact lenses is a byproduct of them making decisions based on what they’ve learned.
An educated customer rarely experiences buyers remorse, especially if you helped them along the way.
Your website can begin this conversation. Create an experience that teaches patients and retail customers about what they need to know in order to make an informed decision. Show them where to evaluate their options and the best steps to take next.
If you’ve done your job right, when they’re ready to see an eye doctor or invest in new eyewear, chances are it’ll be your number they dial.
Taking Advantage of These Opportunities
I know that the last 1,076 words were a real page-turner. If you’ve made it this far, you may be wondering what the next move to make is.
- Outline where and how you want your business to be found online
- Ensure that you have great content for each service you want people to learn about
- Review your about us page and ask yourself:
- Does this do a good job demonstrating that we are caring, kind, and qualified?
- Would I feel good about choosing a healthcare provider based on what’s on this page?
- Do I engage with my community and demonstrate a desire to add value?
- Do I feel good about how I am introducing myself and my business to my customers?
- Think of the top 20 questions people ask you, and then create great blog posts that answer them
- Don’t sell, educate
- Follow these writing guidelines for maximum content consumption