Why should you abandon your current website and upgrade to the latest, proven top-converting websites? For one simple reason: to attract more patients and get your practice where you want it to be.
When I was in college my friend Eric owned an old two-stroke, Swedish-made Saab. It was basically like driving a lawn mower. We didn’t get anywhere fast, but that under-powered car could take us everywhere we wanted to go. Or so we thought.
One weekend we drove from western Massachusetts to Montreal to visit my brother. Just as we were crossing the highway bridge into Montreal, the Saab puffed out a big cloud of blue smoke and died on the spot.
We sat there for a minute with traffic whizzing by. Then Eric grabbed a screwdriver, took off the license plates and we walked away, hitching a ride into the city. I’m not saying it was responsible of us to abandon the car on the bridge, but Eric was right about the car. It was time to let the Saab go — it wasn’t up to the job anymore.
Most medical websites designs are like Eric’s old Saab — getting down the road slowly and not converting visitors to appointments any better than Eric’s car converted gas and oil into forward momentum at the end. But how do you tell when it’s time to walk away from your website? Put two website designs side by side and, unless you’re a web direct response marketing expert, it’s hard to see which one is best.
Use the following list to evaluate your website design before your practice goes up in a puff of blue smoke.
What Are The Signs Of Under-Performing Websites?
1. Your phone isn’t ringing off the hook with new patient calls.
A medical practice website has one primary goal: to get more new patients calling. If your website isn’t converting site visits to phone calls and helping you attract at least 2 to 10 new patients a week, it’s time to abandon your website.
2. Your website design isn’t responsive and doesn’t work well on mobile devices.
More and more of your target market is using smartphones and tablets to search online, regardless of their age. Unless your site is responsive, that is, designed to work seamlessly and be easily read on all screen sizes and devices, you’re turning off 20 to 50% of your target audience. A site that’s hard to see or use on mobile will send patients clicking away to your competitors.
Google rewards mobile-friendly sites in their search rankings, too, so even if a potential patient is looking for your practice, they’ll see your competitors first if your site is not responsive.
3. Your site has a high bounce rate.
You want is patients to find your site and then stay and read about you and your practice. The longer they linger, the more likely they are to call or contact you. If more than 50% of site visitors stay on the site for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or more, your website design is doing it’s job. If more than 50% leave without any significant engagement, then your site has broken down.
4. Site visitors aren’t taking action to call and make appointments.
Imagine that you have a line of patients at the door waiting to get in to see you. That would be a good thing, right? But most websites are like a looked door to your practice.
Most medical website designs we review get a trickle of traffic, but on 90% of these sites, potential patients are leaving without taking any action to contact the practice. There are no conversions at all. When your website design sends most patients away, it’s time to abandon it, and find one that works to gets more patients calling.
5. Social proof is missing or out-of-date.
Patient reviews provide a high degree of social proof, especially when they’re on well known social media sites. Without at least 15 positive patient reviews from social media sites placed prominently on your website, prospective patients won’t trust you and won’t call your practice.
Patient reviews go a long way to establishing your practice’s credibility and getting new patients to call — if they are current. Research shows that most people look for new reviews and don’t trust those over 3 months old. If your website doesn’t have 15 to 50 recent, positive patient reviews, it’s time for a fix.
6. Your website content isn’t updated and augmented at least once a week
Who are patients going to be attracted to and trust more; the medical provider who never speaks or shares an idea or story about health care or the practitioner who regularly demonstrates the depth of their expertise and experience with helpful tips, news and ideas?
To help patients — and the search engines — recognize you as an expert in your field, your site needs fresh content added weekly.
7. Paths to action are weak or missing.
When a prospective patient views your site, it should be abundantly clear to them what they should read first, second and third, and then what action they should take. Too many websites lack a clear visual hierarchy, so they don’t create a path to action for patients to follow. Patients may wander around a site, but they aren’t motivated to contact the practice. If your website design is missing a clear path to action, it’s time to abandon it.
You don’t want your business to stall out in a puff of blue smoke, do you? If you see any of the above signs of trouble in your website, walk away now. To stay competitive in your market, it’s the right thing to do.
Want your website design to deliver more new patients? Talk to us.