Here’s Why Your Medical Website Never Brings New Patients
“If You Build It, They Will Come” the old adage and oft myth believed by so many medical doctors when they build their medical website. Often a beacon of pride that shows off the accomplishments and awesomeness of all that is the practice and the doctors that work inside of it. Then to their dismay 3, 6, 9 months down the road, no one seems to care. Hardly any calls, even fewer lead/contact forms, high bounce rates and decreasing or flatlined monthly site traffic. Most don’t even know if it is working at all because there are no tracking metrics, benchmarks or analytics to speak of.
What happened? Did I make a bad investment spending all that time, money and resources into building a new medical website? How do I turn things around?
This post is going to focus on a few different things, answers some specific questions and hopefully give you a better understanding of things to do and ask if you haven’t taken the steps to update your current practice website.
What will be covered in this blog post?:
- Why does my practice website not bring any new patient leads?
- What do patients care about most on a medical website?
- How can I start properly tracking to know if my website is working?
Why does my medical website, despite looking awesome, never bring in new patients?
First off, you are not alone. This is an extremely common problem amongst doctors and dentists alike. There is an enormous amount of competition out there and we are all competing for the attention of the select few potential patients that fit the specialty, market or product you offer or serve. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to get your head above the rest when it comes to your website. That brings me right into my first reason why your medical website is failing to convert patients:
#1 Your Value Proposition is Lost or Non-Existent
Doctors in your specialty or that offer your services are generally not a rarity in a given location, especially the larger the urban environment becomes. You do Botox? Great, so do 250 other doctors in your area including their mid levels. You do PRP injections to reduce inflammation? So do a lot of your fellow orthopedics and even some Rheumatologist. See what I mean? When a potential patient lands on your website they should be greeted with a clear differentiator or value proposition. It should answer, “Why should I care and how are you going to solve what ails me better than your competitor down the street?”
Differentiators can range from additional fellowships or accreditations that you hold over your colleagues, pricing, time spent with the patient, experience and more.
#2 The Medical Website Call to Actions (CTAs) Are Weak or Non-Existent
Many practices may have figured out and communicated their awesome value proposition but it gets lost on the patient because they have nothing clearing telling them what to do with that information. A call to action is the critical factor in a patients website visit between conversion or bounce, stay or go to your competitor’s website.
Patients need their hand held and making the next step clear is absolutely critical. Can it be as simple as “ready for the nose you have always dreamed of? Schedule your free Rhinoplasty consultation today” with a nice looking book now button. Or maybe it’s a dermatologist stressing the importance of your annual skin exam with some hard facts about melanoma and a schedule appointment button. The importance is to have it and make sure it carries throughout your entire website, not just the home page. Craft something that pertains to each of your services that a patient can relate to.
#3 Your Lead Forms, Wait What Lead Forms? I Have a Contact Page
How many times I have heard that statement. The problem is the general rule of thumb that patients (and people in general) are EXTREMELY LAZY in their online habits. Why do you think attention spans for consumers are at an all-time low of 8 seconds? 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. People don’t want to wait and they certainly don’t want to have to look. If they are contemplating reaching out to you to schedule an appointment and they have to scroll back up to the top of the page, open the mobile menu, click on the contact page and fill out an unnecessarily long contact form you are going to lose a lot of people in the process. To complement those call to action you are now going to put a lead form on every page. You need to add SIMPLE lead forms to every one of those pages or turn those book now buttons into pop-ups.
Read 20 Top Medical Marketing Statistics that should influence how you market your practice.
There are two main ways people can contact your practice as a lead: via phone call or form. If you do not have the appropriate lead forms you could be losing out on as much as 50% of your monthly leads.
Side note: Stop asking for so much info in those lead forms! Name, phone, email that is it. You do not need anything else.
#4 You Have a Traffic Problem
In order to convert patients on your website you need traffic. Not bots or bounces but actually people coming to your site, staying and exploring to learn more. If you are not accomplishing this it is a serious uphill battle right out of the gate. There are so many factors that can influence website traffic and growing targeted traffic long term. You need to get a solid, consistent strategic plan in place to attract the demographic that your practice services. That starts with on and off-site medical SEO, content marketing, social media platforms to distribute that content and engage with patients, email marketing to stay engaged and some form of advertising.
What Do Patients Really Care About Most on Your Medical Website?
Now that we have established a few of the common things that can be stopping your website from bringing in new potential patients. Let’s take a look at the things on your website people really care about because they help them make an educated decision as a consumer.
#1. Physicians in the practice
Patients tend to search on a more provider specific basis than they do practice specific. The practice doesn’t matter to them as much as who the doctor that will be taking care of them does. It won’t stop there too, they are going to spend some time on third party sites looking at reviews about your providers. Nearly 50% of all patients say a doctors online reputation matters to them when choosing a practitioner. Therefore, have a bio, uniform headshot, educational info and accomplishments or awards to help the patient feel more comfortable.
#2 Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
It’s the bane of many a physician, the dreaded patient review. In the past it was so much easier, if a patient wanted to complain they had to do it over the phone, in person or to their friends. Now there is dozens of sites that make it easier than ever for the disgruntled patient to sounds off on all the things wrong with the practice. The problem is most of the time the fault lies with a misunderstanding of their insurance plan which is the reason they have receive a bill beyond their copay. However the reality is you get the brunt of the blame. This has caused so many physicians to turn the other way or outright refuse to want anything to do with reviews on their website or monitoring off-site platforms.
I get it it sucks but the truth is reviews are one of the most important deciding factors when a patient is looking for a practice or provider (not to mention a critical component of search). Especially when the service is a non-referral generated, elective procedure. I will have some blog posts specifically addressing reviews and the processes of generating them but for the importance of this post, you need to get them up and make them extremely visible on your website. The more personal you can make them by adding a headshot the more trustworthy they will come off to the patient.
Note: As a reader brought up to me during a discussion on LinkedIn laws in other countries can be restrictive on what you can and cannot share or advertise on your website for patient testimonials. This particular reader practices in Australia where they are not allowed to publish testimonials on their website or marketing material. With that said, make sure you are studied on your countries laws and regulations for marketing your medical practice so you do not get fined or worse.
#3 Before & Afters (if applicable)
This will not apply to every specialty it is more for the aesthetic and cosmetic space. This is absolutely imperative. Get as many as you can that range across skin type, race, age, gender & more. A 25-year-old female doesn’t want the only reference for Juvederm to be a 55-year-old woman. They are in different phases of life which greatly affect outcomes. You know this and so do the patients. They want to see someone that they can relate to to give them confidence in you as the doctor.
If I Change It All How Will I Know It’s Working? Tracking.
[/fusion_text]In order to know if you are wasting your time or need to spend it in places on your website that are actually working you need to have proper tracking in place.
- Google Analytics – hands down one of the most important and powerful tools to track your medical website traffic, sources, geo based traffic, campaigns and more.
- Call Tracking – find a solution to properly track and differentiate your website specific calls from the rest of your calls.
- Lead forms – have a tracking process in place for follow up and monthly reporting
I did a light skim over this topic because it can get extremely in depth just with the things that can be done and inferred about how people are behaving on your medical website with Google Analytics alone. Things like how people are entering and exiting the site, which sources drive the most traffic, which blog content is working the best, which suburbs drive the most traffic and more.
There are many different factors and reasons as to why your medical website may be underperforming from a new patient generation perspective. These are a few of the most common that I run across when dealing with our clients and prospects. If you have not or are looking into revamping your website down the road these can be important consideration and concepts to have in your arsenal during the planning and development phase.
Patients want to feel valued, understand why you are the best and hear peer opinions to back that up.
Intrepy Healthcare Marketing is a digital marketing and medical website design agency that specializes in helping medical and dental practices establish a succesful online presence to reach and attract new patients to the practice. If you are ready to generate new, targeted local patients give us a call 678-250-4757 or fill out our contact form.