A website for a plastic surgery practice is a little different than other Ecommerce web sites on the Internet today. The plastic surgery website does not sell products or services directly over the Internet, something that visitors can click on and purchase right there on the site. Rather, the aim is to sell yourself and your practice. Nevertheless, many of the goals which apply to Ecommerce sites are still the same.
One of the main reasons that Ecommerce sites fail today is a lack of understanding of visitors’ needs, and this can hold true for the plastic surgery website. Even sites that are well optimized for search engines can fail. They may be seeing lots of traffic to their site, but if visitors are not becoming actual clients, then something is clearly missing. The following are tips that can be applied to your plastic surgery site — and marketing plastic surgery in general — to encourage visitors to become actual patients.
- Make it easy to contact you. Ensure that ‘taking the next step’ is an easy one for your site visitors. Make it easy for them to contact you and/or set up a consultation. Any forms that visitors need to fill out should be as short and simple as possible, only requiring information that is absolutely necessary. If the process is overly long, visitors have more time to change their mind. This can be particularly important when it comes to plastic surgery as many potential patients may already be a bit hesitant about their decision.
- Give your visitors what they want. Create content that provides your potential patients with all the information that they need, including detailed procedural information, your qualifications and expertise, contact information, and the like. This information should be accurate, valuable and compelling, and it should foster a sense of trust. Further, content should be easy to read.
- Provide before-and-after photos. Humans are visual creatures. Because what you are selling is less tangible than what other Ecommerce sites are selling, this is one way to allow visitors to see what they are getting, or at least an idea of what they can achieve.
- Easy navigation. It’s important that your site visitors are able to find what they’re looking for. That means that your site must be easy to navigate and user friendly. Including a clearly visible search option and/or site map can be very helpful in this regard. Further, you can highlight your most popular pages on the homepage. For instance, if you find that you perform far more rhinoplasty procedures than, say, chin augmentation procedures, have a clearly visible link to rhinoplasty information on the homepage. Of if you find that a great majority of visitors to your site visit your page of before-and-after photos, include a few photos on the homepage with a link to more.
- Special offers. If presented right, special offers or discounts can be very beneficial. Sometimes, however, they can come off as a bit ‘cheesy’. A good example of the right way to present an offer involves one of our clients. He discovered that about half of his patients finding him through the Internet came from outside of his area and thus had to travel for their procedure. These patients made up about 30% of his overall patient base. Because the Internet opens you up to a much broader audience, those patients you acquire through your Internet marketing efforts are more likely to include people from outside of your area than would occur with traditional marketing efforts. To help offset the traveling costs that patients would have to add to their procedural costs, this doctor offered a ‘travel discount’ to those patients.