That a website’s usability is very important may sound like common sense. However, the issue of usability has been downplayed, if not altogether ignored, in the creation of many sites available on the Internet today. Part of the problem may be the move to optimize sites for search engines rather than visitors. In so doing, sites often become more and more difficult for visitors to comprehend and use, though these same sites may be performing well in search engine rankings. But optimizing sites for search engines is only one part of the challenge. You must go one step further in order to increase conversion rates (turning web visitors into actual patients) by making the site useful and user-friendly.
Simply put, if a site is difficult to use, visitors will leave. If your homepage doesn’t clearly state the services that you offer and what visitors can do on your website, again, they will leave. If a visitor gets lost within your site or your content doesn’t meet their needs, they will go elsewhere. There are plenty of other websites out there on the Internet, including lots of plastic surgery related sites, and that equates to a whole lot of competition that your visitors can go to instead of you.
When it comes to usability, the key is to keep it simple and your visitors will use your site. Google is a perfect example. It is, perhaps, one of the simples sites out there with an ultra-simple interface. It is a site that, most likely, all of us use on a regular basis. And it is one of the most popular and successful sites.
There must be a balance between optimizing your site for a visitor’s benefit and for the search engines. Often times, sites that are designed to be easy to use for visitors are also the easiest for search engine spiders to navigate. In this way, by incorporating better navigation options along with search friendly site architecture and content, you can gain strong search rankings and increased visitor retention and conversion rates.
There are several issues regarding a site’s usability, and they are important in your plastic surgery marketing efforts. One is how learnable a site is, meaning how easy it is for new visitors to perform basic tasks such as moving from one page to another, using embedded tools like video players, gathering information, and so on. The next issue involves efficiency, or how quickly a new visitor, once they’ve become accustomed to the site, can use the site and its tools. A site’s memorability refers to how easily or quickly users can, on repeat visits, find their way around the site and utilize its tools and features. The next issue is that of errors, meaning how many errors a visitor makes, how serious those errors are, and how quickly and easy it is for visitors to recovery from those errors. The last issue relates to visitor satisfaction and whether or not the site’s design is pleasing overall to the user.
Issues of usability have an enormous impact on a site’s success. If a site is user-friendly, visitors will use your site and return again. If you make their experience on your site a good one, you’re certain to be rewarded.