By David Straight
Great news: somebody has visited your website. Hurrah! Perhaps they might look around and decide to schedule an appointment for treatment…but wait…oh no! Now they are leaving. “What? They only stayed for five seconds.” Yes, it’s very possible that they stayed long enough to be appalled by your website and then made a quick exit to one of your competitors. If your site is not converting visitors into patients, then you might be committing one of these deadly website mistakes:
Search engines hate Flash-driven design. In fact they hate them so much that they will completely ignore your site no matter how pretty you think it looks. So what if it is clever and it contains beautiful, state-of-the-art design? Nobody is ever going to see it. Google is just going to skip right past your site as if you are the invisible man. And those millions of iPhone and iPad users who use their mobile devices instead of their desktops certainly won’t see it because they can’t see Flash on their phones. It’s pointless to annoy Google to the point where they choose to ignore you. You’re your site that won’t get any visitors. Just because you can add whistles and bells doesn’t mean that you should.
The Annoying “Welcome to our Website”
How long do you think you have to grab your visitor’s attention? Here’s a hint: It isn’t 2 minutes, 1 minute or even 30 seconds. It is more like 10 seconds. That is all the time you have, so don’t waste it with a boring introduction. Most people don’t like to read much online, so when they first visit your website, they are probably just going to quickly scan it to see if anything catches their eye. Why would you want to squander an already-tiny attention span by reminding people which site they are visiting? Instead, use an attention-grabbing headline. People should already know where they are just from glancing at the top of your site, where they should see your logo and a snappy tagline, or a short description of your site, so there is absolutely no need for stating the obvious with a banal “welcome to our website” message. Yawn!
“We…. We… We… We… We…zzzzzzzz”
“We have a team of…” “We plan to…” “We have been in business for…” Sorry to sound blunt but…NOBODY CARES! Visitors to your website are only interested in one thing: “What is in it for me?” If your site doesn’t answer this question pretty quickly, they will probably leave. Instead of just talking about you and your site or your business, imagine that you are talking one to one with one of your typical customers and ‘speak’ to them as an individual. Tell them how your product or service is going to benefit them.
Every industry and business sector has its own tech speak and industry-only words that nobody else understands. Try talking to friends and family about autoresponders, SEO and long-tail keywords and you’ll see their eyes glaze over as they slip into a coma. If you use words, terms and phrases that mean something to you but go straight over your visitors’ heads, then you are going to lose them. We’ve already said visitors are going to scan over much of the content on your website anyway, so you should try to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to pick out and understand the main points from the bits that they do read.
No Clear Call to Action
As well as telling your visitors “what’s in it for them,” your next job is to tell them what they need to do now. It is absolutely pointless to give them great reasons why they should come to your practice for treatment, and then not tell them what they need to do next to in order to schedule an appointment. You need to have a clear call to action and make it blatantly obvious how they can make it happen. Do you want them to call you if they have any additional questions or if they’re ready to book an appointment? Then tell them. However, telling them to call you and then hiding your number somewhere on your website is another big fail. If your call to action is telling them to “call us now,” then make sure you put your telephone number right next to it. Never assume that your visitors will know what to do next. Spell it out for them. Tell them what you want them to do. If you make it difficult for them, they will leave. Yes, they probably could figure it out, but sometimes they won’t. They will move on to the next site in the blink of an eye.
You invest a lot of time and money encouraging people to visit your website, so why scare them off by making one of these fatal mistakes?
For more information on protecting your website from common pitfalls and encouraging potential patients to stick around and come to you for treatment, contact E-Rehab and we’ll be glad to offer you our assistance.