Last updated Nov. 13, 2017
Running a successful gastroenterologist practice involves a variety of tasks, including:
- Converting qualified prospects into paying gastroenterology patients.
- Keeping new and existing patients happy with excellent service.
- Growing profits through referrals.
- Staying up to date with the latest medical trends and studies.
But, none of the above matters if there aren't any new patients coming in on a regular basis. The truth is that in order for gastroenterologist practices to grow, you need new patients.
So, the question is: How do you attract these new patients – especially in today's world where website visitors have short attention spans and access to more competition?
Here are 7 actionable steps you can take to transform your gastroenterology website into a lead generating magnet.
1. First Impressions
The truth is that you can have great content, but if your website doesn’t make a good first impression then everything else is secondary.
Think of Tesla for example. Potential buyers just look at the car and within 2 seconds, most potential buyers make a decision to buy it or not – regardless of the specifications.
It’s no different with a gastroenterologist website. Everything from the layout, colors, designs and more all have a major subconscious factor in how a website visitor will perceive your practice.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
- First impression is not professional and trustworthy. It looks like the website was creating in 30 minutes on a tight budget by someone who’s very inexperienced.
- Everything from the colors, layout, designs, logo and typography needs to be improved on.
- The website is not mobile responsive which means over 50% of website visitors will leave the site within 2 seconds.
- No clear Call-to-Actions.
- No blog showcasing expertise.
- No social proof like testimonials or social accounts.
- It does have the contact number and address visible which is at least a positive, but even that can be made more readable.
- First impression is professional and trustworthy. It looks like the website was done by a professional agency and the practice invested a good amount of money on it which shows they are doing well.
- The colors, layout, designs, logo and typography are nice and clear and portrays the right message.
- The website is mobile responsive and looks good on smaller devices like tablets and phones.
- Call-to-Actions are easily seen and achieve the goals of the practice.
- Blog showing expertise.
- Social proof is good with testimonials and social accounts visible.
- Clear contact available.
2. The Right Content
Once the website has been changed and improved on around first impressions, the next step would be the right content or the right message.
Simply put: it’s saying the right thing at the right time, to the right person.
This involves anticipating and answering the questions that your prospects might have. By helping your prospects solve their problems, you emerge as a trusted gastroenterologist and an authority in the community.
This strategy leads to higher engagement, more leads and even a long waiting list.
One small example may be if someone types in “IBS treatment” on Google and they read a detailed and helpful article discussing this topic, what do you think this will do for your image and reputation in the market?
This will obviously make you appear to be more of a specialist and potential patients will trust you more compared with your competitor who doesn’t do this.
3. Getting Discovered Online
On Google alone, there are over 100 billion online searches each month. But less than 8% of users make it to the 1st page of search results.
In other words, if you’re not towards the top of Page 1, your gastroenterologist practice doesn’t exist and your prospects will go to a competitor doing this better than you are.
It’s seriously that simple.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. It's the art of ranking your site at the top of search engine results (Google).
This process requires that you:
Identify the right gastroenterology related keywords and their semantic equivalents.
Strategically place those keywords throughout your website's content, including within the body and paragraph headings and other areas.
Optimize all of the backend information for each piece of content, including metadata, alt tags, URL’s and more.
Note: Make sure you never overstuff your content with keywords – you can get penalized from Google if you don’t do this correctly and to recover from this is not easy.
4. Effective Landing Pages
Many gastroenterologist websites make the mistake of directing all incoming traffic from marketing campaigns to their homepage.
This is one of the worst things you can do.
You should do this:
Set up individual landing pages that are segmented by offer, message and target audience. This strategy allows your gastroenterologist practice to show users what they need to see, how you can help them and then convert them into leads and then into patients.
If you're running an online marketing campaign like: 15% off your first IBS treatment for the month of January, this traffic needs to be sent to a highly relevant and dedicated page created specifically for this marketing campaign.
It needs to provide value, build trust with the potential patient and convince them why they should sign up to this promotion.
Bonus Tip: Remove busy navigation options and any other visual distractions as much as possible. This enables visitors to focus 100% of their attention on completing your call-to-action (CTA) on that page.
5. Highlighting Your CTA
‘CTA’ is your Call-to-Action. It’s the action you’d like the website visitor to take.
Some examples may include:
- Booking an appointment
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Requesting a free e-book
- Requesting a free guide
- Requesting a free quote
Don't make the mistake of making your CTA buttons “blend in” with the rest of your site (usually done for aesthetic purposes). Have your call-to-action contrast with everything else, making them impossible to ignore.
However, this only works if you provide highly valuable content – for free. A few examples of common “lead bait” free giveaways include webinars, e-books, white papers, videos and articles.
Once you have effective and relevant CTA’s in place, it’s important to test and improve them.
To briefly explain the importance of this, there is a famous case of Amazon changing one of their CTA’s and it resulted in an extra $300,000,000 (that’s not a typo) in sales just from that one change.
The change? Just changing the text of a button from ‘Register’ to ‘Continue’.
6. Analyzing and Testing Your Data
Thanks to free tools like Google Analytics, you can easily determine:
- The sources of your traffic.
- How users are behaving on your site.
- Which landing pages and CTAs are working, and which ones aren't.
These valuable metrics provide a snapshot of your site's overall performance. Those insights can become even more powerful if you A/B test different components of your gastroenterologist sales funnel.
For example, you can figure out which works better at converting visitors into customers:
“Book a consultation” or “Request a consultation” or “Call us now” or “Contact us”?
An “orange” CTA button or a “blue” one?
A sidebar CTA form or a pop-up CTA?
Bonus Tip: Do NOT let intuition or assumption be your guide to choosing the better option. Always let the data tell you what works and what doesn’t to determine the outcome.
The most important factor of all is marketing your gastroenterologist website. After all, you can be the best gastroenterologist in your city and have the best website, but if no one knows about you then what good is that?
Every year newly qualified Gastroenterologists are entering into the market and would like to open their own practice.
This means that if you are not positioned as a leading expert in your city, you risk losing your patients to those who market their practice better than you do.
You might be thinking that you already have an established practice with 20+ years in serving your city and you don’t need to invest in marketing as much.
Remember the phone brand Nokia or Blackberry? They were almost untouchable at one point. Now they are nowhere near the market share they used to have.
How about Coke vs Pepsi?
In the 1980’s, Pepsi invested more and more into advertisements and took a significant amount of market share from Coke due to their complacency and lack on innovation.
This is a reminder to always be improving, to always be marketing and to never be complacent.
This is a lot of information to digest.
You're not alone - making all of the different components work together can be challenging - especially if you’re already running a full-time gastroenterologist practice.
Don’t underestimate the importance of each item above. Those who adopt these strategies are the ones who tend to succeed. And those who don’t, ultimately fail or will struggle in the long-run as the world adopts a more technological way of doing business.
Fortunately, you don't have to navigate this lead generation and online marketing space on your own.
At Gastroenterologist Marketing, we specialize in helping practices like yours optimize their sales funnels to start getting consistent leads which result into more patients and business growth.
View our marketing solutions for more information.