Optometry Marketing 101: Turn Website Visitors
- Optometry marketing 101: Your website can be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Optimize it to increase traffic, generate high-quality leads, and bring in new patients.
- Keeping your website up to date and using it to build an email list and maintain an active blog are essential to patient lead generation.
- A reliable optometry practice management software can boost your efforts to attract new patients.
Optometry marketing 101 guide can help you attract new patients using your website. Do you need to attract more visitors to your site? Or maybe your site is getting a lot of traffic, but you’re not generating high-quality leads? Do visitors exit as soon as they land on your site?
With our tips, you can keep users on your site longer and get them to schedule appointments.
Optometry Marketing 101: The Power of an Optimized Website
In a 2022 patient perspective survey, 3 out of 4 respondents said a healthcare practice’s website is very or extremely important to them when considering a doctor.
Your website is often the first interaction potential patients will have with your practice. We can’t overemphasize the importance of a professional-looking website to make the most of that all-important first impression.
Here, we’ll outline action steps you can take to ensure that first impression will be a great one. These suggestions will make your website work smarter to help you meet your patient attraction and retention goals.
Maintain and Regularly Update Your Website
Creating a practice website should not be a set-it-and-forget it project. Like any other asset, it needs routine maintenance. Regularly updating your site is critical to turning visitors into patients.
Here are steps you can take that will pay off in more traffic and high-quality patient leads.
What better way to put visitors at ease than by providing testimonials from other patients? Sharing patient experiences persuades visitors that your services offer real value, enabling them to make informed decisions about their care.
Patient testimonials posted prominently on your home page provide the social proof users want in order to feel confident booking an appointment with you.
To keep your home page looking fresh, replace the testimonials from time to time. An easy way to get a steady supply is to send post-visit emails or text messages to patients requesting them.
With an EHR that includes advanced text and email functions, you can automate the task. You can send invitations for testimonials to all patients following each visit, or send to select patients on a one-time or periodic basis.
Use Live Chat
Today’s healthcare consumers want quick answers to their inquiries. Adding a live chat function to your website enhances your patient support capabilities. Most people are now doing their own research online before selecting their eye care provider. Being able to quickly offer them the answers they need will differentiate your practice from others.
A live chat feature ensures immediate response to visitors’ questions in real time. This might just be what a prospect needs to schedule a visit. For example, a visitor may be on the fence about buying another pair of prescription eyeglasses.
A live chat can be the perfect communication tool to answer purchase-related questions that might be keeping the patient from buying. Prospective patients are more likely to book an appointment and get their second pair of glasses if their concerns and queries are handled with the efficiency that live chat offers.
Be Sure Your Website is Mobile-friendly
Eighty percent of consumers use their smartphones and tablets to access healthcare information, search for healthcare providers, and read patient reviews. When your website is mobile-friendly, meaning it uses a responsive theme, it will remain relevant to healthcare consumers and search engines.
A responsive website can be viewed with ease on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. On a site using a responsive theme, visitors don’t need to zoom or scroll horizontally to be able to use your site or read your content. Internet pages are scaled automatically to fit the user’s screen size with enough space for tap targets.
What’s more, Google favors mobile-friendly websites and practices that use them in their search results.
Lack of a responsive theme will also increase your bounce rates, a measure of how much time users spend on a page before clicking away. In 2020, according to one market survey, bounce rates were much higher for mobile device users than for those accessing websites from a desktop computer: 51% for phones and 47% for tablets compared to 40% for desktop.
An unresponsive theme likely plays a large role in this. If your site doesn’t accommodate mobile device users, you will lose prospective patients before they’ve even looked at your content.
Create Strong Calls to Action
A successful website uses a strong call to action (CTA) at the end of all service pages and blog posts. This makes it easy for visitors to take the action you’re looking for, such as booking an appointment, signing up for your newsletter, or subscribing to your email list.
Be sure your call-to-action banners are visible enough to grab immediate attention. For example, use contrasting colors to make your CTAs stand out.
Be strategic with your CTA buttons. “Book an appointment” is probably most appropriate if your goal is to get visitors to make an online appointment. But use compelling words or phrases where appropriate, like “Clue me in!” for a download promising insider secrets, or “Save my spot!” for a webinar registration.
Build an Email List
A strong email list is one of the backbones of a successful marketing strategy. Not every visitor to your site will book an appointment there and then. Many might not require your services right away, but they may at a future time.
Collect the email addresses of website visitors and nurture them until they’re ready to schedule a visit. That email list will be the foundation for your marketing campaigns.
An email list built in this way is particularly valuable because by giving you their email addresses, the people on that list have agreed to receive messages from you, making them likely to be responsive to future emails.
There are a number of ways to create an email list from website visitors. They include:
Gated, or locked, content involves creating a digital asset that users can download in exchange for their email address.
For this to work, you have to create high-value content. Examples of good gated content include eBooks and checklists offering content that’s useful to your audience but hard to find elsewhere on the internet.
To gate content, you create a dedicated landing page where a user can download the content after entering their email address. To direct users to the landing page, create a blog post that’s relevant to the content of the downloadable. Add a CTA to the bottom of the blog post that links to the landing page.
You can then add that dedicated CTA to any content on your site that has a similar theme.
Another method is to have an opt-in subscription form placed in the sidebar of your blog pages. As users read through your content, they’ll always see the form on the side, encouraging them to provide their email addresses if they would like to see more content from you.
You can also consider pop-ups. Pop-ups are invaluable when it comes to obtaining email addresses from visitors on your site. By strategically putting a 30-second delay timer on your pop-ups, you’ll prevent users from leaving your site before they’ve engaged with the content.
Pop-ups can be used to invite readers to join your e-mail list or to direct them to the landing page for your free, high-value download. A word of caution: Many users are strongly averse to receiving pop-ups. You would want to use these cautiously. Be sure to offer something you’re confident your users might find useful.
Maintain an Active Blog
A blog is a necessity for today’s healthcare practices. In addition to helping you build your email list, high-quality content informs and engages your patients and creates a meaningful connection with them. What’s more, Google penalizes websites that don’t have a regularly updated blog.
These days, there’s a lot of misinformation being spread on the internet. But what if prospects and current patients could find reliable information on your website? Your blog can address all kinds of topics, including those that are trending in optometry, and set the record straight with your training and expertise.
With time, visitors will recognize your website as a source of trustworthy information, and they’ll look forward to reading your content.
Some interesting content ideas for optometrists may include:
- FAQs about eye exams
- “How to” posts on vision and eye health topics
- Common eye conditions such as computer vision syndrome
- Timely topics such as COVIDs potential effects on vision
- Information regarding common refractive errors
- General eye care tips
- Seasonal topics such as allergy care, sun protection, and dry eyes
Blogging can benefit your practice in many ways. It can:
Bring More Traffic
Want to drive more traffic to your website? You need to update your content frequently so that visitors keep coming back for more. A well-written, easy-to-understand, and updated blog helps convince healthcare consumers that returning to your website will be worth their time.
Build Your Online Authority
When you consistently post fresh, engaging, and useful content, you’ll be seen as an expert, establishing yourself as a thought leader in optometry. What’s more, readers will recognize and appreciate your willingness to help them find solutions to their problems.
Boost Your Ranking on Search Engines
With so much competition on the internet, your practice needs to stay a step ahead of competitors to attract more patients. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create content that people and search engines love. Begin by writing content that’s relevant to patients’ most-asked questions.
Create blog posts that are helpful to your target audience and add keywords — search terms your target audience are likely to use — naturally throughout your posts. Use your location in posts and headlines to capture local users searching for “optometrists in [your city].”
Don’t forget to create content that demonstrates your local relevance. For instance, you can talk about a local charity event you participate in.
Equally important, make sure you use simple language. It’s okay to include relevant medical terms; however, explain them in a way your target reader will get. Google, Bing, and Yahoo scan websites and rank those with authoritative, useful, and easy-to-understand content higher.
Humanize Your Practice
Patients want to feel a connection with their providers. You can provide this connection by spotlighting providers and staff with brief biographies. Include what they like to do in their spare time. Thinking of their optometrist as a dog lover or an avid cross-country skier will allow patients to see them as people outside of their professional capacity.
You might also consider posting short videos of providers talking about their role in the practice, areas they specialize in, or a healing philosophy that sets them apart from other providers.
A Final Word
Whether you’re developing a new website for your practice or you already have one, you can ensure its success by implementing these key strategies. They’ll make your website easy to find and a powerful marketing tool for attracting new patients.
Learn more ways to attract new patients here.
Bring In More Patients with RevolutionEHR
To increase practice efficiency while giving your marketing efforts a boost, consider switching to RevolutionEHR. By streamlining all the functions of your practice, RevolutionEHR can help your healthcare lead generation efforts pay off, giving you more time to devote to marketing.
Together with the advanced patient communication tools available with RevConnect, you’ll be able to seamlessly automate your marketing campaigns from within your EHR. Your practice will be able to attract new patients and retain existing ones, ensuring you get the most out of your marketing spend.
Want to know more about how RevolutionEHR can help you bring in more patients while giving you the freedom to focus on exceptional patient care? Request a demo today.