It may surprise you to learn that your clinic website is the most valuable marketing asset you have. Most clinics will say it’s their staff, expertise, technology or quality of service that is the most valuable, but consumers will never get to experience all of those qualities if they have never even heard of your clinic.
This year has already been a big year of changes, namely with Facebook stopping clinics from reaching consumers via posting on their clinic Facebook page. In January, Facebook announced that: “Posts you see in your News Feed are meant to keep you connected to the people, places and things that you care about, starting with your friends and family”.
This means Facebook will now give priority to the photos, videos and content from your friends and family, ahead of your business’s unpaid posts.
To reach potential customers for your clinic or salon, paid advertising is now a must and your website is the celebrity in this equation.
What is paid advertising?
There are two main paid advertising platforms our agency sees working well for clinics; Facebook/Instagram and Google. Through the Facebook Ads Manager, your clinic can advertise on Facebook, Instagram and their network of websites.
Through Google AdWords you can create an ad that sits at the top of a Google search, targeting a particular search term. Both channels are essentially buying a visitor or a click to your website. It is important to understand this because the goal of paid advertising is not to interact so much with a person on Google or on Facebook, the primary purpose is to get them to click on your ad to visit a page on your website.
Essentially you are renting space on one of the major social media or search engines.
Just how important is your website?
Your website is the most critical part of your marketing strategy. We consistently see clinics spending $50,000+ per annum on digital advertising across Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), only to fail as they spent $2000 on a website with poor content, giving a bad user experience and not converting well.
The primary goal of digital advertising is to make a person click from Facebook, Instagram or Google to your website.
It is then the job of your website to turn that visitor into a lead (phone call, online booking, online enquiry or subscription), to get their contact details so your in-clinic team can convert them to a customer.
Many of the consumers you are targeting on social media will never have heard of your business before. Your website gives the visitor a first impression about your company. If this first impression is poor, you will most likely never hear from this consumer, your competition will.
As a digital agency, we see many clinics and practices wasting their budget on digital advertising because the website backing it up is poor. Often this leads to a clinic owner blaming Facebook, Instagram or Google advertising for lack of ROI or performance.
The quality or experience a visitor gets on your website comes down to many things; how fast it loads, if it is a good experience on mobile, if the visitor can find what they are looking for fast and much, much more.
A ‘good experience’ is a direct result of good website design and layout backed up by well written content.
The importance of a mobile-friendly website
On average, 60 to 70 percent of consumers visit a clinic’s website on their mobile. Facebook alone has over seven million daily mobile users in Australia.
Google has announced it will be moving to a mobile-first algorithm, that it will be prioritising those websites that give a good experience on mobile.
It is safe to assume that if you send an email to a client, they will read this on their mobile. If a consumer clicks on a Facebook ad, they will visit your website on their mobile.
When was the last time you read your treatment page on your mobile? Does it look good? Is the information presented well? Do you have the most important information at the top of the page with a clear next step for the visitor?
So it’s time to have a think about your clinic or salon website. Make sure you review your website frequently from a consumers’ point of view.
Test the phone number and test the forms on your website to make sure it is working. If you have an old website that you have never fixed up, it may be time to upgrade to a newer model with better performance!
- Jonathan Carroll is the marketing director at Engage Online Marketing. Contact www.EngageOnlineMarketing.com.au