No matter how great your medical services may be, if people are not made aware of your availability, that business will go elsewhere. Omnichannel marketing strategies give everyone equal access to customers, who are wide open to receive new information. There is no such thing as word of mouth anymore; when people have a problem, they go to the Internet, and the first viable solution that pops up is the business that gets the client. If you want to be the optometrist in the forefront, you must improve your customers’ ability to contact you.
Omnichannel Website Design for Optometry
One of the most important aspects of website design for an optometrist is the call to action or CTA. The CTA gives the potential customer specific instructions to reach you. It is here that the hard work marketing your services comes to fruition – you get that phone call.
However, methods of contact have extended far beyond the phone call, especially in real time industries such as optometry. The Internet has given the entire world access to instant solutions. Medical professionals are held to an even higher standard because of the immediacy of medical issues. Why do business with an optometrist that you cannot reach when it is most important? Your optometry marketing strategies need to include multiple CTAs that provide your customer multiple ways to reach your office.
Keep in mind that not all clients make contact through the same devices. Some of your older clients who are not used to modern digital technology may prefer the phone. However, the younger set may prefer email or text. Perhaps they want to be informed of real-time cancellations via Twitter in case they have an emergency that needs to be taken care of immediately. Your best bet: Partner with your web designer to discover your customers’ preferred method of communication. Work with the designer to include these options prominently in your web design.
It is usually best to include all of the top communication channels as viable contact methods. This is the omnichannel approach, and it works wonders. Potential clients love knowing that they can reach you via Twitter, Facebook, phone or email. This provides certainty that will catapult your office to the top of their list when they need an appointment.
Optometric Website Design
Should the CTA be placed at the end of the marketing funnel? This is the traditional thinking, and just like single channel communications, it is no longer valid. It is quite alright and even preferred, to place different CTAs throughout the marketing material on your website. You never know when you have convinced your potential client that you are the optometrist to choose. If you do not catch that client at that moment, your website may talk you out of a patient.
The best optometric websites will include a CTA on every page. This CTA may be common to all pages via a navigation bar, or it may be included uniquely in each new page of content. Having two or three is not uncommon if they are placed correctly with the appropriate content surrounding them.
Check with industry leaders for the best ideas in optometric marketing. Although you never want to copy the idea of another office straightforwardly, you may be able to use their successful techniques as benchmarks for your website. Your web designer will be able to build off of these ideas and templates, adding his expertise to the mix to create an original looking website.
Raising Patient Awareness
Raising patient awareness using your website design is more than the CTA. You must also consider the content that leads up to the CTA. If the CTA is the “steak,” then the surrounding content is the “sizzle,” and the sizzle needs to keep the patient engaged until you can justify why he or she should call your office.
Patient awareness begins with the creation of a dynamic website. Too many optometrists and medical professionals rely on old designs that are never updated. Would you trust a medical professional whose website was full of old, dead links, wrong addresses, and technical misinformation? How could you trust that person to operate on your body in any way? The first secret to patient awareness is dynamic content. Keeping a blog of the latest industry information is a great idea. However, you do not have to go that far if you do not have the time to write or the money to outsource. You can design your website around pictures of smiling, happy patients if you have the right designer by your side. This technique requires less frequent updates, and because people tend to respond positively to pictures of other people, you do not lose out on any potential clients.
You do not raise patient awareness by trying to stuff your website full of erudite information or huge medical terms. Your web designer should be the first to tell you that 1. brevity is the soul of wit, and 2. when in doubt, less is always more. If you have a web design partner that follows these two rules, you will have an infinitely better website than optometrists who try to impress their potential clients with their degrees and professional expertise.
Patient awareness is also finely attuned to your personality as a medical professional. One of the most important reasons to hire a professional web designer is so you can focus on your image and medical marketing strategy. Leave the technical details to a team that understands them and knows how to translate your ideas into the digital space. If you try to do this yourself, you will likely frustrate your efforts rather than properly manage them. The money that you spend on a dedicated web professional will pay itself back with your first client, and the results last for weeks to months before they need a change.
Success in Optometry Relies on Awareness
Once you have made a decision to improve your CTAs and design your website around content that engages, do not hesitate to get a technical partner. You will need time to strategize the best way to translate your ideas digitally, and you may have questions that only a professional web designer can answer. The world of optometry is moving at lightning speed, and the sooner that you get involved with a valid and aesthetically pleasing website, the better. Do not waste time thinking that you have to do everything yourself! Call an experienced web design expert, and leave the heavy computer lifting to the professionals with an objective eye to your online image, communications structure, and ability to attract an engaged audience.