Having your own website is no longer a novelty. Today, it’s a necessity.
After all, we live in the digital age. Even the smallest business in the smallest of towns needs to have a website because potential customers simply don’t utilize the Yellow Pages, newspaper, etc. the way they did in the past.
Why look something up in a big book, when a simple internet search will retrieve the same information much faster and easier? Consumers are used to having information at their fingertips. And the smart business owner (clinic owner) wants to be in front of those consumers at every opportunity.
Visibility and Reach…
Having a business website is an effective way to increase your visibility and reach. Through your website, you potentially can reach a different audience than if you only relied on print and word-of-mouth advertising.
Think of your website as your “billboard” designed to get attention and create interest in those who see it. It’s your “shingle” that makes a passerby stop, turn around and say “Hm… this looks interesting; I want to know more.”
Authority and Trust…
A good website also increases your authority and builds trust with prospects and customers. The more you communicate with visitors to your site via articles, emails, and newsletter, the more of an authority and expert you become in their eyes.
Never mind, you’ve earned advanced degrees and have years of experience. Right or wrong, “I’ve seen it on TV” and “I’ve read it online,” do carry a lot of weight, even today. So why not make it work for you too?
Of course, having an online presence, a website, will also give you a competitive advantage over clinics in your geographic area that don’t have a website yet.
People prefer gathering information about a clinic well before they decide to pick up the phone to talk to someone in person. But they can only do that if there is a website to go to.
The long and short of it is this: you must have a website today if you expect to compete, even in your local market. It’s simply a smart part of running your clinic.
But chances are you already have a website for your clinic. And if you don’t, I suggest you get your website, as soon as possible. If you need some information about how to do that, here is an article for you.
How’s It Working For You?
Now, just because you have a website doesn’t mean it’s working for you. What do I mean by that?
Well, does your website help with?
- Getting more customers?
- Booking appointments?
- Keeping customers?
- Staying in touch with customers?
- Building rapport and trust with your customers?
And BTW, if you’ve read my previous articles, you know that I use the term “customers” even if I talk about patients. And I invite you to think of your patients as your valued customers. It’ll change the way you run your practice… I promise!
But let me get back to what I was talking about…
So how do you know if your website is effective and brings in new customers? The simplest way to know… you ask!
I’m sure you have a “How did you hear about us?” section on your intake form. If you don’t, add one. Also, listen to feedback about your website from your customers. In most cases, you’ll get all the information you want to know (and then some).
Of course, there are online tools you can use to find out how many people visit your site, what pages they’ve visit, etc. But this is something you may want to consider later on down the road.
What’s Your Message?
Next, look at the message of your website. What is your message communicating to your customers?
- Is your message customer centric or business centric? Does your message talk about you, the clinic or clinician? Or, is your message primarily communicating your concern and understanding for your customers? Your message primarily should be customer centric, about them and not about you. I talked about this in detail in my article last week.
- Is it easy to find information on your website? How easy is it for your customers to locate the information they’re looking for: services, hours, insurance, contact information and so on.
These are just some of the questions you might ask yourself when evaluating your current website.
Since I’ve written about this in the past, you can go here to read the article.
So, how well does your site perform? And could it be improved?
As always, let us know what you think, we would love to hear from you.
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians” and a regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog.