There was a time not too long ago when your website was just one of the many parts of your marketing.
- You tracked newspaper leads
- You tracked direct mail leads
- You tracked referrals
- And you tracked website leads
It was super simple.
However, in today’s world, that has significantly changed.
That’s because some way or another, your website plays a key role in every single lead, opportunity and conversation that you have.
Think about it …
Let’s say that you were in the market for a new kitchen to be built in your house.
Regardless of whether you saw an advert for a kitchen installation company or had a friend recommend one, the first step that you would probably do is grab your phone or computer and search for them online. You would check out their website, get a feel for them and then feel informed as to whether you’re ready to make an inquiry or not.
It’s the exact same in your world.
Whether a physician recommends you, a patient recommends you or you just have a local reputation, the large majority of everybody that comes through your door will first check you out online.
It’s no longer just one of the ways that people find you, instead it plays a critical role in everybody’s journey towards you.
It’s why disregarding your website is no longer an option for a successful private practice.
Instead, your website needs the same love, attention and investment that you would give any other key asset.
The good news is that in this article, you’re going to get a full breakdown of all the critical components that your website requires to be successful in today’s world, and it’s going to arm you with the tools to review your existing website and make simple changes to improve it overall performance.
The Three Purposes Of Your Website
Before we jump into the key components of a successful website, let’s just take a step back because before we get into the small details, we first need to understand the three key purposes of your website.
#1 – Attract
Before it can do anything else, your website needs something that attracts people to it.
There are multiple components to this but fundamentally you need to have localized SEO in place to be found for relevant local search terms, and you need to have intelligence in the pages/articles that you develop into your website to actively answer the big questions that people are asking Google about hearing aids/care/loss.
#2 – Convince
This is by far the most important job of your website, and it’s what most people miss as they become too SEO focused that they give no consideration to whether your website actually convinces people that they’re in the right place, you’re the experts at what you do and that you’re the right clinic for them.
This step is all about showcasing why somebody should choose you over all the other options and providing proof that you are who you say you are.
#3 – Convert
Once you have attracted somebody to your website and convinced them that they should choose you, the final step is to convert them to an inquiry.
This is where you need to apply some real intelligence to the call-to-actions that you have on your website.
Should you be driving people to schedule an appointment? Should it be a baby step like downloading a report, or should it be a simple first step like ‘Request a Callback?
These three steps are the framework to a successful website and every decision that you make should easily fall into one of the above three camps.
Most marketing groups and marketing advisors get this VERY wrong.
They start with the THING and then try to work out the WHY.
They say you need a video, or say you need to put effort into SEO, but they never stop to think of the actual benefit and how this falls into the larger strategy.
By starting with the WHY, you can make much more informed decisions.
If you currently get a few hundred visitors to your website but they’re not converting, then you can understand that you need to give attention to CONVINCE.
How can you convince more people?
Well, you can think about the copy on the page, the headline, whether it has proof that you are who you say you are and what is required to better convince people that they should choose you.
This framework is the strategy that every website related decision should be based upon.
Debunking The Big SEO Myth
So many of us have been led to believe that appearing number one on Google for ‘Hearing Aids [Your Location]’ is the ultimate goal of marketing.
Yet they couldn’t be more wrong.
The truth is, appearing number one on Google for ‘Hearing Aids’ is not going to get you more leads.
Why? Because hardly anybody is searching for hearing aids online.
Here’s some data for you.
Look how many searches there are per month for ‘Hearing Aids [Insert City]’
And we’ve gone with some of the biggest cities in the country:
New York has a population of 19.4 million people, yet there were only 20 searches for ‘hearing aids new york’ (and no doubt, most of them came from clinics looking to see where they rank!)
This is NOT the google search that anybody should care about.
Appearing number one on this would be like having a beautiful shop-front on a street that nobody walks down.
The question is, what are people actually looking for?
Well, here’s an insight:
See the difference?
- There are 320 searches for ‘improve hearing’
- There are 9,900 searches for ‘hearing loss’
- ‘Ringing in Ears’ has more traffic than all ‘hearing aid’ searches combined
Can you see how creating content to appear for these obscure searches is going to result in higher quality people who need help with a specific problem finding your website?
If you can then help people through your website and give them a relevant action to take if they need further help, then you’re going to drive more qualified, high-quality leads.
Here’s an example of one of our member’s website analytics:
Their traffic is only 437 people per month – that is not a big number and probably less than you get to your website right now.
Yet they have generated 32 conversions.
That is 7% of everybody that visited their website converting to a lead.
To be clear, a conversion is classed as somebody who requests a call-back, requests an appointment or needs help to maximize their insurance benefits.
SEO is not a game of quantity.
It’s a game of attracting the RIGHT traffic and focussing on quality.
Do not get sucked into the myths of trying to be number one on Google for ‘Hearing Aids’ – it’s not going to get you the results that you’re looking for, and it’s going to see you battling much larger businesses than yours for those positions.
Let them blindly chase that rabbit while you focus on the searches that drive results.
The 5 Critical Components To A Super Successful Website
#1 – Clearly Articulating “Why You?”
Those first few moments when somebody lands on your website are critical.
They’ll either decide that you’re worthy of their time, or they’ll leave straight away.
If I told you that the average bounce rate (percentage of people that leave your website within seconds of reaching it) is between 50-70% – you can see why this is so important.
Some extra thought and attention around your messaging could be the difference between hundreds of people not giving you the time of day, and those same people further exploring your website.
At the top of your website, you likely have a headline or some form of information that is aimed at capturing people and showing them that they’re in the right place.
However, for the majority of websites in this industry, this headline doesn’t deliver on its objectives. It’s usually fluffy, broad and has some catchy slogan that doesn’t really mean anything.
‘Rediscover the Joys that You’ve Missed’ – it sounds nice but what does it really mean?
You need to remember that the job of this website is not to convince somebody that they should address their hearing challenges … no fancy headline or messaging is going to do that.
The job of this headline is to give them the confidence that you’re the right people to help them with a challenge that they’ve already identified or are in the process of identifying.
It sounds like a headline that a manufacturer would use for a device, not a local private practice.
Here’s another example:
‘Keep Your Hearing, Keep an Active Lifestyle’ – it’s okay but once again, it’s a little fluffy.
It has the same challenge as the example above, it’s written to try to convince somebody to address their hearing challenge rather than convince them to choose to work with you.
It doesn’t deliver on the purpose of making the patient feel they’ve reached a trusted clinic that they want to work with, nor does it make them want to stay on the website and learn more.
Let’s instead look at some good examples:
‘Silicon Valley’s Most Trusted Hearing Care Experts | Trusted by Tens of Thousands of Amazing Patients, Leading Organizations and Many Local Physicians Since 1977
Can you see why this is a great example?
The initial headline quickly establishes who they are and why the patient is in the right place.
It shares the area that they serve and that they’re the most trusted experts – it focusses on convincing the patient why they should choose them, not why they should choose to treat their hearing loss.
The sub-heading then further backs-up that they’re highly trusted by listing different groups that trust them.
- Tens of thousands of patients
- Leading organizations
- Many local physicians
If they’re good enough for all of these people, then they’re probably good enough for the person visiting the website.
Finally, they subtly mention ‘Since 1977’ to showcase that they have been consistently helping local people for a long time.
This headline is trustworthy, it makes you feel that they’re probably the best option locally and it gives you the confidence that further exploring the website is likely to be worth your time.
Let’s look at another example:
This is a unique model and it’s important that as soon as somebody lands on the website, they clearly understand that this is different and feel intrigued to continue to read on.
The headline establishes that you can receive advanced hearing care, that it’s from a doctor of audiology and that is it all ‘Online’ to make it intriguing.
It is then followed with a sub-heading that is heavily focused on all the perceived pain points of doing hearing care the traditional way … it says that you can receive advanced care WITHOUT travelling, sitting in waiting rooms or spending time away from doing what you love.
It’s heavily focused on the things that people don’t want to do, aimed at creating further curiosity to learn more and that what they’re offering is very different.
Can you see why the two examples above would do a better job at convincing somebody to stay, let them know they’re in the right place and give them further trust that the two prior examples?
Remember, your key headline and sub-heading should be focused on proving that the visitor is in the right place, not to try to convince them to address a hearing challenge.
#2 – Simple Navigation/User-Experience
Many websites in the hearing care industry (and nearly every other industry) are notoriously difficult to navigate.
They have so many options on the navigation bar that they confuse the user, and they often have lots of pages with conflicting titles/information that leaves the user unsure where to go for the information they’re looking for.
Unsurprisingly, you can take a guess at what a confused website visitor will do? They’ll leave.
It’s why you need to give extra consideration to your user-experience and ensure that your website navigation is clean, simple and has the minimal number of options/pages possible.
You want it to be so easy that a toddler could find what they’re looking for!
Let me give you some BAD examples:
The top navigation isn’t too bad (the main bar with Home, About Us, Hearing Aids, Services, Hearing Resources, Our Location and Contact Us) – but the real problems start with the drop-down options.
If somebody is on the website and they’re intrigued to learn more about hearing aids, then this is going to confuse them. They likely have no idea what Phonak, ReSound or Oticon are – they’re unsure where to click for the information they’re looking for and there’s a strong chance they’re going to feel confused.
Similarly, look at ‘Services’.
What’s the difference between a Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluation’ and an ‘Evaluation for Hearing Aids’ and even a ‘Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting’ – the visitor on your website has no idea which is the option for them and will likely bounce to somebody that speaks in a language they understand.
The reason that it’s this confusing is because the owner of this business has probably been advised that they need all of these pages for SEO reasons, yet even if that’s true, they shouldn’t all be on the navigation bar.
Keep it simple.
Let’s look at a good example:
Can you see how this is much cleaner?
The main navigation only has six options.
- Why Us?
- How We Can Help
- Get in Touch
There’s no cross-over, there’s no confusion and there’s no contradiction.
You wouldn’t find yourself being unsure which option is right for you like the example prior.
Then on the drop-down example featured above, you can see that everything is labelled incredibly clearly.
You know exactly what you should click depending on what you’re looking for.
This is super important to ensure that your website is simple.
It will benefit your SEO, as Google values your website’s user-experience, it will help your stats as you’ll have less people leaving the website from confusion, AND it will help with conversion by helping people find what they’re looking for more effectively.
#3 – Prove You’re Trustworthy
When you’re looking for somebody to work with, especially with something as sensitive as your hearing care, you want proof that they’ve helped many people like you before and that you’ll be stepping into a positive relationship.
This is why it’s so important to prove that you’re trusted.
Most websites totally miss the mark here and seem to think that a few sub-standard Google reviews is enough. Instead, you need to consider all the different types of proof that you can list on your website.
There are 4 great examples of different types of proof.
The first are local organizations/physicians.
This is an example taken from a website that has a slider bar that showcases the logos of local companies/medical facilities that trust them.
In the visitor’s mind, if all of these trusted local organizations are proud to put their name alongside this clinic, they must be good enough for the visitor, right?
A second example is patient stories.
These are not testimonials, instead they’re in-depth hearing loss stories.
This is where the patient is sharing their journey from when they first discovered that they had a hearing challenge through to why they chose specific clinic and the difference that the clinic has made to their life.
These are ultra-powerful, especially if you can collect a large quantity of them.
They include a real-life picture of the patient, their in-depth story and a 5-star rating.
The third way is through audio testimonials.
This is where you have your patients record a voicemail/audio recording as they share their experience of working with you and their advice to others that are considering visiting you for the first time.
Having patients’ voices share the information adds an extra dimension to the depth of the testimonial and makes it so much more powerful.
A tool that you can use to collect these is called SpeakPipe – it allows you to email a link to a patient where they can follow some instructions to record their own voice message.
The fourth way is through traditional 5-star ratings.
This is ultra-subtle by showcasing that you’re rated 5 stars across multiple platforms that casually sits in areas of your website to add further credibility, you’re able to add even more proof that you’re the number one option for the patient.
It’s super simple yet it’s very powerful.
This part requires work but it’s one of the most powerful ways to CONVINCE the people that reach your website that you’re the clinic that they should choose to work with.
#4 – Having Real-Life Imagery/Photography
For somebody that has never visited you before, a first appointment can be a nerve-wracking experience.
- They have no idea what to expect
- They’re unsure who they’re going to meet
- And they have no idea if it’s going to be painful, weird or what is going to happen
Worst of all, most websites heavily feature stock images that don’t help them to understand what the experience is going to be like or what they can expect – if anything, it adds to their objection/concerns.
Nobody likes stepping into the unknown, and if somebody has found enough reasons to delay visiting you for several years, this fear might just be another reason for them to further delay.
It’s why having real-life imagery is so important.
Let’s jump into an example.
I’ve taken this from a random website having made a random search for ‘Hearing Care Dallas, TX’:
It has three images that are clearly stock images.
- There are two men shaking hands with a contract in front of them.
- Two women on a beach
- And then another picture of some people in some form of meeting/consultation.
Can you see why this is missing a trick?
- No one in these pictures works at the clinic
- None of these pictures are of people in the clinic or patients
- And Dallas doesn’t have a beach LOL… it doesn’t feel authentic/local.
Instead, imagine if they invested some time and some money into having some real photography taken? It would add further proof that they are who they say they are, help CONVINCE patients that they’re in the right place and contribute to how many converts to an inquiry.
Here’s an example of a website that has done a good job with this:
Can you see how this feels far more real?
There’s a picture of a hearing test taking place that looks comfortable. It has a smiling provider, a patient who looks happy and it showcases that the office is a nice environment.
Underneath this is a picture of the team – they look personable, friendly and it means that you’re able to understand who you’ll meet at your appointment and feel much more comfortable.
But it’s clear that these guys invested to get a professional photographer to work on these images. If you don’t have the time, or the budget, then at the very least, you can capture some great images on your cell phone.
Remember, the trick is for this to be REAL; you’re better off having good images of real people than great images of fake people.
Here’s an example:
All of these pictures were taken with a cell phone.
They’re not world-class, but do they do a better job than stock images of people holding grandchildren on a beach? Big time.
They capture the truth, they showcase real people and they give the visitor more confidence that they know what to expect and that their experience will be a positive one.
#5 – Being Intelligent With Your Call-to-Actions
Imagine having a “Marry Me” button on a dating profile?
Well, in many ways, it’s the equivalent to having a ‘Schedule a Hearing Test’ button on a hearing care website.
It’s a big leap for somebody to make. Keep in mind that the large majority of visitors to your website are NOT ready to buy hearing aids.
They’re researching, they’re asking questions and they’re trying to work out what is wrong with Dad’s hearing.
It’s why you want to be selective with the action that you’re driving people towards on each page to ensure it’s consistent with the messaging of the page or what the user is actively looking for.
Let me give you some data to back this up.
This is the age-range of the average website visitors in this industry based on the hundreds of thousands of visitors across our members websites.
As you can see, 65+ year old’s make up only 20.35% of all visitors.
Yet the data on hearing loss suggests that the majority of your patients fall into this age-bracket. So, what is happening?
Well, from what we can understand from the data, it looks like either more younger people are coming to terms with a hearing challenge, OR the more likely option is that the loved ones of the people with a hearing loss are visiting your website.
If this is the truth (and from all the data that we’ve seen, it looks like it is) – then it teaches us that the messaging and call-to-actions on your website should be much more primed towards people that are looking online on behalf of others.
This means that buttons to schedule an appointment don’t feel like the right option for the majority of visitors, and instead, they’re looking for information/help instead.
So, what should your main call-to-actions be?
Well, here are the key lessons …
Based on all of our data, the best-preforming call-to-action is ‘Request a Callback’ – this is where a visitor can complete a form to request a call from a hearing professional to ask questions and get your input/help. It’s a baby step for them to take but will always result in you recommending that the next step is to schedule an appointment.
However, if somebody is on your ‘Hearing Tests’ page – then the relevant call-to-action would be for them to schedule an appointment. Similarly, if somebody is on your hearing aids page, then maybe the call-to-action should be to schedule a trial.
By being selective with what call-to-action that you decide to have on each page, you can ensure the user-experience feels congruent and you’re maximizing the chances of converting a visitor into an inquiry.
This is a piece of work that shouldn’t be rushed and requires consideration for every page on your website.
This article has shared a lot of information. Your head is likely to be spinning and you may be wondering what to do next.
Well, here’s our suggestion to you.
Remember that we started by discussing ATTRACT, CONVINCE, CONVERT.
Well, the best starting point is to start with CONVERT.
Review your call-to-actions and question if they’re right?
Do you have relevant call-to-actions on relevant pages and what’s the key call-to-action that people will find when they land on your website?
Simply switching your main call-to-action to be ‘Request a Callback’ will see you convert more people that are on your website towards an inquiry.
Your second step should then be CONVINCE.
Review your core messaging by following the examples shared above and question whether your headline/sub-heading is focused on helping a visitor to understand why they should choose you, not why they should address their hearing challenge.
Once you’ve got this right, focus on how you can build more trust/proof into your website.
- Can you list the logos of associations/local companies that trust you?
- Can you share your 5-star ratings across multiple platforms?
- Can you capture in-depth patient stories to prove you are who you say you are?
Then be sure to review your photography – please make sure it’s real and shows the truth.
By this stage, your website will do a much better job at convincing people to stay and converting them to an inquiry.
You can then focus on how you ATTRACT.
By answering frequently asked questions via your blog, and ensuring that you have a simple user-experience/navigation, you will be giving Google more evidence to make you a prominent search by focusing on QUALITY traffic rather than the quantity of traffic.
This means that you’ll be able to get more of the right people to your website, tell them a story that has them trusting you and leads them towards relevant call-to-actions to make it easy for them to make an inquiry.
It requires work but with your website playing such a key role in all of your marketing in today’s world, this effort will be rewarded in many ways, from more online inquiries through to more referrals/opportunities.