When you are looking for a product or service, where do you turn for information or recommendations?
My wife and I have a regular date night every Friday. Each and every Friday it is the same routine of, “where should we go?” and last minute web searches for restaurants and reviews in our area. The availability of information and recommendations online has made web searches for reviews a priority for nearly anything we plan to buy these days. And this is no different for your prospective cosmetic surgery patients.
If you haven’t done it yet, go on over to Google and type in your name to see what comes up in the listings. Chances are you will see at least a couple results from some of the common review sites such as vitals, healthgrades, etc and these are the same reviews your prospective patients see when searching for your name.
So what does this have to do with more cosmetic surgery web leads in 2012? The first tip we will dive into is improving your trust factor online.
Build Trust Online
Attracting patients through Google search all starts with building trust. And the two best ways to establish trust online are:
1. Positive reviews from real patients should far outweigh any negative reviews
2. The higher in the search results your site ranks, the more prospective patients will trust you.
Whether it is fair or unbiased or not, it is an unfortunate truth that searchers view poorly ranked sites as less trustworthy when compared to those sites which rank towards the top. In a way it makes sense because sites which have been around longer are naturally more likely to rank towards the top simply due to the online reputation they have built. That’s not to say a new site with a strong marketing campaign backing it won’t outrank an aged site but all things being equal, aged sites tend to rank better.
If you aren’t actively working to improve your sites rankings and traffic from search, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity. Especially in cosmetic surgery we see huge demand for patient education online. It is incredible how quickly we see search volumes climb for the latest procedures and trends. Patients are hungry for information. Providing them with the right information online will push you up in the search results and present you as an authority — which equals more trust points for your practice.
Encourage Patient Reviews
Attaining positive patient reviews is an easier process than most practices make it out to be. If you are truly providing quality services, you should be able to hand a card to every patient asking them to review you on site A or site B — whichever you prefer.
A disgruntled patient here or their may also post a review but you will see far more positive reviews than negative. And the disgruntled patients are going to post reviews whether you recommend the review process or not. So encourage all patients to post reviews and start improving your online trust factor.
Be The First To Respond
As people scour the Internet looking for information and service recommendations if they volunteer their information to a website, there is a 20% chance they will buy in the next 6 months and 45% purchase within 12 months. The problem is they don’t necessarily end up buying from the fist site they give their information to. They end up buying from the site which responded first in a relevant manner and continued to provide value over time. How many names and email addresses did you collect from your website in 2011? If you can’t answer that question to at least the nearest 100 you have a problem. Don’t worry, the second question gets worse. How many of those leads are you still providing relevant content to on a regular basis?
Relevant content doesn’t mean your generic newsletter that goes out to every email address in your system. However even doing that is better than the system many practices have in place. Relevant content means communicating with the lead over time regarding the procedure[s] / service[s] they have expressed interest in. The truth is that without the right systems in place, many web leads fall through the cracks and are not followed up with over time. For 2012 commit to tracking the number of web leads from your site and hopefully some visitor recency and loyalty stats for each user so this time next year you can confidently say you have improved. For help with any of this, check out our Inbound Advisor program