Most dermatologists, plastic surgeons, aesthetic physicians, cosmetic surgeons and medical spas now have a web site. These range from - excellent, not bad, and blah, to downright horrible, unusable and sad. In some cases the site is so bad that it actually detracts from the message they are trying to convey. The days of unsophisticated web users are gone. In order to drive traffic and stand out, any site needs to obey these five rules:
Is there a clear personality? Do you feel like you know the business? Is there a feeling of intimacy? Your site should convey two things above all:
- You are an expert: If you're a medical spa, you are working in cosmetic medical technology. That denotes what is supposed to be a familiarity with technology and the ability to use it. If you're site looks like it's been created by your nephew you're in trouble. Many, many, many, patients are going to research you online and make a decison about what you're like based on the only thing they can, your site. Go ahead and create a site that postitions you as an expert in your field.
- You can be trusted: If you have a site that screams "call now", "order this product", and "going fast", just take a minute and think. You are in a market that is based in large part on trust. If you are seen as a "used car salesman of medicine", you're in trouble. The purpose of your site is not to make money. Suprise. The purpose of your site is to create the conditions that will allow a patient to overcome her natural reluctance to call and make a consultation. That's it.
Does your site read like a yellow page ad? In order to be useful to you (driving new patients) your site has got to be useful to them. Post information that is unique and useful to your clientiele. The day's of cut-and-paste are gone. You have chosen to be in a service industy so you're going to have to serve. Here is a big one... Link to articles and infomation that is not on your site! A site without external information links is like posting a "dead end" sign on your front page. Link to the article, treatment information or conditions on this site. That's what they're there for.
#3. Writing style:
Is it a sales pitch badly disguised as information? Is it a long-winded column on your CE instead of snappy and slightly-informal? Is it just a price list without analysis or insight? Anwser yes to any of these questions and you're losing money. If you want to gain a patient's trust, you have to earn it through effort. Think about what you want to convey and craft your site to do it.
#4. Usability & design:
Is the typeface easy to read? Is the information either darned useful or very enjoyable to read? Many web site designers get caught up in touting the latest and greatest tools that look flashy and cool. The problem is that they are notoriously difficult to use and update. If you're site is in Flash or uses some of the other greatest new gadgets, it may not be able to be indexed by the search engines and will cost you an arm and a leg every time you need to change something. Stick to basic HTML for the same reason Amazon and Ebay do. It works the best.
#5. Would you revisit?:
Is it useful or engaging enough for you to visit it again ? Or will you forget it the minute after you leave? If your site never changes you are losing a tremendous opportunity to interact with potential patients in a very cost effective medium.
Here are some examples and reviews of medical spa sites that you can learn from.
Warning: Materials and copy on web sites are subject to the same usage requirements as any other. This means that you can not copy or use anything without permission. There are now sophisitcated tools on the web that allow any site to find if their material is being used without permission and you may be liable.
You're site is the first interaction that many potential patients will have with you. Take the time to make sure that it works. Links to more information about marketing your medical spa.
- Surface Medical Spas: Err... my site. Something of a shameless plug.
- Juva Medispa - Skin & Laser Center: A middling site that doesn't do Juva's reputation as an outstanding medical spa justice. While the information is impressive, the site appears to be somewhat neglected.
- La Jolla SpaMD: A site that suffers from the "sales pitch" theme. The size and color of the copy and links are also difficult to read. There is a reason that dark type on white had been the standard since the printing press came around.
- Pure Rejuvenation Cosmetic Surgery & Spa Center: Ouch. Where to begin? Besides the name that was obviously thought up by the owner, this site does not instill a sense of confidence.
- The Mezzanine Spa in SoHo: A beautiful site that uses some bells and whistles but still fits the image that the Mezzanine is trying to convey. However, the site is still very static.
- Cultura Medical: An easy-to-navigate site that uses flash as a header which isn't all bad but also uses music, a big n0-no across the web.