Visitors will make up their minds about your website in just 10 – 20 seconds!
You read that statistic correctly. According to Nielsen Norman Group research, if site visitors don’t quickly find what they’re looking for they typically leave your website quickly.
That means having a very clear message is crucial for getting visitors to stay on a given web page.
In this post, I’ll cover content messaging recommendations you can use to immediately appeal to prospective patients who land on your most important website pages.
1. Be Direct
The common question that needs to be answered in the minds of prospective patients is a variation of “why is X practice the best option for my needs?”
So, keep the content simple and direct. Don’t make visitors guess what your business can do for them. Instead, tell them right away why they need your services.
In the following example from Sesame’s website, we literally say in bold title letters “WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU.”
Using direct wording right away will help capture your audience’s attention quickly and, consequently, maximize the number of visitors who stay on a web page for a while.
2. Proof Sells
It’s important to quickly convey to visitors why your practice is their best option. Using statistics and customer testimonials extensively will provide reassuring proof to visitors about your credentials.
Most visitors enter your website not knowing much about your practice. They need to know that you and your team are great at providing the type of dental-related care they need, which is why incorporating stats and testimonials can be very effective. They add a “don’t take our word for it, look at these success metrics/happy customers” scenario. At Sesame, we commonly add customer testimonials, case studies, and success statistics to marketing materials for this very reason.
3. Feature Your Most Important Content First
Make sure the most important content on each page is placed at the top. Site visitors scroll pages from top-to-bottom regardless of device type, so it’s crucial to list important information right away.
You should also plan for how people view content online. In western cultures that means top-down and left to right, so your most important content should be at the beginning of statements.
On websites, people scan instead of read. Using white space, bullet points, numbering, etc. makes scanning easier. Website visitors have really short attention spans!
What does this look like? Have a look at the following example from the Sesame website. It’s the top of Sesame’s “Web Design” category page. We use the succinct title “WEB DESIGN” and the following paragraph briefly outlines Sesame’s web design service.
4. Use Your Audience’s Language
It turns out that most patients only have a rudimentary knowledge of dental terminology. That means excessive use of medical terms and doctor lingo on your website will NOT appeal to current and prospective patients.
Building a strong awareness of how your patients refer to your services is very important. Using terms your patients and prospects understand and use will help create better engagement on your website.
Opting to use common terminology should also help drive quality visitors to your website due to improved organic search rankings. Why do rankings, and thus traffic, stand a good chance of increasing? Having top terms featured in content can improve the relevance of your website in the eyes of the search engines. It’s a win-win scenario!
In short, being direct and using statistics and/or customer quotes will help keep visitors interested in the content you feature on each page of your website. Putting the most important content first and using patient-friendly terminology will further bolster your chances of keeping visitors engaged. More importantly, it should entice more of them to contact you and start the process of becoming new patients.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about content messaging on your website!
—Mike Fitterer, Sr. Marketing Manager, Sesame Communications