In internet marketing a conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions. For a dental website this would be the ratio of website visitors who then call or email your practice to book an appointment. Conversions are a very important part of web marketing – your site can be ranked at the top of google for your chosen keywords with hundreds of site visitors every month, but if they aren’t converting into appointments, you are not going to see any return on investment on your internet marketing spend. The main benefit of increasing conversions is that your practice will see more income without having to drive additional traffic to your website.
Ways to increase conversion rates
You need a hosting account that can handle a high level of traffic to your website as well as having a reliable server to ensure that your site has little down time. Our websites are hosted by Hotchilli Communications, one of the leading website hosting providers in the UK, on a dedicated server. If users are visiting your site and it is down, then it is missing out on valuable traffic and conversions.
Making a site accessible is a legal obligation in many countries. Despite that, inaccessible websites are still being created. That can affect your conversions depending on how inaccessible you are, as visitors find the site impossible to use and go elsewhere (and end up recommending one of your competitors to their friends as well). A fairly typical inaccessible site could be losing 5% of potential sales because of this. (A really inaccessible website could even prevent search engines indexing it, giving a far higher amount of potential lost appointments.)
Many designers only pay attention to Internet Explorer when designing sites, the justification for this is that the ‘majority’ of traffic driven to a website would use IE as a browser, in fact more and more people are starting to use browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The dental websites we design are coded to be compatible with all of the major browsers to ensure good accessibility and conversion rates.
What happens when a user wants to contact your practice? They fill in a contact form or look for your phone number. What happens if they can’t find the contact form or see your phone number? They will go elsewhere. There are also some internet users who are still uncomfortable scrolling so having things above the fold is still important. And yet there are still plenty of sites out there with buttons that are too subtle, or don’t say the right thing, or are hidden away at the bottom of the page. A contact form on every page of your site and a prominent phone number in the header is very important and will certainly help increase conversions.
Calls to action
Calls to action are, in the simplest terms, something people visiting your site can do, over and above simply browsing through the pages of text and images. If a site visitor has to figure out what to do next on your site, after skimming through the text and images, they are likely to leave. Calls To Action, on the other hand, guide your site visitor towards what you want them to do and increase your website conversions. Calls To Action are crystal clear. There’s no need for cryptic messages. If the call to action is for 10% off a product or service, say so in the simplest terms. Use active phrases which include an active verb, to motivate people to complete the action. Examples include, ‘subscribe to our dental newsletter’ ‘Call today for 10% off tooth whitening treatments’ ‘contact us for more information using the form on the right’. We can advise you on how to add call to action copy to your website.
A good site will include information. A poor one is just an online catalogue. Information (articles, advice, reviews and so on) all help the user early in their buying process. Users start with research online, just as they do offline. If you can make contact with the user at that stage of their process, and give a favourable impression, there is a good chance that they will come back and buy from you when they finally decide to book an appointment.
Being memorable, and making sure you stick in the user’s mind, is dependent on a lot of factors. You must have a Unique Selling Point (e.g price, appointment times, expertise, experience, dental treatments offered), and branding is important (no good if your visitors remember why you are great but don’t remember your name), as well as the quality of your site and information.