“If you build it, they will come,” may have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams but is a bit off target for effective website management. The better slogan for the design of plastic surgery websites is, “If you ask them what they want and give it to them, they will come.”
Many website designers exert a tremendous amount of energy, resources, and time into the newest bells and whistles of search engine algorithms but forget the most important factor of all. What are your prospective clients looking for as they search the Internet?
A wise step is to offer a survey from time to time, asking visitors to your site what they are looking for in plastic surgery websites. One plastic surgeon’s group did just that. Here are the questions they asked and the answers their Internet followers gave them.
When you click a link what is the most important thing you are hoping to find?
The first four answers this plastic surgery group got back were:
- Before & after photos
- Procedural information
- Cost information
More than one survey has shown that prospective clients often place cost information high on their priority list in doing web searches but few plastic surgery sites contain such information.
What are you hoping to learn about a procedure when clicking a link?
A large majority of respondents said they wanted an honest evaluation of the pros and cons of a particular procedure. They wanted to know what the advantage of one procedure over another is. In short, most that answered the survey said they wanted to find what their options were.
What are you looking for in testimonials?
Respondents placed testimonials, contact information, and specific information about the doctor on the same level of importance. People wanted to know who you are, where you are, and what other people are saying about you. Ultimately, they want to feel comfortable scheduling an appointment with you.
What do you think is missing on our site?
Apart from price information, a surprising number of people said the one thing missing on this plastic surgical group’s site was humor. They felt the blog was too formal and stiff. This is a good reminder that people want their doctors to be human beings. Blogs, in particular, should be much more informal.
When you do a search for a plastic surgery procedure, how much take away information do you find?
Although plastic surgeons have become quite sophisticated in their Internet marketing and web design, the answer to this question was most telling of all. A majority of the respondents said that when they did a Google search about a specific procedure, most of what they found was useless. This is bad news and good news for plastic surgery websites. It’s bad news for the majority of sites that do not provide prospective patients what they are looking for. But it is good news for those that take the time to provide current and meaningful content.
Prospective clients are searching for useful information about the procedures they are considering and they want to know what their options are. It’s great that you have a good-looking web site and offer the procedures they are considering but they want to know what sets you apart. They want to feel some connection with you personally and they want to know if they can see themselves coming to you for the cosmetic surgery they desire.
“If you give them the content they are looking for they will come.”