Grow your Medical Practice: Six Simple Steps for an Effective Website Call to Action
A call to action is the implicit or explicit suggestion contained in a marketer’s content. Perhaps the most common call to action that comes to mind is an incentive to purchase a product on an ecommerce website. However, the concept of a call to action is not limited to direct buying and selling. In fact, every website should have an objective it wants its users to complete. The healthcare industry is no exception.
How do you create and implement an effective call to action on healthcare websites?
1. Identify your Goal: Granted the objective for medical practice websites is different than a financial transaction conducted on the Internet, the notion of promoting a purchase (in its broadest terms) is the same. The first step in establishing an effective call to action is to identify your goal. If your goal is to grow your practice, then new patient acquisition is the primary focus.
2. Appeal to Users’ Needs and Give them Incentive: In order for users to complete a call to action, they need to know what they will get. Think about your target demographic – existing and potential patients – and consider the reasons why they might be visiting your website. Perhaps they are looking for a diagnosis, or, maybe they want to know if they are a good candidate for a particular treatment. Sometimes appealing to their needs is incentive enough; other times you need to sweeten the deal.
3. Limit the Number of Distinct Actions: If your call to action requires too many steps or choices, you can easily overwhelm the user and cause them to give up. For example, let’s go back to step one (Identify your Goal). The goal is new patient acquisition. For step two, the need is to determine whether a treatment is right for a patient. A possible call to action could be an online survey that asks questions of the user and gets them to respond. In this example, it’s important to limit the number of questions to only those most poignant.
4. Use Active, Urgent, and Clear Language: The written word has the power to evoke response if and when it is conveyed appropriately. Get people moving with action-oriented messages that start with strong verbs. Establish a sense of urgency with time-sensitive messages that compel users to act now. Make sure your call to action is clear and comprehensible. By writing for the layperson, you reduce the mental effort. Using our online survey as an example, “Find out if you are a candidate for (treatment title) and feel better sooner” may be viable call to action.
5. Implement in a Way that Grabs User Attention: Among the content (pictures, videos, graphics, copy) on a website, if a call to action is not prominently positioned, it will get lost in the overall noise of the page. If you position the call to action so that it is centered, high on the page, and surrounded by a certain amount of white space, chances are it will not be missed. Draw even more attention to it by enlarging the font and changing the color. Implement the call to action on as many pages as possible. The online survey example would be the perfect addition to all of your treatment pages.
6. Carry the Call Through: The most powerful call to action can quickly lose its strength when the action is not followed through by website administrators. If existing or potential patients are taking the time to complete a call to action, it’s imperative that they are given the opportunity to reap the reward. In the example of the online survey, when users submit their answers, be sure that submissions are sent by email or uploaded to a database where your staff can follow up by scheduling an appointment.
DDA Medical specializes in medical website design and development for new patient marketing. As part of a broad service offering, DDA Medical can help you craft and implement a strong call to action that delivers a response that grows your business. Contact DDA Medical by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 215-355-642.