Many people often ask about bariatric marketing and what is the best way to advertise? The case for web design has never been clearer and here’s why.
With focused bariatric website design, a medical office can expand through dense competitive environments without large ad budgets on TV, radio, and newspaper ads. The truth is that despite the large exposure traditional media offers, it pales in comparison to the hyper-connected digital audience.
The reasoning is really simple, why would anyone call the number on a commercial when they can google it? Modern people research everything online, everything, before buying anything.
Here are some of the things that can ruin your ad budget:
- Competition has better website.
- Existing website has not been rebuilt for mobile. Rebuilt as in from the ground up by designers that hold the phone in their hand to see how the pages look, and ask the questions about relevance on mobile feature sets?
- Response Times, is your campaign quick enough to answer inquiries without stumbling?
- Multiple company names, and promoters.
The Early Research Phase
The first thing to get clear is that people often spend anywhere from a year or two researching and reading about a bariatric procedure. Weight loss surgery eventually becomes bariatric surgery and sooner or later they know they’ve likely read every article online from Wikipedia, WebMD, or the NIH.gov. The likelihood that someone will contact an office about a surgical procedure during the research phase is rare if not unlikely. Once the research behind the correct procedure and understanding the health benefits of bariatric surgery is over, the search for a qualified office begins.
Because of the private nature of the surgery people typically will go straight to their phones and jump on their favorite search engine which is typically Google, unless their browser is Firefox which uses Yahoo by default. Apple also provides suggestions from Bing when necessary using Spotlight search. One of the major selling factors for better or worse will be the doctor’s website.
There are multiple reasons why this is the case and none of them have a common thread. Some sites do better by aesthetics, others offer better descriptions of how to reach the office or list itemized pricing. Our biggest aim at Asclepius is to improve functionality of a website improving performance. Some of the ways we do this is by increasing download speeds, optimizing for the browser hardware, and developing or nurturing quality content.
The best websites in bariatric medicine are always going to give valuable information, or a simple transparent experience. It is highly unlikely that an online brochure that is essentially static pages listing a phone number and address are going to do well.
However design is only as good-looking as it is functional. Craigslist would not have grown to be the huge website it is today without its simple non-aesthetic design. Even a website like Mercedes USA has little to no complex aesthetics or elaborate beautification. That’s because people don’t care how pretty a site is if it doesn’t work, they won’t notice the hours used to make a texture if the phone number is not found or takes forever to load.
While you may receive a referral from another office those should come in the form of a fax because any verbal referrals are likely doing research online and subject to the same factors as having never heard of the practice.
The better the website functions, the quicker it is for people to make up their minds. Often times you can clutter your message by insisting on hitting as many points as possible about your service offerings or talents. Writing bariatric surgery one hundred times does not improve SEO and worse will read like a broken record confusing visitors.
At the end of the day it really depends organizational layout, and improved tech that determines how people will visit your site.
Originality is a major selling point in the creation and design of your site. Copy pasted text, and stock photography are a good way to not only build a generic site but are sure to seem unappealing to your audience. Find time to develop your practice by taking photos of your team or asking supporting partners if they can participate in a photo for the website. It may seem silly or even unnecessary but the benefit of putting faces to names, and showing a history are the few short steps that show trust.
There are many ways to advertise and market a bariatric program, and hopefully this article has convinced enough people that a smart functional website and comprehensive program are the best assets.
While there are always exceptions to these rules they do not account for long-term planning when considering the likely change in technology or the interests that fund search engines. A true comprehensive marketing program will not say whatever you want to get more business, nor will it guarantee a #1 ranking.