Are you familiar with bounce rates? A bounce rate refers to the number of visitors that arrive at your website, only to quickly navigate away from your site after only seeing one page. If your bounce rate in increasing, that’s a clear sign that your homepage is off-putting or boring. This is a clear call to action! You need some quick dental marketing strategies to minimize your site’s bounce rate.
Here are a few of the primary reasons why people bounce off your landing page without exploring any further:
1. Poor navigation – The potential client lands on your page. They look around and notice that there’s no place to navigate from the page, so they’re forced to use the back button to back out. Not good. Perhaps your page offers “vague” links – these links don’t go anywhere! For example, you offer a link to something called Quick Links, which contains icons that are very recognizable to dentists, but pretty unrecognizable to anyone outside the field. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Some icons are great, like the smiling lips and teeth and the toothbrush. But the tooth image looks unrecognizable to a lay person. What is that – a weirdly shaped teapot? Sitting atop a bizarre table? Is that a price tag plastic thingy sticking into the pitcher? And why does that pitcher have an X on top of it? Looks perfectly fine to me! Result? Bounce.
2. A plethora of ads above the fold of your page – For someone searching for a particular service from a local dentist, seeing a bunch of ads in prime territory for relevant text and links is poor dental website design
3. Web navigation reflecting the structure of your practice, instead of providing links to classifications which have been used in your content keywords. Let’s say that you have been advertising Invisalign braces. Your front page offers a link to Orthodontist treatment, but not a word about Invisalign. The potential customer doesn’t know what Orthodontic means. Result? Bounce.
How to minimize your bounce rate
• First and most importantly, your medical website design has to deliver good content IMMEDIATELY, not two or three clicks in. You need to put your newest and brightest cutting edge information on your landing page. Are you using a new laser scanner or intraoral camera? Brag about it, above the fold! How about that state of the art ultrasonic scaler, or that 3M-3D impression scanner? Talk it up. Cosmetic imaging software, Panorex x-rays? You get the picture!
• Second, use the keywords that you’ve been advertising to create buttons on the top of your page, right above the practice name. Next to the Home button, you can have a button that says Offers which will link to a current coupon, a brand new service, etc. Services button next – then how about a button for Adult braces, followed by a Social Media button, containing info geared to Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, etc.? Of course you’ll need to actually provide some good content on those social media sites. Why not some kind of contest – say, offer happy customers taking a selfie of their smile some kind of nominal reward?
• Third – and this is critical – make sure that your page loads quickly. Today’s potential new clients get bored very quickly. They are trained to have a short attention span. For that very reason, you need to make sure that any ads, widgets, or third-party contents do NOT appear on your landing page. All they’ll do is slow down your page’s load time and alienate the potential client.
• Fourth, use good, clean, simple design principles. Medical marketing demands clean, readable fonts, flat design, and gentle contrasts. Flat design emphasizes minimalism – bright, large shapes, flat images, and sans-serif typography – think of the first icon page on your Smartphone. Bold colors are good, as are sharp edges and grid shapes. A potential customer will feel at home with this design and be apt to click on a few links to see what’s what on your page.
• Fifth, in your reports about bounce rates, you’ll be able to tell if you’re getting some traffic that has nothing to do with what services you’re providing. Perhaps your page link is located on a site that has outdated information on it – for example, you have a new branch office that is not included on the campaign page, or one of your dentists recently relocated, or, heaven forbid, has passed away, but they’re still living on, advertising bright and shiny smiles on another web page. Find those outdated pages, and ask to have your information updated or deleted. Result? A lower bounce rate.
• Sixth, the ever important call to action on your landing page. Every page needs a call to action, but it is especially critical on your landing page. Somewhere at the top of your page or printed to the side of a central photograph should be an attractive button saying something like “Get started today” or a banner that will tell prospective patients what they need to do. Your banner or button should be eye-engaging, as well as personal. You might say something like “Click here for quick answers to many common questions”. Make sure the banner is in contrasting colors with the rest of the page so it stands out. Don’t say anything that smacks of dental jargon, like restorations (use fillings instead), occlusion, dentition, etc. Say it simply, and in as modern language as possible.
• Seventh, remember that smartphones are the most common way that prospective clients visit your site – estimates range from 62% to 72% of potential clients are now accessing websites exclusively from their phones. Your landing page needs to attract patients using any kind of device, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. If you have a dental website design that features an attractive design, a user-friendly experience, a clean looking call to action, and some confidence-building content (beautiful photos of real-life patients, sincere testimonials, or a catchy blog-post) your bounce rate is sure to go down.
• Finally, you need to really look at the current metrics of your site, and find out what your exact bounce rate is, and focus on how to bring that number down. An important thing to remember is that you need to keep your web pages updated as much as possible. Put out a press release. If you offer a blog, make sure you keep adding blog posts. Adding a little unique content spices up your site, and will most certainly decrease your bounce rate.