Healthcare businesses have largely relied on word-of-mouth to bring new consumers. Though traditional advertising has been instrumental in building brand awareness, people rely a lot on referrals before making a decision to entrust their health to you, or buy a medical product. With the arrival of the internet and its tremendous popularity, now people make their way to online destinations to learn more about medical services and products. When optimizing for revenue and conversion in the health market, marketers need to focus also on the visitors’ belief and trust apart from the standard conversion rate optimization techniques. Healthcare services and products are under constant scrutiny with consumers frequently hearing about bans, class action lawsuits, recalls and negative research studies. These are sufficient to cause mistrust, making it difficult for marketers to get their products across to the populace. Healthcare marketers must therefore take extra effort to get consumers use their services/products, and also concentrate on optimizing their websites and web traffic. That brings us to search engine optimization for medical websites or medical SEO that focuses on bringing quality visitor traffic to your website, and medical website optimization that focuses on making your website appealing and useful for the visitors.
Website Optimization vs. Traffic Optimization
Though these terms are often used to signify the same thing, there are distinctions between the two that must be carefully understood to obtain maximum benefits from these strategies. Today, majority of businesses rely on online sales or lead generation for more profit but not every company has a call tracking platform, a solid testing strategy or budget. So the question is, with small budgets and limited resources, should you be spending more on website optimization or traffic optimization?
What Website Optimization Involves
It is the process that tests and improves a website to better engage and convert visitors by combining website testing, analytics, usability and online marketing best practices. Website optimization produces a highly competitive website that outperforms competitors on every measure such as traffic, speed, sell through rate and ROI. Optimization of website improves the efficiency of the website in converting visitor traffic into leads, readers, subscriptions, and paying customers all of which ensure greater ROI. To improve the performance of the website, website owners must implement website testing to experiment with variations on the pages of the website to determine what strategies will improve engagement, clicks, purchases etc.
Depending on the type of business, the target customers, and the action the audience is expected to take (make a phone call, fill out a form, make a purchase or read an article/blog), the goals of a website will vary. The desired action expected from a website visitor may also be conversions, i.e., the number of audience members who complete a certain action.
- An online medical store optimizes its website to encourage visitors to complete checkouts and repeat purchases.
- Online medical publishers would have the conversion goal of increasing the number of articles visitors read.
- A plastic surgery website would have the conversion goal of encouraging visitors to complete a task such as contacting them through a form on the website, or via email or phone call.
Effective website optimization would ensure that the conversions happen more efficiently by addressing the specific needs and concerns of the targeted visitors. So what are the website elements that can be optimized?
- Headlines, or important messages relevant to the company’s value proposition
- Length of a form, altering the order of completion or the number of required fields
- Use of visual media such as videos or photos
- Placement of a call to action link or button, its visual style, text
- Placement of social sharing button/functionality
- Website navigation
- Mobile friendliness
- Landing pages for marketing campaigns
- Multipage processes on websites such as a free trial signup, multipage form or a checkout funnel
Web Traffic Optimization
Web traffic optimization is the process of getting visitors from free/organic/natural search results on leading search engines. In other words, it is search engine optimization that ensures your website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to your products/services. It can be defined as a quality control process for your website. SEO strategies include the following:
- Link building
- Effective content marketing
- Keyword research and use of the right keywords/key phrases
- Benefit focused content curation
- Blogs/articles creation and posting
- Making your website mobile friendly
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Webinar hosting
- Optimizing videos and podcasts
- Optimizing URLs
SEO strategies focus on including the right components that will attract search engine crawlers and make them rank your website high in the search results for your kind of services/products. This will naturally increase the number of visitors clicking through to your website.
Website Optimization and Web Traffic Optimization – Complimentary Strategies
Earlier, online marketing was focused on driving more traffic to your website. But today more traffic alone will not increase your sales. Traffic without conversion is meaningless as professional providers of medical SEO services would agree. It naturally follows that every dollar you put into optimizing your website will bring attractive returns. You need to optimize your site rankings in the search engines, and optimize your website to meet your visitors’ needs and convert them. For healthcare websites, website optimization would be the more important requirement. Healthcare businesses need a convincing and dynamic website that will provide everything the visitor is looking for, engage them completely and encourage them to complete that very important call for action.
Ensure that your website uses the most relevant search engine keywords as it will increase your online visibility and bring more visitors to your website. Also use site testing and other result-oriented web optimizing strategies for better customer engagement.