First Impressions are Everything

If you think your website is just fine the way that it is, and it makes a great first impression read this to be sure.
It takes less than two-tenths of a second (that’s quicker than an actual blink of an eye) for a potential patient online to form a first opinion of your brand once they’ve perused your company’s website, according to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. And it takes just another 2.6 seconds for that viewer’s eyes to concentrate in a way that reinforces that first impression. The researchers found that specific sections attracted the most interest.
The seven sections that sparked the most interest are below:

  • The logo. Users spent about 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.
  • The main navigation menu. Almost as popular as the logo, subjects spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing the menu.
  • The search box, where users focused for just over 6 seconds.
  • Social networking links to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users spent about 5.95 seconds viewing these areas.
  • The site’s main image, where users’ eyes fixated for an average of 5.94 seconds.
  • The site’s written content, where users spent about 5.59 seconds.
  • The bottom of a website, where users spent about 5.25 seconds.

A customer’s first impression of you and your business used to be via the yellow pages. Their expectations were fairly low and they were never really able to form an impression about your business. The Internet has changed the potential customers “first impression” experience, and more importantly, it has changed their “first impression” expectations.
What does all this mean? You need a website. But not only do you need a website, you need a well-designed website. And not only does it have to look good, it needs to function perfectly. Along with looking and functioning great, it needs to show a visitor what they want to know without the need to search for it since the researchers found that on average, a visitor spent 20 seconds on a site. And most importantly, you site needs to leave a fabulous first impression.
If it’s been a while since you really looked at your website, take a look. What is your “first impression”?

Do You Know the ROI of Your Website?

For a great deal of your website, much like public relations (PR), the return on investment (ROI) is not easily quantified. Metrics do exist, but for the most part they provide erroneous data.

PR should tell a story, lots of stories, ideally stories that are told and shared by one potential customer to another or by one satisfied customer to a potential customer. The value and credibility when one person provides information about your practice to someone else is immeasurable.

It is possible to use a page on your company website that replicates conventional “call to action” marketing pieces. The ROI of these pieces can be measured.

However, a portion of your company’s website pages should serve to replace and/or replicate your outbound marketing systems, for example:

Yellow Pages – “Googling” a business for their address and/or phone number has replaced the old yellow pages book as a source for directory information.
Brochure – Your website is an opportunity to provide information about your practice with the advantage of being able to present considerably more information than the average office brochure with the added ability of frequent updates and edits as your company evolves.
A customer’s first impression of you and your business used to be via the yellow pages. Their expectations were fairly low and they were never really able to form an impression about your business. The Internet has changed the potential customers “first impression” experience and more importantly it has changed their “first impression” expectations.

We also suggest that clients use their website to reinforce a sale after the sale has been made to prevent buyer’s remorse. You’ve just spent 60 – 90 minutes with your patient. Hopefully, but not realistically, you’ve answered every question they have and allayed every fear they may have after they leave your business. Your website can help to answer unasked questions and allay latent fears that any consumer, who just spent thousands of dollars, is bound to have.

Provide Great Customer Service Before the Sale

Tis the season, consumers are inundated with marketing and advertising pieces at an alarming rate via TV, phones, computers, radio.  You name it, its on sale, for sale and available all day every day.

There are any number of reasons that the average consumer uses to decide what to buy, when and where.  Let’s focus on just one, customer service. There’s a great deal to be said for customer service.  To put it simply, customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.

Customer Service Before the Purchase

When we think about customer service we often think about the service we provided after a purchase is made.  But a great deal of customer service can be delivered before the anything is ever purchased.  One of the easiest ways to provide great customer service beforehand is via your website.

10 Things Potential Consumers Want to Find on Your Website

Online shoppers are on your website either because they were looking specifically for your business or they stumbled on your site looking for what you sell.  Either way they are right where you want them to be. This will be their first experience with your ability to provide customer service.  Make it a great experience by making sure your site includes the following.

  1. Your address
  2. A map indicating your location
  3. Your phone number
  4. The services you provide
  5. The products you sell
  6. The ability to contact you from the website
  7. Display your expertise, typically via a blog
  8. Testimonials from satisfied consumers
  9. Information about you
  10. Coupons and discounts

Start off with your customers on the right foot by providing great customer service before they actually become your customer.


What Not to Do When Advertising Your Company

This is going to be a relatively short blog in the hopes that you read it.

This information is important. If you don’t follow this advice when promoting your company I can guarantee that it will cost you a loss of time, a loss of revenue and the loss of your sanity until your online identity is reclaimed.

  1. Never use a call source number that you don’t own, anywhere at anytime on anything you own.
  2. Never use a domain name that you don’t own. Don’t allow it to be used on your behalf in any promotional piece either printed or online…EVER.

Phone numbers and domain names have value…especially when they’re published online where they will stay forever.

These names and numbers can be and will be sold to your competitors and any optimization value attached to either the name or the number will transfer to the “new owner”.

For example, if a video on page one that you can longer access lists your company name with a domain name that isn’t yours, it’s possible to create a scenario where a click on the domain name redirects the potential patient to a competitors website.

Just remember it this way…

“If you promote it own it.”