How To Optimize Your Healthcare Practice Website for Higher Conversion Rates

Optimizing your healthcare practice website for higher conversion rates (CR) is as important as running ads. Many people overlook conversion rate optimization (CRO) in their content marketing strategy because they don’t consider it necessary. Instead, they focus on pay-per-click ads, link building, and other aspects of SEO and advertising. But come to think of it, what’s the point in getting thousands of page views a day if they won’t convert. Nothing!

With CRO, you can turn existing visitors into paying customers and convert new traffic from paid marketing faster and better. But before you conclude on the quality of your conversion rate, your conversion goal — purchases, email subscriptions, free trial sign-ups, etc. — must be defined. Without that goal, it’ll be difficult to know whether or not you’re doing great.

How To Calculate Your Website Conversion Rate

how to calculate conversion rate | conversion rate optimization
Formula for calculating conversion rate | Conversion rate optimization

There’s a simple formula for calculating conversion rates: total transaction / total traffic * 100. Let’s put it in perspective:  Suppose you’re a treadmill dealer — all types of treadmills. And at the moment, your goal is to get people to sign up for your newsletters so you can nurture them into regular buyers. So you produced

  1. A comprehensive buying guide; and
  2. A DIY treadmill repair guide.

You published the buying guide as a blog post but made the repair guide into an ebook as a lead magnet for anyone that comes to read the buying guide. Then you ran a week-long search engine and social media ads pointing to the blog post. How do you calculate your CR and customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

Note: the CR and CAC share an inverse relationship — the higher the one, the lower the other. Always aim for a high conversion rate.

First, you need to get the analytics data on that page (either from the Google Analytics dashboard or the CTR column on your ad campaign dashboard) to know how much traffic you got from the ad. And since you already know the number of subscriptions, you got (on your email manager dashboard), do your calculation.

Here are some fictitious figures: Traffic: 21,756, subscriptions: 683. Using the formula above, we’d have 683/21,756*100. The result will tell you that your conversion rate is 3.1%. What if you got up to a 10% conversion rate; you’d have converted over 2,000 prospects.

But that’s for a single landing page. If you want to calculate the entire website’s conversion rate, you’d need the collective traffic flowing to all your website’s pages from all sources.

You can get the traffic records for all sources on your analytics dashboard (or your Google search console dashboard if you’re calculating only for traffic from Google search). You should calculate the entire website’s conversion rate for different goals (email subscriptions, direct sales, free trials, etc.) to see what’s working best for you.

If you’re not satisfied with your results, review your strategy to focus more on your primary goal, which is more sales. However, if you notice you close sales in the mailing list more than you do on the website (which is true for many businesses), optimize your website for email subscriptions, not direct sales.

Now, it’s not a new thing for a business website to pull traffic but not convert — healthcare or not. And the problem doesn’t lie there; it lies in not doing anything about it. Whether you’re a healthcare professional managing your website by yourself or a marketing officer overseeing a healthcare practice’s content marketing strategy, you’ll find this article useful in optimizing your website for conversion.

How to Optimize Your Healthcare Website for Higher Conversion Rates

  • Focus on attracting the right audience
  • Discourage ranking for tire-kicker keywords
  • Engage your audience
  • Understand the buyer’s journey
  • Pay attention to Calls-to-Action

1. Focus on Attracting The Right Audience

It’s very possible to attract the wrong audience — to any website — if your targeting isn’t laser-focused. As a business operating in the healthcare industry, it’s not enough that you have your target market stored in your hippocampus. It has to be represented in your marketing strategy as the buyer’s persona.

Having a buyer’s persona will help guide you at every stage of your content marketing to make sure you’re targeting the right people. The goal of a marketing strategy is not just to bring traffic, but to generate sales-qualified leads. Traffic is a means to an end, not the end itself. But the wrong traffic is a means to nothing.

For instance, suppose you run (or work at) a private hospital. You’d be helping patients with several health issues, right? Okay, let’s say you’ve got general practitioners and specialists for pediatrics, gynecology, mental health, and probably some other branches of health and wellbeing.

Now, because you want your website to rank on Google, Bing, and other search engines for several health issues, you published contents that revolve around diseases, infections, first aid, and everything related to your services — that’s not a wrong way to go. The problem is just that such content is often optimized for global (short-tail) keywords.

Regardless of their location on the planet, someone searching about PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is searching about PCOS, and someone searching about Kidney Stones is searching about Kidney Stones. Besides, you’d be in a ranking battle with health industry behemoths like Healthline, Medicalnewstoday, WebMD, Womenshealth, etc. So what’s the fix? Local SEO.

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process by which you set up your business to show up in search results when people in your geographic area of operation perform searches related to your services on search engines. It works, even without a website. But if you have a website (with content), then you’d have an edge over those who don’t because you’d be able to rank higher, build trust, and convert faster. Here are some tips:

How To Optimize Your Healthcare Practice for Local SEO

  1. Create a Google My Business account.
  2. Verify your ownership of the business and provide accurate information for all fields.
  3. Make sure your location appears on your pages. You can put it in the header.
  4. Consider creating location-specific top-level domains — xyz.ca and xyz.us are better than canada.xyz.com and us.xyz.com.
  5. List your company on business directories with accurate information.
  6. Create content around local keywords and blog about local news and events that relate to your industry or your customers.
  7. Optimize your webpages for mobile compatibility.

2. Discourage Ranking for Tire Kicker Keywords :

In content marketing and keyword research, there’s something called keyword intent (or user intent). This is the type of information a search engine “thinks” users desire to get when they use certain search phrases. Among these intents is the tire kicker intent. Of course, that name’s made up. But tire-kicker keywords are those keywords with the format: “premium service + free” or “expensive service + cheap”.

In the United States alone, the keyword “free clinic near me” receives between 10K to 100K searches every month from Google. And if you’re not operating for free, ranking for such keywords really is something you don’t want to deal with. Unfortunately, you can’t simply flip a switch and prevent your website from ranking for these keywords. But here’s a fix you can try.

How To Prevent Ranking for Tire Kicker Keywords

  1. Identify the pages that rank most for these keywords. Webmaster tools for each search engine can help with this.
  2. Analyze the content types you have on them.
  3. Edit your content to make the pages more purchase oriented.
  4. Create a pricing page if possible.
  5. Minimize the usage of the word “free” across your website.

Another alternative is for you to disallow those pages ranking for “free” keywords from being indexed on search engines. If they’re essential to your lead generation and nurturing, point links to them from top performing pages.

3. Engage Your Audience

Once you implement your content marketing strategy, eventually, you’d start getting visits. That depends on whether you’re relying solely on SEO, which may take several months of consistent blogging before you seeing results, or you have a budget for search engine and social media ad campaigns.

Either way, visits to your website will increase — eventually. And you’ll start getting feedback from visitors. When this happens, it’ll be in your best interest to reply to feedbacks ASAP. When you reply to users’ feedback and comments on your blog, you build trust, and you humanize your brand. And once they trust you, buying your services is just around the corner.

If you have subscribers on your mailing list, be sure to engage them with valuable content regularly. And make sure you communicate with customers in the language they speak. Write and post in simple English. Go low on medical terms and industry jargon, your customers don’t really need them. If your customers can relate to what you’re saying, it’ll be easier for them to perceive your expertise and consider trying your product or service. 

4. Understand The Buyer’s Journey (and Create Content For Each Stage)

Have you heard about the conversion funnel? In the past, it used to be a cylinder, but the funnel represents it better. There is the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel (and sometimes retention). It’s a funnel because the number of people that will be converted into buyers is low, compared to the total number of traffic you pull. Below is a graphical representation of the conversion funnel by Moz.

conversion rate optimzation for health websites
The conversion funnel | Conversion rate optimization

Obviously, the widest part is the Discovery, then the Consideration stage shrinks a little, and the conversion stage shrinks even more. How this relates to you, a “healthketing” professional, is that there are different types of content for each stage in the conversion funnel. So if you’ve only focused on creating a single type of content all along, you haven’t been giving your website enough juice for conversion.

— The Discovery Stage

In the discovery stage, you’re just trying to get your name out there. Trying to break the grounds and grow some roots. Most of the content you’ll publish here are informational topics. Talk about wide topics focused on educating prospects about common health issues — infections and diseases, for instance.

At the top of the funnel, you’ll focus on short-tail keywords to create contents that answer users’ questions or solve their problems. This will help build authority and flex your knowledge and expertise in the industry. But you must do this with brief mention of your product. It’s all just informational stuff optimized for high-volume keywords. A lot of the traffic you’ll generate here won’t turn to sales. But you might make some.

— The Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, you’ll want to create contents that revolve around your products and services. Suppose you’re a health insurance company, and you’re creating a blog post about Family Life Insurance. In that blog post, you might include sentences like “Here at XYZ Health Insurance, we have a process which we’ve developed over the years to make sure every family gets the perfect insurance policy with as little stress as possible, and at a competitive price.

Healthcare IT and Healthcare technology firms will want to produce articles like “How To Use The XYZ Tool To Do So So”. In this stage, you’ll also create content on case-scenarios that warrant the use of your product to solve one problem or the other. This is good for showcasing the essential features of your product. This way, visitors will be able to relate your product or services to their needs.

Other content types in this stage include case studies, reviews, comparisons, datasheets, brochures, and product descriptions.

— The Conversion Stage

Okay, this is the stage that brings a broad smile to your face and some money to your account. For the conversion stage, creating sales pages is essential. Your sales pages could be the product description pages with checkout buttons, but you’d have to focus more on buy-now keywords for their SEO. If you accept discount coupons, you can create a coupon page. “Promo”, and “Coupon” are big indicators that a buyer is ready to buy. So while creating pages or contents optimized for the conversion stage, make sure you have your marketing hat on.

— Retention

One of the biggest mistakes you could make in your marketing strategy is to not plan how you’ll turn onetime buyers into regular customers. For this stage, the information you ask for during checkout and the page shown after the purchase is completed is important. With customers’ permission, make sure you store their email addresses. This will be easier if you give them a hint into what’s in it for them. When you have customers’ emails, you’d be able to provide support, special offers, insider updates, ask for feedback, request to interview customers for case studies, etc.

Simply stated, this is what you should do: 

  • Create enough content for each stage in the conversion funnel.
  • Optimize each content for the appropriate keyword type (informational, product, and buy-now).
  • Link from articles in one stage to another. I.e., link to case studies and reviews (consideration) from general informational articles (discovery). And from case studies and reviews (consideration) to landing pages and product pages (conversion).
  • Build links to your consideration and conversion contents for better rankings.

5. Pay Attention to Calls to Action

If you don’t call users on your website to take a particular action, they’ll just bounce off your website and go elsewhere.

Know now that calls to action aren’t always about sales. And conversion on your website isn’t measured only by sales but also by email subscriptions and product trials. So your calls to action won’t always be Buy, Buy, Buy, and even more buys.

The fix? With calls to action, there are dos and don’ts, and they’re all very important.

How To Make Great Calls-To-Action

  1. Tailor your CTA according to the content above it, which is determined by the buyer’s location in the good ol’ funnel. So at each stage of the buyer’s journey, tailor your CTA accordingly.
  2. Pay Attention to the words you use in calling your users to action. Don’t make the mistake of using the default ‘Submit’, ‘Send’, ‘Register’, ‘Buy Now’ in your CTAs. It’s much better if you communicate a benefit or mention what’s on the other side. E.g. “Book My Consultation”, “Start My Free Trial”, “Give Me Weekly Health Updates”
  3. Don’t let your CTA blend in with the page content. Consider green, blue, or orange background. Stay away from outlined buttons for CTAs.
  4. Keep a secondary CTA close. Using the exit-intent call to action on your sales pages, you can ask users to subscribe to your newsletters or read case studies.
  5. Don’t give prospects too many options. A maximum of 2 CTAs (primary and secondary) is recommended. And don’t use internal and external linking on your landing pages.

Take Away

With conversion rate optimization, nothing is set in stone. What’s important is that you keep collecting relevant data and keep making necessary adjustments.

In what fun ways have you boosted conversion on your website? Let’s hear about them in the comments.

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