Get More Cosmetic Surgery Patients From The Web

It's no surprise that dominant cosmetic surgery practices also have a dominant web site and presence. More than ever, cosmetic surgery patients utilize the Internet to help select a credible surgeon. If you want more quality leads and patients, it's time to upgrade your web site marketing efforts.

Most plastic surgery practices want their web site in front of these consumers, but don't do the hard work of (1) ensuring their site "converts" visitors, or (2) "optimizing" it to compete for top search engine positions. If you want to get more leads and more patients, you need to address both.

Web Site Development

When you are ready to upgrade your web site, begin by assessing your strategy before you become overly focused on just the design. Obviously, the image you project is important and says a lot about your aesthetic taste. However, if you build your design around a solid strategy and good content, rather than forcing your content and strategy to fit within a particular design, you will attract more well-informed patients.

Some things you should consider when revitalizing your strategy and renovating your web site:

Itemize and prioritize: Identify a prioritized list of cosmetic procedures you want to promote, and a comprehensive list of target keyword phrases that local consumers will use on the search engines to find your web site. Does your web site appropriately promote each of these areas with that same priority? Also, think about possible "niche" services that your local competitors overlook, such as brachioplasty or even male procedures, like gynecomastia.

Do your homework first: Conduct competitive research and identify web sites that consistently appear high on the search engines using your list of keyword phrases. Evaluate what they are doing to secure their positioning and rate the overall effectiveness of their web site. How does your's compare? How can you do it better? Remember, creating a winning strategy doesn't happen by accident, and isn't done in a vacuum.

Identify your brand: To solidify your "brand," make sure you have a defined branding strategy to "keep your eye on the ball" during the copywriting and design phases. Be sure your content and look will work together in furthering your brand.

Strategize calls-to-action: If your web site is intended to be an effective direct marketing tool, and more than just an on-line brochure, don't assume visitors know what to do when they get to your site. Develop creative and compelling calls-to-action and obvious "next steps" that will drive visitors to target "destination" pages, and get them to take specific action.

Review content: Most practices make the mistake of focusing only on the look of the web site and undervalue rich, highly organized web site content. Not only will effective, highly organized content help educate visitors and develop credibility, it is also essential in securing valuable positions on the search engines. Keep in mind, the primary objective for search engines is to index relevant information for specific keywords and phrases. Also, don't sell upscale Internet consumers short. Remember, they are investing time and energy to research cosmetic procedures and local providers, not to look for "advertisements". They want to buy, but don't want to be "sold". Be sure you provide them web pages that have substance and compelling copy.

Finally, design: Once you have invested the time to research and plan, the web site design phase will be much more efficient and focused. The following are some items you may want to consider when designing your sales-driven web site. Make sure new visitors immediately realize that you are a local provider and that your site offers information on the services they are researching. Place your phone number and "email us" link above the fold of every page. Don't end any page without an obvious next step ("back to top" is useless). Refer regularly to your pre-design research and plan throughout the design process to ensure you stay on track.

Recommended reading: If you are redesigning your web site or updating the content of your site, consider the following resources:

- Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy by Nick Usborne - Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Search Engine Positioning

Developing a compelling web site is only worth it if local consumers find it. Getting your web site to appear on the first page of the search engines is the most direct means to attract high quality visitors. Consider the following when selecting a search engine positioning service.

Focused provider: Web site designers are seldom experts in search engine positioning. Due to the competitive level on the search engines, be sure your provider's primary focus is on optimizing and positioning your web site pages.

Accountability: Be sure you get monthly reports to track your search engine results. Your report should not only indicate where your site shows up on the search engines, but also where it does not.

Guarantees: Nobody can guarantee you a number one listing for a specific phrase. However, some reputable search engine optimization firms do offer a limited guarantee. Be sure to evaluate the guarantee carefully. Try to avoid large, upfront fees and pay only for positioning results that are documented.

Focus on content: Credible search engine optimization firms focus heavily on the content and organization of your site. This is the foundation for long-term search engine positioning results.

Beware: Some search engine optimization tactics can hurt more than help you in the long run. Avoid techniques that fool or deceive search engine spiders into thinking your site is something that it isn't. Using hidden text and "link farms" will eventually get you banned on the search engines. Remember, short cuts to search engine positioning are short lived. Be sure you get a full understanding of how your web site will be "optimized."

Web site marketing should not be seen as a quick fix. Develop your web site marketing program like you build the rest of your practice, with the right foundation and strategy.

Bill Fukui is Director of Marketing for Page 1 Solutions, LLC. PSAA members receive a free evaluation of their web site and search engine positioning. Page 1 will also reduce its web site design charges by $500 and donate $500 to PSAA for each PSAA member web site they develop. Bill can be reached at 800-916-3886 or by email at [email protected]. (http://www.page1solutions.com)

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