“Blink!” If your goal as a service provider organization is to get more traffic and generate more referrals through the use of your website, than the “blink” concept needs to be the guiding principle in your website design.
Consumer and referral source use of the Internet to find health and wellness services is on the increase (see 41% Of Patients Use Social Media To Choose Health Care Provider Organizations premium members and 42% Of Households With Internet Access Would Use Independent Living Monitoring Servicespremium members). This is where the “blink” concept comes in. It takes a website visitor less than two-tenths of a second to form an opinion of your website. In addition, you have only another 2.6 seconds to reinforce that first impression (see Eye-tracking studies: first impressions form quickly on the web).
If this doesn’t strike you as important, than let me put it this way – everyone is online, everything is online, and the Internet is where the majority of consumers go to find out about products, providers, and services in their area for every aspect of life. Making a good first impression is a mandatory skill for winning potential clients.
Are you making the best impression possible? Consumers who land on a poorly designed or poorly written website often never stay to find out the true value of what a company offers. When you only have a few seconds to influence that opinion and establish a relationship with a potential client, a regular review of your website can help you protect your revenue targets. Here are some questions I recommend for review:
What is the intention of your site? – Like every other marketing and advertising tool, your website needs a purpose. Is it meant to merely inform and educate consumers about behavioral health issues, or have you designed it to present various aspects of your business, such as your services, staff, and products to develop credibility and trust? Or is it meant to act as a portal to your programs, converting as many visitors as possible into customers? You will need a clearly defined answer to this question.
Is your content tailored to meet your purpose? – For example, a website with the purpose of selling a product focuses more on the benefits and features of the product, addresses any potential concerns, and gives visitors the easiest options to buy the product.
Are your service options clearly defined? – If your goal is to offer services, clients need to know what those services are, and quickly. Have you made it clear what types of services you offer and how your organization can address consumers’ unmet needs and support them in a powerful way?
Is your site visually attractive? – Looks matter. While providing positive answers to the above three questions can give you a functional, and even useful website, it’s better to do so with inviting and engaging images and clear and succinct copy. An attractive website also has its content organized for ease of use. If your content appears randomly placed and lacks navigational guidance, chances are your visitors may feel as if they’re wasting their time and may look elsewhere for services or programs.
If you haven’t taken a good look at your website lately, perhaps now’s the time. After all, if you’re not making a good first impression, you may not make any impression at all.