Rich Briddock: “Websites need to be functional, they need to work correctly. They need to load quickly. When you click on a button, it needs to drive you to the right link, pop-ups need to work effectively, it needs to work across every device.”
Rich: “Now that 70%, 80% of your traffic is from mobile, you should be thinking about this screen first and desktop second. Think about your users. If I’m on desktop, I’m probably okay with scheduling an appointment online as my main activity that I want to accomplish. If I’m on a phone, I probably want to call someone.”
Rich: “When you’re thinking about visual hierarchy, you should put the most important stuff at the top of the page, and make it prominent. If you want them to complete a form, don’t bury it at the very bottom of the page. You have to think about the structure of your page, in terms of what you want the user to do as they go through it.”
Announcer: Welcome to the Ignite podcast, the only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week, Cardinal experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.
Alex Membrillo: Hi, everybody, welcome back to ignite. I’m Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing, and I am joined by the one and only Rich Briddock, who is our SVP of performance marketing. That means he’s really smart and in charge of a lot of stuff. Today’s episode is a part two of a three-part series where we will discuss how you can build websites for more conversions.
Once again, Rich, how good are the websites that you encounter as it relates to UX and conversion rates?
Similar to considerations on the SEO side, really, websites need to be functional, they need to work correctly. They need to load quickly. When you click on a button, it needs to drive you to the right link, pop-ups need to work effectively, it needs to work across every device. I think these are the things that often get overlooked, is some of the most basic core functionality issues of websites, like places that will lead you to dead pages, 401s, all kinds of things like that, it’s still far more prevalent and common than you expect.
I think from it from a UX point of view right now, it’s really about mobile and the rise of mobile and how healthcare companies are reacting or not reacting to that. If you look at most healthcare companies in Google Analytics, and we have a lot of healthcare clients, obviously, that traffic is now heavier and heavier, skewing towards mobile. Many of them, it’s 65%, 70% plus. It’s about people thinking, “What is my design from a mobile-first point of view? Am I designing an experience that works on this screen size right here and making it easy for the user to accomplish the things that they want to accomplish, when they come to my website?” I think this is the core issue where we see a lot of challenges right now in the healthcare spaces.
Alex: People design sites, and then hope now that it just became responsive, or they were shrunk down, but it didn’t quite work like that?
Rich: Yes. I think the responsive nature of sites has become a catch-all of, “Well, I don’t really need to think about mobile separately, I don’t really need to care about mobile, because my desktop site will just shrink down onto a mobile screen, and it’ll be fine.” I think that was okay when 20% of your traffic was from mobile, but now that 70%, 80% of your traffic is from mobile, you should be thinking about this screen first and then thinking about desktop second. If you think about it, if I’m on desktop, I’m probably okay with scheduling an appointment online as my main activity that I want to accomplish. If I’m on a phone, I probably want to call someone.
It’s not even about squishing things down to meet the screen size, it’s as a user, depending on the device that I’m coming in from, I’m probably trying to accomplish a different task. Thinking about user experience like that, because user experience is not just about design, it’s about understanding the user, their motivations, and what they’re trying to do once they reach your website. Likely, depending on the devices they’re coming in from, they may be trying to do different things, it’s taking those things into consideration.
Alex: Providing a clear path to conversion depending on the screen size that they’re coming in, making sure it’s easy for them to do what you want them to do, which is become a patient, make sure it’s easy for them to reach out to you. Book online, call, live chat, whatever it is, make sure it is easy for them to do that. What else do you really think is really important on people’s landing pages, and landing pages, I don’t mean just for paid media, but your location pages, your service pages, your treatment disease page. What else is important for them to have?
Rich: One element that’s really important on a website, and it could be on all of those pages is credibility, trust factors, social proof, often gets overlooked or often is reserved just for landing pages. We live in a culture now where people want to read your reviews. People want to read reviews on anything. People will not go out and buy an ice cream or a candy bar without reading reviews about it first. Forget having medical treatment, something that is seriously a consideration, they want to know about, “How good is this doctor? How good is his care? How safe pair of hands am I in?” I think pushing reviews out on the website and making sure that you’re prioritizing those is really important in the places where it makes sense to do.
The other thing from a UX experience is making sure that you’re delivering the right information hierarchy. I think a lot of organizations think, “I have to try and sell, I have to try and push the healthcare, I have to try and acquire that patient as soon as they come to my site.” Well, if I’m exploratory, and I’m just trying to understand a procedure, or I’m just trying to understand a condition, and I come to your website, I’m probably not ready to speak to someone yet. I’m probably not ready to book an appointment. It’s important that you give them the right information at the right time.
If I’ve read about the condition that I think I have, or the treatment that I think I need, and then I come back to the site, maybe that’s the time when you then try and push me further down the funnel to make a phone call, reach out, make contact. If I’m just trying to do that initial research, it’s probably not the time to be bombarding me with, “Become a patient today,” type messaging, and very urgent messaging. That’s another huge piece of the user experience piece that tends to be missing, is not really understanding the user, and what the user needs at that moment.
If you can align your experience with the user’s needs, and user experience, that’s what will make you successful. It’s not just about having the prettiest site, or having the most features or the most sections. It’s not like a smorgasbord best practice, there actually have to be some nuance to it, depending on where that user is in the journey, and you’re trying to give them the right information at that time.
Alex: [unintelligible 00:06:46] point, things like tax blocks, CTA colors. I know you had sent me a couple notes that that’s important to you too.
Rich: Again, you’re trying to increase the ability of the user to take the desired action that you want. When you’re thinking about visual hierarchy, you should put the most important stuff at the top of the page, and you should make it more prominent. If you want them to complete a form, which I’ve definitely seen this on websites before, don’t bury it at the very bottom of the page, if that’s what you want them to do. You have to think about the structure of your page, in terms of what you want the user to do as they go through it.
The other thing, from a user behavior point of view is users tend to skim. They’ll read h1, and then they’ll read the sub header. If they’re not interested in what’s in that section, they skip over to the next section, so they will miss that section. If you put all of your golden nuggets in the paragraph tags, forget it if you don’t have a good h1 and a good h2. You have to give them a reason to read that section and engage with that content. Otherwise, they’re just going to go straight past it.
Thinking about the hierarchy, and the structure of the page is really, really important, both in terms of prioritization, but also funnelling them into the detail that you want them to understand. If that makes sense.
Alex: It makes sense. It’s such a visual marketing strategy. We’ve got to do a webinar on this later this year, where we do live audits of healthcare groups’ website showing the UX issues that we see, show them CRO test that they could run. That’d be fun. Let’s do that later this year.
Rich: There’s a lot of layers to the onion, and I think that’s also something that’s worth noting. I know one of the things that we talk about often in these podcasts is, can you do this in-house, or do you need an agency? The complexity of user experience is high, because it’s not just about having a pretty landing page. You can have a very pretty landing page and it could still perform really poorly. If you don’t have the right content on it, if you’re not saying the right things, if you don’t understand the end-user, and if it’s functionally terrible.
If it takes three minutes to load because you’ve used the page builder that’s incredibly slow, I think people often think, “If I have good looking landing pages, I will solve all of my user experience and CRO problems.” Absolutely not the case. There’s a lot of things that come together to create a fantastic user experience.
Alex: Incredible, man. It’s not simple, it’s almost like you have to think like a marketer, it’s not that symbol, not just data, creative or anything like that, you have to think through qualitative issues on the website, and it’s hard to get in the mind of a patient and what they’re thinking. Go get some things like hot jar, do some video focused groups and you’ll get a little bit closer, but not so easy. Lots of CRO tools out there that would impact this, give you some actual data to feed on. Really exciting. Going to become more prominent. Design rules the world.
Next week, we have a treat for you. Tune in next week for part 3, with John McAlpin, our SEO Director and Rich Briddock, head of performance marketing, discuss how to balance SEO and CRO. Friends, best friends. Rich, thanks for joining us on Ignite. We’ll see you next week.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to this episode of Ignite. Interested in keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare marketing? Subscribe to our podcast and leave a rating and review. For more healthcare marketing tips, visit our blog @crdinaldigitalmarketing.com.
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