Your #1 Marketing Tool
If you were a retailer, potential customers could step in the door and examine your merchandise. But people don’t usually stop by your med spa to look around or chat about services. They search online. Your website serves as your storefront, and searchers click to go inside. Will they stay to browse your services and perhaps “purchase” an appointment?
They will if you give them reasons to do so. That starts with making a great first impression. Your website must tell visitors you’re knowledgeable and professional and offer the services they want. That your business is clean and inviting, as we noted earlier. That you care about your patients. And that you have personality, too. If your med spa is trustworthy, friendly, and comfortable, who wouldn’t choose you?
Why is your website so important?
Like a storefront window, your website has just a few seconds to capture your visitor’s interest and inspire them to delve more deeply. But visitors differ, because you have different types of prospective patients. Some are looking for a specific product or procedure, and they’re trying to decide if your specific med spa is right for them. Some are still learning about types of treatments that might address their aesthetic concern, regardless of which med spa provides the treatment. They need more information to make a decision about that as well as the right provider.
Your website has to deliver whatever each visitor is looking for. The content has to be easy to find and easy to understand. Instead of insufferable sales pitches, you’re “selling” the fact that you are a knowledgeable, trustworthy resource. A partner in helping each visitor make well-informed decisions to reach their personal aesthetic goals.
The more informative your website content, the more “appointment-ready” prospects will be when they click or call your office. So quality content saves you and your staff time, too.
Website design: the case for enhancement
Like people, websites age over time. Just as your services can help patients achieve a refreshed, more “current” appearance, periodically refreshing your website keeps it in peak condition. This is not simply a matter of aesthetics. Your website’s structure and content directly affect how easily online searchers can find you. Or if they can find you. If you aren’t using the latest best practices to ensure best possible search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll lose critical search visibility. That means you’ll lose business.
There are other reasons to update your website. Mobile devices are everywhere these days – in fact, online searchers are now more likely to be using a smartphone or tablet than a laptop or desktop computer. If you’re one of them, you know how annoying it can be to view a website that is not optimized for small screens. For most people, the frustration isn’t worth it. They click away and look for a more amenable site.
If your website is more than two or three years old, it doesn’t need a facial, it needs a makeover based on responsive design. With responsive design, your website can recognize the type of device each visitor is using and respond accordingly, with the most appropriate display. Big screen? No problem. Small phone? Right-sized visuals. The easier it is for people to interact with your website, the longer they will stay and the more likely they are to return.
Website content: informing and engaging
One of the biggest mistakes med spa marketers make is simply listing their services on a single web page, like a restaurant menu. Certainly, you need to let visitors know everything you offer – products as well as services. But you want to inform in a way that also intrigues prospects. Here’s why:
- Prospects want to know what’s available – what kind of med spa is this? Do you offer what they’re looking for?
- You want to plant “seeds of interest” with visitors, introducing them to services or products they may not have considered, or even known about. It’s called suggestive selling, and it’s one of the best ways to grow your business.
So what’s wrong with a one-page list? It sounds efficient, but it is inconvenient and annoying for your website visitor. They have to troll through all that content to find what they’re looking for. Or not. That’s too much work. Most people won’t scroll down farther than the top 25% of the page, so if your list is long, they’ll never see it.
Content that is super-easy to use endears you to prospects. It encourages them to believe your med spa is “user-friendly” in other ways as well. It’s OK to group similar treatments together – say, different types of chemical peels, or injectables – because they address similar patient concerns. Beyond that, giving different types of procedures their own page makes it easy to find the content and allows you to provide more detailed information.
If your med spa specializes in a certain area – laser-based procedures, for example – be sure to build your website around that. Among other things, it reinforces your expertise with prospects considering those procedures.
And be sure to include content about non-procedure offerings at your med spa. Skin care products, treatment “clubs,” and your loyalty rewards program can all generate valuable additional revenue, but only if you market them effectively. In fact, retail products now account for 18% of revenue for the average med spa.
Your website should be the single-most effective marketing asset for your business. It will be, if it also includes:
- Landing pages for specific procedures as well as special offers – read on to learn more about how these pages convert visitors to leads.
- Notations about special professional certifications your staff or your business have received, as well as other honors and awards. Link to press coverage you’ve received, too. These all provide independent validation of your excellence.
- Bios (with photos) – at least of your professional staff, although potential patients like to know about the rest of your staff, too. After all, they’re likely to interact with several people during their visits.
- Do you offer financing options or assistance? Mention that.
- Do you offer concierge services for out-of-town patients? Mention that, too.
- A blog is also a must, as it is your website’s primary support when it comes to attracting traffic and educating prospects and existing patients.
Before & after galleries: your best testimonials
One of the best ways to show prospective patients what you do — and what kind of results different types of procedures can achieve — is by posting before and after pictures on your website. A picture’s worth a thousand words, especially for cosmetic procedures, because it’s difficult to explain in words the nuances of aesthetic results. Photos also help prospects see that results can vary among patients.
The key is to post enough examples to give patients realistic expectations about potential results. They’ll feel most confident if they can see past patients who are similar to themselves. Multiple examples also underscore your experience and skill. Too few, or no photos at all for a particular procedure, may leave them wondering about your abilities.
Done right, the photos in your before and after gallery can be some of your most effective “salespeople.” So think about presentation as well as the number of images. If the photos you post look like mug shots, it will be hard for anyone to relate to them, let alone want to emulate them. It’s OK for patients to smile in their photos (especially the “after” shots!). Using a nicer background and quality lighting will make your images look more professional.
For certain procedures, pictures that show multiple angles are far more informative than a single shot. You can make the photos even more relatable by adding a sentence or two that describe the patient’s “problem,” their aesthetic goal, and the results achieved.
Under the skin
Everything we’ve talked about so far regarding your website has been aesthetic – aspects visitors can see and relate to emotionally. Details that will differentiate your med spa from the competition. But a successful website has to function beautifully, too. That requires a strong foundation based on the latest best practices for website design.
You need a top-notch content management system. And proper back-end code that enables your website to keep up as your needs change. And a killer content delivery network (CDN) backbone delivering super-quick page load speeds to your visitors. Technology and your med spa’s marketing requirements are both constantly evolving. The right back-end code allows you to make incremental tweaks as you need to upgrade. Without it, you’ll have to create an entirely new website in just a year or two. That’s frustrating and a waste of money.
These days, protecting your website is more than important than ever. If your server were to crash, or you’re victimized by malicious hackers, it could stop your business cold. It is essential to regularly back up your website, and it is equally important to ensure someone is providing active technical support that includes platform upgrades and security patches.