By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
In an informal survey of healthcare and hospital Internet advertising recently, we were alarmed by what we DIDN’T find. A surprising percentage of online ads and search topics that caught our attention didn’t connect us to a subject-specific “landing page.” The result: reader interest is lost and with it, new business opportunity is down the drain.
To our dismay, we found that clicking on a Pay-per-Click (PPC) ad for a hospital “Find a Doctor” connected us to the hospital’s busy website. (The “Find a Doctor” part was…hard to find.) Similarly, a click-through from an In Vitro fertilization (IVF) banner ad revealed a medical center’s library of clinical fertility information. (Informative, but not clearly “actionable.”)
By definition landing page is typically devoted to a single subject. The text and information expands on an advertisement, a link or search results page. Even a well designed website home page is distracting to the precise interest of a visitor, and not a good substitute for a landing page.
The purpose of a landing page is to inspire the visitor to maintain their interest in you, and for you to capture a qualified prospect and generate new business. A landing page is a keyword optimized, stand-alone page on your website that links visitors to you from:
- Google (or other) Keyword Search Results page
- Pay-per-Click or online banner online ads
- Opt-in broadcast email or eNewsletter subscriber links
- Content-driven articles or topic-specific blog posts references
- Social media, guest posts or similar outside citations
- Navigation from within your site, Facebook page or other online presence
An effective landing page is sales oriented. It expands on a visitor’s expressed interest from, for example, a small, six-word ad about, “no-needle vasectomy,” to a page that informs and convinces the visitor to set a next-step, consultative appointment.
Multiple landing pages or versions of landing pages are common. Healthcare marketing pros can test, measure and compare the effectiveness (such as click-though and conversion rates), making adjustments that maximize Return-on-Investment (ROI).
5 Tips for creating Landing Pages that work…
1. Having no landing page is opportunity lost. An Internet marketing effort—via any of the channels listed above—is incomplete and likely ineffective without a landing page. Visitors who have clicked-though to you with a specific need are pre-qualified in that they want and they welcome direction to the “next step.”
2. Provide a clear and simple action step. The landing page funnels interest into action. An effective page will communicate benefits, cultivate the patient-provider connection, and convincingly motivate the reader to make an appointment, register for an event, buy a product, request a callback, or take a direct step that advances the relationship. Present a clearly understood call to action that is obvious to the visitor in both size and irresistible in value.
3. Maintain your focus. Healthcare providers are tempted to explain all of their many and various capabilities. Keep it granular. Any single landing page should directly support the advertisement or source that brought the visitor. Keep it simple, minimize distractions, and provide a direct answer or an attractive solution to a defined need.
4. Optimize for search engine visibility. The content and construct of every landing page (you may have several) needs to appeal to search engines as well as to visitors. Search Engine Optimization is part science, part creativity and part experience. You should enlist professional help with this so that your landing pages and website to find a high ranking among search results.
5. Entice action with a compelling and valuable offer. Landing pages that actually work deliver an incentive to encourage the visitor to take the action step. Many of the typical discount incentives available to merchandise retailers are not an option in healthcare. But other alternatives are available. Be creative and be clear about what’s included in the offer and why or how it benefits the page visitor when they act.
Plus this bonus tip…
If you’re not testing and tracking, you simply don’t know what’s working. Any serious Internet marketing or advertising effort will bring together dozens of variables, including ad versions, offer options, media placement and scheduling and others. What you do on your landing pages requires testing, tracking and adjusting to maximize results and enhance success.
For additional reading on this topic, see our previous posts: Why You Need to Be More Aggressive About Internet Marketing, and Pay-Per-Click and Other Online Healthcare Advertising Terms You Need to Know.