How To Make Your Website Work For You In 2019
A problem I see far too often in health tech is that many HIT websites are confusing. It’s not so much a matter of design (although your user experience IS important); but it’s a matter of not being crystal clear on what you do, the problem you solve, and who you do it for.
My guess on this is that when most HIT companies build their website they’re trying to be careful not to be too salesy. And I’m so with you on that. Authenticity wins the day in my book, every single time.
However, when you are trying to avoid being too salesy, it’s easy to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction.
What happens here is that when you’re trying to not be salesy, you become the anti-salesperson...i.e. you make it really hard for prospects to discover how they can buy from you.
And when that happens, they bounce off your website to find another company that can solve their problem.
Instead of trying NOT to be a salesperson, how about trying TO be a mentor to your prospect? Because that’s what a really good salesperson is, and not the aggressive bulldog seller we all think of when we think of sales.
When you focus on guiding your customers to success, it’s much easier to be authentic and less aggressive.
Is your website working for you? Let’s find out:
Can website visitors understand what you do in 10 seconds or less?
Shrinking attention spans and a crowded internet means you have under 10 seconds to grab website visitors. If you don’t clearly communicate in those 10 seconds what you do, the problem you solve, and how they can buy, they will go find a website that’s easier to understand.
Is it really possible to communicate all of that information clearly in 10 seconds? Yes. Here’s how:
1. Use an image of a happy customer using your product/service at the top of your site. Too many websites get all artsy with their visuals. The problem is that this doesn’t communicate anything about what you do to website visitors. A smiling customer who is satisfied with your product illustrates that you help make your customers’ lives better.
2. Also at the top of your site in just a few words, communicate exactly what you do, who you do it for, and how they can buy. Again, too many health tech startups fall into the trap of wanting to be pithy or catchy and never clearly communicating what they do...and site visitors are confused. Take a look at this example from Hubspot.
They solve the problem of growth for companies who don’t want to compromise. Then, with the call-to-action button they tell people exactly what they need to do to get their software.
Your website should do exactly the same thing in 50 words or less. Anything longer will create too much noise, confusing your prospects, and sending them off to a competitor who communicates more clearly...even if they have an inferior product.
Do you lay out a clear pathway to success?
Map out a simple process that is easy for your customers to follow to achieve the change they are looking for. This process should include no more than 3 parts, and can either be 3 steps they can take, or the 3 core components of your product. Either way, this is the pathway for your customers to be successful.
Most health tech and digital health products are much more complex than 3 steps or 3 parts; however, if you go into too much complexity here, people’s brains will start screaming “too much!” and they’ll go find an easier process to understand.
You see, the brain is wired for survival. Too much complexity and it shuts down. All it wants to know is the easiest way to survive, and if you don’t communicate simply how it can do that, you’re forcing it to work too hard.
Do you use valuable real estate effectively?
There are a few important spaces you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of on your website.
The first is the top part of your website before site visitors have to scroll, otherwise known as above the fold. If you don’t get their attention here, they won’t scroll further to learn about your services.
Here’s what above the fold looks like on my site.
This is the section where you explain what you do, who you do it for, and how they can buy.
The second most important section is the top right hand corner of your site.
In this section, you also want to tell them how to buy. Use a button or a link here with an action you want them to take. While it’s really tempting to clutter this space up with other links, save all of that for the footer navigation. The more information you throw at your customers in this section, the less likely their brain will process it all. Keep it simple.
Are you collecting email addresses?
If you don’t have a method of collecting email addresses on your homepage, you’re missing out on the chance to nurture leads who aren’t ready to buy now but will need you someday.
The old “sign up for our newsletter” ploy doesn’t work anymore because no one really gets any value from news updates about your company.
For someone to give you their email address, you need to offer something of real value. A simple downloadable PDF can work well here, or you can offer a free webinar or training series - whatever it is, it should not be salesy. Instead, it should be you offering free advice on how your customers can be successful.
There are a few ways you can collect email addresses here - 1) a popup or banner ad that briefly states what your offer is and how they can get it. 2) A section beneath the fold on your webpage that does the same. Or, 3) do both.
To do this right, you should create a series of 5-12 emails that go out automatically to subscribers after they receive your free resource. Mailchimp or other email providers make this really simple to do - you just need to write the content. If your leads sign up for a free resource and then never hear from you again, you’ve missed a huge opportunity.
A website that converts leads to customers is easier than it sounds.
Building a website for conversions is actually really simple and inexpensive. All you need is the right message at the top of your site, the right call-to-action in the top right hand corner, an outline of your easy 3-step process, and a method of collecting email addresses. It will take some time, but each one of these things is all something you can do on your own.
If you haven’t made your NY resolutions yet, I suggest adding this one to your list. Take the first month of the year, tweak your website, create your free resource and email series, and watch how the leads start coming in.
And while we’re on the topic of NY resolutions, if you haven’t gotten my free 2019 Marketing Success Checklist yet, you can get it here. It’s the framework you need to get your marketing working for you in the new year. What are you waiting for?
If the 2019 Marketing Success Checklist helped turn around your marketing for 2019, please comment or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your story!
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.