This issue is without a doubt, the most common misunderstanding I come across when speaking with our clients.
We can’t blame them. We live in a society that wants more. When we are working with a new client, you can bet that one of their biggest concerns is “how do we get more traffic?”
More traffic is great. Growing your traffic numbers is our job, and we get it done. However, it is at this point that we usually take a step back and remind people that all the traffic in the world isn’t going to make the phone ring.
What matters most, is conversion. Converting traffic into clients is what keeps your treatment facility running! What determines conversion is design!
Before any online marketing can be done, before you even start building the site, you have to ask yourself a very important question:
Who is your ideal user??!!
For our industry (which is the addiction treatment industry,) this question is relatively straight forward. You are targeting people who need help with a drug or alcohol addiction. It doesn’t end there.
Where does this user live? What’s the age and financial demographic of the targeted user? This should all be considered before you start implementing your design elements.
The pictures, the language, and the style of the website will all be influenced by the target demographic. Don’t shortcut this crucial step. It will pay off in the end.
Once you have a better understanding as to who you are targeting, it is now time to implement the layout.
It is important to distinguish the difference between designing a landing page and designing a website. Landing pages are single pages that have one unified purpose. A website is much more robust. Your website needs to be informative and give a comprehensive understanding of your business and your services.
Designing entire sites with strict conversion design elements is difficult because sites are full of information. There is a fine balance between providing useful information to your readers, identifying and portraying your brand and designing with intent to convert.
The point is that your website design must be more than conversion. The site must be easy to navigate at the information must be easily accessible. With that being said, if your site isn’t designed to convert, then all the information and traffic numbers are essentially worthless.
If something is wrapped, that means it is important. Think about it – from Christmas presents to Chipotle burritos, wrapping something is to signify its influence. On every page of your website, there should be an obvious but polite call to action for a phone number. Wrap this number!
This is also true for a contact form or an alumni email sign up. Anything on your website that is intended to bring in leads should be wrapped. Simple as that.
A good example of wrapping is on our client site Ocean Breeze Recovery. This phone number is wrapped and on every page of the website.
Quite literally, point!
Directional cues could be an actual person pointing to a phone number, it could be a picture of a one-way street sign pointing to a contact form, it could simply be an arrow or a triangle pointing to something of importance.
We are all human beings, and if something is pointed at, we can’t help but look.
Less is more!
The site needs room to breathe. Again, think about the purpose of your website. Popular sites like BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post can afford to be cluttered. The entire business model of their sites requires users to click around, to view as much as possible and to interact with everything.
The purpose of an addiction treatment site is to provide resources, provide reassurance that you can help someone with their addiction problem, and to convert that user into a phone call.
A great example of a site that beautifully utilizes whitespace comes from our client Dream Center For Recovery.
People need to know they can trust you.
The best way to establish trust on a website is by social proof.
“Social Proof” is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.
Essentially if other people are doing it, it is more likely that you will do it too. Just think about how much easier it is to jump into a bustling dancefloor than an empty one.
There are many ways to establish social proof on a website. The most common way is with testimonials. Honest testimonials are a must on a treatment site. Addiction treatment is an emotional and life changing experience so showing users your positive success rate is critical.
Most commonly, testimonials are put on the homepage. This doesn’t have to be the case, but this is what I would recommend.
Social media followers is also a form of social proof. If you have a site with a decent social following, show it off! Don’t be bashful. If other people approve and follow your site then you must be worth looking into.
Clutter. Avoid clutter at all costs! Let me explain
There is a concept that is important to understand for conversion called the attention ratio.
Attention ratio is the ratio of interaction points (links) on a page, to the number of intended actions on that page (which for a campaign is always 1). On a homepage this is typically around 40:1 meaning that there are 39 distracting actions and 1 desired action.
Again, it is a fine balance because a treatment site should be helpful and informative, but that doesn’t mean the site should be stuffed with tweets, images, and other media.
Be mindful of the sidebar! Keep the sidebar clean.
Let’s pretend. Bob and Jill both own treatment centers. Bob spends $10,000 a month on online marketing and gets 200 hits day.
Jill spends $1000 a month and gets 40 hits a day.
Bob gets 100 phone calls a month from his website.
So does Jill.
What’s the difference? – Conversion! Jill’s website is more adequately designed for conversion. Would you rather be Bob or Jill?
This completes Lesson One! Stay tuned for our entire comprehensive workshop that will allow you to build your entire online marketing strategy from beginning to end. To keep up with our workshop, be sure to follow us on Facebook.
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