08 Jan How Website Speed is Affecting Healthcare Marketing
With the average attention span of humans in 2019 being 8 seconds – one second less than that of a goldfish – ‘speed’ is the name of the digital marketing game.
Google is no longer just a search engine. It is part of our daily lives as a trusted source of information, accessible at our fingertips – or better yet, with our voice. Below, we asked Google the popular question in aesthetics, “What to do with botox bruising”. Questions are a popular search term for Google.
The all-knowing Google constantly tracks movement on the net and it knows that “NOW” is when customers want answers to their questions. Or maybe it is Google’s intuitive nature that caused the trend…? This is a “chicken before the egg” argument we will discuss another time. The end result it – we humans have the need for speed.
The relatively recent addition of “featured snippets” and “People also ask” (as seen below) provide searchers with even quicker ways to retrieve bits of information. For more details, searchers are then prompted to click to a website, where speed plays a crucial role.
As you can see, it took Google only 0.53 seconds to pull up over 2 million results. The first result is from the https://www.westlakedermatology.com blog. AHREFS study of over 2 million featured snippets shows that the featured snippet steals 8.6% of clicks from the 1st search result which is a considerable amount considering that without it, the 1st position gets 26% CTR.
But it’s not enough to just be first or even a snippet – you have to be fast as well.
When clicking on the Westland Dermatology link, the lag in loading is noticeable. That means that most would not wait for the full page to load. To check how fast your website loads, you can use Google’s Speed Test Tool. Westland Dermatology’s website results for the blog page were as expected – significantly slower than Google prefers.
Google takes speed seriously, especially that on mobile. If your website does not load within an acceptable time, Google takes that into account when ranking your site. (Ironically, speed is not a factor when Google uses its algorithm to bring up featured snippets!)
Analyze: Get a free analysis of your online presence, including your site speed.
How does website speed affect healthcare marketing and patient acquisition?
There are three components to this equation. Patients want answers and they want them now. And you want to convert your readers to patients. With a good strategy in place, it’s all doable.
First, you must understand where your online presence stands. You can quickly check the site of your speed here or you can order a full analysis of your online presence, including a detailed look at your website’s health here for free.
The latter will help you better understand if you have the other two components in place. In order to attract readers to your site, you must have content that your ideal patients are looking for. A study by Doctor.com has found that 3 out of 5 U.S. patients will choose one practice over another due to strong online presence. Content that is relevant is atop their minds, making it crucial to their decision-making process.
The final component is having proper tools on your website that allow for conversion. This can include components like chat messaging on the site, which allows for prospective patients to get information right away. However, adding components like these to your website can also make it ‘heavy’ and slow it down. To achieve the right balance between marketing power and website speed, it is recommended to work with a healthcare marketing team.
SocialCow provides full-service medical marketing.
Our team has over 10 years of experience in helping medical practices throughout NYC, Long Island and Florida improve their online presence. Using neuromarketing, we dive deep into how your ideal patients think and create campaigns that convert, retain and educate. Call us at 631-209-7434 or schedule a free consultation here.