The Seven Elements That a Great Hearing Care Website Must Have

Written by Oli Luke

One of the most common requests that we receive is to review websites and share our thoughts on what can be done to improve them.

Some are good.

A rare few are great.

But most are frankly, terrible.

So, in this article, I want to break down the seven fundamentals of what a great website in the hearing care industry looks like with real-life examples, explanations and the data.

Although this feels a little strange to share the “secret sauce” that we put into all of our clients website, with OTC fast approaching, there’s no better time than now to give you the information that you need to make the right changes.

#1 – Simple User-Friendly Navigation

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and been completely overwhelmed at what to choose from their huge 30-page menu?

You’re stuck between several choices, it takes 20 minutes to make a decision … and then when it finally arrives on the table, you wish you ordered something else.

Alternatively, have you ever walked into a restaurant with a simple menu of just a few choices and made a decision almost instantaneously?

It’s the exact same with your website navigation bar.

When visitors reach your website, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to find the information that they need and take a next step (either call you or complete a contact form).

Yet, one of the big mistakes we see in this industry is that we seem to include absolutely everything on the navigation bar – making it ultra confusing and resulting in visitors being unsure where to go.

Keep it simple.

With our client websites, we only ever want a maximum of eight options.

Look at this website as an example:

We have an option to return the homepage if needed, we have a “Our Story” option that includes an explanation of the value proposition, the reasons that they should work with us and an introduction to our team.

We have a “Your Solutions” option which is inclusive of things like “hearing loss” and “hearing aids” – we then have an ‘Insurance’ option which is a big USP of this particular client.

We then have their Locations, a ‘Patient Resources’ area which is our blog and then a ‘Contact Page’ – the big call-to-action of ‘Request a Callback’ is then prominent in a stand-out color.

It’s simple.

A user knows where to go.

They haven’t included every page on the website on the navigation bar.

They present the visitor with just a few simple options to help them find where they need to go.

#2 – Mobile Optimization

If you’ve read our industry white-paper, then you’ll have learnt that 42.66% of all traffic in our industry is from a cell phone.

Yet many of the websites that we audit are not optimized for mobile.

This means that when a visitor reaches your website, its awkward to navigate, they need to keep pinching and zooming and it’s a frustrating experience which results in them leaving.

Whereas a mobile-optimized website changes structure/size to make it simple for the visitor – ensuring the fonts, images and forms are simple to read and complete.

I don’t want to talk about this too much as the white-paper covers it in detail.

** Click Here to Download White-Paper **

But it’s absolutely CRITICAL if you want to compete online in 2020 and beyond.

#3 – A Strong Clearly-Explained Value Proposition

Why should a patient choose you over all other options available to them?

Unless you can explain this very clearly and make it so strong that you scream out to the right people and repel the rest, then you’re going to struggle to find your place in this market.

We covered this in thorough detail in this article, called: “The One Thing That Every Hearing Care Clinic Needs to Do to Protect Themselves From The Incoming Threat of OTC”

** Click Here to Read **

But essentially, you need to decide on why patients should choose you and be able to clearly demonstrate it.

#4 – Powerful Testimonials Placed Correctly

When somebody reaches your website, the two key questions that run through their minds are:

  • Can these people help me with my problem?
  • Have they helped people like me before?

Their first question is answered by your value proposition and how you clearly demonstrate your patient journey, showing the exact process that you use to help patients in their position.

The second one is more challenging because the most powerful way to show somebody that you’ve helped people like them before is through testimonials.

The problem I have with most testimonials is that 90% of them are something like …

“These guys are amazing”

Although these kind of testimonials feel good for you as the provider – they don’t particularly help a prospective patient that is wondering if you’ve helped people like them before.

That’s why, I encourage our clients to have their patients follow a specific process when writing a testimonial, by answering four simple questions.

These questions are:

  • What was your biggest fear before your first appointment?
  • What was your initial experience with [Provider Name] like?
  • How have hearing aids impacted your life?
  • If you had to offer advice to somebody that’s concerned about their hearing loss but yet to book their first hearing assessment, what would you say?

We then collate the answers of the four questions to create a powerful story-based testimonial.

An example could be:

“Before my first appointment, my biggest fear was discovering that I needed hearing aids, which I really didn’t want. But at my first appointment with [Provider Name], she instantly put me at ease as we discussed my concerns and she recommended a set of amazing hearing aids that are practically invisible. These have allowed me to socialize without the fear of missing conversations and I’ve been able to start taking part in hobbies that I was missing out on. If you’re worried about becoming a hearing aid wearer, visit [Provider Name] – they’re incredible.”

Can you see how structuring the testimonial with the four questions creates a powerful short story and perfectly shows a prospective patient that you’ve helped people like them before?

The important part is then to use these testimonials in the right areas of your website.

The worst thing that you can do is to have one page where all your testimonials live.

Instead, have relevant testimonials to accompany specific pages.

For example, on your Hearing Loss page, can you have a testimonial that shares a patient that was unsure if they had a hearing loss and was hesitant on visiting you but are delighted that they did?

Or if you have a Tinnitus page, can you have a testimonial that is related to Tinnitus and how you guys helped?

#5 – Copy That Speaks Towards Patients Problems and Objections (Not Your Ego)

When reviewing websites, one of the most common mistakes that is identified is the overuse of the word “we”.

“We do this, we’ve been in business for XX years, we are specialists, etc.”

You’re essentially weeing all over your patients, as Phil says.

Visitors are coming to you because they are concerned about their hearing and are looking for help, and you’re just talking about how great you are on your website.

See the disconnect?

Instead, your copy should be speaking directly to them on terms they discuss.

For example, look at this copy on a clients hearing aid page:

Can you see how this is speaking directly to the patient?

The first line is, “none of us grow up looking forward to the day we can wear our first pair of hearing aids” – this instantly has the reader agreeing and feeling comfortable – you’ve addressed the elephant in the room that nobody wants to buy these things.

The copy then shares a statistic that justifies the above statement and explains why hearing aids are essential.

The below paragraph then speaks directly to the reader, using “you” in multiple places whilst overcoming one of the largest objections that patients have by explaining that devices are now small and often invisible.

This is just one example of many that we could have used – but can you see how its far more powerful when speaking directly towards the patient, and being on their side – rather than talking about yourself or technology.

#6 – Carefully Placed Call-to-Actions

As learnt in our Industry White-Paper, the best-performing call-to-action across our client’s website is ‘Request a Callback’.

But does this mean that you should have it on every page of your website? No.

Your call-to-actions should be placed to accompany the messaging on specific pages.

For example …

Look at how different call-to-actions are used on the client website I’ve been sharing with you.

As you can see, on the ‘Hearing Assessments’ page – there is naturally a call-to-action to ‘Schedule a Hearing Test’ – it’s the logical next step that a website visitor would want to take following reading this page.

But on the blog:

But as you can see, if somebody is on the blog researching information or have found themselves on the blog through a Google Search, then they are in the research phase of their decision making process.

If somebody is researching and learning, is the right call-to-action to request an appointment? No.

The natural next step to help them on their journey is to offer them no-obligation help, it’s to ‘Request a Callback’

This means that somebody can reach out for a casual conversation to ask a few questions and get some advice.

From there on, where is that patient or care-giver going to go once they feel ready to book a hearing test or buy hearing aids? It’s going to be you.

When deciding on the call-to-action to add to your key pages, always think what the natural next step is for somebody reading the page.

#7 – Real Life Imagery

Great websites can downgrade to good websites just by having bad imagery.

You know what I’m talking about. How many times have you seen this image?

This woman seems to be a patient of thousands of clinics across the world. I’ve never hated somebody I’ve never met so much!

It’s one of the most downloaded hearing care related stock images on the most popular stock website.

If your website is full of stock images like this, then the visitor feels naturally uncomfortable and unsure on who they would be working with and what they should expect, creating a big objection which will stop them moving forward.

Instead, pay a photographer to come in.

It doesn’t have to be an incredible photographer, even a student who wants some experience.

But get them to take all the standard pictures, and then pictures of your team interacting with patients.

Get a picture of your PCC on the phone, get a picture of a patient having their hearing tested or being fitted with a hearing aid – these real-life pictures make a world of difference.

 

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WHITE-PAPER:

“Four Shocking Online Statistics That The Hearing Care Industry Needs to Know”

Free White-Paper: The Four Shocking Online Statistics That The Hearing Care Industry Needs to Know