June 21st, 2011
One of the most important factors when developing a website of any sort is understanding your audience, after all they are the ones your site is created for. Sadly, many website owners are still chasing search engine algorithms and competitors when it comes to developing their websites and in many cases are missing out on delivering the kind of content potential patients are looking for. Plastic Surgery Studios recently conducted a study asking the general public to imagine they were considering plastic surgery and had just performed a search at Google, Bing or Yahoo for procedure information. Then we asked them to answer a series of questions.
What is the most important piece of information you’re hoping to find when you click a link?
The majority of the users who took the survey stated that before & after photos were the most desired result that they had hoped to find when they clicked through to a website. Procedure info, such as cost came in a close second when it came to importance. It’s important to note that cost related queries are quite popular in the search engines, and our survey supports that this is clearly something people want to know more about, however if you browse plastic surgery websites, you rarely find cost information.
What is the second most important piece of information you hope to find when you click on a link?
The majority of the people who responded to this question pointed out that information on the pros and cons of a procedure were important. People wanted to know what the risks were, what the benefits were and ultimately what options they had to achieve the results they wanted. A great example of this would be butt implants vs butt augmentation, both enhance the buttocks, but are performed differently and have different advantages.
What is the third most important piece of information you’re hoping to find when you click on a link?
Testimonials, doctor information and contact information were tied as the most popular response among those who took the survey. One person went so far as to say, “I need some piece of evidence I am dealing with a reputable company.” The key here was that people wanted to know who you were, where you were, and what other people have said about you. Once they had seen your work and learned more about the procedure they were interested in, they wanted to know if you were a person/practice that they could trust and felt comfortable scheduling an appointment with.
Are there any additional elements that you would like to see on the site that would make the page more interesting or share worthy?
Humor and wit took the lead on this question. Many people felt that the site would be more interesting if it included unusual facts, or light hearted and fun dialogue. You could easily inject unusual facts about a procedure at the end of your core content on the subject matter. Whereas a light hearted and fun dialogue could be developed as the voice you use on your website blog. Remember, blogs are more casual and while there is a time and place for serious, professional posts a fun light hearted post on the latest celebrity plastic surgery or trend might just bring your visitors back for more.
If you actually perform a search for a plastic surgery procedure (e.g. breast augmentation, facelift, liposuction, etc.), do you find any results that you REALLY like? Please share them below!
Only a handful of survey takers responded to this question, but the one’s that did had some great feedback. One person pointed out http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck.html as being, “Really informative with videos and helpful explanations. Nice layout.” Others were less than impressed with their findings and one went as far as saying, “to me they all suck”, but perhaps the most thoughtful and proactive response was from a user that said, “Glad you asked. I am post gastric bypass surgery and am very unimpressed with the available post-surgery websites. This market is growing and this could be lucrative.”
While the answers to the survey were definitely varied, and in many instances we didn’t touch on some of the more obscure requests found in the feedback, the core of what people want in a plastic surgery website are consistent. Users want to see your work in before and after photos, not just ‘a flatter stomach’, but see the contour and what the doctor did to improve it.
They also want to find information about the procedure they are considering and understand all of their options up front. Are there different techniques? What are their options? What are the risks? These are the things they are going to be seriously considering and want to know more about before they even consider scheduling a consultation with you or any other doctor in the area.
Finally, who are you? It’s great that you are a plastic surgeon that offers the procedure they are considering, but what sets you apart from the thousands of other surgeons in the region? Why do you do what you do? Where are you located? What do your past patients have to say about you? Are you human? Does your website or blog convey your personality or is it just another marketing ploy to drive patients to your practice. People want to get a feeling for the kind of person you and and sense that you have soul, compassion, and even a sense of humor.
To build a better plastic surgery website, you need to build a website for your patients. Listen to your patients and the questions they ask. These are the kinds of things your website should highlight. Plastic Surgery Studios has taken the data from this study and is applying our findings to our plastic surgery website designs.