Monthly Archive for January, 2010

The Emotionally Connected Doctor’s Website

I’ve been dealing with one of those annoying women’s issues recently, so I decided to do some online research to find a doctor who might be able to help.  I was looking for someone who wouldn’t just immediately recommend major surgery, and who would clearly look at all my options.

Most medical Websites which talk about treatment for specific conditions are full of jargon and complex language.  If you’re a layperson, it can be pretty scary stuff!  And if you read the bios of the practitioners, they’re usually very official, full of impressive qualifications, but impersonal.

So I was thrilled to find a site called “Alternatives in Gynecology”. This site belongs to Dr. Paul Indman, and I was so impressed by how emotionally connected it felt to me. When I met Dr. Indman, he told me that he had written the copy himself, so I was even more wowed!

Specifically, the best practices that this site demonstrates include:

  • it provides clear descriptions of various conditions, with diagrams, in an easy to read style. We printed several pages for further study so that we were really well educated about what he might say, and the terms he might use.

  • Dr. Indman also lays out a number of different approaches that he takes to treatment, explaining his decision making process and the pros and cons of each protocol. Again, reading this ahead of time helped prepare us for the office visit.
  • It’s very clear that both the doctor and his staff are concerned to help patients to find the most affordable solution for them, and that they understand that many people are challenged by the cost of healthcare.

So the copy and presentation of this site very clearly understands me, the visitor, my needs and my concerns, and it addresses them all in a very empathetic manner. I told Dr. Indman that this was the most emotionally connected doctor’s Website that I’ve seen!

Of course, then I discovered that my health insurance company doesn’t include this practice and won’t cover me to consult with this expert – but that’s another story . . . :-(

Beware of SEO Experts With Silo Vision!

Last week I talked with a small business owner. She had just spent $6,000 over the past 4 months for search engine optimization services – which was a significant budget item. Of course, the SEO company was sending her ecstatic reports about her improved positions for targeted keywords, and increased click-throughs to her site.

So I asked her “How are all these new visitors responding to your site? Are they taking a good look around, or are they leaving immediately? Are you getting more calls and leads? Do you know which of the keywords that you’re optimizing for are performing best for you, and whether any are a waste of effort? Do you have any idea of what you’re getting back for your $6,000 investment?

She replied that she didn’t have the answers to these questions, that she’d just assumed that things were going well because that’s what the SEO company was reporting, and then she sighed: “I think we just fell into the classic small business trap!”

Now don’t misunderstand me – I believe that the SEO company was doing exactly what they’d been retained to do.

But this company was only evaluating her success from their perspective – and they’re looking at her business from a pretty narrow silo.

I’ve seen this situation many times. Last year, I spoke for a group which included a manufacturer of kitchen appliances for the restaurant industry. They only sold to the trade, not to individual consumers. Again, they had an SEO company who’d got them to be #1 in search for keywords like “mixer”, and the CEO was thrilled with the increased traffic numbers that the SEO folks reported.

But the Director of Sales told a different story. Because the Website didn’t include any statements about who their customers were, or any language such as “minimum order”, the sales team were spending 25% of their time fielding completely unqualified leads! Now that’s what I call a leak in resources . . .

This type of scenario is why I argue so strongly for a “Website Ambassador” for any company. Outside practitioners (or less experienced employees) who you hire for one specific purpose can’t be expected to understand the ramifications of what they do on every other aspect of your Web presence and your business. Someone needs to have the 30,000ft view to ensure that all of your strategies and tactics are working together to maximize your ROI.

Otherwise, in plugging one leak, you could be creating several others!