The Top 3 Ways to Fix Your Laboratory's Website
Jonathan Hill, BS
How can you tell if your website needs work? Ask a friend. Find someone who somewhat knows what you do but doesn't fully understand what you do. Then, open your website and give them 5 seconds to look at your homepage (above the fold, without scrolling). After 5 seconds, close the window and ask them these three questions: what do we do, who do we serve, and what action am I asking them to take? If they can't answer those three questions, your website needs some work.
We live in a time when our brains are consuming massive amounts of energy just processing information from all the advertisements we're hit with daily. If dentists come to your website, but it's not clear what you're asking them to do, they're going to search for another laboratory.
The good news is that website fixes don't necessarily mean a lot of time or a lot of money. It's typically just the messaging that is off. Statistics have shown that a poorly designed website with a clear message will outperform a beautiful website with an unclear message every single time.
The problem is that we find designers who are great at exactly that: design. But they have no knowledge of copywriting, when in fact it is words that entice people to act. Your website should be a money-making machine, not a digital billboard.
There are typically three core problems that most websites have. Make these quick fixes and your website will start growing your revenue and driving sales.
Problem #1: Your Header Is Unclear and Confusing
Your header creates the very first impression when someone comes to your site. Think of it like a first date. Research shows that most people spend about 3 seconds on a website. That means you have 3 seconds to make a positive impression and help your dentists understand what you offer, how it solves their problem, and how to buy what you're selling. If you can't communicate this in about 3 seconds, they will be gone. People don't buy the best products. They buy the product they can understand the fastest. It's your responsibility to communicate your message clearly to your dentists, and the most powerful way to do that is in the header of your website. This is your chance to show a dentist how you are different than the laboratory down the street.
Use these guidelines to fix the header of your website:
• Include a clear and concise statement of exactly what you do. If you try to serve everyone, you'll serve no one. Don't be vague. Depending on whether your laboratory focuses on crown and bridge, removables, orthodontics, implants, full service, or digital impressions, an entirely different message would be used to communicate what you offer.
• Explain how you will help make your dentists' lives better. Tell them what they're going to get when they engage with your laboratory. Your goal is to help your dentists imagine what life will be like once they work with you. This is your opportunity to explain how you solve a problem that your dentists experience daily.
• If it's not simple enough for a fifth grader to understand, make it simpler. If a dentist pulls up 10 websites for 10 different laboratories, how are you going to stand out to them? Make it crystal clear what it will be like working with you. If you confuse them, you'll lose them.
Problem #2: You're Telling the Wrong Story
Good marketing is when we talk about others—their problems, wants, and needs. Bad marketing is when we talk only about ourselves. Most businesses make this mistake, and their entire website talks about their history, their awards, how good their products are, etc. This is the fastest way to turn a prospect away, because they're looking for how you are going to make their life better.
The way to do this is to tell them what they are going to get, what their life is going to be like, and what value they are going to get when they work with you. Next, you need to transition and focus on "the problem." And everyone has a problem; this is why we buy every product that we do, as consumers. Each of your clients has a problem, and it's your job to understand what problem they're dealing with. If you're not articulating that problem over and over, they're not going to see you as a viable solution to overcome it. You'll get lost in the noise and soon be forgotten.
The way to hook your dentists is to show them the problem multiple times, and this should be communicated throughout your website. Once they feel the weight of their problem, then you can begin to introduce your solution to their problem.
Problem #3: Your Call to Action Is Wrong (or Nonexistent)
Most websites haven't offered their prospects a plan. The dentist may want to move forward with your laboratory, but it's not clear what action you're asking them to take. Remember, you only have 3 seconds to make an impression. Most people only scan a website and don't read all the text. You need a plan that shows how easy it is to do business with you or how easy it is to send a case.
Dentists will not move forward or send a case if the plan is unclear. Your website should include three or four simple steps they need to send a case or get started with your laboratory. Remember, make it so simple that a fifth grader could understand it so that there's no hesitation on the dentist's part to move forward with your laboratory.
Your call to action (CTA) should be specific, direct, and not passive. For example, "learn more" would be a passive call to action. Once you have your three-step plan defined, make the CTA accessible throughout the site. Regardless of where the dentists are on your site, your CTA should be readily accessible to them. They shouldn't have to look far to be able to move forward.
When you use the right words with the right story, and then offer a plan for your dentists, they are much more inclined to move forward with your laboratory. Make these three small changes to your website, and watch it turn into a sales machine that will grow your revenue.
About the Author
Jonathan Hill, BS, is the owner of EXCELerate, LLC, in Charlotte, North Carolina.