According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 10 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed throughout the country in 2008 alone. Of them, 17 percent were surgical. That is many people opting for procedures, and it’s a good bet that those patients went online to research the procedure and/or physician options before having it done. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that 61 percent of adults go online for health information, and 41 percent of them do so to research a medical treatment or procedure.
We know that many people seeking cosmetic procedures go online first. So just how do you make sure, once they come across your site, that they choose to call your office and arrange an initial consultation? While there is no proof-positive route to getting every person to choose you over a competitor, there are tactics you can do to increase your conversion ratio. Having a great portfolio on your site is good place to start.
Why Portfolios Work
If you have a basic Web site for your cosmetic surgery site, you may get some calls, but you are probably getting most of your patients through other routes. With the direction that new media, especially the Internet, has taken things in the last few years, it is important to have more than just a basic site if you want to reach new patients.
An online portfolio for your practice goes beyond a basic site. It lays out everything the prospective patient may want to see and learn, and even touches on options they had no idea were available. A good online portfolio for a cosmetic surgeon’s practice should include some of the following:
- Pictures. Cosmetic surgery is often about aesthetics. People want to see what changes are possible through specific procedures. It is important to have plenty of ‘Before and After’ pictures, showing the possibilities of all the procedures you offer.
- SEO. Just adding a bunch of pictures or other material to your portfolio, without using the right words along with it, will not have the reach that it could. The benefits of using search engine optimization (SEO) on your photos, titles, pages, etc., should not be overlooked.
- Information. Along with images, people want to be able read all about the procedures. You should offer easy-to-read, yet informative, pages of information in your portfolio that explain the procedure and any frequently asked questions about it.
- Reassurance. Just laying out the facts about procedures does nothing to offer re-assurance to someone that you are the right person for the job. Undergoing surgery is a scary thought for most people, despite the benefits of the outcome. Your portfolio should offer reassurance, from you and/or from some of your past patients.
- Sharing. Ask a few of your happiest patients to write their story up to share with others via your portfolio. By matching it with some ‘Before and After’ pictures, you will help your prospective patients make more of a connection, and see your office and the procedures you offer in a new light.
Try out some different ideas in your online portfolio and see what works best. If done right, you may just be surprised by the return you get. When millions of people search for procedures online each year about cosmetic procedures, you really need to evaluate whether you are doing enough to draw them to your site and then convert them into evaluations, once they are there. If you are not, it is never too late to make some minor changes that can have a lasting impact on your online presence, as well as on your bottom line.