3 crucial copy tips to improve an existing healthcare home page
(What is Website Quick Fix? You watch over my shoulder via video as I talk through a webpage’s copy and pinpoint copy challenges. Then I share tips to improve the copy. Too busy for video? Catch the written summary below.)
How’s your website performing?
You expect your website to represent your company in the best possible way every day, 365 days a year. Even the days when you’re on summer vacation. (And I hope you’ll be taking a vacation this summer. You deserve it.)
Websites are an investment, of course. You were probably amazed when you learned the cost of launching a new one, not to mention routine maintenance. Your website is important and worthy of your attention.
How’s your website performing? Could boring copy be a contributing factor? If you feel like your website needs a refresh, where do you start?
You start by examining the copy.
In Website Quick Fix #1, I review the home page of an existing healthcare website. Everything I summarize here can be applied to other industries too.
The website: ABB Optical Group
ABB Optical Group is America’s leading authorized distributor of all major soft contact lens manufacturers. They also manufacture custom contact lenses.
The audience: Dr. Tim
Dr. Tim Birtwhistle (gosh, you gotta love his name) gave a testimonial. I looked up his profile and felt he represented ABB’s ideal client: a 4-doctor eye care practice, 2-offices, located in the United States.
The spotlight: The front door of your business online
Home page copy is tough to write. More often than other webpages, you don’t know who is coming and why they are visiting. The visitor could be familiar with your company or have never heard of you. They could be comparison shopping or ready to order. They could be an industry veteran or an industry newbie.
So here’s my take on improving ABB Optical Group’s home page.
Area to improve: Web copy does not give clear direction to guide the visitor. Every department is featured. Some visitors may feel overwhelmed.
Why? Home pages are tricky. You need to know so much about a visitor. For example, do they make decisions based on logic or emotion? Do they decide quickly or slowly? What tasks are they trying to accomplish with your product or service? What have they already tried?
So let’s backup. What is the purpose of a home page?
I believe it’s two things:
- Helps your visitor confirm he’s in the right place
- Serves as the starting point where you guide visitors to the next destination
Expert tip 1: Avoid placing every detail about products / services on the home page. Highlight the information the reader cares about first. Then help him navigate to the sections he is seeking.
You can evaluate the page’s first impression by asking if the copy clearly answers three questions:
- Who is this for?
- What do they offer?
- How do I get it?
Will Dr. Tim be able to answer these questions easily, within a few seconds, when he lands on your website?
Area to improve: Company management thinks image gliders are visually appealing and make the website look interactive. Studies show web visitors strongly dislike image sliders.
Why? The visitor wants to remain in control. He can’t pause or slow down the text. He must wait to find the content he’s searching for. The copy is restrained from following a preferred messaging hierarchy.
Expert tip 2: Remove the image slider. Instead, place copy blocks and images down the page. How do you decide what to place first? You can feature your most profitable product or service. Or talk about the most popular one for your ideal client.
Area to improve: Too many mentions of “ABB Optical Group, we, our company” and not enough “you, your practice, your team.”
Why? People care about their problems, issues, desires, and needs. It’s all about them. Dr. Tim is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” This isn’t necessarily selfish – he has a job to do and he’s coming to the website to do his job better.
The reader engages when they see the copy is more “you-focused” and not “company-focused.”
Expert tip 3: Talk more about “YOU” the prospect and little about the company on the home page. As a result, every sentence you’re writing will matter to your visitor.
For example, take the original copy:
Eye care industry trends seem to change by the day. But ABB Optical Group is here to help your practice focus on what matters most – providing quality patient care. Trust us for practitioner resources, custom consulting, and product choices to help you stay competitive in an ever-changing industry.
Edit the copy by putting “YOU” as the subject of each sentence:
You know trends in the eye care industry seem to change by the day. You want your practice to focus on what matters most – providing quality patient care. How do you keep this top priority? You access our helpful practitioner resources, custom consulting, and product choices. And you can stay competitive in an ever-changing industry.
Hope this was helpful. My goal was for you to have at least one action item you can use on your own website. I’ll talk through other webpages in the next Website Quick Fix.