WEBSITE POINTERSIf your office is exclusively a retail location, here are some pointers for your website:

  • Add as many photos as you can
    of your office
  • Highlight the frame brands
    you carry
  • Add a blog and post often
  • Showcase your staff members
  • Tie in social media links such
    as Facebook and Twitter
  • Consider developing an online optical store section
  • Add a client testimonial section

Check out these four diverse websites for ideas on how to enrich your own.

Nothing can help springboard a practice faster than an informative and attention-grabbing website. It’s a surefire, inexpensive marketing tool that can help set you apart from the competition and allow you to reach unlimited potential new patients. It enables you to showcase your specialties, highlight your products, and even schedule appointments without ever having to answer a phone. Regardless of the size of your practice, your site has the same chance to be seen as those of larger competitors who may possess enormous marketing budgets. The following websites are some good examples of effective marketing techniques.

Using every tool you have to help generate new dollars with your website is a clever way to keep new clients and orders rolling in. One way to do this is by designing your website with a “Schedule an Appointment” widget or page to help reserve times for patients who are shopping for a specific frame line or collection. The Ilori Optical website (iloristyle.com/appointments.html) is a good example. It takes all the pertinent information, such as name and contact number, but also has additional boxes where the user can put the desired Ilori location where she can meet with a style consultant to see the frames; there’s also a box to enter a message. This information is invaluable, and can bring in some low-hanging fruit to help you to make some new sales.

With the speed and “have-it-now” mentality that many online surfers demand from websites, consider creating a section on your site that provides new patients with all of your registration, health and contact-lens wearing history, and privacy information forms. Having these forms available online allows patients to complete them before their appointment, which can save up to 10-15 minutes per patient per exam. This time-saving method also helps your practice appear tech-savvy, while upping your bottom line because you’ll be able to see more patients. Broadway Vision Source (visionsource-broadway-vision.com/patients/patient-forms), a member of Vision Source, makes use of this technique.

Your staff members are the superstars of your practice, so be sure to highlight them in a section where patients learn about them before coming in. Eyecare is personal, and many patients now search for a new ECP online by first learning about them and reviewing comments posted by existing patients. The Accurate Optical site (accurate-optical.net) does a wonderful job of this by providing a staff listing, giving each optician’s tenure, title, and certifications. Its “Doctors” tab highlights professional head shots of each optometrist, along with a complete bio that details their training and background.

Blending technologies in your site is advanced, yet doing so can really capture an audience. Adding video testimonials from staff members and patients allows for web surfers to learn about your practice quickly. The Eye Doctors (theeyedocs.com) site is a solid example of what you can do to show the complete versatility of what your office provides. It features a short but engaging YouTube video that automatically plays when you first open the web page. It’s captivating, informative, and well done.

If you need help starting your site and don’t know where to begin, there are many free ECP resources out there to guide you. One excellent source is ECP Web Coach (ecpwebcoach.com).

Francis Gimbel, Jr., is a licensed optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA.


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