Understanding the behaviour of consumers is key to an effective marketing strategy for health and beauty professionals.
Closely behind referrals from friends and family, Google search is still streaks ahead of other digital channels for customer acquisition. And in this day and age, google search is primarily done on a smartphone. If your website isn't optimised for smartphone use then you really need to get onto this!
Here's a summary of research conducted by KANTAR (formerly TNS Australia) and Google which certainly caught my attention.
There are 3 different mindsets that consumers are in when searching on google for a health and beauty service. They want to know:
1. Where can I get the service
2. Who can they trust to deliver the service they are after, and
3. I know what I want already and am ready to book ASAP
Mindset 1: Where can I get the service
77% of smartphone users have used their smartphones to find local health services in the past six months. When people first identify that they have a problem, they look for information, advice, and where they can get treatment. Australians typically perform 3 searches with a focus on availability, pricing and directions.
Behind price, local convenience is an important factor in decision making. The 10-minute rule still largely holds true with people unlikely to use a service that is longer than a 10-minute drive or 10-minute walk away.
People typing "service x near me" has more than doubled since 2015.
Mindset 2: Who can I trust
Once convenience and service offering has been ascertained, consumers do more in-depth research to decide on a practitioner. The research suggests that Australians only compare and contrast two health service providers. It's you vs the other person. This is where trust and transparency become so important. Trust is established in a number of ways such as:
- Clear, simple and professional looking website.
- Create a connection through the use of storytelling about why the service provider is in business
- Displaying clear pricing (nothing frustrates a consumer more than having to enquire about the pricing).
Service specialisation is also key because people want to believe that you are an expert in solving their particular problem. Other trust symbols include patient testimonies (although be careful if you are regulated by AHPRA) and evidence of proven results.
Mindset 3: I know what I want and I need to book ASAP
When patients want a solution they want it ASAP. Everything about your online user experience needs to be optimised to facilitating this. If you still use a contact form on your website your business is outdated in the minds of consumers. The option of talking on the phone is still important with 66% of Australians saying it is extremely or very important to have the ability to call a business directly from a smartphone search results page. Alternatively, they like the ability to book an appointment online, as it provides more flexibility and control in fitting treatment into their schedules.
The key takeaways are:
- Make sure your Google SEO and SEM strategies are highly sophisticated
- Ensure your website is optimised for smartphone use
- Ask yourself whether your current website is optimised for establishing trust
- Make sure your online booking process is present and streamlined
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