Building a Sleep Site That Connects
How to Build a Branding Connection
Having a structured and well-thought-out brand and website is great, but how you talk about your practice and connect with your audience is what really brings it all together.
How can you put treatment as the guide that gets your patient (the hero) from feeling terrible to feeling great? How you speak both to your patients and about your services will directly impact how they feel about treatment and can often be the differentiating factor between them choosing you, another provider, or even pushing off treatment ultimately.
Patients living with sleep apnea will find that their day-to-day activities become more and more tiresome if they aren’t getting the necessary sleep at night. A well-thought-out and put-together brand will understand a patient’s frustration and be able to connect with the patient on a deeper level.
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Also, using your treatment plan as the solution to your patient’s needs can help your brand communicate and connect with your patients. Once you help your patients envision a future of healthy sleep and day-to-day without sleep apnea side effects, they will gravitate toward you as a practitioner and be eager to get the treatment they deserve.
When we started in sleep, we found getting in front of patients looking for sleep apnea treatment was incredibly easy. Many people use Google to find information whether it’s Googling symptoms, treatment, or ideas on where the closest Doctor is. In running sleep campaigns, we found that there are many people who are willing to fill out a form or take an online questionnaire about their sleep health. However, patients refrained from discussing anything beyond the direct questions asking about their sleep health. The questions involved treatment and what patients had tried to stabilize and monitor their sleep apnea.
Defining Your Pillars
We discussed the pillars when we reviewed most sleep patients’ three stages.
Sleep Apnea falls under several categories in the health field. This can be confusing for patients who are looking for advice and treatment.
Here are a few troubles patients find when trying to find information about sleep apnea:
1. The condition of Sleep Apnea is often not obviously tied to the pain the patient is feeling, making it difficult to understand whether to consult a doctor.
2. The traditional treatment options are intimidating – Images online can deter patients, thinking that surgery or a CPAP is the only way forward.
3. Amazon is full of quick-fix options that claim to help their snoring but don’t support and help sleep apnea in the long term.
The Four Steps to Crafting Your Pillars
All of the stages make it difficult for patients to navigate. This is where you come in. Patients need someone to trust and a treatment to believe in. When you’re building out your website, having a place for each of these will help guide that connection. We have crafted the four necessary pillars below to help you get started!
When you’re creating copy for your website, we believe a few staple guidelines help keep the copy on brand and in line with the branding message. These include:
- Make the patient the focus – The website is for your patients, not for you. This should be a place for patients to find trustworthy information, develop a path to treatment, and get the reassurance they need.
- Paint the picture – It should be easy for users to understand what they will get if they work with you and your practice. Your copywriting and your imagery should help patients envision themselves being treated by you, envision how their life looks now vs. how it will look after their treatment, and trust that you have their best interests. This is where you can show your patients how their treatment will go. Rather than listing your services, talk the patients through a step-by-step process.
- Capture feeling – It is essential to convey emotion in your copy. Emotion is relatable and patients will connect with your brand if your copy relates and understands the pains and troubles of living with sleep apnea. If your patients feel understood, they will be able to connect with your company and book your services.
- Make it easy – We all know sleep apnea is no joke. The effects of living with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea are scary. Sleep apnea can cause a heart attack, a stroke, and even diabetes if a patient goes untreated. Relaying this information can scare patients so it’s important to relay information in a way that makes patients feel confident in you as a practitioner. The same goes for telling patients about the testing process in the lab, sleeping in a lab, and other tests needed before they receive treatment. Your patients must feel cared for and feel that the testing to diagnosis to treatment journey is easy and they have nothing to worry about. Here you can let your patients know that you’re going to be by their side throughout.
Engaging Calls to Action
Now that you have a website and copy to reflect your brand, it’s important to tell your patients what to do next, often referred to as a “call to action”. Building engaging calls to action is the final piece to filling your new patient pipeline. Here you can give your patients directions on contacting you and getting in touch. Unfortunately, many websites sacrifice the user experience to squeeze as many email signups and demos as they can, but we’re not building a brand like that!
Building a great call to action can be difficult. We have listed a few things to avoid when it comes to your call to action:
1. Pop-up offers
2. Bars that appear on the screen asking for an email address
3. Pages that zoom to the sign-up section before the reader has had time to read and understand what they are for.
Choose Your Call to Action
Quick Call Button
There are a few different types of calls to action. The most simple and used are the click-to-call phone numbers that are added to the menu and footer. These allow patients to click the number and be directly transferred to calling your practice.
The second most common and straightforward are clickable links and buttons – these will be featured in the hero section (the big section at the top) and the support section in the copy.
Designing clickable links is easy – keep them uniform, easy to read, and easy to know they’re clickable. As part of your design process, you should build out button standards on both light and dark backgrounds and standardize sizing and fonts so they’re easily repeatable on the site. Keeping the text on each button short is also a great way to ensure they look nice and readable on mobile devices.
For larger call-to-action sections it is important that the design element is considered before implementing it onto your new site.
These will be your full-width sections, often in the middle of or towards the end of your home and services pages. The section will help users to contact you. Call-to-action sections can be designed in many different ways. However, it is essential that the elements and designs are practical and drive a clear message. Below are some tips to help get you started!
- Be concise – Long call-to-actions can be overwhelming and often repetitive.
- Use a pain point – Use a pain point and resolution.
- Apply a sense of urgency – It can be as on the nose as “What are you waiting for?” to get the patient to get in contact.
- Appropriate target audience – Knowing your audience and where they are in their diagnosis and treatment journey is essential. Use the right call to action to speak to the right audience. For example, you won’t need sleep apnea screening questions for patients who are already on a CPAP.
If you plan on doing in-person events, email newsletters, and specials for sleep products, a call to action will be necessary for each piece of content. Keeping them simple and obvious but not in the way is the key to getting patients to contact you without the call to action disrupting the user experience.
The Contact Us Page
The Contact Us page is one of the most overlooked portions of a website build. Most add the following to their Contact Us page, but not all are necessary.
- The address of the practice
- The phone number
- The email address for your practice.
In most cases, we recommend against putting an email on the website because it is very easy for users to submit an email in a moment of necessity and then never respond again. There is no delivered value to sending an email – we want to keep the interactions with your practice valuable.
When you build out your contact page, it should be as visually appealing as the rest of your site. Building a professional user experience that flows nicely with the rest of your site while including accurate information about your address and phone number is recommended.
Proper Calls to Action are key, but did you also know that adding a call back widget to your forms dramatically increases commitment from patients, saving your staff time playing phone tag and converting more leads to patients? Learn this and more with our Ultimate Sleep Website Checklist.
This is part 1 of our 5-part series titled Creating a Sleep Website That Drives Patients. Read the whole series for more details and resources to get started on building your sleep apnea website: