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CTA Strategy for Healthcare Content: 4 Ways to Increase Conversions

As we know, many users don’t actually read your healthcare content. Instead, they scan it. They’re scanning for the action that’s relevant to their journey, such as how to schedule an appointment, a phone number or a web form. And, frankly, that’s what you want them to do — to convert. To do that, you need effective calls to action (CTAs). And effective CTAs require an effective CTA strategy.

Having an effective CTA strategy takes thought and planning. Your CTAs must consider the mindsets of the users of healthcare organization’s website and the unique factors that bring those users to you. Let’s go through four of the top actions you can take to increase the conversion power of your CTAs.

1. Begin with the end in mind

If you’ve ever read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, you’re probably familiar with this phrase. The idea is that you start with the goal you want to achieve and work backward from there. The same plan works with your CTA strategy.

Think about the end goals of a page on your healthcare organization’s website. What do you want the user to do after they’ve read the content? What will your user (as you’ve identified in your personas and journeys) want to do after they’ve read the content?

In an ideal situation, those goals are identical — or at least similar. If they’re not, think about how your business goals and your users’ goals are different. What needs to change to align your business goals with your users’ goals?

When your goals are in line with what your users should want to do after consuming a piece of content, that’s your natural CTA for the page. Now make sure the page’s content steers the user toward engaging with the CTA and continuing down that path.

Related reading: The 5 Secrets of Conversion-Centered Content

2. Tell your user what to do

Too many CTAs are phrased in terms of options or choices: “Feel free to call us at …,” “You can reach us at …” and so on. Giving your users options typically is a good thing, but when you’re trying to motivate them to act, less is more.

Strong CTA strategy involves using the imperative voice or imperative mood, which involves telling the user what action to take. Again, this should match the user’s desired action. The link or action in a CTA should be a short, declarative sentence that tells the user what to do. Compare these two actions and see which one works better:

  • You can call us at 212-555-3253 if you’re interested in more information.”
  • “Call us at 202-555-3253 for more information.”

Clearly, the second option is the correct one, and not just because it’s shorter. It also gets to the point of what I as the user want to do — to call you. And it’s phrased as the definitive action it needs to be, rather than an option the user can choose.

3. Place your primary CTA where the user will find it

I’m starting to veer into user-experience design here, so I hope my designer friends will forgive me. However, CTA strategy is a place where content considerations should weigh into your design choices for your healthcare organization’s website.

Your page’s primary CTA should be the one most users want to take most often after reading the page. This CTA should be prominent on the page and easy for users to locate quickly when they’re scanning.

Ideally, the user shouldn’t have to scan more than the first few lines of the page to find your primary CTA. In fact, many users will scan simply for this CTA, confirm that it matches what they wanted to achieve and then act without ever having read the actual page content at all. While that’s a bit of a blow to my ego as a healthcare content writer, it still achieves your business goal of getting the user to convert — so you’ll want to ensure that primary CTA is easily placed for the user to quickly accomplish the task at hand.

4. Allow for multiple CTAs – but not too many

We’ve talked about ensuring that your business goal and users’ likely primary goal for your webpage being aligned. But it’s possible that users could have multiple potential next steps after reading a page. Some may want to jump straight to scheduling an appointment. Some may want to continue gathering information. And some will want to call and talk to someone before proceeding further.

Oftentimes, a single CTA on a page won’t cut it. In these cases, it’s helpful to think of the main actions a user is likely to want to take and provide CTAs to help them achieve those goals.

However, CTAs are definitely a case of having too much of a good thing. Too many CTAs will lead to choice overload — your users won’t know which option you want them to take, which can lead them to take none at all. Having too many CTAs in a given area can lead to the phenomenon known as “right-rail blindness” — in which users completely ignore the options available to them. They’ll leave your site and go to a competitor that has a clearer path or paths forward for them. Limit your CTAs to one or two strong options — likely three at most — and ensure they’re relevant to the widest section of your user base.

Take action on your healthcare organization’s CTAs

Your website and digital content are likely geared toward moving your users from being prospects to being patients or customers. But your users need help getting there. Your CTAs are some of your strongest tools available to encourage users to take action and get the care, services or products they need to improve their health. A thoughtful CTA strategy will improve your conversions and let you provide meaningful data on the results of your efforts.

We work with clients nationwide to design and implement CTA strategies for their healthcare content. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive healthcare content solutions.

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Michael Adkins, Senior Content Strategist, Digital Health Strategy

As part of Perficient's Digital Health Strategy team, Michael partners with healthcare organizations to create informative, conversion-centered content for a variety of applications, including websites and blogs. Michael writes content that highlights clients’ service-line offerings, expertise in unique treatments, differentiators in competitive markets and additional factors that are important to patients.

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