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a blog by Chris Barrow

Your shop window

Previously, I have shared the various components of a good practice web site (see my series on Krishan Joshi’s web site) CLICK HERE Since those videos were recorded a couple of years ago things have changed – and I would add a further “P” to the top of the list. PAUSE Your first challenge is to get a visitor to PAUSE for long enough to become engaged and look further. Our attention spans have reduced, following the onslaught of digital media and “devices”. Passing through Clapham Junction station a couple of weeks ago I was reminded of a modern-day Lowry painting as the “workers” hunched – not into the rain and wind but hunched over their smartphones, checking their social media, their emails, their texts and Google whilst waiting for the train home. Whether a prospective new patient is standing on a station platform, sitting at a desk or in their home study – my question is “how are you going to encourage them to PAUSE and look further into your web site – in a world of “same”? The same challenge no doubt faces the window dressers at Selfridges on Oxford Street. Countless thousands of people, dozens of shops. How on earth are you going to encourage someone to PAUSE, look at the shop window and then perhaps change direction and head through the door? We used to suggest that your presentation had to be “WOW!” if you were to have any chance. For me, the bar has now risen much higher as the number of practices with web sites and active social media campaigns begins to increase. I’m thinking that the bar is now set as (forgive me) “WTF?” Please do not expect me to PAUSE if you give me static text, static photographs and a dialogue that tells me your provide “State of the art dentistry in a relaxed and comfortable environment” The commonly accepted thinking right now is that video on your home page and throughout your site (and social media) is the best way to influence your Google ranking. SEO, PPC and Adwords are inexorably diminishing in their importance as Google’s algorithms are re-written to measure influence and not marketing spend. Even so – I still the the “same old, same old” when I see new web sites launched. From a design perspective there seems to be a growing preference for lots of white space, beautiful rolling graphics, product recommendation and demographic recognition. But I can’t say I’ve been “WOW’ED” or, better still, “WTF’ED” in the last few months. I feel as if there is a gap in the market for a web design team to take a quantum leap forward. Frustratingly, I’m not a designer and so annoyingly know what I want to feel but don’t know how to get there. I’m calling out to the experts in web design and social media management – make my day and do something so Bold, Outrageous and Provocative that it will go viral, as well as bring a significant increase in visitor retention and action.

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