Website Redesign - Converting Visitors To Buyers

PatientsVoices BEFORE redesign. AFTER redesign.

PatientsVoices, a healthcare startup founded by Mary Kay O'Conner, has created an incredible thing - a way for hospitals and healthcare providers to sift, categorize, and report patient stories. Patient comments couldn't be tagged or acted upon before PatientVoices. After PatientsVoices, healthcare managers can prioritize change based on patient feedback.

Patient feedback won't be the only thing driving healthcare change, but improving patient satisfaction is vital as PatientVoices shares in "Do Patients Love Your Hospital". Patients have better outcomes, and healthcare providers make more money when patient satisfaction improves.

Thanks to PatientsVoices, providers can prioritize based on what is bugging patients. Nothing increases patient satisfaction faster than fixing issues. When a thousand patients share negative stories about wait time while only a few complaints about the cafeteria prioritizing ways to improve wait time is sure to enhance overall ratings.

  conversion funnel image  

Conversion Funnel Thinking

"In e-commerce, the conversion funnel is the journey a consumer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating an e-commerce website, and finally making a purchase. The consumer is seen as being "converted" from a visitor to the site to a buyer. A funnel describes the progressive reduction in the number of users at each stage of the process. Advertising efforts can be aimed at "upper funnel", "middle funnel", or "lower funnel" potential customers.""

- Wikipedia

My background is e-commerce, so I trained in "conversion funnel" thinking. Conversion funnel thinking analyzes key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand each customer step. Every day we reviewed core metrics, including keywords, website traffic origination, sales divided by "unique visitors," and abandonment (pages or content customers leave). We tested everything all the time. When a color, headline, or image beat our controls (usually what we used before), change was immediate, frequent, and profitable. Since our company started with a print catalog developing a testing culture online was an extension of our print tests.

We were lucky. Thousands visited our website before lunch. Traffic for a healthcare startup such as PatientsVoices, won't be enough to test. That's why I've shared three website design and copy modifications inspired by the conversion funnel.

  • Use Call To Actions
  • Sell Something (even if it is only your newsletter at first)
  • Ask For Help
  • Give Away As Much As Possible

Use Call To Actions

I suggested changing the homepage hero; the largest image on a page is often called a "hero" for two reasons. Forgetting about the visitor is a common web design flaw. Images of people having a conversation (A) exclude the visitor and provide no clues for where visitor eyes should look. A website visitor's eyes follow where images of people look. That's why (B) creates a great Call To Action hotspot (bottom left). And CTAs are crucial.

Confused website visitors do many things converting is rarely one of them. When visitors know where to look and what you want them to do, conversions happen. Clear CTAs help websites feel like conversations instead of lectures, encourage visitors to join, and "buy." Clear CTAs help websites feel like conversations instead of class, encourage visitors to join, and "buy."

Sell Something

PatientsVoices is software as a service. Their sales cycle can take months. Long sales cycles mean it is hard to use sales as an "approval" metric. However, increased time on site, more pages viewed, and newsletter signups are excellent leading "approval metrics." PatientsVoices can use to chart progress against their larger goal of making sales. Sales follow when time on site, pages viewed, and subscriptions increase. "Sell" something even if it is only newsletter subscriptions because you need DATA to understand how to profitably evolve your site's design, images, and copy.

Ask For Help

When was the last time you enjoyed a lecture? Even in college, I can count the classes I was engaged by and have fingers to spare. As an adult, conversations are more fun than lectures. At the end of Do Patients Love Your Hospital, we added contact information and a question. Spam makes it hard to use comment forms. That's why we like sharing contact information. Note how we use name (space) @ (space) at the bottom of Do Patients Love Your Hospital so spammer bots can't grab and abuse an inline email address. Asking for help from visitors begins conversations that may become an active community.

Give Away As Much As Possible

Who has time to learn half of what we need to know these days? Answer: No one has the time to feel less than rushed, overwhelmed, and ill-informed. It reminds us of the character in Dante's hell who is burning up standing in water. The sinner is burning up, but he can't drink because the water recedes away on each attempt. When you share great content, you win hearts and minds. Before you know it, visitors will make suggestions, share your site and content on social media and subscribe to your newsletter. These days, with email spam an actual pain, every new subscription is a significant victory. Don't abuse your subscriber's trust, but share important news, innovations, and ideas. The more you help visitors, the more they will repay your gifts.


Read about the new conversion funnel, the loyalty loop.


How do you use the conversion funnel to design and market your website?

e: martin (at)