August 1, 2022
By Vishakha Thakrar, OD, FAAO, FSLS
As the field of myopia management continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to be able to engage, educate, and communicate with patients and potential patients through your website. Everything is digital, and your practice needs to reflect that.
Your website greatly impacts your perceived credibility as a myopia management practitioner. Whether you are starting a myopia management practice or if you are a seasoned practitioner who has been doing myopia management for years, your patients’ first impressions will often be created by the quality of your website. It only takes 50 milliseconds for a parent to decide whether they want to continue engaging in your website and hence your services.1
Why Build a Myopia Management Website?
There are several reasons why you would want to create a myopia management website for your practice:
- to increase awareness of your myopia management services
- to educate patients and parents about the benefits of getting myopia under control
- to increase the number of potential patients you can treat
- to generate additional referrals for your practice
- to educate other stakeholders in the myopia management process (schools, pediatricians, family physicians, and other optometrists)
- to provide a cost-effective way to promote your service
What Should I Include on My Myopia Management Website?
Firstly, hire an expert in the field of website development and relay the importance of prioritizing myopia management on your website. They will advise you on every aspect of the website design, but you need to provide them with the content. Remember: keep the audience in mind. In a myopia control practice, mothers will book the appointments, so most of the website needs to attract mothers.
Below are some of the central questions I wanted answered on my practice website. They reflect the most prevalent information to parents and are geared toward informing current patients and attracting potential new patients.
What is myopia, and why do we need to treat it?
Make sure this description is brief and concise. If you want to include more detailed information, add it to the website’s Resources section.
What devices are available at your practice?
I want patients and parents to know what myopia management services I provide, so I provide a brief summary of those services. I have created content for spectacle therapy, orthokeratology, soft myopia control lenses, and atropine.
Display Your Experience
I also like to demonstrate the methods of myopia management with graphics, pictures, and video. This will retain attention much longer than patients simply reading about your services. Using your own original pictures and videos provides you with much more credibility. Take a picture of a child wearing myopia control glasses or create a video of you describing different devices and their benefits. The pictures and videos should appear to be professionally done. If you are tech savvy, then this is easy for you. If you are like me, look for professional organizations to help you get these graphics together and create a visually attractive website for patients.
If you do not have original pictures and videos, these graphics can be obtained from different ophthalmic lens and contact lens companies. I have obtained images from CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Hoya for my myopia control page. The companies have designated marketing materials that we can use for our websites and social media.
I suggest periodically updating content, graphics, and videos so your patients return to your website for new information. Make sure everything looks appealing to the eye and the material is up to date and pertinent. Also, Google rankings favor websites with fresh content.
Your experience can be provided in the About Us section and myopia control landing page. I ensure that my patients know that I have been fitting OrthoK for over 20 years and that I have been using other myopia control methods for over a decade. You want parents to be confident that you are an expert in myopia management and that their child will be well taken care of in your practice.
Resources, Blogs, and Testimonials
Landing pages should provide plenty of interesting content such as testimonials, articles, and blogs. Patient testimonials go a long way in building a patient’s trust. Include myopia control testimonials from patients and parents on your website.
A blog is also a great way to interact with patients, share new information, and informally educate them on myopia management. You can provide them with more compelling information through a blog than you may be able to when they are in your office. Companies that blog get 97% more website links, and businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors.2
An updated Resources page on the website will aid parents in attaining more information about the potential myopia control options. Include myopia control articles on your website to help educate and inform your patients using the site. These articles can be those that you have written (which is always the best), published articles that you feel are important to your practice, and peer-reviewed articles that provide relevant data.
What about SEO?
An expert in search engine optimization (SEO) can also help you create the most effective content for your website. All websites have SEO, but not all websites are built for SEO. A great deal of work is required for a website to be optimized for Google search results. Google Search Console will tell you what keywords you are ranking for and how competitive the SEO is for your site.
As the field of myopia management continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to be able to engage, educate, and communicate with patients and potential patients through your website. Everything is digital, and your practice needs to reflect that. Whether you build up your website yourself or call in website developers, taking the time to perfect your practice’s website is likely to make your practice more attractive to patients old and new.
|Dr. Vishakha Thakrar is the owner of Vaughan Vision Centre, a practice specializing in myopia control, contact lenses, and dry eye in Vaughan, Ontario. She is residency trained in cornea and contact lenses. She previously held the role of Director of the Contact Lens Service at the Cleveland Clinic. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the Scleral Lens Society. She currently sits on the board for the Contact Lens Section of the CAO and the RCCO Contact Lens Working Group, and she is a Myopia In Practice Study Investigator and a principal organizer for the CCLA Conference.|
1 Lindgaard G et al. 2006 Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! Behaviour and Information Technology, 25(2), 115-126.
2 McCormick, K. 39 Ways to increase traffic to your website; Wordstream, May 11 2022