3 Secrets to Improving Your Life Sciences Website
July 31, 2019
When was the last time you reviewed your life science firm’s website for conversion optimizations or UX improvements?
If you’re not sure where to start, here are three areas of opportunity I often see on life sciences company websites:
1. Convey Each Page’s Value with a Specific, Concise Headline
It’s hard to write a great webpage headline. And if you’re in the life sciences industry, the complexity of the product coupled with your fear of alienating anyone conspire and often lead to headlines like “creating the hope of a better world” or “transforming the future with data.”
Those may sound great to you, since you know your product back to front. But such headlines may be too ambiguous to be meaningful, even to your buyer personas.
Try these instead:
- The header/sub-header swap: Imagine you’ve just written a great page headline:
Header: Fighting Today’s Disease with Tomorrow’s Technology
Subheader: Our gene therapy solutions are curing rare genetic disorders
Notice anything you'd change? Our brains sometimes default to hiding the juicy details in the subheader instead of the header during the writing process. After drafting a headline, double-check if you can swap these two elements with a bit of light editing. Afterward, you might even decide to do away with what had been your header entirely.
To write great headlines for case studies specifically, check out this SmartBug blog.
- Review your page’s analytics: Don’t try optimizing your page headlines by solely looking at the page itself. Consider these data sources to better tailor your headline to who’s actually visiting the page (all of these are accessible in Google Analytics):
New vs. Returning Visitors: If most visitors are new, they might need more help understanding your offering. Conversely, if most visitors are returning, what is it they might be looking for that they haven’t found before?
Last/Next Page Viewed: Spotting trends here can help you hypothesize what visitors may already know when they visit the page you’re analyzing, as well as where they think they should go next to find what they’re looking for.
Percent of Page Entrances: Don’t assume everyone’s entering a given page by just navigating through your site. See if any pages have especially high entrance rates, and tailor your headline for someone who just saw that page’s title and meta descriptions, instead of a previous site page.
2. Don’t Make Users Think About How to Use Your Navigation
Could any of your visitors be asking these questions?
What will I find in “Solutions” that will be different from “Services”?
What’s “Documentation”? Is that for me or existing customers?
Does “Professionals” refer to me or the firm’s own life sciences expertise?
If suspect so, take a step back and review your navigation. See if any internal company jargon or organizational structures could be making your navigation needlessly confusing.
Generally speaking, most visitors expect to find certain pages in certain parts of your navigation. These depend on your personas, but may include:
- An “About” dropdown with your company culture, mission, values, and maybe careers or investor info.
- A “Solutions” dropdown where personas learn how you can solve their problems. (Bonus points for life sciences: Don’t think that you have to name these after what you do. Instead, think of which problems your personas are trying to solve.)
- Persona-segmenting dropdowns like “For Doctors” or “For Patients.” These can help different visitors avoid spending too much time navigating through your site to find what they’re looking for.
- A “Contact” or “Pricing” item for those visitors ready to take a bottom-of-funnel action.
These are absolutely not exhaustive, but at the very least should be present within your navigation (and without redundancy between similar-seeming items).
3. Get in the Habit of Running Experiments
Remember in school how “the worst question someone can ask is to ask no question at all”? The same holds true for running experiments on your site.
But don’t just go willy-nilly suggesting random experiments. Instead, check out these great data sources when creating data-driven hypotheses:
- Heatmaps: Learn how far visitors get when scrolling down your pages. If you spot an area of pronounced drop-off, consider if it really needs to be there or if it can be made more appealing.
- Clickmaps: Software like Lucky Orange show the amount of clicks an item receives over a given timeframe. More importantly, you can also see the most-clicked elements relative to each other. If certain elements aren’t getting any clicks, consider removing them or placing them in a less prominent position.
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate means page visitors landed on your page with expectations as to what they’d find but it didn’t pan out. Review visitor acquisition sources to get a better idea of what those expectations are and experiment with the page content accordingly.
- Exit rate: Depending on the page, a high exit rate could make sense (like a thank you page that doesn’t offer additional content). But if too many visitors are abandoning before completing the conversion path, consider if you could move any end-of-path elements like a form on an earlier page.
About the author
Charly Mostert was formerly an Inbound Marketing Strategist at SmartBug Media. With diverse in-house and agency experience, he loves researching and spreading the word on the newest inbound marketing best practices. Read more articles by Charly Mostert.
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