2019 marked the first year that US consumers spent more time on their mobile device than watching TV. Though many appointment-based businesses are still investing in television ads, many have not taken the time to invest in an online scheduling system that allows potential clients to schedule services 24/7, without increasing staff. If you want to increase client appointments, find an online scheduling solution that you can use across multiple digital channels.
How to Add Online Scheduling to Google My Business (GMB)
Google added an appointment booking link feature back in 2018 as a way for clients to schedule appointments with businesses and providers directly from the SERP (search engine results page). As younger generations become primary consumers, keeping up with their expectations will keep you ahead of your competitors.
If you already have an online scheduling tool, you can simply add your unique scheduling page URL to your GMB listing using the steps outlined in this blog post.
3 Reasons Clients Prefer Online Scheduling
- Clients are in front of their screens…all the time.
The average US consumer spends almost 3 hours a day on their smartphone. Add in the amount of time many US workers spend in front of a computer or laptop and the story changes. Most Americans spend majority of their time in front of a screen. That they have easy access to the internet…and to your business’s website.
- People don’t like talking on the phone.
Take it from the meme-world: people don’t like talking on the phone. If you are catering to an older audience, we recommend displaying your phone number more prominently on your website. But for any clients in Gen X, Y or Z (that’s anyone younger than 54), online scheduling without needing to speak to anyone will increase your conversion rate from your website.
- Online booking is available 24/7.
Whether it is a doctor appointment or a haircut, most of your clients think to book an appointment with you outside of typical working hours. If you are a small business owner, that may mean that you are fielding appointment requests during your personal time. And if you don’t answer your business phone, your competitor might.
Many businesses have started adding “Request an Appointment” forms to their website, which is a great start. But did you know that your conversion rate drops drastically if that lead is not responded to within the first five minutes of the form submission? Waiting more than 5 minutes to respond to a lead decreases your chances of contacting them at all by 10x. Not only are you wasting your own time trying to follow-up, but you also missed out on revenue. By adding online scheduling to your website, you remove the middleman, and give potential clients direct access to your appointment calendar.
How to Increase Client Appointments from your Website
Let’s assume you are onboard with adding online scheduling to your website. Now, it’s time to focus on the placement of that online scheduling link to make sure you get the best results.
- Use a CTA Button: We recommend displaying the online scheduling link as a Call To Action (CTA) Button. Here are some examples:
- Display the CTA button prominently: Again, if you are catering to an older audience, keep your office phone number as your primary CTA. But, if you have a wide audience, displaying your button both in the top right part of your navigation, and as your primary CTA.
In today’s digital world, convenience is key to differentiating yourself from your competitors. Adding online scheduling to your website is a great way to increase client appointments and provide a positive experience.