I couldn’t sleep well the past few nights. A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and one of the gifts I received was a Fitbit Charge 2. It tracks your heart rate, workout activity, calories burned and more. The one thing that really struck me was when I saw my sleeping data. The past week looked like this:

Sunday: 1 hr 14 min

Monday: 1 hr 52 min

Tuesday: 2 hr 8 min

Wednesday: 1 hr 50 min

Thursday: 1 hr 55 min

Now you’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with life science websites…

As I’ve built up a successful digital marketing agency over the past few years targeting the life science industry, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to hundreds of marketing executives in the life science field and spending thousands of hours consulting on digital strategy, website UX/UI, SEO, and SEM.

The past few nights I laid in bed restless because although my company has been growing at an unprecedented rate, it still frustrates me that the life science industry as a whole has been so slow to adopt their marketing with fundamental digital marketing strategies that unquestionably improve engagement rate, conversions, traffic, and leads. How can I communicate this best to an audience that doesn’t know just how much they’re missing out on?

Here’s what I mean. I got an email last night from a prospect sharing with me a website that one of our extremely reputable competitors built. The person whom emailed me is an extremely accomplished entrepreneur and scientist. He told me that he’s very pleased with the website and didn’t notice anything that could be improved.

When I opened the site, I couldn’t help but respond with my thoughts as honestly as possible. Here’s what I wrote:

“I just wanted to make it clear that what we are offering is very different from {Our Competitor}. We are specialists in digital, where as they offer a much wider general offering of digital and other services. We turn down the opportunity every day by companies that approach us to do things we are not the best at as it is our company mission to be the #1 provider of digital marketing services for the life science industry.

{Competitor Name} is a good very experienced company, and I see the website they built. I don’t doubt you will have a good experience with them. That being said, {Website Name Omitted} in terms of digital strategy it is not comparable to what we are doing and offering. It is like comparing a Fiat to a BMW.

The point of the website for most companies is to generate leads, make sales and create brand equity. The website should be your top salesperson, working for you 24/7/365. On first glance, strategically your website doesn’t even have a Call-to-Action which is the most important element of a website for increasing lead generation.

There has been no UX or conversion strategy done on the website to highlight messaging such as a unique value proposition, differentiators, problem, solution, benefits, etc. Instead, it just a mass of text that is hard to digest and only talks about you, not what you can do for your customer.

Without this UX strategy, it means that you are not effectively nurturing a prospect through their customer journey on your website. There is no compelling offer or element of credibility through usage of testimonials which is especially important for newer smaller businesses in the life science field. Adaptation of new technologies in life sciences is especially slow, and through the website, we need to reassure the prospect of making their research better, not adding more variability.

There is no contact form or way to capture prospect information which tells me there is also no conversion tracking setup to be able to attribute ROI of the website.

Most importantly though, at the core of digital marketing strategy is SEO, and there has been zero SEO done on that website. The title tag of the website is the single easiest thing to help drive up rankings for targeted keywords. On your site, it is still the default title tag which is the name of the company “{Company Name Omitted}” If you look at websites we built or lead digital strategy on like Trovagene.com and Advanced Cell Diagnostics (AcdBio.com) they place their targeted keyword in the title tag. This is one reason why they rank on the first page of Google for their top keywords thereby bringing brand awareness and leads to the website for free.

From a technical standpoint, it hasn’t been tested for multiple devices as I am viewing it on 1680×1050 wide screen display MacBook Pro 15.4”, and the site is not responding properly. The fonts are all different sizes and stylings which make it especially difficult to read. The images at this resolution are unreadable.”

On a high level, the website should function as the best version of your top salesperson. If this website was personified, it would have went to thousands of sales pitches and did this:

  1. Talked about him or herself non-stop without asking questions to understand the customer’s problems.
  2. Provided no solution-benefits or a unique differentiator of why they are different than every other competitor out there.
  3. Shown a slide deck with images that were too small and blurry for the customer to see.
  4. Left the meeting without asking if they’re interested in a proposal, follow-up or even getting contact information for future discussions..

Mind you, this company is worth over $10m in revenue and has raised over $30m in funding.

I just read today another viral LinkedIn post about how top retail chains like Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears and more are shutting down 250+ retail locations. This is just another glaring example marking the beginning of a new age where digital dominates sales and marketing. Amazon and digital sales online are driving everyone out of business. No industry is safe from digital disruption.

I lose sleep over this kind of stuff.

Now, dear reader, the question I have for you is… does your website differentiate you from your competitors on first glance? Do you understand and articulate your target profile’s problem, and then your solution with benefits? Do you back up your solution with credibility such as testimonials and other forms of social proof? Do you invite them to contact you, or learn more and capture their information? Finally, do you measure how many leads you get through your website, what the traffic source is, and then can tie that back to a cost per conversion so you can scale that channel in the future?

If not, then feel free to shoot me a message, and I’ll lose sleep for you too. But at least I will be one step closer in my own goal to help move this industry along so we have better healthcare, better drugs, better research, and a better future for the next generation.

P.S. That company got back to me in an hour after reading that email and we have a call booked for tomorrow.