Every business needs a website in 2016, even those that offer essential services like those in the medical field. Competition is on the rise for healthcare-related businesses, especially now that it’s so easy to get a quality medical education online. Professionals are crawling out of the woodwork, and it takes a little more than intelligence and skill to get your practice the recognition it deserves.
Whether you like it or not, the time has come for you to focus just as much on the online design of your practice as the in-person design. Many healthcare pros have already taken the leap and put up a website, but very few have kept it maintained and high quality after doing so.
If you want to be successful, it’s time to consider making some changes that will bring more patients to your office. Here are some principles of web design you’ll want to include in the overhaul of your website.
1. Set Your Goals and Know Your Purpose
A website without goals and a clear purpose in mind is just a scrap of web copy. Is the purpose of your website to gain new patients or is it to support existing ones? Are you offering a platform where people can pick up sound medical advice or would you prefer they came to your office for the information? There are several outcomes for a good medical website, and knowing where you want to be and setting accurate goals is where your design should start.
2. Brand Like Crazy
You need something to distinguish your website from the hospital or clinic down the street. This is found in creating a distinct brand. Everything from the colors you choose to the logo you design should represent your brand, and should match the feel of your physical location. It should also appear on every page of your website, so there’s no confusion about who the information is coming from.
3. Include Your Story
Every organization has a story about how they started, why they want to help patients, and how they plan to do so. Share that story through the content, colors, and organization on your site. This lets patients know what you stand for and why you’re dedicated in your cause.
4. Be Intelligent, but Mindful in Web Copy
There’s an important but difficult balance to strike when writing your web copy. It must be intelligent enough to show your credibility in the field, but it must also must be simple enough for the average reader to understand. Filling the copy with jargon and medical terms will confuse and frustrate your visitors more than it will help them.
5. Make it Optimization Friendly
The design should also focus on search engine optimization to make sure it can be found when locals search for medical information. Title tags, meta descriptions, on-page optimization, social media management, and localized keywords are all elements to consider when designing your site.
6. Images Should Be Unique and Quality
It’s not enough anymore for organizations to post simple stock photos on their websites, particularly in the medical field. Images should be unique to your organization, showing your staff and facilities, and what sets you apart as someone who cares. They should also be high quality and beautiful, catching the eye and boosting your site’s authority.
7. Consider Multimedia
Aside from images, consider other forms of media that can make your content and message pop. Videos, webinars, white papers, and podcasts are all excellent design elements that can impart information to your viewers and engage them with your brand.
8. Start an Authoritative Blog
Add a section to your website for a well-designed blog where you can give information about medical concerns to help your patients help themselves. If you don’t have time to put out steady content every week, hire a medical blogger to deliver high-quality, knowledgeable content on a regular basis.
9. Don’t Forget the Clear Call to Action
This goes back to understanding the goals and purpose of your website. Develop clear calls to action that will help you achieve your goals. If you’re trying to gain more customers, put a clear “Book Your Appointment Today” on the homepage. If you’re trying to help existing customers gain more knowledge and information on your website, ask them to subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
10. Optimize for Mobile
Your website should be formatted to fit any viewing platform, no matter the size of the screen. Mobile viewing of websites has already surpassed that of desktop viewing, and your clients will expect a speedy website, no matter where they access the information.
11. Make it Easy to Book Online
Along with mobile optimization, visitors have come to expect online booking on healthcare websites. Consumers like the ability to take care of business without talking to another human being. Including online booking on your website will not only make your job easier, but also improve the online perception and reception of your site.