Per HubSpot, an average reader spends less than 15 seconds on a website. This implies your practice website only gets a few moments to make a strong first impression on visitors who could be your patients/potential patients. Is your website ready to face the challenge?
Healthcare is changing its practices to provide increased patient-centric experiences. The increased prevalence of digital mediums has turned around the word-of-mouth approach for selecting a physician to a “web-first” mindset.
A website is the first thing most people search for while looking for your practice on the Internet. Even if you have a strong online presence on channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and profiles on physician-rating websites, a professional website is a must to thrive in the competition-driven healthcare market. To make the most of your website for increasing online visibility and attracting new patients, physicians need to provide an optimized experience to website visitors. Your online presence is your new patient portal, and a well-designed responsive website can definitely serve as an excellent gateway to attract new patients to your practice.
Here are few simple yet profound best practices to keep in mind to make sure you have a patient-centric website:
Move to a responsive mobile-friendly website
Responsive web design is becoming more important as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of total Internet traffic. In fact, this isn’t new to the digital world and has been recommended by Google since 2012 as the best strategy for mobile-optimized websites. It has gained so much momentum that on April 21, 2015, Google announced that it would begin using mobile-friendly sites as a ranking signal. That means if your website isn’t responsive or, in other words, isn’t mobile-friendly, it will soon see a decrease in search engine rankings and you can lose potential patients who carry out an online search before visiting a physician.
Think out-of-the-box and be creative with content
Content is more than text. It should be informative as well as user-engaging at the same time. Users look out for easy content formats like infographics, presentations and patient education brochures on the Internet to get the information they are seeking. Wherever possible, you should try to include images, infographics and videos on your website to attract more patients to it. You can also include a patient education library with accurate and unbiased scientific information for patients. On every webpage, you can also provide links for the integration of social media to your website for sharing, an important component of your online presence.
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Each page should have enough content
While developing your website, make sure each page has enough relevant content capable of engaging anyone who lands on it. This is important because there will be many times when a patient/prospective patient will enter your site and may not land on the homepage but on some other webpage through a search term, social media, blog or inbound link.
Update important details regularly
A website should be easily accessed by anyone who wants to get in touch with you. Make sure you clearly mention all important details like office hours, address, practice branches and phone numbers, and provide a visible link for online appointments. Your patients will definitely appreciate the convenience of finding all these details and other things like signing up for a newsletter, reading the blog section to update their knowledge, downloading an e-book of their interest or reading your case studies whenever they desire – all at one place. You can also include an “about us” page on your website that humbly showcases your medical expertise, cases you’ve handled and the associations you are a part of.
Focus on patient health and wellness through your website content
Your practice isn’t just about making money, it’s about serving your patients with better health outcomes and assisting them to lead healthier lives. So ensure that the website content is a healthy mix of your practice/hospital information and educational information. Develop and post content that satisfies their needs and the quest for information. You can frequently post tips and general information about health, fitness, food and well-being. Irrespective of their health issues, there are a large number of people who search for these topics for achieving better health. Often, many people prefer to read the information on a printed page, so you can offer downloadable or printable education materials, brochures and leaflets.
Your practice is a unique entity with its own unique brand strategy, goals and principles. You spent years earning that reputation for yourself. Go sky-high with a well-designed website that accurately reflects your practice and the kind of healthcare services you offer. This will ensure that your patients – current and new – get a correct impression about you, your practice and your online reputation.