Think of your website as your practice’s “face” online. When someone finds you on Google (if you have the right folks helping with marketing), your website is one of the primary factors in them choosing or not choosing your practice. With tons of competition out there, it’s important that your site appeals to a robust variety of people so that you cast a wide net. And remember, flashy and “modern” isn’t always the best choice. As you’re designing your website, focus on these five things and you’ll be well on your way to patients booking appointments with you in no time!
Make It Mobile-Friendly
At this point, practices should fully understand the importance of their websites being mobile-friendly, or better yet responsive. In fact, website visits from mobile devices often surpass those from desktop computers. If your site has been updated in the past five years or so, chances are it’s responsive or mobile-friendly. But, those two things are not equal, and that’s something you should absolutely pay attention to when creating your practice’s site. Screen sizes differ and devices come in all shapes, so if your site is not compatible for all of these things, you risk losing out on potential patients. Design your site with mobile-friendliness in mind, and think about how a user would interact. Put your important calls to action in prominent locations on the page, and make sure that your landing pages aren’t too text heavy. After all, users on mobile devices are looking for quick information, so it’s up to you to create that great user experience!
Make It Secure
The reality is, you NEED to have HTTPS on any site, especially if you’re in the healthcare space. Because websites are such a large part of peoples’ lifestyles, most understand the concern surrounding a non-secure site. And even if they don’t, Google now does a great job of warning people if the site is simply HTTP, or non-secure. Of course, if you’re collecting patient information on your site, you should have a HIPAA compliant form, but when designing a site, go ahead and lock in a secure certificate at the beginning. Not only will your user experience improve, but Google will thank you over time!
Make It ADA/WCAG Compliant
In healthcare there are tons of acronyms for things, and each one of them is wildly important. Two such terms are ADA and WCAG, and both are important to your overall website design. WCAG, or web content accessibility guidelines, are created with ADA compliance in mind. The goal is to make sure that your site can be used by a wide variety of individuals with impairments. For example, if someone utilizes a screen reader, you’ll need to make sure that your site is able to be used by that person. If not, you may face a hefty range of penalties or lawsuits. The best course of action is to make sure that you have a designer that is very well versed in the medical field that can do this up front for you. If not, there are solutions out there that can strip your site and create a WCAG compliant “shell,” but there a number of benefits to making sure your site is compliant up front, including keeping a consistently great user experience and design.
Make It Speedy
Videos, photos, and animations galore can make your site less than pleasing to Google and your potential patients. Sure, they seem flashy and fun, but do you know how much they’re slowing down your site? When designing, make sure that you put an emphasis on keeping your page speed at its maximum, which can be done by utilizing various modals, compressing your images, or simply parsing down your features to the simplest ones. You definitely want to make sure your site is enticing, but that can be done without aggressive elements of design. After your initial launch, it’s also important to make sure that you’re running various speed tests to monitor your site’s performance, and pay close attention to the differences between mobile and desktop. While you might have a speedy site on one, there’s a chance you won’t be performing as well on the other.
Make It Readable and Easy to Use
The ability to quickly and easily read pertinent information and book an appointment is going to be the main driver of conversions for you on a mobile or desktop device. When designing your website, make sure you’re adjusting your copy, callouts, buttons, and everything else to fit your user persona. If someone were to land on a specific treatment page, do they have the ability to simply call or book an appointment online? If they land on your about us page, can they easily go through your doctors to learn more information? If they’re attempting to learn about a symptom, is your copy written so that they can read it without becoming overwhelmed? If you answered yes to all of these questions, your site may be in good shape. If not, try to go back to your user persona and see where your site is lacking. The goal here is to make sure your WHOLE site is readable to an average person and obviously easy to use so you can acquire more patients!
If you’re looking to redesign, or just want some tips on how to make your site one that stands out in the healthcare space, you’ve reached the right place! Give us a call or contact us online today to get started down the right path to making your site your number one patient acquisition tool!