As a healthcare practitioner, your website provides a first impression of the level of care that can be expected when visiting your office. Your site is a virtual extension of your identity and an important factor in whether new patients select your practice or move on to the competition. In the same way, you wouldn’t take shortcuts maintaining the appearance of your physical office, why take chances with your digital office?
Your practice website is nothing to compromise on. In fact, it is an asset that provides a significant return on investment when optimized correctly. For the sake of time, however, many physicians cut corners, settling for a dental web template or medical website template instead of a custom web design. While they may appear adequate for the purpose they serve, these cookie-cutter sites can actually cause more harm than good. If you are a doctor, dentist or healthcare provider, take a look at the top five reasons a template could be hurting your practice.
Your website should exude the personality of your practice. Templates lack individuality and creativity – two attributes that can help your practice stand out from the competition. Details make a difference to potential patients who visit your site to better understand the atmosphere of your office. Whether you wish to portray yourself as a friendly, family provider or the top expert in your field, a custom web design will better serve your needs than a template ever could.
Applying a template to your website is like creating a prison around its functionality. Templates come with major design limitations, preventing you from catering to your patients’ and potential patients’ needs. Unlike a custom web design, which offers features that specifically accommodate the way visitors use your site, a template offers only an out-of-the-box layout with limited graphics and restrictive navigation capabilities.
Because a single template can be used by multiple web properties, putting one on your site can result in significant SEO damage to your practice. Search engines play an essential role in driving traffic to your site, with Google alone processing more than 3.5 billion searches every day. Unfortunately, search engines will penalize websites that are too similar to others or contain heavy code that causes sluggish loading time. By choosing a custom web design, your site’s uniqueness is guaranteed, and designers help ensure it is optimized with valid coding that is search engine-friendly.
Every good marketing strategy starts with distinctive and memorable branding. It is an opportunity to spotlight the image of a physician and his or her practice. A pre-made template can look generic and unprofessional, detracting from the credibility of your physician or dental practice. Instead, everything with your practice name on it should be prominently branded in a way that reflects your image and will evolve with your practice as it grows and changes. From logos and imagery to your tone and mission statement, a structured brand on a custom website positions your practice for success.
How does your website perform on mobile devices? Google now penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly, burying them in search engine results and suppressing organic web traffic. Many templates look good on desktop and laptop computers, but they are not responsive for mobile devices. Since the majority of web traffic now comes from tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, using a template could mean turning your back on hordes of site visitors.
At Optimized360, we uniquely understand the web development needs of doctors and dentists. As healthcare providers ourselves, we know how to create highly optimized websites that attract and convert potential patients to your practice. Unlike template site providers, we offer dedicated project managers and marketing consultants who are experienced in protecting your image, catering to your audience, and helping your site soar to the top of search engine results. For more information about how custom web design can help your medical or dental practice, contact us today. We look forward to serving you soon.