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Visual and Content Hierarchy Drive Conversions

Medical website design includes so much more than just how a website looks. Top website design is part of an overall marketing strategy that should help drive conversions. Knowledge of the principles of visual hierarchy plays a large role in website effectiveness. It describes the order in which elements are seen and the importance cast on each. The thing with website design for dentists, physicians, and chiropractors is that there is not one concrete answer for what works best. Humans are somewhat predictable in how their attention is attracted to new or different ideas, so website designers must consistently come up with new ways to make visual hierarchy work for their clients.

Website Functionality

Again, a website that looks incredible but does not work for you is going to fall short. Finding a balance between the home page and content pages is one goal of efficient medical, dental, and chiropractic websites. Ask yourself, “Does my website allow visitors to browse naturally?” Menus that require multiple clicks to reach the targeted content will frustrate visitors. On the opposite end of that spectrum are the enormous menu pages that end up looking like a massive shopping list of haphazardly related topics. Let’s look at a couple of the common viewing patterns that influence website design.



Image of the Letter F


The-F-pattern describes how a reader tends to scan down the left side of a page searching for highlights they find interesting which they will then start to read from left to right. The resulting scan pattern resembles an F or E.  Because we know very few people read content in its entirety, website designers must make use of enticing keywords at the beginning of subheads and bullet points. Paragraphs should hook the reader within the first few words or sentences, or people will move on without reading.

For chiropractors, dentists, and physicians the F-pattern comes in handy when it is important for the call to action not to overshadow the content. Current and prospective patients come to your website for a variety of reasons, and while conversion is the ultimate goal of your website, visitors are usually looking for high-quality content that will help them decide to click the call to action. When the most important content draws attention quickly and secondary details are easily scanned, visitors often feel comfortable enough to stay and explore your website.


When text is not the main focus of the page, a Z-pattern tends to occur as people scan a page. Most adults will scan the top of the page from left to right, then zip down through the images to the bottom left corner and scan from left to right once again. This could be partly because most people are aware that menus are often located at the top or bottom of web pages, or it could correlate to how we naturally read.

When one of the key dental marketing strategies of your website is simply contact, to facilitate conversion, a Z-pattern may work. Complex content may work better with an F-pattern but a Z-pattern can help organize simple layouts. Once a website designer has an idea of what your visitors are looking for, they can place key elements in the Z patterns hot spots.



Photo of a small goldfish in a big bowl next to a big goldfish in a small bowl


Bigger can be better, but that may not always be the case.  Simply put, Fitt’s Law includes the idea that objects with more of a clickable range require less effort with which to engage. A call to action that takes less time to get to because it is bigger and closer leaves no question as to where a visitor should click. Conversions do not come immediately just by making your call to action button humongous. Creating harmony and using the size of elements to subtly influence visitors is likely to have a more positive effect on conversion.

Dental, chiropractic, and medical website design should still make use of the size of elements to draw attention. When the size of the visuals can overpower our tendency to scan left to right or up and down, those larger visual elements can lead to more conversions. Perspective can be created with contrasting sizes so the eye is directed to the important elements. The size of text, fonts, and how the typography is used on the page can also guide the eye to vital content.


The color is often the first thing that jumps out on a website, in part because of the psychological connections humans make to different colors. Website design for dentists should take color into account since they do affect how your website is perceived. Colors even have a visual hierarchy of their own. Dark, bold colors jump out while muted soft colors fade into the background. Websites that draw on the power of complementary colors can flip the effect. A lighter color will stand out better against a dark background.

White Space

White space is an important design element that prevents a website from appearing over crowded. Space between graphics, space between lines or columns, and space between visuals creates visual hierarchy. Blank space is referred to as negative space, but it actually makes a website appear neat and clean. This does not mean there is less content; it just means the website designer is aware of the need for simplicity in design.

Chiropractic websites that overwhelm prospective patients will cause those people to bounce, or leave the site. Using white space to help organize the site directs eyes to important information and helps visitors navigate the website comfortably. The eyes can rest briefly on unoccupied space and follow the subtle directions provided by the blank spaces.

Chiropractic, Medical, and Dental Marketing Strategies


Image of man planning out marketing strategy on floor


Visual and content hierarchy of a website is part of the bigger marketing strategy of the practice. Websites rely on a variety of layouts, patterns, colors, spaces, and colors to influence how people interact with the site. When visitors are able to move easily from the main page to content and back again, they are more likely to spend enough time on your page to end up clicking the call to action button. Optimized360 has a team of designers that incorporate your personal design preferences to meet your conversion goals.

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