Creating a Website that Best Reflects your Medical Practice
The key to medical website design is creating a website that clearly and accurately reflects your medical practice. Whether you’re an endodontist or plastic surgeon, your practice has a distinct personality. It’s crucial to capture this personality and display it in such a way that your coloring, imagery, and content layout all speak to your target audience.
The goal with website design for healthcare professionals is to share why you’re the right doctor for a patient’s needs and convince them to take the next step in joining your practice. You want to foster the same level of trust and comfort online that you do in your office. If you’re the type of doctor that aims to comfort patients regardless of circumstances, then you want your medical marketing strategies to reflect that. The ultimate goal of good website design is to foster trust with visitors, establish yourself as an authority on your subject matter, and gain leads. Your website is likely the first bit of exposure people will have to your website and therefore a crucial part of your first impressions team.
Website design for medical professionals requires extensive thought and consideration of a variety of factors, however, the best place to start is by understanding your audience. Once you know who they are and what their motivations are, then you can begin to work toward a website design.
How to Reflect Your Practice Online
Be mobile friendly. Give your visitors a superb online experience regardless of the device they’re visiting from. The majority of today’s web traffic is from mobile devices like phones and tablets. With that in mind, you want to make your website easy to navigate, have pictures align correctly, and display the information people want to see in a way that doesn’t frustrate them and prompt an immediate departure.
Be intentional with your color scheme. Just because your favorite color is yellow, doesn’t mean that that should be the color scheme of your website. Consider what colors motivate people to do and then select the color based off of that and how it relates to your current branding. Consistency is key, so you don’t want to use random colors that distract from your branding. Blue colors suggest integrity and trust, while red is associated with high energy. Earthy colors like brown remind people of nature and gold carries a bit of an elitist personality. Countless studies suggest that including lots of white in a color scheme is the best way to go. The bottom line is, don’t rely on busy schemes.
Choose a theme that makes sense. The theme of your website involves the various function it has and how content is displayed. Some themes are picture heavy and offer ways to display pictures in such a way that they take up most of the page. Others have features like expandable menus and interactive sliders. As you work with your marketing team, you’ll discuss the necessary features for your website, along with what your expectations are and how they can serve your visitors. Simplicity is usually the best choice, regardless of how appealing all the bells and whistles are. You don’t want a website that’s so fancy it’s impossible to navigate or intimidates middle-income prospects.
Make your navigation clear
Avoid using insider terms that your audience might not understand. Think about how you would find certain bits of information if you were viewing the website with fresh eyes. Oftentimes, a focus group can help you determine how well laid out your website’s navigation is. For example, if you ask a group to book an appointment, they should be able to easily find the call-to-action to make that happen. Your navigation should be designed from the perspective of a visitor. Knowing who is coming to your website and what their motivations are will help you design an effective navigation.
Create content that’s warm and inviting. Yes, you’re a doctor who has spent years in school and even more years honing your craft, but patients want to know that they’re talking to a human. Use English that’s conversational and makes them feel comfortable.
Answer all questions visitors might be asking. When a potential patient comes to your website they’re likely seeking answers to questions they have. What are your business hours? How can I schedule an appointment? Which insurances do you accept? What types of procedures do you bring experience in? Each and every one of these deserves an answer. Your job is to answer the questions in a clear way without scaring your audience with medical jargon.
Avoid sounding too markety. People know when you’re trying to sell them something. The more hyped up your website sounds, the lower your conversion rate is likely to be. People value authenticity. They can see right through phony platitudes. Keep it real and relatable.
Use quality images. Yes, it might be easy to submit your favorite Facebook profile picture to the marketing team to use for your bio, but it’s incredibly important to use high quality, professional photographs for your website. These speak volumes about the quality of work you do and the level of expectation you hold your practice to.
Use your content to build trust
Generate quality content through blog posts and informational articles that gives patients answers to questions they have. Don’t make them come into your office for everything. If you’re a dermatologist and a patient has a basic sunburn, provide an article detailing the best ways to care for sunburn. By providing valuable, informational content for free, you’ll gain trust from patients and gain their business in the long-term.
Maintain your website and social media presence
There’s nothing more frustrating than coming to a website for information and instead, getting outdated information. It wastes time and can even waste a trip for a patient to your office. If your office hours change, update throughout your website and social networks. If there’s been a change in personnel let people know. And don’t both having a blog if you’re not willing to update it weekly.