How to Make Your Healthcare Website User-Friendly
A website is often the first glimpse visitors get of your brand. Nothing will send people running faster than a medical website design that is difficult to navigate. Complicated clutter that makes it difficult to determine what is important or where to click leads to frustration. User-friendly dental and optometric website design is more likely to retain visitors.
Medical and dental marketing strategies must take into consideration the importance of user-friendly websites. Advances in technology and how people adapt to the changes mean marketers and designers have to create new ways to enhance user experience. Websites that are easy to navigate intuitively are quickly becoming the expectation rather than the exception.
Why is a user-friendly website imperative?
Seven seconds is the maximum amount of time you get to make a first impression, so investing in quality user-friendly design is key. If your site loads slowly or is plagued by pop-ups that won’t stop, your bounce rate is going to soar. Bounce rate is not a good thing since it likely means the visitors who leave will not return. Presenting a website that looks incredible and is simple to traverse is key to making a positive first impression.
Lead generation and patient conversion often rely on a visitor’s perception of your website. Your website is the online representation of your brand and practice as a whole. Dental and optometric website design should be attractive as it innately guides visitors to relevant content and information.
In the past, a website could virtually be a static URL that acted much like an advertisement in a newspaper. As long as your phone number and address were visible, it did its job. Now, a website is an integral part of medical and dental marketing strategies. Who you are as a healthcare provider, your practice’s mission, and why you are the best in your field should be obvious to prospective patients who land on your site.
What are key components of a user-friendly website?
1. Mobile Friendly
With the latest Google search engine algorithm updates, it is more important than ever to have a mobile friendly site. In fact, you have no chance of showing up at the top of the search engine rankings without mobile responsiveness or compatibility. Five years ago, there were already more than 114 million smartphone users in the U.S., so imagine that number now. It is essential that people on smaller devices can navigate your site and quickly find relevant information.
2. Accessible to All Users
Healthcare providers should be among the first to recognize the importance of making websites accessible to the elderly and blind, deaf, or differently-abled visitors. There are design techniques that can be incorporated to make your website easy to access on screen readers. Videos should include closed captioning. Both options open your website up to a larger audience.
3. Simple and Easy Navigation
A site map should make visitor’s lives easier. Overcrowded navigation bars will inevitably turn some people away. One goal of a site map is to function as intuitively as possible. Each page and sub page should be labeled appropriately, and the link between the pages should be obvious. Consider utilizing a smaller navigation bar to prevent the main navigation bar from appearing too crowded.
4. Navigation Location
Navigation bars are usually located at the top or on the left-hand side of your website. Visitors need to have access to available options regardless of the size of their screen. Make sure your navigation bar is visible and anchored in place if appropriate.
5. Logo Consistency
Visitors are used to seeing logos in the top left corner of the screen. Logos represent your brand and provide instant recognition. Making your logo an active link to your homepage gives prospective patients the ability to return to the homepage at the click of a button.
6. Modular Design
Think of Pinterest, and you get the gist of modular design. Purposefully positioned blocks of various sizes are placed strategically to enhance the usability of your website. Brand colors and design elements personalize the message. Text, images or both can be added to the blocks. Modular design is one way to organize your website into digestible bites.
7. Highly Relevant Content that is Simple to Digest
It is possible to establish yourself as an authority in your field without using terminology that is confusing to prospective patients. Your medical website design should include enough relevant content to build trust in your expertise. It’s okay to use technical keywords in the content as long as they help visitors feel comfortable with the information.
8. Draw Attention to Key Ideas
Prospective patients may get overwhelmed even if you have followed the rules and kept your design user-friendly. Consider making keywords bold-faced to draw visitor’s attention to important material. Links should also stand out from the regular text, so visitors know they have navigation options.
9. Make Contact Pleasantly Simple
Visitors should be able to interact freely with your healthcare website. When online interaction is unhindered, visitors are more likely to contact you. It is vital for you to provide contact information in a manner that makes it visible from every page, whether it is in the top right corner or the footer. Part of this visitor interaction is through the use of forms. Basic contact forms may ask for a name and email address. Make sure forms are easy to fill out if you truly plan to generate leads.
10. Minimize Wait Time
Google Analytics can provide you with a lot of data to help determine what is happening online. However, if visitors bounce before they explore your site, it is imperative you figure out why. Slow load time is one of the main reasons visitors choose to look elsewhere. Anything that takes longer than 4 to 6 seconds to load is going to do more harm than good. Search engine ranking is also affected by website speed. Google strives to keep users happy and recognizes changes in user’s expectations.
User-friendly dental, medical, and optometric website design incorporate some techniques used by other businesses. Usability can make or break a healthcare website, so it is vital to consider elements that will attract your target audience. You are more likely to retain visitors long enough for them to click your call to action button when they can seamlessly explore content. Optimized360 ensures visitors will have access to professional quality medical website design that provides intuitive navigation.