The ability for one person to use multiple devices to reach the internet is great in that people can reach your website no matter what they use;
- Desktop computer
- Game console
But, it makes it imperative that your website is responsive. There are many reasons why chiropractic websites as well as other medical professionals, need a responsive website.
The Need for A Responsive Website for Your Medical Marketing
Responsive websites give visitors a framework for the optimum experience for viewing your healthcare provider website no matter what device they choose to use. When your website is not responsive, the content;
Does not display correctly, causing the visitor a lot of inconvenience such as being forced to zoom in, scroll horizontally, and make other adjustments to view your site. Most users view the lack of responsive design as a sign of provider inferiority and quickly move on to another healthcare provider’s site. In fact, a research study concluded that one-half of all web users will never return to a site that they had difficulty viewing. So, maybe a potential patient may come back later, but one-half of visitors to your unresponsive website will never return.
Ensuring a Good User Experience
Responsive design does not equal optimization for mobile devices. It means that your website displays a page layout that looks great on every type of device and screen size. This requires the testing of every page to be certain it renders correctly.
If the website design for OBGYN specialists or any other medical provider takes 5 seconds or more to load, it is not a responsive site and visitors will abandon it. Just as with websites that don’t display well, many visitors will leave and never come back. This is a lost opportunity to acquire new patients.
If your website is not responsive for all types of devices you will not create favorable patient attitudes for your clinic. When your website causes an experience that is frustrating and stressful instead of an enjoyable one you suffer tarnishing your brand and that translates to fewer patients making appointments. A study by ResearchGate entitled Trust and mistrust of online health sites was designed to answer the following question – How much does site design impact trust or mistrust of health websites and how much impact does the quality of content have? The study reported that 94% of study participants found that design factors were responsible for visitors mistrusting or rejecting a health website while only 6% reported problems with the quality of content. The impact of design on brand trust cannot be overstated.
The Study Results
Following are some of the specific design issues that led to health website mistrust as reported in the research study Trust and mistrust of online health sites
- Inappropriate name for the website
- Complex, busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design, especially use of color
- Pop-up advertisements
- Slow introductions to a site (splash pages, slow-loading flash introductions, etc)
- Small print
- Too much text
- Corporate look and feel
- Poor search facilities/indexes
Following is a quote from the study:
“The look and feel of the website was clearly important to the participants. Visual appeal, plus design issues relevant to site navigation appeared to exert a strong influence on people’s first impressions of the site. Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. In cases where the participants did not like some aspect of the design the site was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable for revisiting at a later date…The main reason that websites were rapidly rejected was due to the design of the interface. Design issues affected first impressions and could lead to the mistrust of a website.”
As a professional and as a business owner you want to keep your business costs low. So, having a responsive website saves money as you only need one site. This makes it less costly for your website startup and maintenance costs and is simply good business.
Navigation is how visitors move throughout your healthcare website. It is a key design element of optometric websites and medical websites in general and ignoring how navigation is displayed and done is a recipe for site visitor flight. Responsive web design places navigation in different spots that are browser width dependent. For easy access on a mobile device, navigation is found at the top center of web pages. For other browser widths, it is either in the top right-hand corner (when facing the screen) or beneath the logo. The best responsive designs do not scale the site navigation to jumbo proportions when viewed on a large screen device.
Columns are another crucial element of website design. A responsive website displays from one to three columns of content depending on the size of the screen users view it on. This allows for easier reading of sites for all users, content is not forced into a single column if the screen size supports more width. In addition, when a browser is resized by a user, a responsive site will change columns to fit the new size. When content is squeezed in, people find it hard to read and move to a friendlier site.
Call to Action
Responsive design always considers users, but, one element of web design that is for site owners is the call to action. Savvy internet marketers know that it is beneficial to keep the call to action prominent regardless of browser or screen size.
Unresponsive websites are hard to read as padding and white space on different screen sizes are not considered. This means that frequently things seem too crowded or misaligned for comfortable viewing – another reason for users to seek another medical or health providers site.
Better Ranking in Search Engine Results
The competition for page one ranking in search engine results (SER) is fierce. The closer you are to the top ranking the more your website attracts new visitors. Search engines today include responsiveness among the criteria for the ranking algorithm. Not having a responsive website lowers your reach to potential new patients. In addition, when your website is unresponsive your bounce rate is higher. Bounce rates are metrics for visitors who quickly leave your site. Bounce rates are also a factor in the search engine algorithms and the higher your bounce rate the more it counts against your SER.
The Bottom Line
- Responsive websites are far more than optimizing for mobile searchers.
- Responsive website design is meant to enhance user’s experience no matter what type of device is used.
- Non-responsive websites are bad for your brand, users having bad experiences visiting a website tend not to return.
- Unresponsive websites, that is a site that is poorly designed drive users away and they are lost to health care sites forever.