Your Website is Your Baby, Take Care of It
The first day of spring is right around the corner and while you might already have gotten started cleaning your home or office, how much thought have you given to cleaning up your digital domain? Just like your home or office, your OBGYN website design requires a deep cleaning once a year to remove things that no longer make sense and allow you to evaluate what you should be looking for in the way of improvements.
The following are five spring cleaning tips to undertake to breathe new life and energy into your website:
Clean Up Content
You can run the risk of turning away potential new clients if your website fails to provide all of your essential practice information, such as conditions covered and treatment options offered.
Consider the following when evaluating the content on your site:
- Updated or new patient forms and questionnaires
- Changes to treatment options
- New technology and services offered
- Staff changes or updated staff bios
- Changes to office hours, location or contact information
To reduce your review time, get the entire office staff involved and check all your website content for the accuracy of information published as well as to clean up grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Polish the Functionality
Recent advances in technology may have left your website outdated, creating discrepancies between you and your competition that give them an edge. To revitalize your website, your first step should be to take an unbiased tour of it on your desktop, laptop or pad, and your smartphone. Check download speeds, navigational flaws, and other issues which may be plaguing your website’s performance and help put yourself in potential patient’s shoes.
Once you have isolated possible concerns, ask yourself how responsive your website is. When your website is responsive, it will automatically adjust its layout, content, and images, to fit the size and resolution of any device or browser, ensuring that whether your patients are accessing their desktop computer, smartphone or tablet, they will all share the same experience and information.
Google recommends a responsive website design because it improves website accessibility and user experience. When you transition to a responsive design, it will also help boost your online ranking – improving SEO and contributing to a more stress-free website management experience. Having one website for all devices will also help maximize your resources, reducing development and maintenance costs.
Perform an HIPAA Compliance Check
Are you sure your website and patient information are secure? There are several types of information, such as your patients’ name, address, phone number and email, which is safe to ask on contact forms that bear no HIPAA compliance violations. However, many times a website is built without paying attention to the HIPAA laws that regulate patient privacy. If your website provides space to fill-in medical information such as reasons for requesting an appointment or listing symptoms, the private patient information provided must be stored, accessed and transmitted in an HIPAA-compliant manner.
Any Private Health Information (PHI) transmitted must use an HIPAA compliant modern server that uses SSL encryption technology. SSL encryption, when configured properly, creates a safe method of communication and transmission of personal information between your website and your hosting server, ensuring your patients’ information remains private. One perk of utilizing SSL is an increased search result ranking: Google often favors SSL-protected websites.
The following are other areas to verify when conducting a compliance check:
- All patient testimonials and photos are published by medical board regulations and your state laws.
- All conditions, treatments and procedure descriptions are written for FDA compliance.
- If your website has an online storefront, make sure all credit card processing adheres to PCI security standards
Detangle Your Design
Unless you are psychic, it’s not likely you could see into the future of your website and guess how it would be used. No doubt there are features you intended to or believed would be useful when you first launched your website are just sitting collecting dust.
Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating your website design:
- Can my patients easily find the information they are looking for? Other practices have an abundance of information on their sites. Don’t make the mistake of forcing your patients to play hide-and-seek to locate critical information. If it is difficult to find your location, hours and contact information, you can end up aggravating current and prospective patients, and could even push them to seek alternative practices with easier to navigate websites.
- Are my images and graphics modern, appealing and relevant? Your website is often a patient’s first contact with your practice. How it looks is a direct reflection of you and your practice. If your website sports outdated images, colors and other visual aspects, your credibility with potential patients can drop. Periodically evaluate and update images to help manage your practice’s online reputation.
When selecting new images, and graphics, opt for neutrals. Stay away from current fashion trends and choose images that are sustainable over time. Make sure your images and graphics are high-quality, invoke positive sentiments, are specifically relevant to your practice and do not violate copyright laws.
Rid Your Site of Outdated Information
Make sure your website is filled with up-to-date, useful information. That event you hosted six months ago may have been a great success, but it is now outdated content. Check your website for any date-specific items to see if they have reached their expiration date, and remove any weekly and monthly specials that have passed their due date. Set calendar reminders to remove events, promotion, and specials once they are expired to keep your website up-to-date.
At the same time, make sure to add new, relevant content and post new events planned throughout the year. The longer in advance, your patients are given, the more likely they will be to commit to attending. If you have promotions and specials which change frequently, assign a dedicated staff member to update the events weekly, biweekly or monthly based on how frequently they change.
At Optimized360, we know that your website is one of your practice’s top medical marketing strategy. Routine maintenance shouldn’t be a daunting task. When you perform routine clean-ups, you’ll be ensuring that your patients receive accurate, compelling and relevant information, while improving their browsing experience and protecting the integrity of your business.