Picture this: After looking around town for days, you’ve finally found what you think is the perfect eye care center for your LASIK procedure. Sure, the building is a little out of your way and you had to drive around the block a couple times to find it, but it’s definitely there. As your expectations of a receptionist’s warm greeting and a comfy waiting room persists, you walk in the door to find a vacant and uninviting room. The receptionist is on break, there are no informational brochures about their practice, and the place is decorated with faded posters that are in need of an update. Unfortunately, this experience is what visitors may have when visiting a poorly designed or outdated healthcare website, and it’s a surefire way to scare off tons of potential patients.
Back in the day, it was enough for a healthcare practice to simply have a website. Nowadays, your website needs to be the core of your integrated inbound marketing strategy. It should be built specifically for your target audience, responsive and user-friendly, optimized for mobile, built for search engine indexing, and filled with fresh content. And it needs to be more than an easy way for visitors to find your contact information.
What a lot of practices don’t realize is how absolutely integral a well-designed website is to increasing patient volume. The average potential patient will visit your website six times before making an appointment. If they don’t like what they see on your website, it’s easy enough for them to flip over to your competitor’s site.
Below are 6 tips for designing a healthcare website that is more than a virtual billboard, but a valuable and easily accessible resource built with your patients in mind.
1. Take Inventory
Take a look at your key performance indicators for your website and analyze their performance. Are you experiencing high bounce rates? Do your visitors only stay on your page for a short period of time? Are your conversion rates what you expected? These indicators will show the areas of your website that need tweaking, and the areas that perform well for your healthcare Brand.
2. Designing for Your Patient Personas
What a lot of healthcare practices don’t realize about web design is that their patient personas need to be the primary consideration for every website decision. If you don’t design your site for your current and potential patients, who is it for?
It’s important to establish personas that represent the key segments of your target audience. The website features that are attractive to your younger demographics may not be as attractive to your older demographics. Keep this in mind when building out each page of your website.
3. Decrease Loading Time
What’s the longest you’ve waited for a page to load? According to a recent study, if a page takes more than eight seconds to load, visitors will only spend about 1% of their time actually looking at primary content. Every second waiting for a page to load is another missed opportunity to increase your patient volume.
Decrease your website loading time by removing unnecessary flash plugins, using html5, and avoid gigantic graphics and ultra-HD images if they’ll only be seen as half-loaded roadblocks for your visitors. Following these tips will allow your web pages to load faster, keeping potential patients on your pages longer.
4. Optimize for Search Engines
What’s the point in building a speedy, user-friendly website if nobody can find it? It’s like putting up a billboard behind a tree – useless! It’s the same idea online. Create content based on specific keywords your personas use when they search online. Fresh content, reliable resources, relevant page topics, and credibility are among the many things that will put your website at the top of a patient’s search results.
5. Build a Responsive Design
Optimizing your website for mobile is necessary in today’s day and age. In fact, about 60% of all Google searches are conducted on a mobile device. So, if your website does not have a responsive design by optimizing itself for mobile devices, you are missing out on over half of your potential patients.
Search engines give credit to websites that respond to their environment. Your healthcare website should format itself to be user-friendly whether a visitor is searching on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Building a responsive website design that adapts to various devices will give your website more credibility with search engines, placing you higher in your potential patients' search results.
6. Keep it Fresh
Maintaining your website’s status as a vital part of your inbound marketing strategy means making sure it’s regularly updated and as current as possible. This also means scrubbing out old content and keeping new material flowing. Maintain your website with new and valuable information, and potential patients will continue to trickle in.
Blogging is an excellent way to keep new content flowing throughout your website. Think about it. Every time you publish a blog post on your website, you are creating a new web page emphasizing the credibility of your site. Blogs are valuable to keeping your website fresh with new content for your visitors, and it will increase the amont of traffic to your site as patients search online for the answers you are providing.
Does your healthcare website need a refresh? Download our free eBook, The Essential 10-Step Website Redesign Checklist, and start optimizing your website today.
Differentiate your healthcare practice and maximize patient volume today. Let's touch base and I will put the Hult Team’s experience to work for you. We can connect at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can create a better focus on your Healthcare Brand.