Ajay Prasad is the CEO of GMR Web Team, a full-service healthcare digital marketing agency focused on patient acquisition and retention.
With 73% of Americans using the internet to get health-related information, it’s critical that doctors and healthcare organizations adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate this behavior. A great website design is how you can make a good impression online and show patients that your practice is a good fit for them. It’s truly an asset for patient acquisition.
Here are my nine essentials for medical website design.
1. Use A Content Management System
When it comes to optimizing your medical website design, it helps to have a good content management system. Tools like WordPress enable you to customize and manage your site long after creating it. You can use a CMS to add new pages, a patient portal and even manage prescription refill requests.
2. Make Your Design Responsive
As of 2015, about 62% of smartphone owners had used their devices to look up information about a health condition. This number has no doubt increased since then. Make it easy for prospects to learn more about your practice and quickly schedule an appointment via a form or by simply tapping a call button. Optimize their experience using responsive features like a long-scrolling homepage with quick practice information or a hamburger navigation menu. If your website doesn’t adapt to mobile users, you will lose out on new patients.
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3. Add Value With Informative Content
Content marketing is worth the investment as it costs 62% less than traditional options. For your medical practice, add blog posts with information that patients might research on the web, such as medication, treatments and disease prevention. Add a Q&A section to showcase the questions most frequently asked by patients about certain procedures or services. Be sure to include patient reviews, as many patients check those when evaluating a new practice.
4. Optimize The Patient Experience
People in need of medical assistance shouldn’t struggle to locate your service pages, appointment forms or “Contact Us” page. If your site has poor navigation, many visitors will leave and see another doctor instead. You can optimize the patient experience with features like strategically placed call-to-action buttons throughout your site, a patient portal and online scheduling.
5. Design For Faster Page Loading
Slow-loading pages are often worse than those with poor navigation, and more visitors may abandon your site for this reason. You can minimize load time by compressing images, reducing the number of redirects and removing unnecessary features and codes.
6. Incorporate High-Appeal Visual Elements
When placed strategically, appealing visual elements make your medical practice website more engaging and more likely to convert. One survey found that 87% of marketers said videos helped them boost traffic, while 94% said videos helped them explain their products or services better. Your practice can leverage original, relatable online videos for similar outcomes. Likewise, by posting images showcasing your office or your team in action, you can boost patient engagement, resulting in more appointments. Incorporate infographics, too, to break down complex healthcare information.
7. Design With Your Brand In Mind
There’s a special mood and feel that patients experience when they step into your practice’s office. Try to replicate that in your website design by using the right color scheme, font, images and other visual elements. Use the same color scheme and a maximum of two fonts to provide a consistent patient experience throughout your site. It’s an effective way to showcase your unique brand story visually.
8. Make Your Website Accessible To All
Design your website to make it accessible to all, including patients with hearing or vision problems. As per the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, you should ensure a 4.5-1 contrast ratio or better for text and graphics. Also, transcribe your videos and audio, and provide link descriptions for screen readers.
9. Provide Your Contact Information
Provide your practice name, address and phone number in multiple places across your website. It’d be great to also have an interactive map that directs visitors to your office. The last thing you want is for your patients to have to hunt for information that should be easily found.
As consumers increasingly research healthcare information online, your medical business needs a strong web presence to survive the stiff competition. A modern medical website designed with all of the above-mentioned features will help you grow your practice.
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Author: Ajay Prasad, Forbes Councils Member