One of the biggest challenges a practice faces is finding new patients. In most areas, competition for patients is fierce and the methods that patients are using to find a doctor are changing rapidly.
While many consider these changes a problem, they can also be seen as a great opportunity for your practice. Let’s take a look at one of the many ways you can make sure you’re marketing your practice in the most effective way possible--your website.
Your organization’s website is patients’ first impression of your practice. What impression does your website make? Does it say that I’ve been practicing medicine since the 80’s and haven’t updated my website since then? Does it make it easy for patients to quickly connect and communicate with you to get their questions answered and their appointments scheduled?
Right or wrong, many patients judge a doctor’s medical proficiency based on the quality of their website. Many patients reason that if the doctor isn’t keeping their website up to date, then what else in their practice aren’t they keeping up to date? This is why it’s extremely important that a practice make sure that their website provides a high quality first impression.
Here’s a look at some features of a modern practice website:
- Clean, Professional Design: We all know a well designed website when we see it. Without going into all the latest design trends, I’ve found the key to a clean, professional website design is to actually employ a designer in the process. While any programmer can build a website, the results are dramatically better looking when a designer designs the website and a programmer implements that design. One is focused on function and the other is focused on appearance. Marry the two and you’ll have a professionally designed website that matches the way you practice medicine.
- Mobile Friendly: If your website is not mobile friendly, you’re likely missing out on patients. More and more web browsing is being done on our mobile phones. This is especially true for the younger generation, but is true for the older generation as well. Many in the older generation don’t use a computer at all, but now use their iPad or other tablet device for all their web browsing needs. So, your website needs to look great on mobile devices. When making your website mobile friendly, ask your web development team to make sure they provide you a responsive design. They’ll know what I’m talking about. If they don’t, find a new development team.
- Secure Contact Options: One of the biggest missed opportunities for practices is when a patient visits a practice website and their only option to get questions answered (i.e., Do you take my insurance?) and schedule an appointment is to call. Many patients are at work or unable to call. Plus, patients dread the idea of getting stuck in some awful phone tree. Make it easy for patients to become a new patient by offering a secure online contact option. Plus, this saves you having to play phone tag with them when you miss their call.
Whether a new patient discovers you on their insurance list, a referral from a friend, or a Google Search, their next step is often a visit to the doctor’s website. Make sure your website gives off the right first impression and converts those website visitors into new patients.