Patients are now turning to the internet to choose the right practice and discover information about health. Medical practices are also shifting to accommodate clients using the online platform. With that being said, doctors must understand what it takes to create an effective website. High ranking medical websites employ a variety of techniques to ensure a good experience for the user. This article follows up on the previous two articles that we wrote on the topic and will help you think deeper about the specifics of website design.
- Your site should have a great layout that is easy to navigate and an effective, streamlined design. The first thing people are going to notice, whether purposefully or subconsciously, is the design of your website. It must be easy to navigate and attractive to look at, but creating a sleek website should start with the less is more mindset.
- Choose your colors carefully. You don’t need a plethora of colors splashed everywhere. Major Websites will define their product using only one or two colors, and choosing different shades of one color is generally a smart choice for your website. If you jump to 2 or 3, make sure the colors aren’t clashing or hard on the eyes and do not go beyond 4 colors.
- Make sure to have easy to read text. Avoid using dark backgrounds with light texts. You want to make sure your information gets through to the user. In addition to this, keep the website simple and straightforward. A busy website can turn a consumer away from the page rather quickly. The design needs to be simple, straightforward, and clean.
- Create a clear and clean sitemap. The site itself must be easy to move through and well understood upon first glance. Outline the website structure before creating it, and begin with the broader topics and themes behind the medical practice. Afterwards, you can begin focusing on the sub-themes that will fall under the broader categories. You have just created a sitemap, which is literally the map of your website. This is a major step before moving onto the creation itself.
- Ensure your navigation elements are simple and easy to understand. This includes buttons linking to other areas or dropdown menus which will take your patients to the information they are searching for. Having an effective sitemap will help Google and other search engines understand and pull the content on your site. This is great because it will help bring your website closer to the top when patients are searching relevant information pertaining to your website.
- Make online forms items easy to access: The digital representation of your medical practice needs to also include actionable material for your patients. Modern medical practices need to include online access to patient medical forms that patients can fill out before making an appointment. This will allow the patients the comfort of completing a form at their own pace. Including online medical forms is a quick and easy step to offering a modern medical practice website.
- Add as many convenience features that you can. Patient portal is a great example of this step. Interacting with your patients online can help with retention and recruiting additional clients. Medical practices have the opportunity of providing medical information for patients online. Some patient portals allow your patients to check their records, schedule appointments, refill medications, speak with nurses, and so forth. Patients are going to love the convenience of having access to medication refills directly from the practice’s website.
- Consider cool technological widgets. Some practices have begun integrating wellness apps onto the website. mHealth apps are rising in popularity more and more each day. The convenience of tracking one’s health with an app is an effective way to engage with patients online. There are free widgets available from the Centers for Disease Control such as BMI calculators, sodium intake quizzes, and diabetes and pre-diabetes screenings. You can find even more with a quick Google search. You can also have specific widgets built for your practice as well. When marketing your website, be sure to include that these apps are available.
- Post your praise from patients! Don't forget to syndicate your best patient reviews, ratings, and recommendations--especially if you take care of millennials. According to a new study, "Fifty-four percent of young millennials (aged 18 to 24) say they search online for health information and rely on online physician ratings before seeing a doctor. The global average for all patients was just 39 percent. Millennials are also more than twice as likely as people 55 and older to trust others personal recommendations when it comes to choosing a doctor."3 Doctorbase has a great widget for this specifically.
- Hire the right help. Sometimes it's a better idea to go with an expert than to try to do everything yourself. For example, Emedicaldesign.com offers a range of options for website design. This site will assist with website design, marketing, online patient portal/forms, and other website packages.
We hope this 3 part series on achieving a successful website were helpful! There are plenty of measures that you can take to achieve a successful website. A well-designed website can help boost the marketing of the practice and attract more clients.
If you need to review the previous posts they are listed below.