Is Your Medical Website Costing You Patients?

Did you know the design for your medical website determines how long a visitor stays on your site and whether or not visitors scroll to read all of the content on a page? Research indicates more than three quarters of all site visitors do not bother scrolling during their first visit to a site. This means that more than 75% of the people who find your site never see more than just a few words written “above the fold.”

Locating key content in the right location on your physician website means the difference between a visitor glancing at your site and that same visitor sticking around to learn more about your medical practice. As a matter of fact, good medical web design can improve conversion rates by up to 50%.

physician-website

Organizing Your Medical Practice Website

The first thing that can be done to improve a website for your medical practice is to organize the site and its content to make it easy to navigate and find information. The quicker visitors find the information they need, the more likely they are to stay on the site and learn more about you and your medical practice. Providing easy-to-find information about your bio and medical services also helps you build trust with visitors. The best way to organize a site is to think about why visitors searched for the site in the first place. The most likely reasons a person searched online for a healthcare professional are:

• finding a local physician to treat their medical problem
• determining if their insurance is accepted
• learning more information about the practice and physician
• Scheduling an appointment

Improving a visitor’s ability to accomplish these tasks increases the value of your site and increases the chances of converting that person into a patient.

If your site is not already doing these things, now is the time to make a change. A medical practice’s website design can be improved with the following three items.

Your Home Page Should Clearly Describe Your “Brand”

The home page of your site needs to share important information with site visitors. It should include what your medical specialty is, who you are, who you provide care, and why what you offer is different than anyone else in your field. Your home page does not need to include elaborate details, but it must offer clear information about the heart of your practice.

Good medical website design communicates important details about your brand and determines whether or not visitors want to learn more about your practice.

Create an Easy to Navigate Design

Too many websites are confusing and not user friendly. The easier your site is to use the likelier patients are to use it. Remember, not all of your current and potential patients are web savvy and even those who are do not have time to waste searching all over your site for what they need. Burying important features beneath layers of pages someone might like to read will not enhance your site.

Good website design features a navigation menu that is prominently featured and consistent on every page of the site.

The menu needs to direct visitors to the important parts of the site before they do anything else on the site. Making things easy to find actually increases the time people stay on your site and it improves conversion rates. Be sure to include a services page that includes a sub-menu featuring each of your services separately. We recommend at least the following pages for our physician clients: Home, About the Staff, Services, Patient Information, and Contact Us.

Encourage Visitors to Take Action

Encouraging visitors to take action on a website is known as a “call to action.” It encourages visitors to follow up and contact you directly. There might be a contact or email button on each page or you might include a contact page. Most of our medical websites use a “Request an Appointment” form that makes it easy for visitors to submit their name, phone number, and email. The form can then be forwarded to your front desk which can follow-up and schedule an appointment.

In addition to contact information, we also include Google Maps that makes it easy for patient to find your medical practice. This can be at the bottom of every page or just on the Contact Us page.

Is your medical website design missing any of these important components? If so, it could be costing you business. Now is the time to make a change. Contact a Project Manager at Physician Designs for a free consultation and quote.

What Your Medical Website Design Should Accomplish for You

Most doctors know they need a medical website for their practice, but fewer understand exactly what that website should accomplish. A physician website is about more than just letting people know you exist online. It is about sharing information with potential patients, establishing a reputation, building a relationship, and helping your practice achieve success. What exactly should good medical website design accomplish for you?

The majority of adults in America use the Internet to gather information and make important decisions. Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions a person makes and many utilize information from the Internet to make this decision. In addition to information online over which you have no control, you can supply patients with everything they need to know about your practice. This is one of the most important things good physician website design can do for you. There are four specific things you want your site to achieve:

Attract New Patients

A good physician website makes it easier to grow your practice. It attracts the attention of search engines, which leads prospective patients to your page. Once they arrive, good design encourages them to stay and learn more about you, your services and philosophy. Great optimization and design can even help you target the specific types of patients you want to attract to your practice.

Establish a Relationship with Patients

Your website should build your brand and help you create trust between you and current or potential patients. The site should feature your logo, your goals as a physician, your menu of services, and anything else you want people to know about your brand. Your site should reflect your brand and help you establish brand presence online. This makes it easier to build trust with patients. They get to know you and feel comfortable working with you before you meet in person.

Good medical website design allows visitors to the site to see “behind the scenes” and feel like they are a part of their medical care team. A good design also establishes a sense of community. Providing a forum in which patients can share information and experiences eliminates the need for prospective patients to go elsewhere looking for information over which you have no control.

Educate Patients

Not only will good website design make it easier for prospective patients to find you, it will help you educate people about your practice and issues associated with the type of care you offer. Many prospective patients are looking for details about health conditions and medical issues. If you are able to provide well-researched, up-to-date information, they will call on you for future concerns. (Read our post about using social media for your medical practice)

Allow Your Office to Run More Efficiently

Your patients are not the only ones who benefit from a great website. Great design can also take a lot of the burden off your office staff. How much time is wasted answering questions about office hours and taking appointments? A website can do these things for you – and 24 hours a day. It allows patients to contact your office about non-emergency issues that can be answered automatically or through email. This means you and your staff are able to focus on providing care to patients in need in the here-and-now without missing out on opportunities to interact and provide information to potential new patients.

Is your website working for you? Does it accomplish everything it possibly can? If not, now is the time to make improvements.

Adding a Human Touch to Your Medical Brand

Your website is one of the best tools you have for enhancing your medical practice’s brand. Successful healthcare web design and social media messaging allows you to communicate a very specific message to the public and makes it easy for people to associate your practice with the message. Unfortunately, branding can become technical and cold, which is the last thing you want when trying to attract new patients.

If you take time to humanize your brand and add a personal touch to your website design and social media, it can really help you stand out from local competition. Your medical marketing strategy should include ways for you to add a personal touch to your website, as well as your social media interactions. Social media is one of the best ways to personalize a brand and help potential patients form a connection.

In addition to reaching out to patients through social media, consider how well your website design communicates a personal touch. These tips can help:

Introduce Members of Your Staff

Introducing the members of your staff is a great way to help patients feel comfortable and choosing your practice. It’s comforting for a potential patient to know what a person looks like before meeting. Adding video interviews with staff members is an even more effective way to familiarize patients with the medical and office staff.

Improve Your About Us Page

Most medical websites feature an about us section, but you should be sure you are using yours to its fullest capabilities. In addition to giving basic details about your practice, include your reasons for choosing your field and your philosophies on medicine. Patients are able to make a connection to this information and it helps them feel at ease when the time comes to work with you.

Offer Valuable Information to Site Visitors

Your goal should be not only to provide information about your practice, but also to educate visitors on your site. Adding educational information gives patients a reason to return to your site. In addition to providing up-to-date information about medical studies and various developments in your field, add information about medical issues affecting your patients. Your goal should be to create a community atmosphere among your staff and patients.

Do Not Neglect Your Site

Whether you are updating the site on a regular basis or you have hired someone to do so, make sure the information is current. Nothing communicates neglect quicker than a blog or social media account that is dormant. Visitors to your site should be treated to fresh content and current news. Do your best to build conversations with site visitors and those following you on social media. Active conversations with the public allow you to really personalize your brand.

Do Not be Afraid to Personalize Your Site and Social Media

All business owners struggle to find the right balance of professionalism and personalization and doctors are no exception. While it is important to keep messages on your website and in social media professional, you do not want to make them cold and dry. Blend a little personalization into things and you will find it helps your patients feel more at ease. Getting to know a little about you and your staff is a great way to help patients feel special and allow them to relax when visiting your office.

Is your brand cold and distant? Could your website or social media campaign use a human touch? This small change could go a long way to enhancing your marketing strategy. You can save yourself a lot of legwork and contact a project manager for services like social media management from Physician Designs that will humanize your marketing campaign.

Should Physicians Use Social Media?

The short answer to whether a physician should use social media in their medical practice is “yes absolutely!” – but most doctors need to understand specifically how social media can help the practice.

Opening a handful of social media accounts is not enough. Unless you utilize these accounts and set practical goals for a social media strategy, you will be unlikely to attract and engage people and potential patients.

social-media

Successful marketing for physicians requires a solid social media strategy. This should not mean using every social media platform available and it certainly does not mean spending hours each day Tweeting or posting on Facebook. Your best bet is to organize a plan that is consistent, engaging, informative, and effective.

If you doubt the power of social media consider the following:

  1. Social media establishes your presence online. When potential patients begin their search for a doctor, the process most likely involves a search on the Internet. If you have not established a presence online, you might as well not exist to them. Social media allows you to expand your online presence beyond your website and attract even more attention from search engines.
  2. Social media makes it possible to share information with as many people as possible. An important part of your medical website design is the informative content. Unfortunately, the only people who will see this is those people specifically looking for your site. Social media makes it possible to reach a greater number of people. Not only are you getting them to notice your practice, you are also sharing valuable medical information.
  3. Social media helps you distinguish your brand from your competitors. The more solid the public’s image of you, the more you stand out. Think of the best brand accomplishments out there. All you need is to see a logo or hear a tagline or jingle and you know exactly what company you are dealing with. Social media allows you to further establish your brand in the minds of your current and potential patients.

So how do you create a strong social media strategy?

social-media-studentsAll successful offline and internet/website marketing for physicians should have a social media component. You can choose to speak directly with patients via social media or you can allow someone to post information for you.

The key to engaging users is providing eye-catching information. Most users skim through social media so it’s important to post items that can be quickly read and understood. Examples of this include lists of items such as “5 ways to prevent allergies” or “7 benefits of eating vegetables”.

Also be sure anyone posting to your social media accounts understands the mission and goals of your practice. The last thing you need is a message being conveyed to the public that is not in line with your practice.

Determine how often you want to post to social media and what information you would like to share. Often, people use social media to share informative content and to put a human spin on their practice’s online presence. You can use a blend of personal tidbits about staff and the day-to-day operations of your practice, as well as links to blog posts and relevant articles about your field of practice.

Is social media necessary for doctors? You bet it is. It can put you at the forefront of your field and create an engaged audience. Now is the time to include a social media campaign in your marketing strategy for your medical practice. You can contact us for a quote for an active social media management campaign.

Website for Colorectal Surgeon in Newport Beach

We recently completed a website for Dr. Babak Rad, a colorectal surgeon in Newport Beach, CA. Services at Newport Colorectal include the treatment of anorectal diseases, colonoscopy cancer screening, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery.

Be sure to check out the new design!

Colon & Recal Surgeon

Dr. Rad has dual board-certification – in general and colorectal surgery. He has also received training and performs robotic surgery with the da Vinci robot for colon conditions. da Vinci robotic surgery allows for a quicker return to a normal diet, a shorter hospital stay, and smaller incisions.

Besides a custom designed website, Physician Designs also provided custom search engine optimized content for the four service pages. This was particularly important since we are also managing the SEO for the website – and a lot of emphasis is placed on useful and unique content by search engines.

The Importance of Optimized Content for Physician Website Design

Website design for doctors and healthcare professionals is more effective when the content featured on the site is unique, informative, and properly optimized. Content is important because optimization affects search rankings and social media interaction. It is the single best tool you have for improving the value of your website and an optimized content strategy is an essential part of marketing for physicians.

What is Optimized Content?

content managementSuccessful medical website designs include a variety of features. Which of these features is most important has changed over the years and optimized content has become the single biggest tool you have for improving the value of your medical website. Websites for doctors that utilize optimized content are effective for attracting attention from search engines, and of course, site visitors and potential patients.

What exactly makes content optimized? In addition to being well-written and engaging, optimized content uses keyword phrases that drive organic and natural search traffic. Awkward writing crammed with nonsensical keywords is a thing of the past and not effect – and possibly detrimental. Today’s optimized content is informative and interesting, and ultimately, leads to conversions. Optimized content attracts attention when shared through social media platforms and allows you to share your message with the public. Whether it is a newsletter, blog article, website page or posts on social media, optimized content helps you achieve your online marketing goals when it provides useful and informative content. Our team of writers at Physician Designs can help you create content for your internet presence. Our medical writers provide unique content about medical services and procedures. They can also create content for social media that is both engaging and informative.

Using Social Media and Search Engines

It is no secret that popular search engines including Bing and Google use certain “social signals” for ranking pages. These social signals are an important part of their organic search algorithms. Google is even placing additional importance on the use of its social media platform, Google+. Search engines view social media activity as extremely relevant, which makes it an important part of your optimized marketing strategy. Optimized content uses keywords to generate attention and increases social signals. It is found faster and deemed more attractive to readers.medical social media marketingPhoto Credit: HTSABO

What Should You Include in Your Optimized Content Strategy?

The world of optimizing and social media gets confusing, especially with so many new opportunities cropping up every day. Determining what works best for your medical practice and how you can use your medical website to produce the best results is not your top priority. Luckily, our design, content, and marketing team can help you design the perfect optimization strategy.

Your strategy should begin with targeting the best optimization opportunities available. Maximizing your content through social signals is a great way to generate excitement around your site. Sharing optimized content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ establishes influence in your field and generates attention from search engines. Optimized content enhances your use of social media and your use of social media enhances your search rankings. Each component is part of a cycle of success for your medical website and practice.

What Else Can Optimized Content Do for Your Practice?

In addition to growing your social media status and improving your search engine ranking, optimized content is also able to give you an advantage over competitors, puts your content in demand, and positions you as a leader in your industry. Just as speaking at an important event improves your ranking in your field, speaking out through a blog, website, or social media also enhances your standing for the patient and general population. You gain the trust of readers, establishing a relationship with potential patients before they even come through your practice’s door.

People want to read about your practice and learn what you offer. The information keeps them informed and puts them at ease when the time arrives for a visit. Not only does optimized content improve your online status through search engine rankings and online reputation, it changes how people view you and your services as a doctor.

A successful SEO campaign includes practical optimization and content marketing strategies that combine to achieve the best results. Optimized content can make your website more valuable than ever before. Contact us to make the most of your online presence and grow the value of your medical website!