Is your website design costing you patients? A website is a critical element in an overall physician marketing strategy. It serves as a portal for both potential and current patients while enhancing your digital presence, but if it has design flaws it might do more harm than good. Diagnose your website and see if it is sending your patients in the opposite direction.
Start at the Beginning
Making readers wait for your website to load is one common error. The days of loading and splash pages are long gone. Modern Internet users are less inclined to stick around and wait. If loading takes more than a couple of seconds, you are probably losing traffic. Complex graphics and moving imagery can make the site top heavy and slow to load.
Keep It Clean
Business News Daily points out that a complex design may not have the effect you think it will. Adding fancy menus and dazzling technical tricks just complicates things. If you were to walk into a room and 15 different people shouted in your direction, you might rate that experience as less than perfect. Keep your practice website design clean and simple. If a design element doesn’t add to the overall presentation, lose it.
If you must have a gimmick like a video, make sure your user has control over it. Avoid the more annoying attention getters like pop ups, auto-play features and flashing banners. They just create confusion.
Make It Scannable
Scannable is a buzz term used in marketing circles. It means the reader should be able to scan a page and find what they want in just a few seconds. Too much text distracts from that process. Make use of section headers and bullet points, so key design elements lift off the page. If the viewer has to search for contact information, for example, they may move on.
Keep It Current
It is worth some money to have modern, eye-catching graphics. Patients don’t want to see grayscale pictures of a building or cheap clipart. Choose fonts, style elements and images that are contemporary and relevant to your practice and easily consumable.
Give Them What They Want
Once you have the design basics down, use the website for good. Ultimately, the goal is inbound marketing, but that will be more successful if you add things that your patients can use. Online appointments, videos discussing current health topics and a blog that lets them get to know the staff – these are all tools that turn the website into something your patients will visit regularly.
Word of mouth is an asset in physician marketing and a patient-friendly website will get them talking.