As a doctor or medical provider, the first thing you think about when you get to work is probably your patients, not your site design. But your web design can actually play a huge role in serving and caring for your patients, increasing their satisfaction with your care, and even bringing in new patients.
Along with having a great website design and experience for your medical practice, a fast website, optimized website code, and a best in class SEO strategy for your medical practice, the following are additional strategies you should include to help increase online sales.
There are many challenges facing the healthcare industry. So, below are seven design strategies that will give doctors a best-in-class site that makes patient acquisition, retention, and service easier than ever.
As a doctor, your website goals aren’t only meant to draw in new patients. You already have a slew of current patients who you need to serve as well. And one of the most helpful design elements you can implement on your site is a patient portal.
These days, your patients expect to be able to take advantages of online communication through your database. On a patient portal, you can communicate with patients via secure messaging, reducing time spent on the phone relaying test results, appointment reminders, and even repeating information you’ve already communicated.
Patient portals give you the benefit of written communication, meaning your patients can have your comments and instructions right in front of them, available for review when needed. You can also send reminders for patients to come in to receive vaccines, schedule annual appointments, and more.
A common complaint among patients is the clouded communication between themselves and their doctors. In the increasingly competitive medical industry, clear, friendly, and empathetic communication is a great way to separate yourself from other medical providers. In addition to conscientiously using easy-to-understand language, you can incorporate data visualization into your site design strategy.
Essentially, data visualization makes it easy for your patients to easily interpret their medical data online without help from their doctors. The Apple Watch does a fantastic job of bringing effective data visualization to its users. Typically, data visualization communicates traditionally complex medical information in simple ways, often using graphs or charts and intuitive design to help the patient clearly understand the messages you’re trying to communicate.
The more simply and clearly you can relay medical information to your patients, the more comfortable and at ease they’ll be. You’ll be serving them well, and they’ll be more likely to to advantage of—and recommend—your services.
Make Appointment Setting Effortless
The last thing most of your patients want to do these days is pick up the phone, stay on hold, then spend their precious time scheduling an appointment. As their medical provider, you can remove the frustration of scheduling appointments when you incorporate patient appointment forms into your site design.
Instead of having patients go to your contact page then search around there for a link to schedule an appointment, make this task easy for them. Have a “Schedule Appointment” button either on the header or footer or make a tab specifically for this action. You can have a pop-up feature implemented so that patients don’t even have to click on a different page.
Your goal as a medical professional is to help your patients, and you need to have them come in to your offices to do that. The less effort they have to put in to set an appointment, the more likely they are to make one. Incorporate effortless appointment scheduling into your web design, and you’ll save both yourself and your patients time.
Include Videos of Your Providers
Many medical provider sites either use sterile stock photos or no photos at all on their sites. This is a huge no-no when your goal is to connect with potential patients and cultivate trust. Film of your providers is a fantastic way to do both.
When prospective patients can see your smile and hear your voice, they’ll feel familiar with you even before they come in for a visit. A video of yourself or of your practice’s doctors welcoming patients to the practice, giving a short introduction, outlining specialties, or even giving a brief description of your location is a wonderful way to make an immediate connection with a large number of patients at once.
It’s in our nature that we are drawn to pleasant, smiling people. By having yourself or another of your practice’s doctors—not a stock photo or an actor in a commercial—speak in a short video on your site, you will build trust and communicate that your practice is comfortable, friendly, and a great place to receive care.
Highlight Your Featured Services
Your website can—and should—be a place where prospective patients can come to see what you have to offer then schedule an appointment with a doctor. But many doctor’s websites aren’t clear as to what types of services are offered. When you’re designing your site, make certain that your featured services are highlighted, easy to find, and, most importantly, easy for your patients to understand.
If your practice is home to multiple doctors, design individual pages for each provider. Outline their areas of expertise, their specialties, and the days they see patients. You might even want to include personal information that allows patients to get to know the doctors a little better before choosing who to schedule an appointment with.
Good site design for your medical practice is gives patients the information they need without overwhelming them with medical jargon and cluttered pages. Think about what patients are looking for when they come to your site: “Can this doctor meet my need?” Clearly outline what kind of care you offer so people can know whether to schedule with you or look elsewhere for medical services.
Include a Google Map with a Marker
Locating a doctor that you can trust with your health is one thing. Locating them on a map is another feat entirely. When building your site, include a Google Map with a marker showing where your offices are located.
This design strategy is helpful for both desktop and mobile users. Seeing a visual of your location gives them a more exact idea of where your offices are. And if they’re using their phone to view your site, all they have to do is click on the map to pull up directions. It’s a simple design choice that goes a long way to serve patients. Plus, it’s a smart business decision. If people can see your location and discover that it’s either close to where they live or that it’s near points of interest for them, they’re more likely to choose you as their provider than another doctor who doesn’t show their location on their site.
As a doctor, you want to help patients stay healthy in any way you can. A great way to do this while at the same time boosting your SEO is to keep up-to-date blogs on your site. By publishing helpful content regularly, you’ll rank higher in Google, but you’ll also serve your patient population.
Blog about the importance of seasonal vaccines, annual check-ups, and even ways your practice is giving back to your community. Anything that will be helpful or interesting to your patients can go on your blog, and it’s a great way to get your business recognized on the web.
You have a lot going on as a doctor with current patients to care for and new patients to connect with. Smart and thoughtful site design helps you serve your current patients more effectively while at the same time drawing in new patients through a beautiful and easy-to-use website.