Creating a website is about a lot more than just putting some pictures and information online. In fact, when people see your website they immediately make a decision about what they think about your website and your business. It’s your opportunity to make an amazing first impression or fall flat. Think about it. When you’re looking for a restaurant to enjoy dinner at or a hotel to stay the night at the first thing you do it probably plug in a search on Google or Bing and click the first few results.
If a website is unattractive; if the photography is bad; or the copy odd you likely “bounce” from the website. A bounce is what happens when a visitors lands on a web page and leaves without visiting any other pages. This is a sign that a website isn’t providing the information a user is seeking and is not doing its job to keep visitors engaged.
What does credible website style look like?
Studies cited by usability.gov indicate that a credible website ranks 4 out of 5 on a scale of relative importance. What’s that mean to you? It means that how user-friendly your website is as well as how attractive it is heavily influenced by how people perceive and interact with it. But what does a credible website look like?
A useful website typically provides an extensive list of frequently asked questions or offers a clear and obvious path to communicate with the company or individual behind the website. This means that when designing a website’s navigate and layout you’ll want to make sure there’s a page dedicated to contacting you that is easy to get to, and if you find people asking common questions including those on a page.
Your website’s layout should be arranged in such a way that it aligns with your medical marketing strategy and makes sense. Remember to think about the people who are visiting from mobile devices when you arrange your navigation and think about nomenclature. Avoid using insider terms that visitors to your website might not understand. For example, don’t call a palate expander a “rapid maxillary expansion device” when people know it as a palate expander.
Another way to keep your website credible is to keep it up-to-date and show that it has been updated. A blog is a great way to add fresh, regular content to your website. Blogs feature a time stamp and can be written to appeal to whatever your visitors might need information about. Read more about dental blogging here.
In the world of dental website design clutter is your worst enemy. A cluttered website can give visitors second-hand anxiety and make them feel overwhelmed. Imagine visiting a website in hope of finding a map to a medical practice or a phone number to make a call. Websites that are crowded and hard to navigate make it difficult to get important information and as a result lose visitors.
Make it a point to design your website in such a way that your important information is at the top of the page and placed consistently, so even if you go through a website redesign visitors will know where to go to get the information they need.
Clutter might include excessive messaging throughout the site, too many photos, and countless links that aren’t placed with a purpose.
Simplicity is the key to effective website design. More and more websites designed are relying on a clean layout and effective use of white space (read article on how negative space can influence design). This provides a visually stunning experience and also requires you to truly think through how people will use and interact with your website.
The best way to create a simple website design is to think about your goals. Do you want to get more leads for your practice? Perhaps you hope to rank on search engines. Whatever your goals, by understanding them you’ll be able to create a plan that aligns with your goals and a website that reflects those goals.
Simplicity doesn’t mean that your website lacks personality. Instead, you choose the best images and content to reflect your messaging and goals. You become strategic in what you have on your website and discern whether a piece of content actually works with your goals. By filtering through these goals you’ll have an easier time deciding what goes on your website and what doesn’t.
Create a Responsive Website
More and more visitors are coming to your website from mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. This means that your website needs to look good on a variety of screen sizes. Additionally, it needs to be easy to navigate from smaller screens. A responsive website is the best way to deliver a website that’s customized to each user’s device.
Responsive websites are programmed in such a way that regardless of the device a person is visiting from, your device will render in such a way that it will be easy to navigate. This saves time for the visitor and eliminates frustration.
Think about how often you rely on your phone to quickly look something up. Are you more likely to use a website that looks good on your phone or one that you constantly have to pinch in and out of?
Additionally, Google has integrated into their search algorithm a specification for mobile friendly websites. Websites that are mobile friendly are more likely to rank (and ultimately rank well organically) than those that are not.
Pop-ups are incredibly annoying and instantly cause people to hate your website. Avoid pop-ups and you’ll likely end up retaining visitors. A pop-up might seem like a great way to get a message in front of a visitor, however, it is a huge impediment to the user experience. This is one of the keys to good website design for healthcare providers: empathy.
Take the time to empathize with your visitors. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what would give them the best experience with your website. Ultimately a good experience leads to a good impression and more business.