Technology changes on a daily basis. With all of the changes, it can feel close to impossible to keep up with them. But just because it feels that way doesn’t mean that making the effort to do so isn’t worth it. Your website is the virtual storefront of your medical practice. This means that maintaining a clean, presentable image online should be just as important as it is in real life. After all, there’s a high probability that people visiting your website have never actually see your storefront. These are people who could become patients down the line or refer you a friend to you.
Think of it this way. If someone were to come to your practice and see outdated wallpaper, worn furniture, and photos that look like they were printed in 1995, do you think they’d trust you with their health care? An outdated practice tells them that you as a physician or dentist are outdated and as a result can’t provide them with the latest care and treatments available. Similarly, if a person happens upon your website through an intentional search on Google or Bing, and your site has odd colors, is poorly laid out, and looks like it was created using Geocities circa 1999, they likely aren’t going to trust you.
In fact, there’s a nearly 100 percent chance they will run the other direction and never look back. Website design for medical practices should build trust with visitors, not break it down. If it doesn’t do this very foundational thing, then it isn’t doing its job as your most powerful marketing tool.
Website design has evolved to make it more user-centric and designed to fit in your life.
The Advent of Mobile Devices
One of the most game-changing things to happen in the last ten years is the smart phone. This device took the basic cell phone and morphed it into a device that revolutionized the way we live our lives. Through one device we can take photos, share photos, talk, email, and text message. Oh, and you can visit all of your favorite websites at a speed that used to be unheard of.
With the variety of devices out, mobile phones and tablets, as well as various display sizes on computers, it’s more important than ever to have a website that responds to whatever device it is being viewed on. This is absolutely crucial to an enjoyable user experience. If your visitor visits your website and it isn’t custom designed to work with their device, their experience will be less than desirable.
Imagine visiting a website on your phone and trying to book an appointment. Except that website looks just like it does on a desktop and you have to try to pinch in and out to get to the right field to fill in. Within a second you’d likely become frustrated and exit the website.
Responsive medical website design is the best way to provide an optimal experience to all visitors. By showing your visitors that you care about their experience online, you’re showing that you take pride in every aspect of how your practice is run.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
A CMS, also known as a content management system, is a system design to make managing your online content and media much simpler than it used to be. In the past you’d have to know how to work in computer code to work on a website, however, the CMS has changed that.
With a CMS multiple user’s can work on a website and all web content and images are at everyone’s fingertips. The most powerful CMS out today is WordPress. WordPress gives provides incredible flexibility on how your website appears, thanks to the ability to custom design various themes, yet you get the convenience of easily logging in and managing your content.
A theme is what controls how your entire website looks. Within a theme you’ll have templates, which dictate page layout and components. When you put all of these together in WordPress you get an impressive looking website that can be managed by a professional team or your office staff.
Medical Marketing and Blogging
Your medical website was designed to be a marketing machine. In the past you might have been one of the few providers in the area to have a website, but now everyone, including your competition has one.
What sets you apart from them is how you run your website. Do you treat it like a stagnant pond? Or is it a fresh spring that’s constantly being filled with fresh content. By continually updating your website with fresh content you’re providing visitors with a reason to return and also generating content that will be indexed in search engines.
Over time this content wow needs by people searching for terms in it. This practice, known as search engine optimization, is the best way to get quality leads over time.
It might seem like website design for healthcare providers is pretty straightforward when it comes to what goes on a website. But by having a blog you can continually create content that answers some of the most frequently asked questions patients have.
Remember when websites in the late 90s used to have “hit counters” on their home page? This would tell you how many “hits” they got over time. Today’s “hit counter” is much more robust and known as analytics.
This useful data can tell you what people are doing on your website, how they found it, how much time they spent on it, and much more. It provides a strikingly clear idea of who your demographics are and what they want from your site.
Analytics can help you determine how well your online marketing efforts are working, what your return is, and where you can improve. Understanding all of this will help you grow your practice and better serve patients in the long run. Ultimately that’s the purpose of all web design improvements: to provide a better user experience to an audience that has come to expect that.