Providing quality medical care is paramount to a practice’s success, but informing current and potential patients and colleagues of your practice’s offerings is equally vital. Every medical practice should have an effective web strategy for site development and maintenance, marketing activities, metrics tracking and strategy optimization based on the results.
Build a website that reflects the practice brand, matching your practice brochure and patient-education materials. It should serve as a destination-point for patients in the process of making a choice among physicians. Make sure potential-patients can find your website on all your print, ad and media materials and confirm that your current site is optimized (SEO) for the search engines. It is a good idea to provide patients with a method to communicate with your office, but make sure you are using a secure messaging service, not regular e-mail, so that your office continues to meet HIPAA compliance regulations.
Practices that institute and maintain a well-thought-out online presence tend to be more successful than those that lack a strategy or those that implement only a partial strategy. Here are some pointers for getting it right.
What do patients want from a website? A well-designed website:
Attracts prospective patients;
Addresses the needs of current patients; and
Facilitates referrals from other doctors and clinics.
Your website should act as a personal concierge for prospective and current patients. Individuals who consult your website are looking mainly for assurance of quality of care, reputation and professionalism. They may also be searching for factual information, such as specific services offered, specializations, location and contact information, and ways in which your practice simplifies interactions between patients and its staff. A website that addresses these concerns with an attractive design – that is both interactive and intuitive to navigate – meets patients’ expectations of a successful web presence.
Here are some more items to consider:
Ensure patients can make appointments, register and access important forms no matter where they are.
Make sure to display recent blog, news and other alerts or updates to make sure the website looks fresh and timely. This helps patients feel comfortable that their doctor is engaged with the community and current issues. It also makes the practice look “fresher, bigger and more sophisticated.”
Display contact information clearly on every page and make sure the phone number can be easily clicked to activate a call on a mobile device.
Do I need a mobile site? There’s no turning back now. The web has gone mobile. More users are accessing the web from more places on more devices than ever before. What does this mean for your practice? It means that you must address your mobile strategy now so its easier than ever to contact your practice while patients are on the go. The number of users visiting your practice’s site from a mobile device is growing every day. Without a medical website design that accounts for mobile traffic, patients using smartphones and tablets may not be have a positive experience. Adapting to the mobile atmosphere now can help separate your practice from the competition and forge lasting relationships with new and current patients alike.