There are many things to consider when designing a website for your medical practice. Prospective patients googling keywords related to any number of health topics will be looking for information related to different illnesses and a practitioner who can help treat them as quickly and effectively as possible.
That’s why a simple design that engages with your future patients is key. People who are suffering and in pain are looking for help as soon as they can get it. They wanted to be convenient. They want the treatment plan to be clear, and they want to carry on with their lives after they’re done consulting with you.
Planning out a medical website that makes you the number one choice the next time your face comes up in a Google search means offering easy ways to book appointments and get to a solution, being mobile friendly, educating prospects and positioning yourself as an authority.
These considerations along with a sleek design, clear calls to action and a strong branding message can set your medical practice apart from the competition and ensure that you have a steady flow of patients coming into your office.
Let’s break down all of these considerations and how you can work with a digital marketing agency to develop a professional medical website.
From a marketing standpoint, if you want to create a medical website that drives patients to pick your office over other competing practitioners, you’ve got to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Keep in mind that patients are coming to you in a great time of need. They are trying to take care of a physical or mental issue that is causing them distress. They are looking to you to be the authority, to explain treatment options, and to prescribe the appropriate option that is going to solve the problem.
With this in mind, you need to plan out content that educates your prospects on conditions that you treat and on the approach that you take to examining patients. Implementing a good content marketing strategy with clear calls to action is how you do this.
Make it really easy for your prospects to book an appointment. Let them be able to do it online. If there is a day of the week where you stay open past 5 PM or you work the occasional Saturday or Sunday to cater to patients who can’t come in from 9 to 5, you need to highlight that. Make it really easy to get in touch with you.
The first opportunity to provide a clear call to action is to invite your website visitors to join your mailing list. Give them free health tips related to any number of conditions, educate them on the questions they should ask when they’re looking for a new practitioner and set expectations for how you treat both your email subscribers and your patients right up front.
Make sure that your call to action is obvious and provide plenty of opportunities to book an appointment. In Canada it doesn’t cost anything to see a family doctor unless you’re paying for a doctor’s note or a signature aside from filling a prescription, so as long as you make the ability to book an appointment easy and you have targeted traffic coming in, you’ll be fine.
It’s 2020. In this day and age the most powerful computer that people own is the one they carry around in their pocket. Their smartphone. They take it everywhere. Even to the bathroom. If you’re building your medical website on your own, invest in a WordPress theme designed for professionals. Hiring a digital marketing agency is easier but ultimately whether it’s you are them, most if not all WordPress themes automatically offer a mobile responsive design. It’s crazy not to in the air that we’re living in.
That’s why you need to make sure your calls to action are clear. There’s a good chance close to half of your patients will be scrolling through your website while their driving in their car or doing any number of activities at the same time. People love to multitask these days. They want to be able to swipe their right thumb over their screen to call you directly or book an appointment online. Make it that simple and you’ll have more people walking through your office doors than you can even handle.
Telling your story means branding yourself. Telling your personal story on your website give people the opportunity to form a personal connection with you and be comfortable with the way you do things before they even come into your office.
As far as offering treatment options goes, you want to have a clear branding message. Tell every patient what they will get when they come to you. This message helps tell a story that resonates with anybody that visits your website. This is key because you can’t possibly tell or predict every single reason people will come in to see you, unless you’re a specialist. But then again if you’re a specialist, you probably get most of your patients coming in from family doctors who have recommended you as a referral.
However, if you are a general practitioner, you’ll want to have a clear focus. Part of having a clear message means defining the unique value proposition that helps your practice standout from other options.
Especially in Canada, patients can go to any general practitioner. It doesn’t cost any money, and believe it or not, many patients think that all doctors of the same. Particularly if they only go to the doctor for the common cold and don’t do regular checkups.
How can you fight that assumption? What makes your medical practice different from other local practitioners? Can you promise patients short wait times. Can you offer them free seminars related to particular medical conditions that many people suffer from, like the flu or the common cold? Do you have experience in specific disciplines or areas of healthcare that most other practitioners probably don’t? Highlight all of that. Just because the average patient views all family doctors or general practitioners as one and the same, doesn’t mean you should.
One helpful exercises to visualize your own experience as a patient growing up. Do you remember being bored of the doctor’s office as a child? Do you remember feeling frustrated when the doctor prescribed you with medication and didn’t explain how to use it properly? Was it important to you to do your own research before going to the doctor?
Answering these questions for prospective patients positions you as a thought leader, an expert and somebody they can trust when they’re really struggling with an illness.
Creating cool content and sharing it on a consistent basis is the best way to position yourself as an expert. Another term for this strategy is content marketing. Hire a graphic designer and come up with a cool infographic that explains how to treat the common cold. Blog religiously. Go live on Facebook and go over proactive methods for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Show people how passionate you are about your medical practice. Very few if any practitioners in your area will be that engaged in creating content and sharing it on social media.
Even just by starting a blog and updating it regularly, you’re ahead of the game. At the very least, you should have a blog where you post at least once or twice a month and have a newsletter that reflects that content. That way whenever your patients have a problem, you’re top of mind as the solution. Blogging regularly is helpful for ranking your website on Google. It’s a key part of a good search engine optimization strategy.
The psychology of marketing is such that people love to see human faces in the photo, especially photos where the people are smiling. Feature this on your website where your content speaks to providing solutions or making it easy to book an appointment.
Make sure you the messaging on your website matches messaging you would feel comfortable featuring in social media or pay-per-click advertising. As a healthcare professional, there are many claims that you can and cannot make and you have to be mindful of that when you invest in advertising as well. Considering content as part of your website design before you go ahead and invest in advertising will make it easier to streamline everything in the long run.
Employ these simple tips for creating a good medical website and set yourself apart from everyone. It takes time but with the right digital marketing experts by your side, you’ll pull ahead of competing services in a flash.
Jack has been in the internet marketing space for 10 years. He enjoys writing and watching the Toronto Raptors.