If you want to grow your medical practice, you must have a website. There really are no ifs ands or buts about it. Today’s patients expect it. Many are even frustrated when a provider they are considering does not have a website. It affects the providers’ credibility and ability to prove they are keeping up with technology – an important component for any medical provider. And don’t just throw up a website to meet the demand. Not just any website will do. You have to have a great website. What makes a website great are several things that when put together help a potential patient come to the decision to take an actionable step towards becoming a patient.
Here are five attributes of a great website:
A great website must be educational. It should provide information about the practice and build expertise. The information can be provided in a variety of forms. The three recommended are video, audio and written. When used together they can appeal to a wider demographic and give the visitor a choice on how they would like to learn. Content is also what drives search engines to find the site. The content should be relevant and should use keywords that repeat in frequency. A blog is a great addition to any website because when done properly, it provides not only information, it positions the provider as thought leaders.
When viewing a website, it takes visitors less than two-tenths of a second to decide to form an opinion of whether or not they like it. This is according to an eye-tracking study performed at Missouri University of Science and Technology. It is important to have a website that has aesthetic appeal. If it is appealing to look at, most visitors will infer that the work performed at the practice is good.
When viewing a website, it should be easy to get around. Websites that are too busy or have no clear structure will frustrate the visitor causing them to bounce off the site. Great websites have clear calls to action, which are actionable steps you want the visitor to take. A few examples are filling out a form requesting more information, subscribing to the practice blog or scheduling an appointment.
An optimized website is one that contains content that can be cataloged by search engines. This means that the content used in the site has been picked up by search engines so that when someone types in a specific keyword phrase, the site appears in the list of results. One of the most important ways for a site to rank well on search engines is with keyword relevancy. The more relevant the content on your site is to what is being “requested” of the search engine, the better the chances that the site will appear at the top of the page.
Once a website is established, it must be updated regularly. Stale websites are unappealing to visitors and will reflect poorly on the practice. As previously stated, a blog is an excellent way to add fresh, relevant content to a website. Website updates should happen frequently – to the tune of once a week if possible.
Much of the attributes of a great website overlap one another. Great websites educate visitors on the provider and services offered by the practice. They market the practice through promotions and calls to action and they sell. They sell the practice. The ultimate goal is to generate more patients. A great website will help you achieve this. If you are without a website or your site is out-of-date there are many options for creating a dynamic, educational tool that sells your practice. If you have a website and want to know how it is performing, click here.