In an increasingly digital world, your website is often the first impression your patients will have of your business. A vital part of your reputation, your online site is ultimately an extension of your brick-and-mortar practice, playing a major role in whether or not customers want to do business with you. Every aspect of your site–from the words and images to site functionality–contribute to the overall impression of your medical practice. Here are a few tips for standing out from the competition:
- Website designs should be clean, crisp and well organized. Information should be categorized into distinct topics, and forms should be easy to find and download. Slow sites with confusing navigation are big turn offs, and most people will waste no time moving on to another site.
- Take the time to cultivate your brand image and make sure all collateral — text, logos, images, photos, linked brochures, press release boilerplates, etc. — have a clear and consistent message.
- Let your potential patients get to know you. People want to know who they’re doing business with. Post high-quality photos of your team and well-written bios that not only talk about medical specialties and awards, but about hobbies and personal interests.
- Include awards, CV’s and medical specialties.
- Include testimonials from happy patients. Reviews from a 3rd party site are most effective and can significantly increase your conversion ratio (i.e., the number of calls or patients you get for every 100 visits to your website).
- Focus on the unique elements of your practice. Healthcare consumers today have endless choices, so when building your online presence, it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Provide strong content that is useful and educational to your patients. Every medical practice website should have a frequently updated blog with seasonal health reminders, healthy lifestyle tips, preventive care information and other resources.
- Tell your company story with video. Consumers are looking for your services, and YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google. Physician spotlights, health tips or procedure videos are a great way to give potential patients a real-life glimpse into your practice.
- Don’t forget about social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and stylized e-newsletters are a vital part of your online presence as well as an effective way to communicate with and share your content with current and potential patients. Tip: Compelling headlines and beautiful images or videos are the best way to capture attention on social media outlets.
- Offer Incentives: Placing offers on online directories such as CitySearch or Yelp is a great way to attract new patients and give them a taste of your unique care approach. This doesn’t need to be a discount, but more of an incentive like a free kit or low-priced preventive care visit for self-pay patents.
In short, today’s consumers increasingly expect to be able to manage their lives online, so be sure your medical website makes a good impression and answers all the questions your patients may have about you. Your online content should offer potential patients concrete value and showcase how you are uniquely qualified for the solutions they are searching for on the web.