As more and more patients turn to the internet to find doctors, clinics, and hospitals, it’s now more important than ever for healthcare providers to have a compelling website. Since it is often a patient’s first impression of your practice your website is crucially important, and whether or not they schedule an appointment with you is often determined by what they see and read there. To help you get it right, here are our top dos and don’ts for medical website design.
The attention span of the average person online is at an all time low, with an average of about eight seconds. In fact, users would only read about 28% of the text on a website, largely because the text is often dense and not easily scannable. To most users, huge blocks of text are intimidating, will likely go unread, and are best avoided.
Instead of using large blocks of text, try to break it up into small blocks using subheadings, bullet points, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Highlight your main points and your call to action so that they stand out and can be digested by a user who is skimming rather than reading. Keep them engaged with attention-grabbing features such as images, colored blocks, and infographics.
There are countless design elements such as flash animation, large images, heavy but beautiful sliders, and more that, while appealing, will greatly slow your website down. In the end, a fast website is much more important than one with lots of flashy bells and whistles. Not only will a fast website encourage visitors to stick around rather than growing impatient and clicking away, it will also help improve your website rankings.
If you want to speed up your website as much as possible, you’re going to have to optimize it. To see how your page load time stacks up, check out this free tool from Google. The goal is for it to be under two seconds. If your page load time is longer than it should be, try optimizing it further. It’s often your images that slow the website down, so to compress them, use this free tool.
With over 50% of traffic now coming from mobile devices, it’s important to make sure your site can be easily viewable on different screen sizes. This will require an increased focus to a mobile version of your website. One survey conducted by Nuance showed that 54% of millennials will search for a doctor online, and with smartphones being the preferred device of this age group, mobile is going to be where the majority of these searches come from. Likewise, large percentages of all age groups are using smartphones as their go-to device, making mobile optimization more important now than ever. Moreover, Google has rolled out an algorithm update in 2015 that punishes websites lacking a mobile friendly version by decreasing site’s ranking in search results.
It’s not enough to just sell visitors on how great you are; unless they are able to contact you (and are clearly prompted to do so through a good call to action) your website isn’t going to bring in a lot of increased business.
The more options your website gives users in regards to how they can contact you, the more likely they are to schedule an appointment. These options include phone, email, as well as contact forms. In the digital age, people love it when technology makes their life more convenient.
In designing your site’s navigation, you need to avoid sending users to obscure pages without a clear trail back to the main pages of the site. Always make use of breadcrumbs and/or the main menu in order to make it easy for patients to navigate your site no matter where they end up on it.
Call to actions are one of the pillars of marketing, for the simple reason that they work. In order to function as it should, though, your CTA (call to action) needs to stand out. One good way to make your CTA stand out is to place it above the fold so when a user visits your page, he doesn’t have to scroll and can take action right away. Try putting the call to action in several places on the landing page, highlight it, or place it inside a colored section.
In order to attract new patients, 21st-century healthcare providers greatly need to sharpen their digital marketing prowess. The first step, though, is to build a great website designed to turn casual visitors into lifelong customers.
If you would like to learn more about how TopWhale can help you design a medical website that will set your practice apart, feel free to contact us today.