First impressions count, and on the web, it is the design of your medical website that first captures someone’s attention. It can help you gain new patients, interact with them online, provide education, and even generate positive testimonials. But it’s not just about your website’s look. Your website should be efficient and easy to navigate as well. You should also avoid certain features and functionality that people will find annoying — because annoyed visitors will quickly “bounce” and leave your site before they even know how you can help them.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to avoid on your medical website to ensure online visitors who come to your site, stay on your site and – hopefully – become new patients:
People today are accessing your website from their smartphones and tablets even more than they do from a desktop or laptop computer. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, visitors accessing your site will be forced to scroll from side-to-side to read your web pages. Or have to pinch-to-zoom because the words or buttons on a page are too small. This is a bad user experience and causes many people to immediately leave a site. To avoid this problem, you need a responsive medical website design that delivers an optimized experience that enables your site to adjust to a variety of screen sizes, for a variety of devices.
If your site has any broken links, visitors will know right away that you haven’t updated it in a long time…which means the information they see may not be correct. They may also assume that your website is no longer active. Every website should have a custom 404 page. If your website doesn’t provide one and someone mistypes your URL in the search bar, they may even think your healthcare practice no longer exists.
Poorly Written Content:
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is designed; if you don’t have enough relevant, well-written content, then you’re going to lose potential patients. According to the latest polls, 150 million Americans search for health information online. So, it’s imperative that your website includes reliable, lay-friendly patient education information so that you can be sure your patients get their health information from a trusted and reliable source – you! (Did you know that iHealthSpot includes award-winning, peer-reviewed patient education for every medical specialty in its website hosting packages?)
Hard to Read Text:
In addition to being well written, your website’s content should also be easy to read. The best practice is to have a strong contrast between the text and the background. Also, avoid backgrounds that are busy as they can be distracting, making the text harder to read.
No Calls to Action:
This is especially important to help convert “visitors” to “patients”. It doesn’t make sense to explain what sets you and your practice apart from other local practitioners, without also letting your site visitors know what to do next. Simple Calls to Action like, “To learn more about our services and capabilities, call (012) 345-6789,” make it very easy for a potential patient to get in touch.
A Call to Action is only helpful if people can find it. What if someone visits your site but doesn’t understand where to go and which pages to view? People visiting your website should be able to easily find what they need. While this seems obvious, studies have shown that a majority of small business websites don’t provide any direction or ask people to click around the pages. Your main navigation is arguably the most essential – and ever-present – aspect of your website. Also, your site should include clear headlines and easy to find content that explains what you do.
No Contact Information:
A “Contact Us” form may seem like an easy way for people to reach you with their questions, but it isn’t the only way to engage with potential patients. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you via the phone and social media. If a visitor isn’t able to easily find this type of information, they’ll probably leave your site to find another practice that is easier to contact.
Shorter attention spans are not just making people check their phones several hundred times per day. They’re also making people really impatient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. According to the latest research, 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, with 40% bouncing if a site takes more than three seconds to load. And even a one-second delay can decrease patient satisfaction by approximately 16%. So, when designing your website, avoid heavy images, unnecessary media, or animations that will slow your site’s load time.
Too many pop up messages are a sure way to turn people away from your website. They irritate people the moment they appear on their screen, as they severely disrupt the reading experience… And the last thing you want to do is keep people from accessing the high-quality patient education information that your site provides.
No Social Media Links:
An unbelievable number of people are using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to check out practices and read comments from real patients. Research shows that when friends refer friends to a doctor, that referral carries more weight than any other form of marketing. Make sure you add social media icons and links to your website pages so that users can share any information they find on your site with others. Social media is the ultimate way to get word-of-mouth referrals.
Medical professionals come to iHealthSpot for medical website design because they know they need a site that fits the unique needs of their healthcare practice. It needs to look great: it should be intuitive and clean, not confusing and cluttered. It needs to function properly, both now and in the future. And it needs to set you apart from your competitors while inviting your patients to learn more by delving deeper into your site.
If you are interested in learning more, contact us today, toll-free at (877) 709-0999 for your FREE consultation with our web experts today!