Your next patient will most likely use Google to try to find you and develop a first impression of your practice before ever setting foot in your office or meeting you personally – based simply on the look and feel of your website.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure your medical website design is professional, eye-catching, and checks all the boxes necessary to turn potential patients into satisfied ones likely to return to see you when they have health care needs.
These days, websites for doctors must include, at a bare minimum, these 10 things:
1. Mobile friendly, responsive design
According to a 2019 Pew Research Center study, a whopping 81% of Americans now own a smartphone — just eight years ago it was 35%. More Americans now have smartphones than have desktop or laptop computers. This represents a significant change in how people access information, with mobile usage ruling the roost.
If your website was designed several years ago or more, chances are it does not automatically scale your content to match your visitor’s digital platform, cell phone screen size, or orientation. That is what responsive web design does. It assures an optimal viewing and interactive experience for potential and existing patients who visit your website.
By making sure your online presence is compatible with the endless variety of cell phone sizes and resolution capabilities out there, health care website visitors will see what you intend them to see – not an abbreviated or truncated version of it. They won’t have to fiddle with their device’s settings in order to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for on your website.
2. SSL security
With the rise in digital use comes a rise in security breaches and hacks. Everyone, it seems, is on the alert for potential privacy and security breaches – doctors and patients alike.
Providing the security of SSL (secure sockets layer, now transport layer security) technology is mandatory in today’s digital environment. To put it simply, SSL is a web-based protocol that adds a layer of security to your website by providing encrypted transmission of data from where you have it stored (the web server) to where your website visitors access it (a web browser).
Even though most people searching the web don’t understand how SSL works, most know to look for the telltale “https” (hypertext transport protocol secure) at the beginning of your web address as a sign that your site is secure. Make sure your medical website design includes it.
3. ADA accessibility tool
To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’ll want to be sure that your website for doctors offers reasonable accessibility for those with disabilities. For example, an accessibility tool can allow visitors to your website to quickly and easily change the size of the words on your website to accommodate for visual impairment.
It could even allow your website content to be read aloud to a visitor who requires that type of assistance. The software tool would essentially convert the text into audio format for the site visitor to hear.
4. Pay bills online
Medical e-commerce is here – are you ready for it? Not only are more people purchasing products and services online than ever before, but the comfort level with an online marketplace is leading to patients asking to be able to pay their medical bills on doctors’ websites.
And, from a doctor’s or practice owner’s point of view, who wouldn’t want to streamline a potentially outdated billing system that eats up endless resource time?
Providing this option on your medical website, which allows patients to pay their medical bills online, offers convenience for both the patient and your staff. It also improves the likelihood of timely payments – freeing up your staff from endless follow-up. Online bill pay is very easily a win-win.
5. Online request appointments
Your patients are busy people. Between work and parenting obligations, whenever illness or medical needs strike, many need to quickly find a doctor — you — while dashing between meetings or other obligations. Any little hiccup in the online process can turn a potential patient away, so they’ll instead look for a more easily accessible physician website.
If the desire to make an appointment occurs after regular business hours or at a time that is inconvenient for a phone call, why not make it easy for potential patients by offering an online appointment request form on your medical website? Not only does this provide convenience and options for them, but it allows you to capture call-back details of those people who are already interested in your services so that you don’t lose that business. After all, the easiest way to grow your practice is to let potential patients come to you.
6. Good SEO so patients can find you
For patients to find you online, you need to incorporate medical search engine optimization (SEO) into the content on your website. This is what allows a website for doctors to show up high among internet search results for potential patients who are looking for a doctor.
But few doctors have the time or expertise needed to make it effective. SEO for medical practices is amazingly complex, yet it is critical for any medical practitioner who is looking to grow his or her business. It’s often well worth the cost to hire healthcare SEO services from experienced, reputable medical marketing professionals.
7. Testimonials/case studies
The next best thing to your own personal experience can be someone else’s. Build confidence and trust in new patients by offering them examples of what others have said about you and your medical practice.
8. Interactive map
Probably the most-used feature on any website for doctors is an interactive map. These maps should be intuitive, digitally easy to use, and – above all – be easy to find on your website. Make sure interactive maps are an integral part of your medical website design.
9. Insurance protocols/financial policies
In order of importance for patients, first is the ease of scheduling an appointment, but the second is help with payment and health insurance. Dedicated areas on doctors’ websites that address these concerns can answer common questions as well as alleviate any uncertainty for new patients. What is listed on websites for doctors need not be an exhaustive list to meet all of a potential patient’s needs – but providing easy-to-find answers can help make a first visit that much smoother?
No matter the nature of your medical practice, chances are a patient will have questions about your practice, field, or office operations – and many of these can be answered on your medical website in a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs). These FAQs, in turn, can help you and your website for doctors to show up in Google queries on certain health topics. Why not make yourself the subject-matter expert by including FAQs that are specific to your area of medicine on your medical website?
For the best medical website design that hits all the right spots and shows up in your potential clients’ web searches, contact the digital pros at iHealthSpot Interactive. Our team has been delivering websites for doctors that get profitable results since 2005. Call us today at (877) 709-0999. We look forward to serving you!