Updated from original article posted November 15, 2019.
Without stepping through your doors, patients cannot know what is special about your medical practice. Medical website design is how you show prospective patients what your practice has to offer and the level of care they can expect when they come in for a visit.
Think about your reception area – your team put a lot of thought into comfortable seating arrangements with ease of access and what information is most important to display at check-in. Medical web design is like a virtual lobby – an inviting website that simplifies and facilitates action steps (online appointment scheduling, easy to access physician profiles, patient onboarding paperwork, and online bill pay) will make a favorable impression on visitors.
A patient experience trends report from doctor.com shares that nearly 37% of healthcare consumers are deterred from a medical practice that has an outdated or hard-to-navigate website. Healthcare consumers expect to see modern website design conventions on every healthcare website they visit, but they also notice what makes one medical practice different from another.
As you take steps to modernize your website, you also want to evaluate how well your brand personality is reflected.. Our top tips for medical web design that persuade healthcare seekers are:
- Be mobile-friendly
- Ensure security and privacy
- Accommodate users with ADA accessibility
- Prioritize quick-loading and interactive capability
- Provide helpful content
- Use compelling images
- Convey your mission and brand uniqueness
- Focus on discoverability online
Medical Web Design Tip #1: Be Mobile-Friendly
Websites are built on desktop computers, but a website needs to scale down to a mobile device as 61% of internet users now access the internet from a handheld device. Responsive web design allows pages to automatically format and function well on a smartphone.
Bonus Tip: User Test Your Website
Seeing your website from the perspective of the mobile user will make you aware of flaws in your mobile website design. Have your staff test all the functions and navigation of the site from both an Android and iPhone, and note any issues they run into.
Check to make sure site visitors can easily call you with a click-to-call functionality enabled wherever your phone number appears (we recommend putting the phone number at the top of each page of the website).
Not only will a poor mobile web design experience cause patients to skip to the next provider on the list, but it can also cause Google to choose another website over yours when selecting which sites appear in search results.
Medical Web Design Tip #2: Ensure Security and Privacy
Because today’s consumers are shrewd, they are also cautious. Security settings will warn them when they are about to enter an unsafe site (one not protected with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS). Being prompted by these security alerts will persuade them to back out so they never make it to your website.
As a medical practice, you have the responsibility to protect any information transmitted to and from your systems over the internet. Clearly communicating that patient data is secure on your website, and that the means of transmission is HIPAA-compliant puts site visitors at ease.
Medical Web Design Tip #3: Accommodate Users with ADA Accessibility
The CDC estimates that one in four Americans has a disability. Just as you would make your facility ADA-accessible, you should now make your website easier to use by those with impairments. Enhancing your website with ADA accessibility tools welcomes those with disabilities and communicates to the public that your practice supports inclusivity.
Medical Web Design Tip #4: Prioritize Quick-Loading and Interactive Capability
Patients not only want convenience, but they also expect it. We get impatient if websites load slowly or not at all. The big question to keep in mind for healthcare website development is if the design gives visitors any reason to leave. Ease of navigation and being able to readily find the most frequently used web features are likely to keep visitors on your website and not jumping to your competitors. .
Consumers want options. When you inform them they can do something online at their leisure, this improves the patient experience. Nearly 48% of patients surveyed disclosed that the ability to schedule and reschedule appointments online is a deciding factor when choosing a new doctor, while 24% say the absence of this option would bea deterrent. [Source: Doctor.com]
Your Interactive Medical Website Starter Pack
While the web design community continues to blaze new trails for an even better user experience, there are core basics of an interactive medical website design. Convenient patient engagement tools should be prominently placed at the top of the page are:
- Click-to-call: Gone are the days of copying down a phone number and punching it in manually on your mobile. With click-to-call enabled throughout your website, a phone call initiates with one click!
- Appointment request form: So, a site visitor wants to book an appointment, but darn! It’s the weekend. Not a problem. Appointment request forms initiate the scheduling process instantly and turn site visitors into patients within minutes.
- Appointment scheduling: Though a first-time site visitor may not be able to book their initial appointment via this online tool, they will be aware of this as an option in the future.
- Patient portal: Seeing portal access at the top of your website signals to website visitors that their convenience is important to your practice.
- Online bill pay: We pay just about every bill online. Having the bill pay option on your homepage reminds patients that they can take care of their balance easily.
When your website is interactive, your practice has the image of being innovative and mindful of patient preferences. One of our favorite medical website designs is for our client, Joint Replacement Institute. Their website has impressive interactive enhancements, including a visual of a human silhouette where you can hover over different parts of the body.
Medical Web Design Tip #5: Provide Helpful Content
The thoughtful content you provide on your website and blog inspires trust with prospective patients, builds your medical practice’s image as an authority, and stimulates patient engagement. The public has many questions about health, and when you readily provide the answers, this fosters a positive interaction with healthcare consumers.
Blog content that addresses current and pressing issues signals to website visitors that you keep up with the latest healthcare information to better serve your patients. In supplement to your blog, we recommend a complete patient education library. Having this rich content library on your website covering all the topics patients care about will position your practice as an authority and one that encourages patients to be informed.
Medical Web Design Tip #6: Use Compelling Images
Visuals are instrumental in influential storytelling. The photos, graphics, and brand colors on your website communicate your practice values and culture, which is fundamental in differentiating your medical practice website from your competitors. Inclusion of clinician and staff photos helps prospective patients get to know you before they even walk through your doors.
Medical Web Design Tip #7: Convey Your Mission and Brand Uniqueness
To echo the section above, your medical website design will set you apart from other medical practices. Having a generic web design may seem like a safe bet, but it’s not effective in turning site visitors into patients. When your brand personality and core mission come across strongly, this gives your audience something to resonate with.
Branding is challenging, because what image you move forward with sticks with you long-term. It’s not easy to figure out how to best communicate your medical practice’s strengths and unique offerings. To solidify and best showcase your brand personality, our experienced healthcare website designers and logo design creatives are pros at navigating this delicate process.
Medical Web Design Tip #8: Focus on Discoverability Online
61% of healthcare consumers search online for new providers. The public will find your competitors in search, but will they find you? Positioning your website to be found in search results is called SEO(search engine optimization).
The bottom line is that a top-notch medical website design gets you halfway there. To be successful in the competitive healthcare environment of today, your website also needs to incorporate effective search engine optimization.
There is no shortcut to healthcare SEO; it involves an ongoing effort to optimize your website for the specific keywords in Google search results. It is an integrated approach rather than a one-and-done solution. Think of SEO as the proper diet and exercise required to maintain optimum health – in this case, the health of a great website for doctors.
Have a Modernized Medical Website that Turns Visitors into New Patients
Call iHealthSpot Interactive today for a free website evaluation from our digital marketing experts at (877) 709-0999 to find out more!