Why Upgrading Your Medical Practice Website Is Vital to Retaining Patients

Why Upgrading Your Medical Practice Website Is Vital to Retaining Patients

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

If you haven’t refreshed your website in five years or more, your site may be woefully behind the times. As a busy doctor, it’s no wonder you’re more focused on serving your patients than on online marketing.

Trust us, you’re not alone. But that just means many knowledgeable, educated, and highly skilled medical professionals are susceptible to losing out with a stale website. And we mean losing out literally: An old, outdated, or incorrect medical practice website could cost you patients, money, and your reputation.

Too many healthcare providers have their medical practice websites built once, and they think they’re done with it forever. But that’s just not true. Especially not for physicians who want to keep their existing patients while continuing to bring in new ones.

Just like your place of business, a physician’s website is a living, breathing, dynamic thing. As such, it requires periodic updates – and yes, sometimes even overhauls – to keep it attractive, engaging, and functioning as your patients expect it to.

SSL Security Compliance

We’re conducting more business online today than ever before, so it’s no wonder that online security is a big deal. Even if all you’re asking from a potential patient visiting your website is for their contact information, you want site visitors to know you take online security concerns seriously.

Does your website address include an “http” or “https” in the address bar of your web browser? How about a little padlock in the same area? That padlock indicates a secure (the “s” in “https”) website that is in compliance with SSL security protocols. 

Patients who are Googling for your medical practice website online may be surprised if they don’t see that little padlock. It’s a clear signal that they’ve arrived at an older, nonsecure, and possibly outdated website. The more savvy among them may choose to take their business elsewhere with just that indication alone.

And if that doesn’t convince you that your medical website should be SSL compliant, how about this: Google gives sites using SSL a ranking boost, so that these websites show up higher in online search results. 

HIPAA-Compliant Forms Included on Your Physician Website

Practically every doctor’s office we work with is conscientious about HIPAA compliance when it comes to information they receive when patients are in their office. Not as many practices know what it takes to ensure that personal-information online forms actually comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

But we do. We offer a HIPAA-approved secure forms interface that makes it simple and seamless. Let the medical website design professionals at iHealthSpot Interactive ensure your website includes HIPAA-compliant forms.

Medical Website Search Engine Optimization

You can find just about anything online, including a medical practice to meet your needs. And it’s important to make sure your website shows up at the top of search results in order to get noticed by new, prospective patients.

The content on your website directly impacts your search rankings, and it’s not enough to just have quantity – you must customize your content to make an impression in the rankings. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will drive traffic to your website using valuable keywords (and phrases) related to your specialty and location, which will help your business achieve page-one rankings on popular search engines such as Google. 

It’s important to adhere to best practices in the HTML coding of your doctor’s website, including search-engine-friendly code and URLs, ALT tags on images, and H1 tags to tell search engines what that page is all about. Even images need to be tagged/named for SEO! 

Especially important are titles and tags used behind the scenes that are invisible to visitors – but highly beneficial in search ranking. Make sure your website is optimized so you can attract new patients who are searching for a medical practice like yours!

Bill Pay Expectations

Your patients are most likely already banking online, making credit card and other payments online, and may even be sending money to friends and loved ones using payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, and others. In fact, most adults prefer the convenience of paying their bills online.

Isn’t it time you allowed them to pay your bills online, too? Allowing them to do so via your medical website is an added value they will appreciate. And you benefit by ending up with fewer accounts having to go to collections. 

Mobile Responsiveness

The vast majority of Americans now own a smartphone. Chances are, when an existing or new patient is searching for your medical website, they’re doing it on a cellphone. Make sure your site looks good no matter what type of phone or other device they’re using.

Mobile responsiveness is fairly standard now. It involves designing and developing a website to respond to whatever size device and resolution setting a visitor is using, so your site looks as it’s intended to.

However, if your website hasn’t been updated in a while, it may not be responsive. This means your patients won’t see your entire web page on their smartphone screen, forcing them to scroll endlessly to get to the page or link they’re looking for – or perhaps only seeing a truncated version of your site, minus any bells and whistles that make you stand out from your competitors. An unresponsive website can lead to frustration and cause patients to leave the site – and potentially your office.

ADA Accessibility Tool

We’re now almost a decade into the federal standard that websites be accessible to people with disabilities. The tools available minimize or remove barriers to digital accessibility for those with disabilities. For example, people with vision and hearing impairments can adjust the content on your site to make it accessible despite their disabilities.

At iHealthSpot, we work with you to make sure your website offers an excellent user experience. This way, it will be effective at keeping your existing patients as well as enticing new ones. Part of this includes our ADA accessibility tool, which is a desirable feature on all of our doctors’ websites.

Does your medical practice website include these vital features necessary for today’s digital landscape? If not, then let iHealthSpot Interactive help! We offer website design services and a robust platform to ensure the security and compliance your patients, and future patients, expect. Call (877) 709-0999 today for your free medical website design consultation.