Your medical website functions as a virtual care facility, acting as a reception and resource hub for patients – essentially, the digital front door to your practice. Wondering if it meets patient expectations and follows best practices? This article takes you through the medical website features needed to meet modern conventions and provide a satisfactory patient experience.
Websites Must Be Responsive & Mobile-Friendly
When patients discover you via mobile search, responsive design facilitates easy navigation and a mobile-friendly experience, including features like click-to-call easier contact. When prioritizing which medical website to rank in search results, Google will pass over websites that do not adopt mobile-first web design conventions.
Engaging Websites Are User-Friendly
In today’s digital landscape, patients expect seamless interactions and easy access to medical information. Integrating intuitive navigation, and clear call-to-action buttons, into medical websites ensures that patients can quickly find the information they seek and move effortlessly through the first steps toward becoming a new patient. Thoughtful UX design also fosters trust and credibility, establishing a positive perception of the medical practice.
On-Brand Design with a Fresh Look Makes the Best Impression
But what sets a medical website design apart from the rest is your brand personality. Colors, graphics, and images tell the story of your mission, who you serve, and all that differentiates your practice from the rest in your specific market.
Many consumers will judge your medical practice based on the look of the website, and research shows it takes just half a second for them to form an opinion. Think of your website as a virtual reception area – is it clean, organized, and inviting? Stanford conducted a study on web credibility, and 75% of respondents will judge an organization’s credibility based on its website’s design.
ADA Accessibility Ensures All Can Benefit From Your Valuable Medical Website Features
Your medical facility likely has ADA-compliance construction such as a ramp, elevator, wider doorways, etc., and this can extend to your virtual property – your medical website. Patients with challenges are already part of your practice or will be in the future. Providing ADA-accessible tools such as text adjustments or screen readers makes your medical practice web experience more inclusive. By eliminating online barriers for patients with disabilities, your medical website features become more widely available to your patient population.
Most Important Items Above the Fold Supports Engagement
Putting the most important functions and frequently used website design elements at the top of the website not only raises awareness of popular conveniences but also enhances the patient’s experience. When your staff encourages a patient to go to the website to use the portal or pay a bill, they should be able to find these featured tools immediately.
Patient engagement tip: Have your phone number at the very top of your website with click-to-call enabled.
Appointment Request Forms Accelerates Patient Acquisition
Thanks to streamlined and strategically-placed appointment request forms, you can convert site users to likely new patients within seconds. This medical website feature is available around the clock and perhaps is the best patient acquisition tool for your website. It locks in patient intent to engage with your medical practice rather than the patient putting off a phone call to your office.
Patient engagement tip: Act upon your incoming appointment request form submission as soon as possible to finalize scheduling. Delaying increases the chance of patients exploring alternative options.
Featuring Patient Portal and Telemedicine Access Encourages More Participation
The drive to do everything online surged in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and these habits are now mainstream. The upside is that self-service tools encourage patients to be more involved in the care journey where they can contact providers directly and schedule medical appointments on their own. Websites for doctors designed for patient engagement place patient portal and telemedicine buttons in can’t-miss areas, so patients are reminded that your practice offers accommodations that make their lives easier.
Featuring Bill Pay Reminds Patients to Take Care of Balances Due
It is not surprising that nearly every commerce website is equipped for online payments, especially considering that 83% of consumers prefer to pay online. Including a popular website feature such as bill pay can only help practice revenue.
Physician Websites Must Be Safe and HIPAA-Secure
With online convenience comes responsibility for increased vigilance. The collection of patient forms online must be protected with just as much privacy and security as the health records you keep in-office. With the help of IT security technology, medical website features keep these electronic forms secure and private.
However, not all websites are secure. A website that meets basic security standards will begin its URL with HTTPS. Websites that are not secure are not likely to show in Google search results and will deter site visitors. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) capability encrypts sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers – and sensitive patient information for medical practices.
Complete and Visual Location Information
Having a map or a location finder on your site helps visitors plan their visit to your practice. This is a medical website feature usually found at the bottom of the page. Making patients aware of all of the available locations for your practice helps them make arrangements that work best for their personal needs.
Clearly Communicated Services Provide a Full Scope of Practice
For the niche areas of your practice, your medical website must provide specific and detailed information about your services for your target audience. If your medical website does not share everything you offer, potential patients may assume you do not, and look elsewhere.
Google will not be informed of your services either, meaning that you miss out on valuable opportunities to be found in search results for specific patient search terms. Your website should represent your practice’s full spectrum of services.
Social Proof Builds Patient Trust
According to a report from doctor.com, 88% of patients seek online reviews when referred to a provider. Of those savvy healthcare consumers, 55% want to be reassured by 4- or 5-star reviews. For this reason, featuring some of your top reviews on your home page will surely boost your appeal.
While your medical website design forms a visitor’s initial opinion of your practice, many patients want to grasp what they can expect if they choose your practice. By featuring what other patients have to say, you build confidence that their needs will be met.
Content that Encourages Patient Engagement
Google processes 6.75 million health information queries per day. Those hungry for credible health information will appreciate a medical practice website with meaningful and timely content. Educate your site visitors with relevant blogs and other helpful digital resources. Google values websites where patients spend more time than usual.
Recap: Top Medical Web Design Features
To ensure your website meets the demands of the modern patient and helps you grow your patient base, be sure your website is:
- Responsive and mobile-friendly – Healthcare consumers expect to be able to use the functions of a website just the same – if not better – on a mobile device as they would on a computer. Test your mobile website to make sure that users can do everything with ease on the mobile version of your website.
- User-friendly – Patients are very likely to give up on websites that are confusing and do not readily or easily provide what they are looking for. What’s worse, patients will likely jump to a competing provider’s website. It helps to have the most important or popular items – such as patient portal, telehealth access, and online bill pay “above the fold” – meaning the patient can see it right away near the top of the page for quick and easy access.
- Effective brand communication – No two practice websites should look alike and for good reason. Effective branding means that you do more than just tell a patient why you’re the best choice, you also convey it through images and colors. After a few minutes on your website, patients should know what you’re all about. Your website should also include detailed information about the services you offer.
- ADA-accessible – You serve a diverse patient population, so ensure that all of your patients get the full benefit of your website by having ADA tools to promote inclusivity.
- HIPAA-compliant – Having a HIPAA-secure website is mandatory. But being able to tell your patients that your website is secure builds trust with new patients. Part of keeping patient data secure is to have SSL and HTPPS at the start of your website URL. Google likely won’t bring traffic to a page that is not secure, and this hurts your online visibility.
- Engaging – One of the key components of search engine optimization (SEO) is quality content. Good content keeps a visitor’s attention, signaling to Google that you are providing your readers with quality content that is highly relevant to them. Publishing content on a regular, consistent basis also signals to Google that you are a valuable resource for health information. The keywords you use make your relevance even stronger thus increasing your chances of being found by new patients in Google search.
- Social proof – It is not enough to have a beautiful website to convince a patient to try your services. Patients also want to read reviews to know who they can trust. Importing reviews and testimonials onto your website builds consumer confidence in your practice.
Stand Out from Your Competition with a Modernized Website
Having an easy-to-use website with modern medical website features sets you apart from competing practices. Our expert medical website consultants can help enhance your web design for stronger digital impact and higher visibility through search engine optimization. Learn more about our patient-centric web design here.