As we rebound from the pandemic impact of 2020, patients are ready to reengage with routine healthcare. Many will be searching for a new doctor, and the vast majority of healthcare consumers do online research before they choose to book with a doctor. How your medical website design stacks up against the competition has a direct impact on new patient acquisition.
Consumer interest builds when a website is designed well and clearly communicates what the practice offers. When your website is user-friendly and offers all the conveniences the modern healthcare consumer has come to expect, visitors will convert to new patients. We’ve put together our best for 2021.
Responsive & Mobile-Friendly
As of 2021, roughly 60% of searches are done on a mobile device. Google knew mobile searches would eventually take over, so they announced a mobile-first initiative five years ago. This means Google expects all websites that make up the internet community to be mobile-friendly and responsive. Responsive means that no matter what device your website visitors are using, your medical website design automatically fits the screen and with all the same functionalities.
Gone are the days of struggling to use desktop-sized websites on a mobile-sized screen say a mobile website version should be just as good or better than the desktop. So, when your patients find you through mobile search, responsive design allows them to navigate with ease and have mobile-first functionality (such as the click-to-call interaction with a phone number).
Consumers have come to expect website design that won’t make them think. Modern medical website design is geared toward the user experience, and nearly all business websites have adopted some form of intuitive design. When a medical website design is easy to use, the absence of friction promotes engagement with your website, so visitors aren’t quick to jump to a competitor’s site.
On-Brand Design with a Fresh Look
Consumers will judge your medical practice based on the look of the website, and research shows it takes half of 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 their website’s design.
What sets a medical website design apart from the rest is your brand personality. The use colors, graphics, and images to tell the story of a mission, who they serve, and all that differentiates a practice.
These days, consumers do just about everything online, but not all have access to these conveniences. If your practice encourages patients to make use of your website, this carries the responsibility of making sure your patient base can use the features. ADA accessibility on your website removes barriers for patients with disabilities and impairments so they can use your medical website too.
Most Important Items Above the Fold
Putting the most important functions at the top of the website not only raises awareness of these conveniences but also enhances the patient experience. When your PSR tells a patient to go to the website for the portal or pay a bill, they see these features as soon as the page loads! Consumer engagement tip: Have your phone number at the very top with click-to-call enabled.
An easy-to-use appointment request feature is arguably the most effective patient acquisition tool as it’s up and running 24 hours per day. No need to make a phone call – site visitors simply fill out the consultation or appointment form, and your staff takes it from there! This eliminates friction as a visitor converts to a new patient in a minute or less.
Patient Portal & Telemedicine Access
The drive to do everything online surged in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and so far, it seems this shift will hold. Patient portals and telemedicine are convenient technology tools that empower patients to be more involved with their healthcare. Medical websites designed for patient engagement place patient portal and telemedicine buttons in can’t-miss areas.
When patient portal and telemedicine access are built into your main page, this self-service design is a confusion-free way for staff to assist patients with use of these technology features. Top-of-page placement also keeps these convenient features top-of-mind, so patients are aware they have these options.
Just about every website with a commerce aspect to it is equipped for online payments and 83% of consumers prefer to pay online. Medical website design that incorporates online bill pay helps the cash flow for your practice operations.
With convenience comes responsibility. The collection of patient forms online must be protected with just as much privacy and security as all the health records you keep in-house. With the help of technology, website design for doctors keeps these electronic forms secure and private.
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. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) capability encrypts sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers – and sensitive patient information for medical practices.
Does your medical practice serve just one geographical area or many? Having a map or a location finder on your site helps visitors know what to expect with travel to your location(s). Mentioning the cities, communities, and zip codes you service signals to Google what territory you cover so you can be found in search results. With that said, your practice should also be listed in Google My Business.
Clearly Communicated Services
For the niche areas of medical practice and all the services you offer, your medical website must be very specific and detailed. If your medical website doesn’t share all that you do, your website visitors won’t be aware of it.
Being thoroughly descriptive also lets Google know what you do. Detailed descriptions end up being packed with relevant keywords, so Google is more likely to display your site in search results.
Your medical website design does form a visitor’s initial opinion of your practice, but when it comes to cementing consumer confidence, your current patients must vouch for you.
According to a report from Doctor.com, 87.8% of patients seek online reviews when referred to a provider. Of those smart healthcare consumers, 55% of them want to be reassured by a preponderance of 4- or 5-star reviews. For this reason, it helps to feature some of your top reviews somewhere toward the middle or the bottom of your home page.
Showing Up in Google Searches (SEO)
Another figure included in the doctor.com report – 61.4% of patients rely on the internet to find a primary care doctor, and of the survey options, 51.4% said they format their search this way: “I enter the type of doctor or specialist I’m looking for and ‘near me’.” If your practice doesn’t appear in these search results, you do not exist to Google users.
When it comes to Google search results, there is a hard limit on how many results are displayed on the first page. So how do websites for doctors end up on page one?
Sites that are chosen for the first page Google results typically:
- Load quickly
- Are user-friendly
- Are easy for Google web crawlers to read.
- Include relevant search terms.
- Regularly post relevant content (on a blog).
Content that Encourages Patient Engagement
Google processes 6.75 million health-related queries per day. When asking Google is second nature to many internet users, they will ask Google before asking their doctor. Those hungry for credible health information will appreciate a medical practice website with thoughtful and timely content. Educate your site visitors with relevant blog content and a patient education library.
Modernize Your Website in 2021 with the Help of Medical Website Design Experts
Having an easy-to-use modern website design sets you apart from competing practices. Get started on refreshing your website today with a free medical website design consultation – call (877) 709-0999 or click here for our contact form!