hen it comes to web design, social media, and digital marketing in general, veterinarians have it made. Everyone loves pictures and videos of dogs and cats, as well as heartwarming stories about rescue animals. Of course, thanks to HIPAA, doctors can’t simply post pictures of the people in their waiting room — so they need to find other ways to make their website appealing.
Not only that, but many physicians are understandably wary of maintaining an active social media presence out of fear that patients will find and harass them. For all these reasons and more, physician website design comes with its own unique set of challenges. But that doesn’t mean designing a website for a medical office has to be a nightmare. In fact, follow these tips for functional website design, and your website can be a major asset.
Step 1: Know the Purpose of Your Website
Many doctors simply want their website to be the 21st century version of a phone book listing. They want basic info, an address, phone numbers, and little more. Unfortunately, that website probably won’t get much traction on Google, which expects high-ranking websites to offer quite a bit more.
Other websites for doctors double as educational resources on a particular specialty, full of useful info not only on the practice itself, but also general information about the services and issues patients are dealing with. Still other physician website design is based around appointment scheduling, a feature that’s becoming very popular with urgent care clinics.
Step 2: Determine Your Other Software Needs
We’ve already touched on appointment scheduling, but what other digital tools does your practice need to succeed? For instance, many offices are now utilizing medical referral tracking software to better coordinate patient care. If you plan to use a referral tracking system, you need to work with medical website designers who can meet all your needs. That way, your software can either be managed under one roof or even be integrated into your website itself.
Step 3: Write Quality Content
The best physician website designers can help you write content laced with important keywords. Why is that so important? According to Google surveys, fully 77% of patients will use a search engine before booking a medical appointment.
If you want people searching for “ENT doctor portland” to find your website, then you need pages and content containing search terms like that. You want the copy and content on your website to be clear, direct, and to the point. Also key: using a font and color scheme that’s attractive to users.
Step 4: Have a Plan for Updating
It’s a proven fact that websites with blogs are more successful. That’s because blogs provide websites with an average of 434% more indexed pages and 97% more links, key factors in search rankings. Whether you have a blog or not, you need to update your website regularly. And since most physicians spend 30-40 hours in direct patient care (on top of administrative tasks and paperwork), it’s easy to let digital duties fall by the wayside. Come up with a plan ahead of time so you know who is responsible for updating and maintaining your website each month.
If this all sounds like gibberish, then it’s important to find web designers with experience working with healthcare organizations.