You never get a second chance at a first impression. A healthcare website is an extension of your business and can instantly persuade or deter a new patient from booking with your practice. Here are 16 elements that are present in every successful healthcare website- does your website have them all?
With almost 80 percent of all internet users searching for medical and health information online, your website is the single, most important marketing tool you have at your disposal. With so much information easily accessible on the web and people frequently Googling their healthcare questions, a successful website will drive new patients to book an appointment.
We all know that Google is no replacement for a doctor, but a lot of people find it the perfect place to start when it comes to researching and collecting information related to a health condition. With so many potential customers heading straight for the web and researching their health-related conditions online it’s important that your healthcare clinic stands out.
So, what makes a successful healthcare website?
1. Clean, Well-branded Design
A successful website will reflect the essence of your business. A clear logo and consistent branding will send a powerful message to the customer, leaving them remembering your brand and knowing who you are. A clean, well-branded health website, free from clutter, will inspire trust and credibility– the core foundation to building a lasting relationship.
2. Clear, Concise Medical Information
Your healthcare website should deliver expert medical information in a clear and succinct manner. Information can include diseases, conditions, symptoms and treatments. Ensure your information is factual and evidence-based, complying with the Australian Government regulations for healthcare practitioners. Click here to view the full guidelines.
3. Engaging health content
A successful website will have clear, relevant health content that delivers the right message; informing the customer of your business, your product or service and its benefit to them. Always focus on your customers’ needs and wants. What is their problem and how can you solve it? Your website content should be keyword-rich and target your audience, engaging them and persuading them to take action while demonstrating trust and building credibility.
You can establish your business as an industry expert by posting relevant and useful information, such as blog posts, articles or whitepapers. Well-written content will engage the viewer on subjects ranging from health conditions, health news and articles, through to health-related classes and events, as well as highlights of their social media posts. Take care to consider Australian government regulation for healthcare practitioners before publishing any content to your website, as the fines can be pretty hefty.
4. Effective copy messaging
Your healthcare website’s marketing message should reflect your brand and promote your service. Copy should be well written and have an accessible, relatable tone of voice. Use clear, strong calls to action to drive customer behaviour throughout your website and make it easy for patients to contact you.
5. High quality Imagery
With more than a third of people being visual learners, featuring high quality photos and imagery in your website will engage your audience with your brand and content more easily, decreasing bounce rate and building a link between customer and company. We all know a stock photo when we see one, so opt for professionally photographed original images.
If you’re hoping your customer will perceive your business as providing a unique product or service then using one-size-fits-all, banal stock photography should be avoided. Ensure your information complies with Aust. Government regulation for healthcare practitioners. Click here to view the full guidelines.
6. Engaging Videos
With videos being more likely to rank organically in search results than text pages, include videos on your website for improved marketing results. Consider including videos of your practitioners’ profiles, procedure and treatment overviews, health assessment overviews and frequently asked questions.
7. Ease of Navigation
The less time it takes the customer to find what they’re looking for, the better. People expect navigation to be simple and loading time to be minimal. An understanding of the hierarchy of your web content and how customers will expect to view it is fundamental to web design best practice. Navigation bars, search menus, contact information, sticky buttons and page load speeds all need to function seamlessly.
8. Personalised Content with Photos of Your Staff
Personalise your business by posting real photos of yourself and your staff. You’ll be surprised how warmly received a smiling photo of yourself, or other staff members, can be to a potential new customer. Personalising your business in this way will ensure your clinic is perceived as being honest, approachable, accessible, and welcoming of new patients.
9. Mobile Friendly
With 32.89 million mobile connections in Australia, your website needs to be mobile responsive. Yes, you did read right! The number of mobile connections in Australia in 2020 was equivalent to 130% of the total population.* And on average 8 out of 10 customers will stop engaging with your site if the content doesn’t display properly on their device. A successful website will have a responsive design format, adjusting to the size of the browser automatically, allowing for ease of use and functionality.
10. Fast load times and an SSL Certificate
With nearly 50% of consumers expecting a webpage to load in less than 2 seconds, fast page load speed is crucial to ensuring customers stay on your site and convert. Don’t forget that your competition is a simple click away.
An SSL Certificate won’t just build trust with your audience, it will ensure your website’s security, affirm your identity, protect data, provide protection from hackers, reduce downtime and improve your search engine ranking.
11. Proof of Medical Authority & Expertise
Naturally, people will seek out the best medical care they can, but when searching online, your time is limited to convince them that you’re the right specialist for them. An effective healthcare website can feature a variety of proof of authority builders and expertise indicators.
Displaying affiliations, associations, awards, achievements, links to research papers and studies can help to build authority. Displaying testimonials should be approached with caution, as they need to comply with Aust government regulation for healthcare practitioners. Click here to view the full guidelines.
12. Virtual Accessibility: Telehealth and Online Consultations
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the value of online connection. Thanks to telehealth and virtual communication, patients can still access your valuable services from afar.
The necessity for access to virtual healthcare remains, and it is still beneficial to offer these services. In addition to providing a more convenient appointment option for busy people, online consultation and class capability means you can now offer services to anyone globally with an internet connection. During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw the healthcare clinics that promoted these online services on their websites benefit from improved conversions through both organic and GoogleAds campaigns.
13. Easy to use Booking System
Providing an online booking system on your website is a sure fire way to attract new patients. It provides busy people with an immediate, quick, convenient way to book an appointment. It also gives your business added integrity, by showing transparency of available booking times you’re being open and honest with your patients. The inclusion of any additional trust indicator is a big driving force in attracting new patients online.
15. Optimisation for SEO & Advanced Analytics Tracking
A search engine optimized website puts you out in front of thousands of more potential customers, helping you to reach a wider target audience for promoting your products or services. A well-optimized website can help your business rank well in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a variety of search terms and attract a steady stream of new customers to your business.
Analyse and track the behavior of your website visitors, including the number of visitors to your site, the number of new visitors vs returning visitors, the length of visits, how people find your site, and what pages they view on your site and for how long. The bounce rate will inform you of the percentage of visitors that leave your website soon after visiting a single page on your site. You can use this information to test different pages and find out what works and what doesn’t, use referral statistics to know where your traffic is coming from, and see what search words people are using to find you organically so that you can target these keywords with SEO.
14. Frequently Asked Questions Page
Successful healthcare websites always include an FAQ page. By compiling answers to common questions on every possible topic related to your business, an FAQ page gives patients a central place to find the answers they need.
An FAQ page is beneficial to customer experience and your SEO. And if you set the patient’s mind at ease by including information on what to expect at their first appointment, you’ll reap the benefits of increased new patient numbers.
16. Strong Call-To-Actions
A successful healthcare website will do more than just attract and inform an audience if strong call-to-actions are used. Call-to-actions are essential for converting website visitors into new clients or leads. What action would you like your customer to complete? Make an online booking, a phone call or perhaps download a new patient form. For your website to be truly successful, consider these actions at planning stage, rather than as an afterthought.
An effective healthcare website is ultimately designed to inform your patient and guide them to engage with your services. If you would like to know more about improving the success of your healthcare website, contact practiceedge.
*2003 Pew Research Center study