By Dr. Greg Grillo
We’re not going back. 2020 brought seismic shifts to every aspect of our lives, especially in healthcare. The effects continue to ripple through operations, finances, and care delivery in your niche and mine. As we contemplate the extra cost of PPE, we don’t want to miss the increased value of every patient touchpoint in 2021.
The healthcare journey doesn’t always enjoy a stellar reputation with consumers. One survey found that 81% of respondents were unhappy with their healthcare experience. But we know our patients love us, so what’s breaking down?
Before diving deep into digital healthcare marketing, I didn’t fully understand the delivery of care beyond my office. Patients start interacting with our brand miles before and after their physical visits. Every interaction builds trust and credibility, or it undermines it. And after a pandemic that left millions of people spending more time online, a new emphasis on user experience has emerged. Plus, the premium on convenience continues reaching a level of explication we can’t ignore.
Websites mark an early stop on the patient journey. With the right emphasis, they become an interactive experience that brings patients back for more services. And they affect the satisfaction level of patients when they consider their interaction with “healthcare.”
Healthcare Website Design Must-Have Features
Consider a patient making the first click from a Google ad to your website. They’re intrigued, but what do they discover when they interact with your healthcare website design? Here are five website features none of us can afford to overlook:
1. Guarantee A Responsive Website
Mobile devices drive over half the website traffic globally, so it’s a 50/50 proposition if your medical web design is intended for desktops only. Unfortunately, too many healthcare brands present a clunky website with slow page load speeds.
A responsive healthcare website design automatically adapts your pages to the device the viewer uses. This optimization makes images, text, and video easier to view. And if it isn’t, expect consumers to click away. Google reports that 53% of visitors will leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. And if it displays poorly, no amount of speed will compensate for the poor experiences.
2. Use Content To Leverage Exposure
A solid content marketing strategy may drive three times as many leads as outbound marketing and often costs up to 62% less . Our practices have a target audience that uses the internet to research health-related topics, and your brand can provide the authority they’re seeking.
Provide relevant topics to the right demographics, and include keywords that match common searches. But also post on social media with links to the full article on your website, or send emails introducing new articles. Consistency is vital; regular content keeps your brand in front of online consumers and appeals to the complex Google SEO formula. And don’t forget to include clear call-to-action opportunities in your content.
3. Play Along With Google
At some point, Google became a verb that’s universally understood. When someone in your community takes the advice of a friend to “Just Google it” when they’re talking about vision problems, that’s what they do. Google absorbs over a billion healthcare-related searches daily. In fact, about 7% of Google’s daily searches fall under the health category. Some of those searches include answers and solutions you and I can give, filled with relevant health information.
Make sure your practice has an accurate Google Business Profile set up so that consumers get a snapshot view on their searches. Add keywords throughout your website that allow you to show up in search results. But remember #2: make sure the content they find through their searches answers their questions and offers a path to a solution with you. Google changes the rules often, so analysis and adaptation are essential to long-term search engine optimization success.
4. Incorporate Multimedia Into Healthcare Sites
There’s no arguing the value of video in healthcare marketing today. TikTok exemplifies the growing appetite consumers have for video. The platform’s base tripled in size since 2018 to 100 million monthly US users, and the average person now has four paid streaming subscriptions. Videos fit into healthcare sites in multiple ways that educate, build trust, and keep site visitors on our pages longer.
Office overview videos give patients a look into the office and a chance to learn about the unique benefits of your practice. Short bio videos let curious patients hear you describe your philosophy and passion–effective since all demographics value authenticity and likeability. Short videos on procedures get much more attention than a block of text on the same subject. Plus, a call-to-action at the end of the video can be the final encouragement someone needs to schedule a visit. Professional video production works, but today’s HD smartphones with a microphone and good lighting can still help you produce video worth using.
5. Elevate User Experiences In 2021
If our websites are optimized for every device and offer valuable content, they become a critical healthcare digital marketing tool. But consumers expect to find more, and the right tools that are easy to navigate can drive repeat visits. Creating a one-stop solution to pay bills, schedule appointments, and even attend visits describes what consumers want. Convenience isn’t just nice; it’s expected.
Telehealth opens the door to more patients and opportunities to discuss care options. Although the pandemic drove explosive growth in virtual visits, 81% of patients expect to use these services in the future. What started as a primary care visit has become a chiropractic, dental, physical therapy, or optometry consult.
Healthcare Website Designers Know Our Space
An efficient web design that meets the needs of today’s consumers requires a challenging balance of elements. The days of stock websites that deliver the same information available on a piece of paper have passed into a digital abyss. If we stay there, our medical practices may end up there, too.
Healthcare website designers incorporate engaging user experiences with interactive assessments, patient portals, online scheduling tools, and virtual visit platforms. An efficient user experience allows our practices to build engagement strategies that bring patients to a healthcare website worth visiting.
Legwork Websites blend technical development, artistic flair, and custom touches. A team of skilled account managers, copywriters, and designers produce healthcare sites that users and Google love, and that’s imperative to our growth and success in 2021 and beyond.
Discover more design tips by watching a website critique by Legwork web designers, Health Practice Live Website Critiques: Do They Have These 3 Pillars?