Healthcare practices generally understand that they need a website. What most practices don’t realize is that their website is consistently costing them opportunities for new patients and new revenue. At Points Group, we work with a lot of healthcare practices and see a lot of healthcare websites. Through many years of analyzing statistics, reviewing websites, monitoring user behavior and testing, testing, testing, we have seen what works and what doesn’t for healthcare websites. In our experience, there are a number of common costly mistakes that consistently come up with healthcare websites. Fixing these mistakes can save you money and turn more visitors into patients…
- Your website isn’t optimized for search engines. Just because you build a website, doesn’t mean that people will magically come to it. How do users hear about it? You need to promote your website and do everything you can to make sure that it appears in search engines. Google doesn’t show websites at random. Instead, it uses a complex algorithm based on your website’s content, structure and coding; links to your website and other factors in order to show what it believes to be the best result based on the search query. Don’t leave this to chance. Prospective patients are looking for healthcare practices online. Make sure you are being found. (We know this can be a tall order – click here to learn more and get help!)
- Neglecting your doctor bios. Doctor bios and the “About Us” section are almost always the most viewed pages on a practice website. People want to know who is taking care of them. Are they qualified? How does their bedside manner seem? Is this someone I feel comfortable with? Give people the chance to get to know your doctors. Every doctor needs, at minimum, a picture and a bio. If you can provide a video as well, do it. The more you can connect with a patient before they call a practice, the more likely it is that you will be the one they come to.
- Focusing on you. Many practices start with a this is what we provide mentality. Unfortunately, most patients don’t come to your website looking for your services or treatments. By all means, talk about your treatments, but lead with conditions. They know (or think they know) what’s wrong with them and that’s what they’re searching for. For example, you may want to talk about the sensation of burning feet before you begin talking about light therapy for neuropathy. Better yet, provide avenues to search by condition or treatments. Just don’t assume that a patient knows the treatments as well as you.
- Hard to find contact info. The number of websites without prominent contact info is astounding. The primary reason you have a website is to provide a vehicle for people to get information about your practice and make contact. Have your phone number prominent at the top of your website, make sure your address is easy to find (either in the header or footer – two natural places to look for an address) and display a very clear contact form or button. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for someone to contact you. It’s almost guaranteed that if someone has to work to find your contact information, they’re going somewhere else.
- Your website doesn’t match your patient demographics. As mentioned with doctor bios, your website needs to connect with your patients. Your website should reflect the community you serve. If you treat patients in an affluent area but cut corners on your website, that will reflect on your practice. If you primarily serve a diverse community and have no diversity in the images on your website, that will be a subtle turnoff to your target demographic. Many people will not even be able to articulate these nuances, but they’re real and they cost doctors new patients every day.
- Your website isn’t mobile responsive. It’s 2015. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re losing money. No question. We recently wrote a whole post about this, so there’s no need to go into great detail again. What you need to know is that in healthcare almost 50% (in some cases more) of your website traffic is going to come from mobile devices. Giving these users a poor experience on your website is the digital equivalent of sending them to a waiting room that is messy and poorly lit. It’s likely those patients aren’t continuing on their journey with you.
- Every message is conveyed right away. People like easily digested info. They want to be helped along the way bit by bit as they make a decision and seamlessly guided through information. Information overload simply overwhelms the user and typically causes them to navigate away from your website. A well-structured menu with a lot of options can be fine. Having excessive call-outs and options in the content area of your site can be problematic. Direct your users to important sections of the site and guide them down a path they should take that will be most helpful. Remember, simple is better.
- Keeping outdated information. Nothing says we’re not really paying attention like having old information prominently displayed on your website. It sends a subtle message that all of the information on the site may not be updated or totally reliable. It may not seem like a big issue, but it gets into the mind of the user and adds more clutter to the website. Make sure you keep an eye out and regularly update your website.
How many of these are currently happening on your practice’s website? When it’s time to fix the holes, give us a call. We’ll help you turn your website into a patient-generating machine.