Healthcare practices generally understand that they need a website. What most practices don’t realize is that their website might be costing them opportunities for new patients and new revenue. In our experience, there are a number of common costly mistakes that consistently come up with healthcare websites:

1. Your website isn’t optimized for search engines

Just because you’ve built a website, doesn’t mean that people will magically come to it. Google doesn’t show websites at random, but rather 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.

You need to promote your website and do everything you can to make sure that it appears in search engines to ensure you are being found. Talk to us about how to get started.

2. Neglecting your doctor bios

Doctor bios and the ‘About Us’ page are typically the most viewed pages on a practice website. Think about it: People want to know as much as possible about 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.

3. Focusing heavily on your offerings

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—they’re looking for conditions. They know (or think they know) what’s wrong with them and that’s what they’re searching for. If possible, provide avenues to search by condition or treatments.

By all means, talk about your treatments, but be sure to lead with conditions to keep them engaged.

4. Hard-to-find contact information

The number of websites without prominent contact information 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. Your first goal, always, is to make it as easy as possible for someone to contact you.

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.

5. Your website doesn’t match your patient demographics

As mentioned with doctor bios, your website needs to connect with your patients. Therefore, 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.

Cater to your audience by doing things such as selecting stock photos your patients can picture themselves in and using style choices that fit the community.

6. Your website isn’t mobile responsive

At this point in time, if your website isn’t smart-device friendly, you’re losing money. In healthcare, almost 50 percent (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.

Go mobile with us if you’re in need of device-ready guidance for your website.

7. You’re not conveying information the right way

These days, people like easily digested information. 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 that will be the most helpful. Remember: The simpler, the better.

8. 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, which is sincerely bad news for you if you’re a doctor. It also adds more clutter to the website.

Make sure you keep an eye out and regularly update your website’s content.

Ask yourself: How many of these are currently happening on my website? How much am I losing out on? If you’re an offender of at least one of the above issues, it’s time to fix the holes. Give us a call. We’ll help you turn your website into a patient-generating machine by analyzing statistics, reviewing websites, monitoring user behavior and testing the day away.

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014