Does your medical practice website take advantage of current technology and trends? For most people, finding information online is second nature. A clean, modern and professional website will help you attract and retain patients. If your website is more than a couple of years old, consider a redesign and some functionality improvements to improve your online presence.

Here are 9 tips on how to revive your tired website:

Time for a Facelift

Conventional wisdom might tell you that your 3-year old website isn’t that old. In reality, users have grown accustomed to rapidly changing technology and trends, and will immediately recognize the difference between a fresh website and a stale one. A new look will give your website a competitive edge. It will also allow you to modernize the functionality of the website. Standard screen sizes aren’t standard any more. Patients are viewing your website on 26” monitors at the office and then browsing again on their smart phones while relaxing at home. A responsive website is designed to look great on any screen size and will allow patients to easily navigate your site with a mouse or a touch screen.

A Place for Everything

A great website values both form and function. Just as someone should be able to easily locate and turn on the windshield wipers in a new car, so should they be able to easily locate your contact information. Consider how things are structured within your website. Need-to-know information should be located at the top of the page or “above the fold” – the area on your website that is visible without scrolling. Everything else should be organized in a way that makes sense to website visitors. If a specific piece of information can be listed under multiple services, utilize linking rather than duplicating content.

Who Are You and What Do You Do?

Listing information about your doctors and services is most likely the reason why you have a website in the first place, but how do you find the right balance? Provide too much information and it will seem overwhelming. Provide too little and you’ll leave your visitors wanting more. Keep in mind that reading on a digital device is not the same as reading a printed piece of paper. It is important to break the information up into easily digestible bites by using headlines, paragraphs, bulleted lists and related links. The most relevant information should be at the top of the page where visitors can quickly glance at the text in order to determine that they have found what they are looking for – and that it is worth it to keep reading.

Google Yourself

Does your website play nice with Google and other top search engines? It’s great when your current patients take advantage of the information provided on your website, but what you really want is for prospective patients to find you online. The way they are doing that is through search engines. Certain website platforms are better at working with search engines than others. A content management system (CMS) like WordPress is very Google-friendly and is considered a top choice in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) world.

Leave Room for (Content) Expansion

Speaking of CMS, the primary advantage to using WordPress is the ability to frequently update the information on your website. This will allow for quick edits like alerting patients to closures due to weather, or an upcoming event. Not only is this great for letting patients know about what’s going on with your medical practice, it is also extremely helpful for supporting your SEO efforts. Updated website content lets search engines know that your website is worth looking at and sending people to, and a CMS makes it easier to make edits and expand your site.

Appointment Scheduling Made Easy

Your practice may be 9 – 5, but that doesn’t mean your scheduling has to be. Offering options for patients to make an appointment outside of your normal office hours allows them to take charge of their healthcare on their own time. Features like live chat or an appointment request form gives a patient options that they will happily take advantage of.

Empower Your Patients

Looking to go the extra mile? A patient portal that provides patient-specific information regarding lab reports, office visits, billing information and forms will further support patient engagement. Engaged patients are more likely to value preventative care, keep appointments and communicate changes in their health. Patient portals have been shown to reduce call volumes while at the same time increasing patient – staff communication. This enhanced communication can even improve patient outcomes.

Straight from the Patient’s Mouth

If the success of review sites like Yelp have taught us anything – it’s that people love reading about what other users have to say. Take advantage of this trend by offering patient testimonials on your website. Encourage your existing patients to submit reviews that will be included on your website and other marketing materials. Testimonials from real people will offer a different perspective of your practice and will give future patients someone to identify with.

Video Content is King

An entire generation of prospective patients educate and entertain themselves on YouTube. Engage users who prefer to obtain their information through this medium by offering videos hosted by the physicians and clinicians. A video can be about anything from health and wellness to post-surgery recovery. If your office staff finds themselves fielding the same questions, consider presenting the information as a video FAQ.

Looking for assistance with giving your website a new look and feel? Contact us!

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014