Last week I blogged about Common Website Development Mistakes, and one of the points I mentioned is spending too little on your website. Your website is your first impression, it is available to your patients and future patients 24/7 and it is not an area where you should be cutting corners. When it comes to websites, you get what you pay for. A website designed by your neighbor’s college student son on summer break will not have the same quality and strategical considerations as a website developed by an agency with experience in medical healthcare.

When you get a quote from a full service agency for a website for your medical practice, you may be experiencing a bit of sticker shock. Why does an agency charge $10K – $30K or more when there are companies (or college kids) that advertise creating a website for $500? Keep reading to find out why a professional website costs more.

Custom Design

Would you rather have a site designed to suit your medical practice’s branding, or your medical practice’s branding crammed into a design? When you opt for an inexpensive website you’re getting an off-the-shelf design with little to no options for customization. A full service agency will have a design team on staff that will work with you to create a website design that shows off your branding. Don’t have a logo or a brand yet? The design team can create that as well.

Mobile Friendly

If you’re not planning for a mobile accessible site, you’re excluding a large portion of your visitors. A cheap website will not be responsive (viewable on smartphones and tablets) and will not be mobile friendly. If you’re losing out on nearly 50% of your potential visitors, you’re failing at your main objective for having a website – to obtain new patients and grow your business. A responsive website will cost more in the short term, but will pay off in the long run when you’re able to reach visitors on across all platforms. Especially since mobile internet browsing is increasing every year.

Enhanced Features

Bells and whistles cost money, but they also add value. Features like online appointment scheduling, patient portals and chat take expertise to code and implement. An agency that specializes in medical practice marketing will be able to help you make decisions on what features are worth adding and what to skip. That way you’re spending your budget only on additions that will help you grow your business.

Content Creation

A medical practice rarely has the staffing to handle in-house content creation. A full service agency will have a team of writers that can give your site visitors the information they need to make decisions about their healthcare and your practice. Most likely, a cheap website will not include content writing, and it certainly won’t include the quality of writing that you’ll get from writers with experience in medical healthcare content.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Simply having a website is not enough – you also need people to find your website. This is where SEO comes in. Making a website SEO friendly means that careful consideration has to be taken throughout all phases of website development. Extra effort is spent in the coding of the site so that content is searchable text and not just images, giving search engines plenty of information to crawl. At Points Group, we involve our SEO team in design, content creation and launch to ensure that you site performs optimally. Our SEO team are experts in online medical marketing and will help your website be found by future patients.

Quality Assurance Testing

This is an area where corners could, but should not be cut. Prior to launch, an agency will put your website through the paces and cast a critical eye on everything from punctuation and grammar to functionality. All of this takes time, but the additional cost will be worth it to ensure that your launch goes smoothly and your website is well received by visitors.

Project Management

A full service agency will give your website development project the attention it needs by assigning a project manager to make sure that the development runs smoothly. A project manager works with you and the design, development, content and SEO team to keep your website on track and within budget. Your project manager will get to know the ins and outs of your medical practice and act on your behalf to ensure that your website does exactly what you need it to – grow your business by converting site visitors into patients.

At Points Group, we are a full service agency that helps you grow your medical healthcare business. We have the team in place to create all of the pieces that need to come together for a website to truly represent your practice. Contact us and we’ll show you what we can do.

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014