I am the CEO of a service provider that provides diagnostic testing services to over 300 medical practices across the country. Our clientele ranges from the sole practitioner to extensive multi-specialty practices, to everything in-between. I am also the former Chief Marketing Officer for a top digital marketing agency in Chicago.
My staff and I are continually researching customers and prospects; therefore we are regularly reviewing medical practice websites. Through our work and research, we have made a few notes on where medical practices make mistakes with their sites. Below are a few of the most significant mistakes we typically see.
It is hard to believe, but many practices today still don't have a site. These are usually confined to the smallest practices, but in today's world, every practice has to have a website.
If you do not have a website, you are painting a very negative picture of your practice and your professionalism. I would never go to a practice that does not have a website. By not having a site this indicates you don't care much about your public image. Therefore, by inference people are going to assume you won't care much about their personal issues either. Similarly, if you are part of a multi-specialty practice and your group/specialty is not featured on your practice's website, this is effectively the same as having no website.
Limited information on providers
A good website should provide detailed information on all providers, which includes physicians and mid-level providers as well. Patients want to know a little about who they will be visiting.
A single paragraph is not sufficient. Each provider should have a full life story available on their website. If a provider has written any articles or blog posts, include links to these items. Many patients will do extensive online research before selecting a medical practice or physician.
Here is an example of an excellent profile: https://www.seug.com/provider/robert-harris-md
No video content
In today's digital streaming world, everyone expects to see some video content on a website. If a practice website does not have video content, prospective patients will put it in an "outdated" category.
Conversely, good video content on your website will position you head-and-shoulders above most of the competition. Additionally, creating good video content has become very cost-effective in recent years.
A simple interview with a patient or a doctor captured on an iPhone is sufficient as long as it is genuine and to the point. An interview with a caring physician accompanied by an interview with a patient who has been well served is worth gold.
Mobile compliant site
You can expect at least half of your website traffic if not more to come on a mobile device, which means your website has to be up-to-date and mobile compliant.
Google and other search engines will even penalize you if you do not have a mobile compliant website. This means it will be very hard to be found on the Internet if your site is not mobile compliant.
Only a few years ago it was challenging to have a website that was both computer and mobile compliant, but in today's world, it is rather simple to have a site that is both computer- and mobile-friendly.
If you are using WordPress or similar technology, merely selecting the right options will handle this for you. If you have a custom website, it needs to be using a technology called Bootstrap that was initially developed by the company Twitter. These technologies will ensure that your site works correctly on all mobile devices and all computer browsers.
No updates in many years
Often websites will have no updates in many years, which paints a negative perception of your practice. Viewers of your site will automatically assume that the practice is either no longer in business or does not care much about its image. Your copyright mark at the bottom should be updated to the current year, and you should have some posts that are within the last few months.
It is easy to spot a website design that is a decade old. Any Internet user can do this innately. Having an old website design can paint a very negative picture of your practice. Personally, when I see an old design I think that the practice is probably materially different today than what is portrayed on the website, which is not a good thing.
Only providing limited contact options
We highly recommend providing multiple call-in numbers on your website as opposed to one call-in number to an answering service or phone system. Navigating phone systems for most medical practices is incredibly frustrating to most patients. You should set up different numbers for billing, appointments, specific practitioners, prescription refills, vendors, etc., and post these numbers on your website, which will make your practice operate more efficiently and it will help not to aggravate patients too. Furthermore, the ultimate in customer service is offering a "chat now" feature. It is straightforward to add a chat feature that will allow prospective patients to chat online with your staff.
Poor URL selection
You should be sure to select a URL for your practice that closely matches your practice's name. Often we see a practice with the URL that's nothing like the practice's name, which can be very confusing to prospective patients. It is similar to having a sign hanging out in front of your practice that says something entirely unrelated to your practice. Confusion is not a good thing in marketing. If the URL you want is taken, append your city name or state name where you are located and you will usually end up with something that is very close and will work well. For example, if your practice is Urology Associates and the URL www.UrologyAssociates.com is taken, then use something like www.UrologyAssociatesTampa.com.
Partially finished website and broken links
You should never have a webpage that a patient can navigate to that has no content on it or says "under construction." Similarly, broken links paint a very negative perception as well. You should conduct regular reviews of your website to ensure there are no broken links and that all pages have complete and contain well-written content.
Failing to describe services offered fully
Medical practices of all types provide a wide variety of services. These services need to be adequately described in the "services" section of your website. Prospective patients are often looking for a particular service. For example, some internal medicine practices offer allergy testing and if a potential patient doesn't see allergy testing listed on the website, they will move on and look for a different practice. Likewise, a patient struggling with incontinence will often look for an ObGyn practice or a urologist that offers urodynamic testing, and if this is not listed, they will move on and look for a different practice.
When you describe your services, you should be sure to organize them well. If you your practice offers numerous services, be sure to provide easy navigation so prospective patients can easily find what they are trying to find.
We hope the above ideas help you better think through what your website is communicating to existing and prospective patients. If you would like us to do a free review of your site, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "website review" in the subject line. We will review your website at no cost and send you a few pointers that should be helpful.
If you're interested in adding additional mobile diagnostics to your practice that can broaden your offering and increase revenue and profits for your practice, click the button below to get more information.