We all know the importance of a website—especially in the healthcare field. In 2016, 80 percent of internet users searched for a health-related topic online (and hopefully at least a few of those users arrived on your website). But how can you turn those casual website visitors into patients?
First things first—figure out what your website is doing wrong. Read on for the top five most common things clinic websites are doing that may be losing them patients.
Healthcare websites are notorious for information extremes—they either bombard the user with data about different ailments, or their website is as sparse as a single page and a clinic phone number. But websites with both of these extremes may actually be suffering from the same issue—lack of direction.
Users need to be directed how to use your website. One of the most common problems that clinic websites suffer from is a basic lack of information about what the user's next steps should be. Can a user make an appointment online? Do you want users to call your clinic directly? Should they visit your social media pages to learn more about your clinic? Make sure these important actions have easy-to-see and understandable buttons associated with them—preferably on your homepage.
I know, you’ve heard this all before. But it's so important that it bears repeating. Your website must be not only mobile-friendly, but also responsive to all different kinds of devices. A 2016 study showed that 52 percent of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones. That means that more and more people are going to find your website on their phones or tablets. If your website is only designed for desktop users (for example, the text is too small to be read on a mobile device) you will lose potential patients who may not return on desktop later.
When it comes down to it, all the marketing in the world is not as valuable as the interactions your patients will have with their physicians. And your potential patients know that! That’s why it's so important to feature information about your staff on your website. Potential patients want to learn more about the people who will be taking care of them, and you want to showcase your best assets. Include pictures, experience, specialties and even some interesting facts about your therapists, doctors and nurses, and website users will take notice.
According to a 2016 PatientPop guide, 39 percent of patients perform extensive online research about their potential healthcare providers before booking an appointment (and that number jumps to 50 percent when we’re talking about millennials). If they’re going to be doing all that research anyway, wouldn’t you rather they do it on your website? That’s why blogging is such an important tool. Not only can you prove yourself to be a trustworthy resource, but you can also draw potential users to your website with the SEO rankings gains you will receive from consistently publishing content. We recommend posting anywhere from one to eight times a month, depending on how much traffic your website receives.
You’ve dedicated a lot of time and thought into your Facebook and Twitter accounts. So why are they impossible to find on your website? Many clinics lament the difficulties of getting followers on their social media channels without spending obscene amounts of money. (Having this problem? We want to help.) But then there is nary a social media integration to be found on their websites. Your social media accounts don’t have to take center stage on your homepage. But a button in the footer or a link in the text can go a long way toward helping to grow your social media audience.
Looking for more ways to improve your clinic’s website? We suggest taking a look at how you stack up against the competition with our free and easy-to-use competitive analysis, found here.