A doctor’s website is not just an electronic business card of the practice. Gone are the days when having printed ads in local newspapers and the yellow pages would be sufficient to get patients in the door and keep them coming back for follow up appointment.
In today’s society every physician has to have a solid web presence. There are several things to keep in mind when creating your website. The following five tips are the most important to attract new patients and keep your existing ones.
1. Responsive, mobile optimized design
What is that, you ask? Responsive designs means that the layout of a page responds to the device it is being viewed on. If someone is viewing your site on a desktop or laptop, and the browser window is wide, then it will show a section that has 4 columns for example as it was originally designed – in 4 columns. If the viewer is on a tablet, it might show a 2 column layout, so 2 rows of 2 columns. On mobile, this would switch to a one column so that the text and images remain legible and the viewer does not have to zoom in or scroll left and right.
To take that one step further, a mobile optimized design could also have adaptive features. Adaptive design is when certain elements only show on certain devices. You may want to have a phone number show on top of the page on a mobile device, but a clickable number would not be needed when viewed on a laptop.
2. Clear Call-To-Action
Tell the viewer what you’d like them to do. It may seem obvious but don’t assume they know. A clear Call-To-Action can be a large button that reads “Schedule An Appointment,” “Contact Us Today,” or “Call For A Free Consultation.” Be direct and be specific. Make sure you repeat your Call-To-Action on several pages throughout your website.
3. Contact Page With A Map
A physician’s website needs a great contact page that is prominent in the navigation so your patients know where to find you. A good contact page includes your
- phone number
- opening hours (including which holidays your office will be closed)
- form inquiry/ appointment request
- and Google map
If your location is tricky to find, feel free to describe directions in a short paragraph but make sure you include a rich Google map snippet that the patient can click on from their mobile phone. This will open the map app on their phone and show directions and estimated travel time to your office which is important when planning their office visit.
4. Search Engine Optimized Content
You’ve probably heard the term “SEO” but wonder why it’s so important. Search Engine Optimization is a big deal because if your pages are not optimized, Google and other search engines won’t consider showing them to people who are looking for you. If you want to rank high in search results when someone types “best dentist in Tampa” then make sure you have those exact words in a title, the META tags (techy stuff in the code), images with that title name, and so on. When Google can easily match up what your page says with what someone is searching for, it’s a win-win for everyone. You will organically (= for free) get a better chance to be found.
Marketing does not get any better or cheaper than collecting testimonials from happy patients. We’ve all done an online search before going to a new restaurant, choosing a real estate agent, or buying something on Amazon. What people say about a product or service is incredibly influential on potential customers. In fact, 92% of people trust online reviews over any other form of marketing. That means people decide to do business with you based on a complete stranger’s opinion that they can temporarily identify with.
You really have no excuse to not utilize testimonials. 68% of consumers say that they would leave a review for a business if the business asked them to. If you’re worried about the extra time involved to reach out to patients, get an automated feedback request software such as Testimonial Tree that plugs into your practice management system and does the work for you. Do not let this powerful marketing tactic get overlooked. You work hard and you deserve the praise your patients are more than happy to give you.
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