Medical Website Design and Development
8 tips to help your practice thrive when it comes to medical website design and development
We’re living in a time when online presence is everything. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online needs have strengthened even further. People are online for everything - telehealth, health information, symptom checking, retail shopping, even their groceries.
As a medical practice, your online presence is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. You hold the crucial information that so many people need, within the walls of your business. This information needs to be available for your prospective patients to be able to find online.
That’s why medical website design and development is so important - it's more than a healthcare marketing tool. If you’re not sure whether your website is up to scratch, we can help. This post will help explain everything you need to know about medical website design and development and how you can make the most of it to attract, engage and inform your patients.
Website Design and Development innovations
The way we do healthcare is changing. The pandemic has reduced the availability of in-person services and forced the health community to move online. Medical innovations are on the rise every day, and if you’re not a part of the explosive wave of online information, you are missing out on potential patients.
Medical websites have needed to quickly pivot and rethink how they deliver information. New medical website design and development strategies have evolved. While the pandemic has forced the medical field to be more present online, there was a shift in the area of medical website design and development even before the pandemic. A large percentage of patients sought doctors online (47%), online reviews were already impacting patient decisions and the majority of people were already turning to the internet to find medical information.
It only makes sense to continue to move in the direction of improving your online presence. Your online presence is an important part of your brand and reputation as a healthcare provider.
Tips to Improve Medical Website and Design Development
To ensure your medical website is designed to attract new patients and keep existing ones, here are some practical ways to improve it:
1. Design and build with the user (your patients) front of mind
Easy navigation is crucial to website design. If users come to your site and aren’t able to find what they’re looking for because they don’t know how to navigate your site, that’s a problem.
To provide a user-friendly experience here is some advice:
- Verify that your most relevant categories are placed in the main navigation bar
- Eliminate multi-level drop-down menus. They’re not mobile-friendly
- Use standard titles for menu elements such as About, Services, Team, and Contact
- Create user-friendly calls to action
User friendly websites are better for search engines too.
2. Integrate an online booking platform like HotDoc
It’s important that a patient has the ability to book an appointment at a time to match their busy schedule. Many medical websites now provide the option for patients to do online bookings for their upcoming appointments, and you can have that too. You can also send reminders of the appointments by email or SMS. That simplifies the process for everyone. Patients won’t have to call in and be on hold forever, and your reception team won’t have to use valuable time trying to schedule appointment over the phone.
3. Introduce your team
Allow future patients the opportunity to be familiar with your care providers. You can do this with a dedicated team page. Visitors should be able to locate a doctor by name or unique experience. Create an overview of each practitioner, with a photo, details about their qualifications and experience, areas of special interest and availability.
4. Add a fees / pricing page
Having a page that provides information about appointment fees is a good idea. Pricing is an important consideration for many families when it comes to healthcare. Provide information about the types of insurance your practice accepts.
5. Combine a map and contact details
When planning the space for your contact details, make sure that visitors easily understand how to get in touch with you. Typically, contact details go in the header and footer, and on a separate Contact page. An embedded Google map shows patients where to find you and allows them to click on the map to easily get directions from their home or workplace.
6. Ensure security of data
As the need for online data grows, and patients are depending on medical practices to provide them with the best in medical website design and development, there is a need for assurance of the security of patient information. To comply with privacy legislation, ensure there is a valid SSL certificate on your website for encrypting the data sent through contact forms.
7. Pay attention to accessibility
Ensuring accessible digital content is a critical requirement for medical practices to support people with disability. So, it’s important to ensure medical websites are designed and developed in a way that allows them to be accessible and usable by everyone, including users with disabilities. At the most basic level, designing a website for accessibility involves considering factors like:
- Readability - is text large enough and easy to read
- Images - use of alt text to describe image content
- Headings - do they help users easily scan content and understand the structure of the page
- Colour - is the contrast ratio adequate between text and backgrounds
- Video - do videos have captions
8. Don't neglect website speed
Websites need to be fast and your website visitors will appreciate your web pages loading quickly whether they're viewing your site from a laptop, iPad or smartphone. Website speed is easily impacted by poor design and development and can be a source of frustration for patients when they want information now. Tools such as GT Metrix and Google Page Speed Insights can provide comprehensive data to identify speed bottlenecks. The following are renowned for slowing down websites:
- Poor quality hosting
- Image sliders
- Large, uncompressed images
- Messy website code
How LocalMD Can Help
If online marketing is important to the success of your practice (and no doubt it is), choose an expert in medical web design and development. Be sure that your strategy includes user friendly web development, an intuitive content management system (like WordPress) and pays attention to accessibility, security and speed.
A website is a 24/7 patient hub and a critical business asset and we work with practice management teams to ensure website projects are handled with care, attention to detail and professionalism.
Visit our medical websites page today and book a free initial consultation.
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The secret to attracting new patients, increasing retention of existing patients and enjoying a steady flow of appointments comes down to a mix of online and offline marketing