Designing the perfect website is never easy, but medical website design is even more challenging because of the message of comfort, credibility, and expertise that you are trying to communicate.
In fact, depending upon the particular type of medical or healthcare practice that you have, you may have to send several messages at once. For example, you may need to communicate that you have providers who are both caring and highly-skilled, or that your organization has both a long tradition of care and the latest in medical technology.
With that in mind, here are some of the best practices when creating a healthcare website design.
Make Sure Your Website Communicates a Message
You need your website to be more than just a pretty brochure, it must communicate a message.
Building your brand is just as important in a medical practice as it is in a restaurant, department store or any other type of business. In fact, arguably, it is even more important, since people aren’t putting their health in the hands of a restaurant. Until they’ve used your services, the only thing they have to rely on to decide whether you’re reputable is your brand.
Make sure that you know what message you are trying to send and that your website communicates it. This can be accomplished through the creation of customer personas, marketing surveys and an upfront discovery process.
Make it as Easy as Possible for Visitors to Navigate
A website that is difficult to navigate may as well not even be online.
Visitors need to be able to find the information they want quickly, and most medical providers are integrating patient appointments and other information with their web portal. You may need to do the same to compete.
It seems like a no-brainer that every web user needs to be able to get where they’re going on your site, whether they’re a patient, a supporter, or a potential hire. But with the sheer breadth of information that many healthcare websites need to communicate, this can often get lost in the shuffle. If you haven’t evaluated this, you may need to.
Establish Your Position in the Healthcare Market
Research into the online presence and habits of your competitors is essential if you want to establish yourself in the healthcare market in your area. Make sure that you aren’t falling behind, but don’t simply parrot your competitors’ messages, either. Differentiate yourself.
People need to know that you are the provider best able to meet their needs, and your website is one of the biggest things that can convince them of that. It might be the first interaction they have with your brand.
Stock Photography Must be Used Correctly
One of the common problems that happen when a medical provider uses the wrong web design company or tries to build their website themselves is that they end up using very vague or common stock photography that doesn’t communicate their message effectively enough. It may even be duplicated on competitor websites. Finding the perfect stock photography sometimes takes hours and a wide range of stock photo providers. It must be carefully curated to match your message, its place on the page, and the overall design of the site.
Of course, the best solution is often to use your own, custom photography that gives an authentic view of your facilities and the quality of the care that you provide.
Optimization & Speed are Essential
If your website is not optimized for search, people are not going to be able to find you. Also, pageload speed is vital, not only for the visitor’s experience but also because Google and the other search engines take loading speed into account when ranking your site, along with the on-page and off-page optimization.
Website Copy Must be Written for Patients
One of the most common pitfalls for medical websites is that the copy is written by the provider or another employee and the message isn’t patient-friendly, likely using jargon or wording that makes it overly complex.
Make sure that any clinical language is clearly explained and that necessary information is easy to find. Your website needs to communicate primarily in the language that your patients use.
Use a Web Design Firm with Experience in Creating Medical Websites
Experience is especially important in such a demanding industry.