7 Design Elements Every Medical Website Needs
How to Transform Your Website Into a Powerful Tool for Patient Acquisition
Just because you have a pretty website doesn’t mean you have a good website.
Too often, healthcare professionals equate “design” with “aesthetics”, but design goes much further than mere attractiveness. Your website needs to do something; it needs to accomplish your business goals. In the medical industry, the primary goal is always to bring in new patients. So good web design, then, is that which helps turn visitors into patients (or at least entice them to take one step closer to becoming a patient).
Here are 7 web design elements that your medical website should have if you want to enhance your online presence:
1. Form above the fold
The space that fills the browser window before a user scrolls is prime real estate because it gets most of the user’s attention. Prospective patients will decide in 0.05 seconds whether or not to leave your website, and what they see above the fold will likely influence their decision. That’s the area with the most visibility; that’s the place where you want to put information that’s most valuable to reaching your goals. Eye studies have shown that the amount of users decreases as the page scrolls. In order to keep your bounce rate low, grab their attention and give them an opportunity to convert above the fold.
2. Clear calls-to-action (CTAs)
Having the form above the fold on the homepage of your medical website is important, but you also need to help the potential patient keep their eyes on the prize as they explore the rest of your site. Include buttons like “Contact Us”, “Call Our Office”, “Schedule an Appointment”, “Speak With Our Nursing Staff”, etc., so that users have an easy way to get in touch with you wherever they are on your site. We recommend a few different copy options, as some people don’t like phone calls and prefer to communicate via email, form submission, or live chat.
3. Phone number/contact in the top right corner
One of the easiest ways to annoy visitors and get them to leave your website before they convert is to hide information they are trying to find. If potential patients are trying to call your office to speak with someone about their insurance or a procedure, or just find out more about your practice, and a clickable phone number is not in the top right corner (which is the place they will expect to find it), your click through rates will decrease.
4. Prominent patient testimonials/video
When people are making a decision about their health, they do their research. It matters more than anything they may buy or any entertainment they may consider because it is their body! So they need to know that you are credible, experienced, and that you can help solve their problem or provide the health service they need. Research shows that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If your practice has so far thrived on word of mouth, including patient testimonials is a way for you to expand that trust online.
You can fill your site with engaging and compelling content, but stories that don’t come from you are going to be the most persuasive elements you can include on your site. Showcase patient testimonials in a place where visitors will notice them! We typically use a text slider or include a video section on the home page like this. Videos are especially powerful, as users can see a real person talking about their experience.
5. Mobile responsiveness
On July 1, 2019, Google began mobile-first indexing. This means that now Google will index and rank your site – that is, decide whether it’s worthy to show to certain users and how to present it – based on your site’s mobile version. A 2015 Pew Research Center study reported that 62% of smartphone users search for health-related topics online. This is more than the percentage of users who search for jobs from their smartphones (42%).
If your website isn’t mobile responsive (if it doesn’t adapt to the user’s device, if certain elements do not work on mobile) you risk frustrating and alienating a large portion of your audience, particularly your younger patients. And with the Google update, you run the even greater risk of not even appearing high enough in search results to be noticed by your desktop or mobile audience. Mobile responsiveness is critical to high-performing medical web design.
Slow websites have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. We live in a fast-paced, instant gratification age. Over half of your visitors are likely to leave if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If you have bulky elements on your site (like improperly optimized media), and your site is slow, you’re missing out on the opportunity to convince a user to become a patient.
7. Good photography/photo of you
Users like to see who will be taking care of them. They dislike blurry or pixelated images. You can use stock photography, but you can also invest photos of your practice, team, and patients, which may go a long way into helping patients know what to expect and gaining their trust.
Of course, your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing, as well. You are wooing patients in a highly competitive industry; looks do matter. Just not as much as function or element design. If you have a clean, easy-to-navigate, responsive website that includes these 7 elements, you are on your way to achieving your business goals and growing your medical practice!
Now, you just need to drive traffic to your website….
Empirical360 is a PPC agency that specializes in medical marketing. We help healthcare professionals attract more patients, expand their online presence, and grow their business! Our team is a Google Premier Partner who has managed over $15,000,000 in ad spend. Contact us today to hear our strategy for how to revamp your website and structure paid search campaigns that work!
Shea Antonucci - Author
Director of Content Marketing
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!