Many things go into successfully marketing a dermatology practice, but your online presence definitely ranks near the top with the digital world we live in. That includes your social media presence, but for now, let’s focus in on your practice website.
Your website is one of the first places potential patients visit for information on your practice and to get a sense of who you and your team are. Most likely, they have a specific reason for looking at your website, such as searching for a specific service. But if your website’s set up effectively, there’s an opportunity to show them so much more, such as your focus and commitment to their health. You can give them the confidence to trust you with their needs. And with current patients, your website can also give them the information they need and perhaps even the ability to manage their care.
Your website has a big job to do, so what will help it do this job well? Here are a few things:
A User-Friendly Design That Engages
Your visual design will catch the immediate attention of the user, but the user-friendliness of the site will keep them engaged (on the flipside, the lack user-friendliness will make them leave). Being user-friendly means organizing your content in a way that’s simple and easy to navigate. But there are some other details to pay attention to:
- Being too creative can make things too complex. You can and should use some creativity with your site design, but if there’s too much going on, or if you sacrifice simple organization for a complex design, it may cause confusion and sensory overload with your users. Your design can be simple and subtle, while still being visually interesting. Find creative ways to highlight one main idea or call to action of the page without trying to highlight too much.
- Make your navigation tools easy to find. Keep them natural to what the user would expect. Typically, that means navigation that has a simple, classic feel. As mentioned above, you may be tempted to use a more complex design setup for your navigation, but this isn’t the place to do it.
- Be aware of your load times. People want and are used to instant gratification, and if they have to wait for excessive load times on your pages, they’ll leave. Too many images, videos or other media can bog down your site. Those are still important elements to use, but try to balance those with keeping smooth load times.
- Don’t forget about mobile. Many users are browsing sites on phones and tablets nowadays, so make sure your user-friendly design also transfers to mobile well.
With the right design and navigation, you still need the right content to engage with users. This includes copy, visuals and videos.
- The words you use on your site should be impactful, but also conversational and easy to understand. Users looking at your site are a broad range of people, so you want copy that speaks to everyone. Don’t be too technical. With medical-related topics or pages, that’s not always easy, but still do your best to use clear, general language. If you have to use industry jargon, try to explain it.
- The amount of copy your using will depend on the page or topic, but try to keep it as condensed and to-the-point as possible. Your headlines and subheads should be clear and concise. Be sure to check for spelling and grammar on all your pieces too. Even a small spelling or grammar error can hurt your credibility with users.
- You want your copy to be easy to read, but the wrong font choice can make that difficult. Choose simple fonts without curlicues and embellishments. Consider how fonts look with your page color too. You want them to contrast rather than blend together.
- SEO is still important for online marketing, and although it’s a large topic that we won’t fully dive into right now, here’s a few quick tips. Create original, informative and newsworthy content as much as possible. You can even add your own blog on your site to create readership. You can also rewrite or refresh old copy every now and then, to add new keywords or updated information.
- The right imagery can go a long way in attracting users. But make sure your photos are high-quality. Low-res, grainy images will come off as unprofessional and can also hurt your credibility. If necessary, hire a photographer to take quality practice and team photos. It will make a big difference.
- Videos can be a great way to communicate information and create engagement. But along with your images, use quality video content too. And as mentioned before, balance out your use of videos and images to prevent slow load times.
- Keep things consistent. All of your content should have a similar feel and tone throughout the site. Keep the same design, header and copy style throughout.
- Your calls to action (CTAs) on your pages are key. People respond to different types of CTAs, whether it’s a graphic icon or text cue. No matter what your using, make them clear and highlighted. You can also use both an icon and text together, just place in an obvious location so they’re visible.
Ability to Self-Manage Care
A feature that’s becoming more readily available on practice websites is the ability for users/patients to schedule appointments, view their history, etc. through patient portals. If you don’t currently offer access to a patient portal, you may want to consider it. It’s all about convenience for today’s consumers (and patients), so it’s becoming an expected norm to have the ability to shop online, bank online, see a doctor online with telehealth, etc. Managing their healthcare online is becoming part of that. It’s important to embrace this trend or run the risk of falling behind.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that make up a successful website. But you shouldn’t have to worry about all of this on your own. Your focus should be patient care. There are many professionals with different specialties out there who can help you build the right site.
We’re also here to help. Our practice management experts are available to support you. Schedule a consultation today!