Best Practices for Medical Website Development and Design
We recently came across an article written by a local dentist who made a great point: most dental websites (and other private practice websites for that matter) are saying the same things things to "attract" customers. These poor websites are being polluted with content like, "We use the latest technology," "We are [enter city name] 's leading [enter practice type] practice," "We are dedicated to serving our patients" or derivations of these abhorrent claims (in terms of marketing).
Websites need to be as unique as the practice they represent in order to be memorable and attractive to visitors; this is marketing 101.
Is this really a problem? Well, we did some research to validate our opinion. We Googled "New York Dentist" and read through the sites that turned up. Here are examples of the content we came across (all of them were on the first page of the Google results):
Practice A is dedicated to helping patients achieve the sense of wellbeing and increased confidence that a healthy smile can bring.
Welcome to Practice B of Lower Manhattan, a leading Dental Cosmetics and Specialty Care practice in New York City. At Practice B we understand the importance of a healthy, beautiful smile – that's why we offer a comprehensive array of dental services …
Our Practice C dental office is dedicated to providing the best possible dental care experience to our patients. Focusing on the individual goals of each patient, we deliver comprehensive dentistry in a convenient, relaxing and comfortable state-of-the-art setting.
So, what do you think? Are these exciting or boring? Are these memorable or forgettable? Do these make you want to schedule an appointment or contact the office for more information or do they make you want to keep surfing or close your browser altogether? We're guessing they do not excite you. They did not excite us.
Answer your visitors' questions
Content like this is completely wasted space because it does not do anything to differentiate its practice from competitive practices. In fact, this language is so bureaucratic that it may even turn some of today's web visitors off. This jargon is a complete contrast to the content that savvy web users consume and love (consider tweets that are limited to 140 characters, Facebook's status updates, and news tickers on a variety of news and investing websites). Today's visitors are looking for instant, short bursts of quality content. They are coming to websites asking questions like, "What problems does this practice fix?", "What results has this doctor produced?", "What makes this practice better than my other options?", "How can I schedule an appointment?" ", and" Where are they located? "
A site that answers questions like these will win. If your practice's site is saying the same thing as your competitors, then the chance of a patient choosing your office over another option is like asking them to flip a coin or settle for the most convenient location. You want patients who know what you offer and are willing to travel a long distance for it.
Visitors are smart
Practices should not make claims that are not verifiable. Many practices seem to be claiming that they are the leading provider of _____ in the city of _____. There can only be one leading practice in each city; someone is fibbing. Any practice can claim this because it's almost impossible to validate. Website visitors are smart – it only takes visiting a few other websites to realize something fishy is going on. Do not claim anything you can not back up.
Visitors do not care more about your latest accolades than their needs
Most awards are not worth bragging about on your prime web real estate. If you have to choose between bragging about receiving a trivial award or sharing an incredible set of before and after pictures on your HOMEpage, go with the set of pictures. Unless you've won an award that is highly coveted, patients will not really care. Website visitors are thinking about themselves. Deliver content that shows or tells them what you are capable to do to satisfify their needs and wants before talking about how great you are.
Accolades and achievements are not worthless, however. Some of your visitors will want to do a background check on your achievements. On your About page, provide a bullet list of the education you have attained, rewards you have received, your published research, and any other reliable and professionally-related experience.
Avoid stock images
Keep it simple, genuine, and personal
The private medical practice website development , design and content should be clear and succinct. First, answer your visitors' burning questions and demonstrate your ability to satisfify their needs (with testimonials or before and after photos). If they want to learn more, include a link to supplementary information.
Use high quality and unique images on your site to improve conversions. Do not use stock photos. If you are not comfortable getting in front of the camera, ask another member of your staff or even a patient to volunteer for a photograph. Most digital cameras these days take photos that are high quality enough to post on a website. Here is an article recently written on the value of including high quality images on your site and the drawbacks of using stock images.
Did you read the entire article? It was probably because we took a stance – something most blog posts do not do. Obviously, being different is engaging and refreshing.