There's a good chance that the next patient you see will have used the Internet to find information about your office. In order to make your information easy to find and universally accessible, your website should embody the idea that form follows function. Following these six simple tips will guarantee that your website looks polished and professional and that all visitors find what they need.
Tip 1: Focus on readability.
When it comes to websites, beauty takes a back seat to utility. Use the design principle "less is more", and follow ADA compliance guidelines to make your website readable to everyone. Here are some general rules:
Do not use Flash or large images. Many people in the US have outdated browsers or do not have broadband.
Use high-contrast color schemes with large, simple, dark fonts on a plain, light background.
Never embed animated pictures or music that automatically plays. They are unprofessional, and many Internet users find them annoying.
Tip 2: Design down, not out.
Due to historical web design, Internet users have come to expect menus on the left, information on the right, and downward scrolling. Menus on the top of the page can be too wide for users with small screens or screen magnifiers; scrolling down is easier than scrolling sideways. Keep your menu options clear and simple: About Dr. —, Specializations, Useful Links, and Contact Information.
Tip 3: Put your contact information on every page.
Since the menu is on the left, the best place for your contact information, including both physical and mailing addresses and office hours, is in the top right corner of every page. Consider placing it near the copyright at the bottom of the page as well. Web-savvy patients will check the copyright date to make sure your information is current. Include a map, written directions, and a link to Google Maps on your Contact Information page.
Tip 4: Be despite with your specializations.
List your specializations on the home page, including specific problems that you commonly handle. If you are a mental health practitioner with a faith-based approach, or if you practice or condone holistic or alternative medicine, make it clear on your home page, and be specific. Include details about your specializations in a separate Specializations page.
Tip 5: Let your personality guide your personal information page.
Your About Dr. — page lists your education and affiliated institutions, but it also gives new patients a feel for your office demeanor. Typically, you should write in the third person, avoid personal history, and limit your use of candid photos to two or three. These rules, however, were made to be broken. If you are very friendly and intimate with your patients, you can include whatever you like. Including your professional photo on this page and the home page is appropriate.
Tip 6: Share useful information.
On the Useful Links page, you can share links to external resources about general health, new treatments, or anything else that you find interesting. When sharing a link, always include a short description of the site. Be very selective with your links, and group them into small sections with headers. Check this page frequently for dead links.