The costs of not using your medical practice’s website effectively

Article updated August 2021

The costs of not using your medical website effectively

David Douglas

David Douglas

Director – Medical Website Solutions | Head of Health Marketing.
Over 15 years of website and online marketing experience.

Here are the affects it can have on your practice and how to avoid them:

Most medical practices have invested heavily in their website

It makes sense, as your website:

  • Works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Is visited by large portion of your patients before they decide to book a consultation with you
  • Should be your key marketing tool
  • Helps highlight your points of difference in an increasingly competitive marketplace
  • Helps combat the increasing cost of medical care and practice running costs
  • Helps convert people browsing your website into patients.

Ineffective medical practice websites do this

Ineffective medical practices websites:

  • Have out of date or have older information
  • Have images that look like they belong in the 80’s, 90’s or 00’s
  • Do not promote your practices latest services on the homepage banner
  • Have not been updated in the last 6 months
  • Do not have regularly updated Social media accounts 
  • Do not have mobile friendly website design
  • Hard to find on search engines (Google) for your patients commonly searched keywords.

Here are the potential consequences of not using your medical practices website effectively

Your practice can suffer the following from a poorly managed website:

Set and forget mentality – Most practices, after the initial website launch, don’t update it for 12 months – Missed opportunities and poor use of your most powerful marketing asset.

Reputation damage – Your website is a reflection or your medical practice. Is it professional and loaded with useful information that sets you up as the authority in your field, or something less.

Not mobile friendly – With now well over 50% of people accessing websites via mobile devices, if your website isn’t mobile friendly the chances are patients are finding your competitors who have a mobile friendly website.

Losing patients – Increasing competition and technology in medical care is seeing all medical professions work harder to attract patients. GP’s are being asked by patients to refer them to their choice of specialist. If you haven’t got your website right then you are losing patients and income.

Competition – You make the competition look more appealing if your website is poorly presented and managed.

Drop in Search Engine Optimisation rankings – If your Google rankings drop so does your website traffic and ultimately fewer potential patients finding you.

The statistics say – 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’ credibility based on their website design –


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Small changes can make a big difference

  • A 1% increase in patient numbers per month equates to a 12% increase in patients at the end of the year.
  • A 3% increase in patient numbers per month equates to a 36% increase in patients at the end of the year.

The difference between a well managed website and a poorly managed website can make a big difference to your practice’s reputation, practice revenue and patient care.

Improving website performance

6 areas where you can make your medical practice’s website more effective:

  1. Keep your websites content up to date
  2. Promote your practice’s services effectively
  3. Ensure your website is easy to find online
  4. Keep your website simple and easy to use
  5. Website content – Here are some ideas you should be utilising
  6. Put in place a website management plan.

1. Content not up to date

Nothing says unprofessional louder than:

  • Out of date copy, staff profiles or services
  • Dated or poor images
  • Unused social media accounts.

Content Management Plan

Have a website content management plan that:

  • Allocates tasks to a specific person regarding your website
  • Discuss ideas and topics for your website – Develop a calendar of events/topics to update your website with
  • Allocate a budget and time for updates, social media and new images.

We will outline more in this area in the website management plan – Point 6 in this article.

2. Promote your Services | The Latest Research | New Patients

I see a lot of medical practices miss opportunities in this space. There are a number of possibilities. Here are a few examples:

  • GP’s not promoting the flu vaccination at the start of Winter
  • Dentists not rotating their popular services on the home page of their website
  • Parental advice on what to do for sick children – Measles, colds, hygiene etc
  • Older adults services – Health checks
  • Holistic approach to care for centres that offer multi-disciplinary services
  • Surgeons that do not map out the process for New Patients
  • News, research and other items that may help patients researching popular health topics
  • What are the frequently asked questions from patients

All of these items help build trust in your services and can improve patient care.

3. Your website must be found easily

Your practice’s website must be listed on:

  • Business and appointment cards
  • Emails
  • Letterhead
  • Signage
  • SMS Services
  • Online business listings – Google Business, True Local, Yelp and others

Being Found on Search Engines – A large part of being found online is ensuring your practice is being found on local Google searches. This relates to Search Engine Optimisation. I won’t go into detail here. A great article to read further into this very important space is Search Engine Optimisation for Doctors.


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4. Keep your website simple

Here are some easy rules to follow:

  • Ensure you have an easy to navigate main menu – No more than 7 items
  • Focus on your main services – What are your main income drivers
  • Focus on your patients needs and what is helpful information to them – New patients section
  • Every page should have a single focus
  • Link to other pages only when necessary
  • Have easy to access contact details at the top of your website
  • Have a call to action near your key services.

5. Do you struggle for content for your website

Here are some ideas:

  • Run a feedback box with patients asking what they would like to see on your website
  • What are the most frequently asked questions at reception
  • During your next practice meeting allocate 5 minutes to generate website ideas
  • Look for seasonal influences – Flu, mouthguards, sun protection, strengthening exercises, statistics
  • What images go well with your website topics – New staff images or search for great stock shots.

6. Develop a Website Management Plan

In point 1 we touched on a website management plan. This should include:

  • Who is responsible for your website within your practice
  • Budget allocation – Think yearly hosting costs, new images, website updates
  • How much time is needed to maintain your website.

What’s required

  • Updating staff bio’s, images and website copy
  • Promotion of events and services
  • Sharing interesting information and statistics
  • Social media – Monitoring, responding and responding
  • Develop a calendar of events of what needs to be posted and when.

It doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, the simpler it is, the easier it will be to manage. Discuss and list concepts at your next staff meeting.

Email marketing calendar

I hope you enjoyed this article – The costs of not using your medical practice’s website effectively

This article was designed to help you take the basic steps to set your website up for success. Whilst this list is by no means exhaustive it provides the foundation you can use to improve your websites results.

David Douglas“Our strategic approach to website design and online marketing has delivered great results for the vast majority of medical practices we work with!
If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me.”

David Douglas
– Medical Website Solutions