15 areas where most medical practice websites go wrong?
and how to fix the problems…
Your medical practice’s website is all about managing your patients and practices expectations, reputation and credibility.
Your website is commonly one of your patients first touch points with your medical practice.
Your website sets the expectations of your services and helps manage your reputation. In a nutshell, it’s all about your practice’s credibility. Website credibility is about making your website in such a way that it comes across as trustworthy and knowledgeable – BJ Fogg.
Credibility – Credibility is “a measure of how believable and trustworthy your practice is perceived to be.”
If your website isn’t credible, most people quite simply won’t want to use your services and look to use on of your competitors.
Here are the 15 areas where most medical practice websites go wrong…and how to fix them and add credibility to your practice:
No. 1 – Not having a website
In this digital age a website is a must.
90% of people check your website before contacting you - Hubspot.
Some medical practices, that are in their maturity, have patients knocking down their doors to use their services. This is ideal – But you still need a website. Why?
Your website can be used to streamline your practice with online appointment bookings or useful patient information such as – “What do you need for your first appointment?”
With front office staff spending as much as 30% of their time on the phone organising appointments a website with this functionality can reduce your overhead costs and improve your service levels to patients.
No. 2 – Having and old or dated looking website
What does your website say about your medical practice?
Does it say – Old and tired, or contemporary, modern, cutting edge?
Like it or not the appearance of your website counts and affects the perception of your medical practice.
Your website needs to personify your medical practice and it must be backed up by the look and feel of your reception area and your staffs approach and ethos.
No.3 – A tired or dated brand/logo
All brands age overtime.
It doesn’t mean a whole new look and feel for your practice. Most of the time, a simple refresh to invigorate your brand will go a long way to meet your patients modern expectations.
No. 4 – Old website content – Copy, images etc.
Website redesigns are expensive and take a lot of time, you should be checking your websites content at least every 12 months to ensure it’s up to date.
Here are some of the signs of old website content you should look out for:
You have a blog or a newsletter, but haven’t written an article in 6 months (or more)
Dated looking images
Social media – You haven’t posted in 6 months or more
Copyright date in the footer is not the current year
Photos and images have dated fashion
Dated web technology – Elements of your website are built in flash
Dated fonts and graphics
Your website is not built for mobile devices.
No. 5 – Poor website design
Like it or not people mostly do judge a book its cover and your website by its design.
Turns out, they judge quickly too (first impressions matter). It takes less than 0.5 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, whether they like your site or not or whether they’ll stay or leave or go to one of your competitors.
Most new patients will check 3 of your competitor websites before choosing their preferred practice.
Question: So what will build trust in the eyes of your patients?
Answer: Experience, education, medical memberships, services, expertise and more – Lets map these out:
Patients want to know –“I am in the hands of a safe, qualified, experienced medical professional.”
So, on your website:
Include a profile of your doctors, nurses and front office staff complete with education and experience
State how long your practice has been open and servicing the public
Show logos of your medical memberships
Show your fees and schedules
Indicate if you can give medicare rebates
Do you use an SSL certificate on your website?
Use the trusted and recognised logos that relate to your practice and education to help build trust.
No. 8 – Don’t overdo it
Don’t overcrowd your website pages with credibility elements – it has the potential to have the opposite effect.
You can overdo it in a few ways – Let’s take a quick look:
Overly Positive Reviews – Nobody is perfect. Too many positive reviews may have the opposite effect. Most people have a healthy level of skepticism. It’s called the ‘to good to be true’ effect and potentially turns people away from your practice. In other words, if a visitor sees nothing but 5 star reviews, they get suspicious.
Too many logos– Decorating your web pages with every logo in relation to your staffs education and professional memberships may also have a negative effect.
Choose the most known, relevant and up to date logos and information.
No.9 – Lack of images
Medical practices are all about dealing with people and their problems.
So show real images people including your front office staff, nurses and doctors.
If you can include a few images of your doctors seeing patients (with the patients permission) then these will go a long way to setting the right feel for your website.
You will be delighted at the results a simple iPhone camera shot can produce with some good lighting. Even including some images of your reception area and the outside of your practice can be a big help for patients trying to get a feel for or find your practice.
Avoid stock images if you can.
No. 10 – Poor grammar/typos
Attention to detail matters!
How much stock would you place in a website that is filled with poor grammar and typos?
Don’t delay – Just fix them.
No. 11 – Technical and usability problems
Make sure things works – Test your websites functionality.
Ensure your website’s links work and forms download properly. Everything that might seem broken or unprofessional will take away from your credibility.
Ensure your patients personal experience with your website is exceptional.
No. 12 – Bad publicity or other off-page indicators
Poor online reviews or other factors can obviously harm your practice’s reputation.
If you search for your practice on Google – what do you find?
Make sure you like those search results.
Your best defence in these situations is having a great feedback system in place. If you do find your practice in this situation try the following:
Investigate the claim
Listen to the problem
Make it clear patient satisfaction is the top priority
I am happily married to a doctor and have been for over 10 years. I know medical practice staff are always busy so I decided to use my website and online skills to help free up time, drive practice excellence and improve patient care.