Breathe life into your medical practice website
A lot of doctors only see their website as a digital business card to explain what they specialize in and where they’re located.
Done right, your website funnels patients into your office and establishes you as a thought leader.
Here are nine elements to develop on your website to attract new patients and grow your business:
Your website has the potential to be your best salesperson and a marketing machine. It should be built strategically, with clear goals in mind that focus on:
- Increasing patient volume
- Establishing you as a medical authority
- Educating your patients
- Building trust with your prospects
- Providing better quality of care
2. Unique value proposition (UVP)
One of the most important things your website should communicate is your UVP. The way you arrive at your UVP is by establishing your niche—knowing which treatments you excel at and which patients you help better than any other doctor. Once you’ve identified these core strengths, you can hone your website’s messaging to reflect this unique positioning.
Here’s an example from the Southern California Reproductive Center, a clinic that specializes in in-vitro fertilization.
3. Focus on the user
People land on your site looking for solutions or to learn more about why you’re a better option than your competitors. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to find and consume the information they need.
Common impediments to avoid include:
- Duplicate content. Don’t recycle the same content across all of your sites without adding any unique value other than swapping out the logo and contact information.
- Generic content. In an industry that revolves around personal treatment, your content needs to educate, engage and build trust among your prospects.
- Information overload. Too many options overwhelm your visitors and make your calls to action impossible to find. Clarity and simplicity are key. Keep it simple and the message will be that much more helpful.
- Bad writing. Your website content needs to be written for the user. Communicate benefits. Don’t talk down to your readers or go over their heads with technical or medical jargon. Find a way to communicate urgency when necessary without fear-mongering.
4. Offer more than a “contact us” or a “consultation request” button
Many of your website visitors are not ready to make a decision. They are researching options and evaluating you as a possible candidate to help them.
Turn more of those anonymous visits into leads by giving visitors something of value in exchange for their contact info:
- Guides explaining complex procedures for new patients
- E-books detailing treatment options and protocols
- HIPAA-compliant case studies or patient success stories
- Q&A-style webinars to answer common questions
This free e-book from HeartValveSurgery.com is an effective way of converting patients who may need some more information before committing to a surgical procedure.
5. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is about more than using the right keywords. There are “on-page” and “off-page” components that you have to get right:
- Make sure all content is indexable, including images, videos and plugins
- Make sure your link structure is crawlable
- Use friendly URL structures
- Optimize pages, title tags and meta-descriptions
- Avoid duplicate content
- Build quality links
- Share and promote your content
- Optimize for local and mobile search (see below)
6. Optimizing for mobile
Approximately 58 percent of mobile users search for local businesses on their smartphone daily; 89 percent search weekly, and 70 percent of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour.
Mobile optimization factors that promote a positive user experience include:
- Larger, legible fonts
- Fast load speed
- Bullet lists and pared-down text
- Simpler navigation and fewer internal links
- Fewer images
Make sure you have a responsive website that is easy to read, navigate and interact with, like this one from the Migraine Relief Center:
7. Optimizing for local search
Like mobile, local search has a unique set of ranking factors that you should be aware of and optimize for. Local search involves any keyword that is geographically qualified such as, infertility treatment in Santa Barbara.
Ranking well for local searches hinges on the following:
- Optimizing the location page(s) on your website (especially important for practices with multiple locations)
- Links back to your site from other trusted local websites
- The accuracy, volume and consistency of your practice’s business listings across select directories on the web
Read a more in-depth study on local ranking factors here.
8. Patient testimonials
In-depth “patient success stories” can have a huge impact on converting on-the-fence prospects into patients.
The La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Center features several patient testimonials on their website. Each patient offers insights into:
Why they chose to get surgery
How they felt before and after their procedures
Other aspects of their experience
9. Not blogging strategically
Strategic blogging is centered around an in-depth understanding of your ideal patients and what they’re searching for online.
Your blog should:
- Develop “ideal patient” profiles
- Determine the challenges they have and the questions they’re asking
- Provide information regarding keywords used to search for answers
The Migraine Relief Center struck gold with their post on daith piercings for migraine relief that saw over 115,000 views from organic searches alone.
Remember, your website is your best salesperson and a marketing machine. Make sure it’s working to help build your practice and drive patients to you.
Shareef Defrawi is president and founder of Bonafide. The original version of this article appeared on his blog.