Physician websites aren’t entirely different from other websites. SEO best practices apply to all sites regardless of the field or specialty, but there are special considerations for physician websites. Keep these factors in mind when you work on your practice’s website.
1. You may not have much competition.
A surprising number of physicians in private practice have no website at all. Plenty more have outdated, poor quality websites with generic content and little information about the doctor or doctors in the practice.
A lack of competition in a digital space gives you the opportunity to soak up potential patients searching for medical information online.
Check out your competition online and make sure that your website offers the best experience.
2. Your website is your first impression.
While patients may read about you at HealthGrades or see your social media pages, their first impression of you is often based on your website. If you have an outdated, unprofessional website, potential patients will conclude that you have an outdated, unprofessional practice.
Even if the quality of healthcare that you provide isn’t reflected by the quality of your obsolete website, many patients won’t give you the opportunity to prove it.
3. Pay attention to web best practices.
Your website doesn’t have to be trendy, but it absolutely shouldn’t have a splash page, a Flash introduction, or buttons that say, “Click Here.”
Make sure that your website follows HIPAA regulations and that it is accessible under ADA requirements.
4. You may be surprised by how important your photo is.
Patients may not have a complete understanding of what your certifications mean, but they are very likely to have feelings about you based on your photo. Make sure you look both competent and warm.
Consider using other photos besides just headshots, too. Pictures of physicians and staff interacting can help prospective patients imagine themselves having a positive experience in your office.
5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Both Google and patients appreciate a mobile-friendly website. A responsive web design is a must-have, but also consider how the user would interact with your site on a mobile device.
It’s a good plan to have your phone number and a map to your office at the top of the mobile version of your website.
6. Physician websites aren’t just for marketing.
Your practice’s website can and should introduce your practice to new patients. But your website can also do a lot for your current patients.
Provide health information they can rely on, link to your patient portal, and make it easy to book an appointment.
7. Make essential information is easy to find.
Patients want to know whether you’re accepting new patients, what kind of insurance you accept, and what kinds of health issues your practice works with.
Your front desk staff would rather they didn’t have to answer those questions. Have the information readily available, not hidden on a hard to find FAQ page.
8. Include forms to streamline check ins.
Speed things up for your guests and your office staff by making forms available online so patients can fill them out ahead and time; people are beginning to expect this convenience.
Have PDF forms your patients can download and print out or interactive forms they can fill out online and upload.
9. Have information sheets available as PDFs, too.
If there are information sheets you often hand out, such as instructions for at-home exercises, nutrition guides for prenatal patients, or instructions for using home health gear — upload these to your website.
That lets you send patients a link to the information they need, and they can download or print the information themselves.
10. Encourage your staff to direct patients to your website.
Whether they encourage patients to read a blog post that’s relevant to their concerns, help them find the patient portal, or draw their attention to a check-in button, your front desk staff can help get patients in the habit of using your website. This increases the value of your service — and brings more traffic to your site, too.