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Your website is arguably your hospital or treatment center’s most important marketing asset, and if it isn’t bringing in enough new patients, it’s time to take a hard look at why.
Healthcare is in the midst of an incredible transformation driven by the new, digitally empowered consumer. Gone are the days where consumers relied on medical professionals to drive their health decisions—85 percent of patients say they are confident in their ability to take responsibility for their health and know how to access online resources to help them do so.
No longer can you count on your brand, your market share, or a consumer’s choice of health insurance to drive business to your practice. Today’s medical marketing strategies focus on enabling patients to make smart, easy, convenient healthcare choices—and it starts with your website.
Point-blank, if you want to attract and convert more patients in 2019 and beyond, you need to have an amazing healthcare website.
Below I’ll show you some of the ABSOLUTE BEST healthcare website design examples, and give you the rundown on the top 12 traits these medical websites have in common.
Ready for a new website? Contact us here »
Why Your Medical Website Design MATTERS
The modern patient’s expectations for your digital presence are shaped by their favorite digital experiences—regardless of whether that experience was with Amazon, Apple, Uber, or any other multi-billion-dollar company. In fact, over 75 percent of people have admitted to judging a company’s credibility based on their website design.
So, what does a GOOD healthcare website look like?
The Best Medical Websites All Have…
1. Online scheduling, Online Bill Pay, and Online Prescription Renewal
Patients need to be able to book, pay, and renew prescriptions right on your website—71 percent of millennials prefer online scheduling, and they won’t be alone for long as Baby Boomers get more comfortable with digital technology. Online booking is becoming a necessity, and Accenture predicts that by the end of 2019, 66 percent of health systems will offer self-scheduling and 64 percent of all patients will use self-scheduling systems.
Olathe Health has this down to a science.
If I’m a patient, I can get pretty much anything I need without scrolling down. They’ve got easy online bill pay, patient portals, and a doctor search front and center.
2. Customized patient portals where patients can easily access their health data
A full 89 percent of patients want easier, seamless access to their personal health records. If you don’t have a customer portal that’s easy to use, you need to talk to your web developer this week about it. Not next month, not next year—this week. You’re already behind the best in the business, and it won’t be long before you’re trailing far behind your competitors.
Olathe Health (again, above) nails the patient portal section. It’s customized with individual health tracking, appointment scheduling and reminders, and historical data.
3. Messaging capabilities and Virtual Appointments so patients can communicate quickly with providers
Telework, teleconference, now telecare?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed a quick opinion on a mysterious ailment or symptom. I’m not alone. Virtual appointments are all the rage, and they aren’t a trend that will pass—78 percent of consumers say they would be interested in receiving virtual health services, and virtual healthcare visits have increased from about 54 percent in 2014 to 71 percent in 2017.
If you don’t have virtual appointments and messaging capability, you’re already behind the best of your competitors and peers.
Michigan Avenue Primary Care does a great job with this. Their virtual appointment scheduler is front and center on their webpage, making it easy to access and schedule appointments.
4. Doctor or Specialist Lookup and an Internal Search Function
There are wayyyy too many symptoms, illnesses, and ailments for anyone who isn’t a doctor to remember them all. That’s why you need an internal search function—so patients can do research on their own. Patients also need to be able to get to know, trust, and learn about your doctors or specialists.
5. Emergency room wait times
If you have an emergency room, you need to add emergency room wait times. I know I will go to an emergency room based on wait time, and I know I’m not unique in that regard. If you have wait times on your website—bonus if you include maps—you’re significantly increasing your chances of attracting patients.
Check out Alliance Health’s wait time setup:
6. Proof of Your Medical Authority and Expertise
People want the best medical care—it’s part of the patient enablement transformation. Unfortunately, they’re also impatient, so you have a limited amount of time to convince them that your treatment center is the best. As a rule of thumb, your medical website’s homepage needs to have:
- Notable achievements
- Links to research papers and studies
- Rankings in “Best of” publications
- Doctor pedigrees
- Any other authority builders unique to your specialization
The Mayo Clinic’s website has NAILED this. You barely have to scroll down the page before you see these authority-builders:
7. A mobile-friendly interface
This is old news by now, but your healthcare website design needs to be mobile-friendly. About 62 percent of smartphone owners use their device to look up health information, and 82 percent of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local treatment center or health facility.
Not only that, but according to Google, 77 percent of smartphone owners have used their smartphones to find local health services in the past six months, and 79 percent of them say they’re more likely to revisit and/or share a mobile site if it is easy to use.
8. A healthy Supply of Videos
If you haven’t started investing in video marketing, you’re potentially missing out on a wealth of new patients. A video is 50 times more likely to rank organically in the search results than text pages, and in 2019, videos will account for 85 percent of online traffic in the US.
Not only that, but healthcare is a prime industry for video marketing because of how visual it is and how much trust comes into play between a doctor and her patient. Here are a few types of videos your healthcare website needs:
- Website welcome videos
- Physician profile videos
- Patient review videos
- Procedure and treatment overviews
- Educational videos on commonly asked questions or medical conditions
9. The Right Messaging
ZocDoc does this extremely well. The medical industry has a habit of using language that makes the average patient go “Huh?” By speaking the language your patients use, you’re more likely to connect with them.
10. Fast Load Times & an SSL Certificate
If you thought patients were impatient in person, they’re even more so online. They don’t like waiting for anything and expect your website to load fast.
Now, when I say fast, I don’t mean under 10 seconds, or even under 5 seconds—47 percent of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and if they’re browsing on a mobile phone that percentage jumps up to 53 percent.
Your website also needs to be secure (HTTPS instead of HTTP). You do this by getting an SSL certificate.
Not having a secure website is like waving a red flag for both search engines and cautious website visitors. This is a no-brainer for healthcare, but if for some reason your website isn’t secure, you’ve got a problem. Learn more about website security here »
11. A section for out-of-town patients
If you’re in a touristy area, this is a MUST.
Imagine this—a family is on vacation in Florida, and Grandpa has chest pain. It’s stressful and scary, not just because of the severity of the symptom, but because this family is thousands of miles from home and a doctor they trust, they’ve never been to Florida, and they don’t even know where the nearest hospital IS.
By having a section for out-of-towners, you’re giving them some peace of mind that yes, you’ll take care of them and you’ve taken care of other families far from home just like them. The Cleveland Clinic in Miami, FL does this extremely well:
12. Loads of Content Optimized for Search Engines
Healthcare patients have a million questions and 89 percent of them will go to a search engine to ask them. Here—I’ll show you:
I used an incognito browser (one that doesn’t track your search history and goes purely by international and national trends) and Googled “Why does my…” and every auto-populated suggestion except one was about a health concern:
If you want your website to appear at the top of the search engines for questions like this, your website needs to be optimized for search engines using medical SEO.
Here’s a tip—if you’re looking for some treatment center or hospital web design inspiration for your content, just use a search engine to find the most commonly asked questions from your patients. I wrote an entire blog JUST on how to do SEO for medical websites here, so be sure to check that out for more guidance.
Top 8 Healthcare Website Design Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you know what TO do, here are eight things you need to avoid at all cost in your healthcare web design:
- Your website does not tell a user right away why they should choose you
- Your website has font sizes that are too small and not user-friendly
- Your website has lots of links that open in new browser windows
- Your website has social media icons more visible than other pertinent information
- Your website hides things
- Your website has links and buttons too small to click
- Your website is missing H1 and H2 headings
- Your contact info, patient portals, and search functions are difficult to find
Why Healthcare Professionals Love Our Medical Website Designs
The strength of your website depends on the designer and launch execution. If you choose a subpar designer, you’re going to have a subpar website.
Since 2007, Blue Corona has specialized in custom, sales-driving web designs. Our work ranges from highly customized, enterprise-level web portals down to affordable web design services for small treatment centers and private practices—we guarantee you’ll find something you like. From design to content, our team will handle it all to give you a turnkey website:
- Hosting and coding
- Graphic design
- Advanced analytics tracking
- Optimization for SEO
- Existing content import
- New content creation
- Lead form creation and tracking
- Website compatibility across all browsers and devices
- Integration with social media pages
- XML sitemap creation and submission
- And more!
What’s more, you will 100% OWN your website—unlike a lot of other local healthcare website design companies that hold it hostage. You’d be surprised how many web design companies have hidden clauses in their contracts.
To put it simply, your website should be beautiful, thoughtfully laid out, and lead-focused. What you did in 2018 may not work anymore since patient preferences and digital access is advancing at breakneck speed. A professional web design and marketing company, like Blue Corona, can help with this.
Contact us for a free consultation—I promise, it’s painless!
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod