For the healthcare industry, the design of, and content within, your website could be the deciding factor between a prospective client choosing you for their needs over your competitors.
For health service providers in fields such as prosthetics, plastic surgery, stem cell storage and treatment, spinal health, birth and women’s health, physical and occupational rehabilitation, addiction treatment, and the thousands of others who operate outside of the traditional model, it is crucial to attract and engage with prospective clients as they conduct research on providers for their needs.
The problem is, many providers offer the same industry jargon in their content, the same generic stock photos, and the same uninspired taglines as most of the other providers in their field.
As a health services provider in a competitive industry, does your website stand out from your competitors? Does it really tell your story to a prospective client the way you would tell it to them in person at their first visit? Is it warm and engaging? Do you gather any information from visitors to help you understand what they’re looking for, and do you provide them exactly what they’re looking for? Most importantly, is it easy for visitors to get exactly what they need from your website?
When designing your new website, consider these important factors:
1) Who is your real audience?
Often, health services providers will have multiple audiences for the same services. They may have primary care physicians, social workers or surgeons providing referrals, adult children researching options for their parents, individuals researching their own options, and so on.
Even within each of these categories, there may be different personas, such as individuals who may be self-paying vs. covered by insurance, or locals vs. those who need to travel and stay for a length of time.
Be sure to identify all of the unique personas who may come to your website to find information and make or support a decision, and offer them what they’re looking for.
2) Are you speaking the language of your prospective clients?
As noted above, different people with varying levels of knowledge about your services or medical terminology, may be looking for information on your website.
Be sure you’re providing it to them in a way that’s easy for them to understand, while offering answers to their most important questions.
Often, health services providers will write their website content in a level that’s beyond the comprehension of their target audience; be sure to get your points across in a way that’s simple for the audience to understand.
If you’re writing for people of varying levels of knowledge, you may want to lead them each to pages that are specific to their needs.
3) What image are you portraying?
No doubt that when you designed your facility, you gave much thought to the experience you wanted your clients to have.
Dentists are known to have fish tanks and plants to put their patients at ease, pediatricians offer toys, puzzles, and child-size seating, and plastic surgeons highlight before-and-after treatment photos in their lobbies.
When reviewing your website, ask yourself whether a visitor there has a similar experience as the one you’ve created in your physical location. If the two don’t match, it’s important to focus on fixing this in your website redesign.
4) If you removed your logo and replaced it with the logos of your competitors, would you recognize your brand?
This is an issue with organizations in all industries: it is often virtually impossible to distinguish competitors from each other based on their websites alone.
Health services companies often neglect to highlight their competitive advantages prominently on their websites.
Were you ranked at the top of client surveys? Do you have a high rate of positive outcomes? Do you have an innovative practice, service, or access to technology that stands out in the industry? How are you different from the rest, and why should someone choose you over your competitors?
5) Are you gathering information from prospective clients and building relationships?
This one can get tricky with HIPAA compliance and other privacy regulations that may affect your business, so I’ll preface it with the understanding that this may not be applicable to all organizations.
For many health services providers, however, there is a level of information that you can request from website visitors which you can then use to deliver them information and resources that are applicable to their needs.
Perhaps you can offer them a guide to choosing the provider or treatment that’s right for them, or you can case studies of others who have been in similar situations and seen positive outcomes.
In order to download this high-value content, they would provide their email address (at a minimum) and opt-in to receive more information from you that’s applicable to their needs.
From that point forward, you can provide them resources and support based on their particular needs, and lead them toward making a decision to meet with you.
6) Are your goals well-defined, and do you have reporting in place?
Do you have an inbound marketing strategy in place, with specific goals for your website and online marketing initiatives that are monitored on a regular basis (usually monthly, quarterly, and annually)?
This is a key factor in redesigning your website: ensuring that your new site is developed in a way that leads visitors toward actions which result in generating new and repeat business for you.
7) Will your new website help you achieve your SEO goals?
Search engine optimization, when handled correctly, can position your website for substantial growth over the long term, and support your organization’s marketing goals at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
To learn more about the impact of a website redesign on SEO, download our free guide!