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6 Little Things Missing from Your Website (That Make a Huge Difference)

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Person holding their head down on desk in frustration in front of a computerDoctor websites can often be insightful and educational. But is that really all you need for your hospital or practice website to be complete?

6 things all doctor websites need

Of course, all doctor websites are going to be different. Some are suited for before-and-after photos, while some are primarily focused on showing their compassionate care. Every website has different branding and features, depending on what they've invested in and what patients need.

But there are some things that all doctor websites should have. If you're missing these 6 things, your website isn't complete.

Related: 10 Biggest Myths of Healthcare Marketing

1. Testimonials

84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. In most cases, testimonials are perfectly ethical and help to guide prospective patients to make the right choice. However, we do understand that some boards will not allow you to use certain types of testimonials (if any at all) in your advertising. In that case, keep reading; the next section will be crucial for communicating your level of care.

Of course, there are those who would gladly post testimonials, if only they had any. It’s time to get serious about collecting patient feedback. You can always hand out cards asking for reviews from certain sites. But by far, the best system we've found is an automated platform that seeks testimonials from your most qualified patients via email. (Give us a call at 800-656-0907 for more information about how this works.)

2. Benefit-driven copy

Copy throughout your website should always answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” In other words, why should a patient choose your practice or hospital over a local competitor? You can answer that questions through imagery (more on this later) and testimonials. But there are many misconceptions on how to convey this through writing.

When a patient clicks on your hospital or doctor’s office website, they are not typically seeking information about their pain points or condition. While many doctor websites are focused on education, marketers know that prospective patients have likely done some preliminary research, and will respond more to benefit-driven copy.

What do you have to offer the patient (aside from your expertise) that other practices don’t have? Your answer should use the word "you" as much as possible. You will feel less pain, notice a quick recovery, or benefit from more 1-on-1 time with the doctor. 

3. High-quality imagery

Imagery is an often-overlooked part of a hospital or doctor website, even though it’s the first thing people notice! Sometimes, our clients can become so focused on providing quality content on a website, they overlook the photos.

But photography is important. Use photos potential patients can relate to, shots that represent your target demographic, looking and feeling their best. Blurry photos and overly graphic photos (especially without any warning) are a no-no.

You can read more about medical stock photos and common practice photography mistakes here.

4. Information for referring physicians

Your website is where referring physicians may look to decide whether you’re someone they’d like to refer to. The copy throughout your website gives them the information they want to know about your services and level of care. A section for referring physicians lets them know you’re doing everything you can to make it easy for them. It’s a simple addition to your website that can make a world of difference with patient volume.

However, most doctors lack a good strategy for physician referrals in the first place—often because they simply don’t know where to start. Click here for more help with doctor referral building strategies that go beyond a few lines of text on a website.

5. On-page SEO

“On-page” SEO for doctors (Search Engine Optimization) refers to all of the actions you can take on your website to boost visibility in the search engines. Many people think of on-page SEO as keyword optimization—using keywords throughout your content so Google recognizes what your website is about.

But it’s about much more than this. Keywords are important in your content, but you'll also need to optimize the backend—using title tags and optimizing images, for example. You should consider an SEO expert to help with these steps. Keep in mind that you may not see results for 6 months to a year.

6. A call-to-action (CTA)

A prospective patient is considering your services and has landed on your website. What action would you like them to take? This should be extremely clear to a would-be patient.

Would you like patients to call your number? Keep that number at the top of every page and make it easy to find. Do you want patients to "book an appointment"? Repeat that exact wording in calls-to-action throughout the site.

For more information about doctor websites and our work with practices and hospitals around the country, call Healthcare Success at 800-656-0907.

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