By Steven Jacobs
A marketing website doesn’t have an end-date or use-by date. Instead, the effectiveness quietly fades away. Without an obvious signal, how do you know that it’s time for a new design? Here’s a healthcare website checklist of the things that top ranked sites have in common.
Healthcare Website Checklist: Characteristics
Most of all, if you miss the mark with these vital ingredients, it’s time to redesign and reconstruct your website:
[__] Website load speed is critical. Internet visitors expect instant answers. Therefore, faster is better. Advances in technology have spoiled us. We expect instant gratification online. As a result, if a web page doesn’t appear within a few seconds, visitors will click again and look elsewhere. What’s more, mobile users are more impatient than desktop users.
[__] Mobile friendly is a Google mandate. Google required all websites to be mobile friendly as of April 2015. Since then, the search engine giant has made good on its promise that poor websites would not rank high in search results. As a result, the mobile mandate recognizes that online searches—especially for health care—use a mobile device.
[__] Your Call-to-Action is crystal clear? Every page of a healthcare website needs to provide the visitor with a clear next step. Therefore, the call-to-action (CTA) inspires a response to move forward in the process. This needs to be enticing as well as obvious.
[__] Your site doesn’t look like a theme or template. Frankly, some pre-built sites are visually interesting. Although some D-I-Y sites “look nice,” they often invite big trouble. For one thing, there is a risk of duplicate content and the appearance of plagiarism. That’s something that search engines don’t like. Consequently, there’s no effective differentiation in a healthcare website that looks like many others.
[__] Flash doesn’t belong on your healthcare website. Flash software—used to create and play animations, etc.—was once a popular tool. But there are many good reasons to remove it these days. It turns out that Google doesn’t index flash content. And that hurts your search results placement. Plus, many of your iOS visitors may be in trouble. Apple mobile devices—iPhone, iPad, etc.—don’t support flash.
[__] Beware of “thin” content. In search engine optimization (SEO) terms, website pages that provide little or no value to the reader are “thin.” (And that’s not good for SEO.) Visitors move away when there’s little value for them.
[__] Are you posting a blog or new content regularly? The frequency of publication will vary for each situation. But your healthcare website must have new activity consistently. In addition, content needs to be substantive, interesting and/or “shareable.”
[__] Do you have schema-friendly reviews on your website? Without getting technical here, schema is code on your website that helps search engines deliver better quality information to the visitor. Consequently, a particularly useful example is Schema Reviews. This is what produces those yellow stars and ratings in the search results. Let’s talk about your website…
Top-ranked healthcare websites will share these characteristics. In conclusion, if your site is weak in one or more of these critical elements, please give us a call at 800-656-0907. Most of all, we can help with an SEO audit or digital marketing assessment.