The Two Must-Have Website Attributes for Healthcare Marketing

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

healthcare website design

It’s all about User Experience

We see a ton of healthcare, medical marketing and hospital websites in our work. We review them, we critique them and we provide advice how to improve them. And sometimes it’s downright frightening what we find.

Perhaps the scariest moment is when we discover a provider or healthcare organization that has no website at all. The only good news with that is it’s easier to work from a clean slate.

There are several dozen criteria on our checklist, but overall, two characteristics are fundamental to the website design. We don’t want to oversimplify, but generally, it’s all about the “user experience.”

CLARITY OF PURPOSE If you don’t know where you’re going, almost any road will take you there. So begin with the end in mind. In medical marketing, the purpose is often to answer a website visitor’s need in a way that inspires them to take action, typically to call to make an appointment.

Everything about the website design and function should lead the visitor—directly or indirectly—to that action step. And getting there needs to be intuitive, obvious and easy for the visitor.

EASE OF USE In our experience, and in customer polls, the one most important criteria of visitors is that a website should be EASY for them to use. The user is not visiting the site to bestow awards for “pretty” or “flashy.” It’s not easy for the visitor if they are bombarded with clinical information or unnatural navigation.

The appearance and functionality of the website design can’t get in the way of what they seek and the solution you provide. Make it easy for them to use.

So how do you know if you’ve achieved website “usability?”

The early test for a website is not artistic “creativity” or beauty of design. An effective, marketing-smart healthcare website is ease of use in achieving a defined purpose.

Watch while visitors actually use your site. This isn’t always convenient to arrange, but when you can stand over someone’s shoulders, and monitor how they go through the website, you begin to understand how they interact with what you’ve presented online. This is not a member of the staff or a friend of the family. It should be a typical user. Even better, observe several users.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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