The one aspect of your online presence that says the most about you and your healthcare practice is your healthcare practice website. It’s where many prospective patients form their first impression of your practice — so you have to appeal to them quickly. Long-standing research shows consumers form opinions while viewing a website in just 50 milliseconds.
While having an attractive, welcoming design can set the tone quickly, there’s a lot more to a successful, action-oriented website than stellar design. Today’s patients are looking for the perfect combination of visual appeal, easy usability, informative content, and convenience.
Their experience can mean the difference between a bounce (departing your site) or a newly booked appointment.
Convert more patients with these 7 website must-haves
No prospective patient can see your services if they don’t initially find your website, so driving traffic there is imperative. But the next step is equally important, and the true goal of your site: connecting with those patients in a way that leads them to schedule an appointment or contact you.
This requires a strategy. There’s a proven formula to improve your chances of converting online visitors into in-person patients. To start, here are seven website elements you’ll need to improve your conversion metrics.
1. A welcoming tone and design
Think of your healthcare practice website as your digital front door. Visitors have to feel welcome as soon as they arrive at your site. As a baseline, this means having a professional design and a tone that gives visitors a glimpse into the personality of your practice.
2. Descriptive, engaging provider bios
Part of the decision-making process for patients is whether they have enough information about any healthcare provider to trust that person as the right choice. Include engaging bios of your providers on your website so people can learn more about each one.
Do more than just rattle off your providers’ degrees and professional memberships. Offer insight into each doctor’s clinical interests, their care philosophy, and how they like to work with patients. Consider including a quote from the provider, and some personal interests and hobbies to further establish a human connection.
3. Comprehensive overview of care services
People search online for information, for answers to their questions. When patients seek care for a specific condition or a nearby specialist, you have an opportunity to show them you’re the expert in your field.
Create a single, designated web page for each condition you treat and service you provide. This gives you room to expand on each aspect of your specialty, and highlight your expertise and approach to care. Most important, this strategy helps propel your practice toward the top of search results, as you establish authority with search engines for the conditions and services you know best.
4. Online appointment scheduling
Giving patients the ability to schedule an appointment online is no longer a nice-to-have. Consumers expect that simple level of digital convenience, and when they don’t find it, they’re more likely to walk (or click) away.
In fact, 68 percent of patients say they’re more likely to choose a healthcare provider who provides the ability to book, change, or cancel an appointment online. When prospective patients can easily schedule or request a visit right from your site, they’re more likely to become new patients.
5. Telehealth options
With telehealth becoming a digital necessity during most of 2020, its utilization skyrocketed over the past 18 months. Most experts believe there’s no going back.
PatientPop survey data reveals that more than half of patients had a telehealth experience in 2020. More than 80 percent said they were satisfied with the experience, and 3 out of 4 patients said they would prefer another telehealth visit. These numbers represent a significant increase in patients’ comfort with virtual visits.
While telehealth isn’t appropriate for all visit types, it’s an efficient, convenient method of care delivery for routine check-ins or follow-up appointments.
6. Variety of patient communication options
When it comes to healthcare communication, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Some patients will always prefer to connect via phone, others may prefer email. Practices staying on top of patient demand are turning to text messaging, which has experienced massive growth as a communications channel for businesses, offering unrivaled immediacy and convenience.
Studies show that 85 percent of consumers prefer a text message over a phone call or email. By giving patients a variety of convenient communications options, practices can maintain patient loyalty and drive retention.
7. Prominent calls to action
When a patient lands on your website, taking action should be fast and easy. Focus on the patient experience and improve conversion by ensuring each page has a clear and easy-to-use call to action.
Keep in mind that conversion doesn’t always mean scheduling an appointment. Some patients may be simply seeking information and are not necessarily ready to take that step right away. However, having a call to action on every page will make it easy for visitors to follow through and participate in managing their health — whether that means scheduling an appointment, signing up for an email newsletter, or following your practice on social media.
What should you do next?
1. Schedule a free PatientPop demo.
2. Measure your website’s performance using our free scanner.
3. Watch our learning session on “Healthcare practice SEO: 3 tactics your competitors don’t use.“