Often, practices are so busy with their day-to-day operations that they don’t think about their marketing, including key components like their websites. We’ve worked with medical practices for over 20 years, and it’s not uncommon for practices to let their websites get very outdated, either from a technology or information standpoint.
With more and more patients going online to look for a doctor, your website is likely to be one of the first things potential patients see about your practice. With that in mind, take a look at your website now–would you be happy with the first impression your website makes? If not, it might be time to redesign your website.
Redesigning your practice’s website can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? It helps to establish your priorities so that you can get the most out of your newly-redesigned website. In our experience, we have found user-friendliness is critical to getting the most out of your website redesign. With that in mind, we recommend looking at these aspects of your website to determine whether or not you should redesign your website.
1. Is it mobile-friendly?
People are constantly on-the-go, especially in large cities, and smartphones and tablets are so common now that people expect websites to be user-friendly on these devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, these visitors will just move on to another site
We have found that, on average, the majority of our clients have about 40% of their website traffic coming from mobile devices and tablets. Mobile usage rates have only continued to grow over the years. For those that have not upgraded to a mobile-friendly design, mobile users are having to scroll around, zooming in and out to read the website’s content and click links. This type of experience often means that a higher percentage of users leave the website after viewing just one page. With all of the mobile-friendly websites out there, patients just don’t want to deal with a website that is difficult to view on mobile.
With that said, if you are considering a redesign of your website, make sure mobile usage is a top priority.
2. Is it easy to find key information?
Can patients find the information they need on your website? If you have patient forms or appointment request buttons, are your patients using them?
The best way to test the current effectiveness of your website is to ask someone who has never been to your website to complete a few key tasks, like finding your location, requesting an appointment, and finding your practice’s specialties. Don’t give them any information on how to complete the tasks. Based on their feedback, you should have a good idea of whether or not your website is easy to navigate.
If you aren’t seeing the type of interaction you’d like from your practice’s website, a redesign could help with reorganizing your content in a way that is easy for patients to find.
3. Is your website modern enough (in design & technology)?
Technology changes and evolves over time. Many people upgrade their phones and computers every few years. Search engines and web browsers are also constantly adding new updates and features. Your website also needs to evolve to keep up with these changes.
If you let your website get too out-of-date, you may find that your website is limited in its capabilities, and may even lose out on ranking in search engines. There are a few things that are now expected of modern website, yet we see quite a few practices that do not meet those standards.
Not sure if your website very outdated? We like to use the iPhone as a rule of thumb when assessing whether or not a website should be designed. What iPhone was out the last time you redesigned your website? Our technology changes rapidly, and you have to consider this when assessing your website. To make it easy, we’ve put together this handy chart for you:
What iPhone Came Out the Year Your Website Was Designed?
2008: iPhone 3G
2009: iPhone 3GS
2010: iPhone 4
2011: iPhone 4S
2012: iPhone 5
2013: iPhone 5S & iPhone 5C
2014: iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
2015: iPhone 6s
2016: iPhone SE
2016: iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
2017: iPhone 8 & 8 Plus
2017: iPhone X
2018: iPhone XS & XS Max
2018: iPhone XR
2019: iPhone 11
Is your website a little older than you thought? There are a few things you should prioritize to get it up-to-date from a technology perspective. First is having a responsive design. This calls back to having a mobile-friendly website. A responsive design can adapt to the variety of screen sizes available on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop monitors. New screen sizes are always being introduced, but with a responsive design, your website will look great on any screen size–no pinching or zooming required. It’s a great way to “future-proof” your website for new trends in screen sizes.
From a technology perspective, it’s also important to have a secure website (https). Most web browsers have prominent notifications if a website is not secured. As a medical practice, it’s even more important to have a secure website if you have any online forms where patients can submit information. A secure website, via an SSL certificate, will ensure that patient information is kept safe, reducing your risk of a HIPAA violation. While you do not need to redesign your website to get an SSL certificate, if you are already considering it, make sure security is part of the process.
4. Has your practice undergone any major changes (branding or mergers)?
If your practice has had major changes in branding, whether due to a merger or simply a marketing choice, it is important to make sure that your website reflects this, as well. Updating your practice’s name and color schemes, logos, and/or fonts throughout the entire site can already be quite an undertaking. If you are considering a redesign, a branding change would be a good time to do it so that you can start fresh with a new design.
Ultimately, it’s time to redesign your practice’s website if it’s no longer meeting the needs of your practice or your patients. If you do decide to move forward with a redesign, we strongly encourage you to consider the elements we discussed above. You want your new website to look great, but more importantly, you want it to meet industry standards and make your patients feel comfortable with booking an appointment. A flashy new website that doesn’t help you get patients is not a worthwhile investment.