When someone looks for a new doctor these days, the first step they take is usually a quick Google search. Even if they ask for recommendations from friends or check online review sites, we all know that they will end up checking out the practice’s website before settling on a new physician.
So beyond simply having a website, you need to be sure it provides visitors what they need. A few features can make the decision to book an appointment a whole lot easier. Is your website missing any of them?
Nothing is more frustrating than searching and searching for the info you need on a website. So make sure your site visitors don’t feel that frustration—put your navigation menu in an obvious spot, preferably across the top.
It’s also very important to make the menu labels very clear. It can be tempting to get creative with labeling, but no one wants to have to guess what a menu item means. For example, don’t give the page with information for new patients “Housekeeping” or some other similarly unclear title. Label it “Patient Forms” or “New Patient Info” or some other name that clearly identifies the information they will find when they click on it.
One other tip for your navigation menu is to avoid dropdown menus when possible. User experience research shows that dropdown menus are an annoyance for users and multiple annoyances will turn them away. Sometimes a dropdown makes a lot of sense – just use them judiciously and make sure they are well-designed.
Location Page with Maps
Make it easy for your patients to find your office by providing all of your contact and location information on one page. Include the official name of your practice, the address including suite numbers, city, and zip. Include an email and a phone number, and even a fax number in case your patient needs to pass it on to their insurance.
It’s also helpful to provide a map. Google makes it very easy to embed a map with directions to your location.
If there are special instructions for parking, elevator use, or anything else that will make it easier for your patient to find your office, include those on this page as well. Images of the building exterior and the entrance to your suite provide a helpful visual reference for first time visitors to your practice.
If you have more than one location, include all of this information for each of them, clearly labeling them to avoid confusion.
The number of people who access the internet on their mobile devices continues to rise, with 81 percent of Americans now owning smartphones. Make sure your website works for them by providing a mobile responsive site.
Mobile responsive means that the layout, font size, and arrangement of information on the page will adjust based on the size of the screen being used to view it. This makes it much easier for a person to find the information they need when they need it. For example, they may view your site on a laptop when setting up their appointment but use their mobile phone to view the map you provided on appointment day. A mobile responsive site gives the best experience possible based on the device being used.
This is beneficial for patients and critical for Google ranking. Your site can be boosted in mobile searches if Google recognizes it as mobile friendly.
When visiting the doctor there are so many questions a new (or returning) patient will have. What paperwork needs to be filled out? What if I need to reschedule? How do I access my lab results? What are the office hours? The list goes on.
Gather common questions and their answers in one place and organize them so it’s easy for a user to find the appropriate information. Navigating the healthcare system is time-consuming and confusing—this feature can help streamline at least a small part of the process for your patients and make it a little bit easier for them.
This is the piece of the medical website that often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But there are many benefits to creating a blog on your neurology website. They may include
- Acting as an extension of your time with your patient to explain diagnoses or treatments,
- Addressing questions you hear frequently from patients,
- Pleasing the search engines, and
- Showcasing your expertise.
Investing a little bit of time each month into adding useful content to your website in the form of a blog can yield great results by building trust in your expertise and improving search engine rankings. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
In the end, it can be easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of fancy website design. But if the basics aren’t in place, great design will get you nowhere. If you are not sure what’s missing on your site, it can help to solicit the assistance of patients, or even friends. Have them try to make an appointment or find information they need for their appointment day. Ask them to make notes about extra steps they have to take, information that is difficult to find, or annoyances in using the site. By addressing these issues, you know your website is working for your patients—and therefore working for you.