Web Design for Your Medical Practice

Does your medical practice need a new website?

(If you have to ask, the answer is probably yes.)

Having said that, there’s quite a big difference between knowing that you need something and knowing how to do it.

You know your site needs to look appealing and provide valuable information. But that alone isn’t necessarily going to guarantee a line of patients outside your door.

There’s a lot more to great web design than a pretty homepage and spiffy animations. Trust us—we’ve built plenty of medical practice websites, and seen many (built by others, of course) that might have looked great, but just plain didn’t work.

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Great Web Design Starts with Strategy

Some web developers promise you a website in a matter of days. Buy your domain, pick your template, drop in some copy for the homepage, and you’re off to the races. They might even throw in a “patient library” of pre-written canned content about bunions, ingrown toenails, and other conditions.

Could you do that? Sure, you could. If you’re not all that concerned about getting more patients, that is.

However, if you really want a great website that actually works, you’re going to have to be a little more intentional about planning and strategizing than “pick your template.”

Before we start to build your website (and we will build it, from the ground up), there’s a lot of things we need to take into account.

For example:

Your Branding

What are your logo and colors? (We can help you develop these if you don’t have any or you need a refresh.)

The target conditions you treat and services you provide.

What areas of the practice do you really want to grow? What do you specialize in? What separates you from your competition?

The demographics of your area, and your target patients

Do you deal with mostly an elderly community, or young and active families? Are you happy with your current patient demographics, or are you trying to target a specific type of patient?

Your current marketing efforts and internal systems

Your website can be built to integrate with existing (or new) database marketing efforts, online scheduling calendars, or even include a portal where patients can pay their bills, access their medical records, refill prescriptions, etc. Which of these systems do you currently have in place? Which would you like?

The answers to these and other questions inform every aspect of your digital marketing strategy, including how your new website will be built, designed, and optimized.

In other words, the goal is to give you the best possible foundation and platform to reach the specific, unique, and personal goals you’ve set for yourself and your practice—not just a generic, template-based site that looks and sounds just like everyone else’s.

You Need Unique, Valuable Content that Users (and Search Engines) Will Love

So, for most practices, this is where things go completely off the rails (if they haven’t already).

Developing unique and effective content is one of the most difficult aspects of building an effective medical website, but it’s also one of the most valuable.

Great content:

 

Informs and delights readers

 

Mirrors the communication style and tone that you use with your patients in-office

 

Is specific about the technology and procedures you use in-office (where appropriate), rather than just repeating generic information

 

Establishes trust and builds relationships between the physician and patients

 

Is unique (i.e., is not from a shared third-party library)

 

That last point—uniqueness—matters because of how Google prioritizes pages in search.

See, the whole point of an information library (aside from patient education) is to help draw more search traffic in your local area. In other words, if somebody is suffering from an ingrown toenail near your office, and you have a page about ingrown toenails on your website, you’re more likely to show up near the top of the results page on a search about the topic.

But Google can tell whether your page is truly unique, or just copied and recycled from countless other sites across the net. And if it flags your page as duplicate, you get penalized in search rank.

Writing the copy fresh not only allows you to fill it with your own distinctive personality and style, and highlight your particular office procedures and approach, but will also just plain perform better in search results. Plus, it’s more fun to read and more likely to trigger a conversion!

During the strategy phase of the development process, we’ll conduct a content interview with you.

A big part of this is figuring out which pages to write about and focus on site—which conditions, specialties, or other service categories need star billing.

But it’s also our opportunity to hear you talk about your practice in your own words and your own style. That way, we can do a better job “channeling” your voice so that, when patients read, they hear it coming from you, not some slick marketer. People today crave authenticity, and capturing your voice creates that trust.

 

UI and UX: Your Site Will Go Nowhere Without a Clean Interface and Solid User Experience

User interface and experience is crucial. 

See, it’s not enough that your website looks beautiful graphically, with all the right colors and images. And all the great content in the world won’t matter if users don’t know what’s there, can’t find what they’re looking for, and have no idea what they’re being asked to do. 

I mean, it’s obvious, isn’t it? If your website is badly organized—and visitors have a bad experience—they aren’t going to read the content you’ve written. More importantly, they aren’t going to fill out a contact form or call for an appointment. 

Instead, they’re going to click away and find another website they can understand. Google will hear that loud and clear, and direct search traffic away from you and toward your competitors. 

What does great UI look like? Glad you asked. Users need:

01

To know where they are.

Right from the first instant they hit the homepage—without even scrolling—they should be able to tell, “yup, this is a podiatrist in my area with high professional standards.” Engaging colors and graphics and a clear headline are hugely important.

01

To know where they are.

Right from the first instant they hit the homepage—without even scrolling—they should be able to tell, “yup, this is a podiatrist in my area with high professional standards.” Engaging colors and graphics and a clear headline are hugely important.

02

To know what they can do.

If I’m looking for a specific page or piece of content, I need to know right away where I can find it—and it shouldn’t take me more than one or two clicks to get there. That means well organized menus, eye-catching call-out boxes, clear and understandable headlines and buttons, etc. 

02

To know what they can do.

If I’m looking for a specific page or piece of content, I need to know right away where I can find it—and it shouldn’t take me more than one or two clicks to get there. That means well organized menus, eye-catching call-out boxes, clear and understandable headlines and buttons, etc. 

03

A reason to do it.

“Yeah that’s great—but why should I care?” You need to give compelling reasons for why a potential patient should schedule an appointment with you. That includes well-placed calls to action and a high emphasis on how your services can meaningfully improve the lives of your patients—not just dry, technical information about qualifications or treatment procedures. 

03

A reason to do it.

“Yeah that’s great—but why should I care?” You need to give compelling reasons for why a potential patient should schedule an appointment with you. That includes well-placed calls to action and a high emphasis on how your services can meaningfully improve the lives of your patients—not just dry, technical information about qualifications or treatment procedures. 

Beyond these basics, there are a few other important things to be concerned about:

 

Load Speed

We touched on this briefly earlier. Simply put, if users have to sit around and wait for webpage to boot up, they’re going to lose interest and click away. Poor page speed can be caused by a variety of factors—inefficient code, too many ultra-high-res images or videos, poor server performance, an outdated CMS, etc. When we build websites, we optimize them for high performance—without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. 

Mobile Responsiveness

It’s a good bet that more than half of people who visit your website are doing it on a mobile phone. This is true today even for medical websites. So even if your website is a thing of beauty on a desktop or laptop, you’ve got a big problem if it looks like junk, is hard to use, or runs poorly on a phone. We build websites with responsive designs, meaning the layout changes depending on the device—and looks great and runs smoothly on any platform. 

The Launch of Your Website Is Not the End. It’s a New Beginning.

So, for most practices, this is where things go completely off the rails (if they haven’t already).

Developing unique and effective content is one of the most difficult aspects of building an effective medical website, but it’s also one of the most valuable.

Great content:

 

Fresh content.

Google likes websites that update regularly with fresh, valuable content for users. If traffic is middling and the website has remained static for too long, you’ll begin to fall in search rankings.  

One of the best ways to keep a site relevant is by blogging. (But remember, quality is still better the quantity—a great blog once or twice a month is better than quick posts no one cares about every day.) 

Routine maintenance.

It’s important to ensure your website remains up-to-date with the latest security patches, updated software, and other technical support—and that when updates do occur, they don’t adversely affect performance. 

Regular audits and analytics.

Here’s a scenario that’s more common than you might think. A page is performing great in search, and then, suddenly … it isn’t! Traffic goes off a cliff. 

It could be that Google updated its search algorithm. Or, it could be that people aren’t using the same keywords. Or maybe there’s a new competitor in your space. 

By regularly monitoring your site performance and traffic data, you can identify these challenges quickly and respond to them effectively—whether that means developing new content, adjusting your on-page SEO, etc. 

Promotion.

A strong website with good SEO is a solid foundation, but you still need to get the word out! The other components of your digital marketing strategy—social media, database and e-mail marketing, third party listings (Google, Yelp, etc.), online reviews, etc. all contribute to pushing your site to the top of the rankings (and keeping it there).

Good News: You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

As you can see, there’s a lot more to great web design than just filling in a template. And just because you build something that’s great today doesn’t mean it’ll still be great tomorrow without hard work and energy. 

So, you could learn how to design and code a custom website, write a bunch of high quality content, become an expert in analytics, web management, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, etc.—all while continuing to serve your patients with high quality medical care. 

OR 

You could hire somebody to build you a website, then hire a completely different agency to work on content development, and a third agency to run your e-mails … 

OR 

You could make it easy on yourself and hire VMD Services. We handle every aspect of digital marketing for your podiatry practice. We can build your website, develop it, maintain it, and promote it with local SEO, content development, social media marketing, database marketing … the works. 

One company. One point of contact. And a vast team of experts and specialists working together for you. 

Hours

Weekdays

Mon - Fri | 8am - 5pm EST

weekends

Sat - Sun | Closed

Contact

Phone

833-823-3335

Fax

888-719-6875

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