A well-optimized and thoughtfully designed healthcare website takes trial and error. And like most digital tools, your healthcare website needs to be revisited regularly to make sure all moving parts are functioning as required.
Website design in the healthcare industry is never a ‘set it and forget it’ process – it’s ongoing because design trends never stop, do they?
This makes sense when you think about it. A healthcare website is more than just a simple landing page that pitches products and services. It serves as an interface between your patients and your practice. To serve the best interests of your patients, your website should load easily, guide patients with relevant solutions, and connect them with your staff.
If traffic to your website is growing at a rapid pace and you are posting content consistently, you’ll have to look at website redesigns (and even complete overhauls) regularly.
So how can you tell if your healthcare website is outdated? Let’s review the seven signs that it’s time to get an upgrade.
1. Difficulty in Navigation
Navigation should be straightforward in healthcare websites to inform users about where they are and where they can go. Try to put yourself in your patient’s shoes and understand their pain points. What are they searching for when they visit your website? Are they looking for products, services, or just consultation? Make this information easy for users to find.
A disconnect between the user journey can lead to frustration, confusion, and ultimately, abandonment. This can lead to a decrease in sales and traffic, along with more frustrated users and higher bounce rates.
The good news is that you can take care of navigation with proper planning and design overhauls. Options such as breadcrumbs and mega menus can be used to show the user journey map. Menus, in particular, are very efficient at steering patients into their desired pathway.
Pro tip: If your website contains a lot of information, consider making separate landing pages to serve different purposes.
Most healthcare websites should contain the following information:
- A list of services provided, along with any specialties you have
- A list of qualified personnel
- A location map, preferably with a link to Google Map.
- A list of insurance plans that you provide
- Operating hours, contact details, and if you provide emergency service
2. The Website Looks a Bit Bland
When it comes to modern businesses in 2021, optics play an important role in helping you stand out from the crowd. Most users associate high-quality designs and interfaces with professionalism and high standards. Website design is a good indication of both. Outside of functioning seamlessly, your healthcare website should look aesthetically on-trend.
Look to your competitors for direction in design cues. If your quality is lagging behind your competitors, it won’t be long before the outdated aesthetics start to hurt your bottom line.
The website design must be fully aligned with your overall brand message. In addition, your slogans, value proposition, vision, and brand mission are different factors that should be tied into the overall website design. For example, if you updated your brand’s logo, but your website continues using the older logo, you need to update it.
Or, if you recently changed your address but didn’t include it on the healthcare website, you are missing a crucial piece of contact information.
Pro tip: Add high-quality photos (not those stock photos you see all over the internet) and fine-tune the aesthetics based on modern customer expectations.
Updating the website design also gives you an opportunity to introduce new services, staff, locations, and changes your practice underwent.
3. Slow Page Load Times
Slow load times are more deadly to a business than terrible navigation or interface issues. As a general rule, your website should load in under 3 seconds or less.
If your website takes too long to load, your potential clients will simply move on to the next business. You can test website loading speeds using PageSpeed Insights. It’s an auditing tool that gives you a detailed breakdown of reasons for slowdowns.
One extremely efficient trick to speed up load times is to use a content distribution network (CDN). A CDN can store copies of your site at various data centers around the world so that users can enjoy faster access to your healthcare site.
Finally, you should upgrade your server to improve response times. Considering how quickly people tend to bounce off websites due to slow response times, this tip is one of the most useful ones.
Get in touch with your hosting provider or website developer to discuss all your options for server upgrades. But remember, simply adding more resources isn’t going to be a quick fix. Problems with the code itself can hurt loading times – this will require help from web development experts.
4. You Are Getting Too Many Complaints From Patients (Both Old and New)
Your users will provide you with unbiased feedback because they don’t come from a place of familiarity afforded to you, as the website owner. Try to keep an eye out for feedback directed towards website design.
If you’re getting the following feedback, it’s time to revisit the website design:
- What products and services do you provide?
- What are the booking times at your office?
- I was unable to look you up online
- Your website is hard to navigate
- I had a hard time locating your website
- Where is your health practice located?
If you’ve received this type of feedback, you’ve still got a lot of updating to do. These are basic aspects of your healthcare website that should load flawlessly. But if visitors have questions about your services, location, and how to book services, that’s not a good indicator of website health. This also means that you’re missing out on new patients.
5. The Healthcare Website Isn’t Optimized for Search Engines
In today’s digital ecosystem, search engines play an important role in advertisement – perhaps more important than televisions and radios. In fact, most healthcare-related queries are conducted over the internet. If your healthcare website is not search engine friendly, it won’t be featured in search engine results pages that are served to potential patients.
Most people prefer to do their homework using search engines before risking their money (and health) with a healthcare provider.
Pro tip: If your website is built using WordPress, you can install all-in-one SEO plugins like YoastSEO to help you automatically optimize all posts and pages for Google and Bing algorithms.
If you haven’t updated your website for SEO (or it is non-existent), then it’s very likely that Google hasn’t indexed your pages. Time to go back to the drawing board.
6. Your Website Does Not Load Properly on a Website
Surveys show that the number of mobile phone search users from the US stood at a whopping 177.8 million, with an estimated $1.4 trillion in sales. These numbers are indicative of one thing: prospective patients are searching for healthcare websites on their phones.
And if your website doesn’t load properly on mobile devices, people will simply move on to the next one. This is often a problem with older websites that use a non-responsive design forcing mobile users to jump through hoops to navigate around tiny links and buggy menus.
Worse still, does your website still use Flash? Flash is no longer supported on many modern browsers and is better off left behind.
7. Is Your Website Integrated with Social Media?
Integrating your website with social media is an important step that can vastly boost brand awareness and reach. It also encourages patients to interact with your website and builds a bigger overall audience on social media.
More importantly, Google frequently uses social media platforms (associated with your website) to build knowledge panels (a recent update by Google). Knowledge panels provide a quick rundown of essential information about organizations and entities in one place (including social media links, websites, places, addresses, and more).
By ensuring that your social media accounts are both linked and visible from your healthcare website, you can carve out a sizable following for your brand. Make sure to update your social media page frequently.
Optimizing your website will not only help you boost search engine ranking but also provide a valuable educational resource to your patients. It’s a win-win for all.
The seven points discussed above are a good place to start if you are struggling to redesign your website to encourage more user participation.
The bottom line is, digital marketing in healthcare has come a long way since the formative years of the internet, don’t you think your website should be updated too?
At Purple Tie Guys, we can help you redesign your website and make sure that it is compliant with healthcare practices in your industry, including ADA. Let us help you tell your story in a way that speaks to your audience’s pain points. Do get in touch with us today to learn how our team can help!