Looking from the outside in

What looking from the outside through your website tells me about your medical practice. Your first contact with people is your website. So marketing your website should be a top priority, especially if you are trying to grow your practice. Medical practices, like non profit research, medical and clinical institutes, find this kind of marketing is harder, because you are marketing to people who don’t have a relationship with you yet but could in the future.

Many medical practices tend to neglect their websites. You can’t afford to do that today.

According to Pew Research – The most commonly researched topics are specific diseases or conditions; treatments or procedures; and doctors or other health professionals.

I came across one medical practice website here in my local area. One word will sum it up, pitiful.  So what do I look for in a medical practice website?

Overall appearance of website The general appearance of a medical practice website for me reflects what your corporate culture is like; for example innovative or traditional. It also helps me to decide to read further or just click away and move on to another website.

So here are just a few of the items I look for and they mainly focus on user experience features:

  • Design and usability
  • Ease of use – easy to locate information
  • Readability
  • Content – at first glance is it interesting  – does it invite me to read more
  • Are you supporting different languages
  • Blogs & Blogging activity
  • How can I contact you – how can I make an appointment
  • Social media – I also have a separate list for social media activity (see below)
  • Mobile responsive – is your website mobile responsive – If yes, then you are telling me that you know today’s readers can access you from any device.

Social media friendly For me the presence of social media links will add value and relevance to your site. So, there are links to social media, but do you check the links to make sure they work? If they are not working then for me your site is a dead one. This leads me to question your professionalism.

  • Are your landing pages simple, yet effective on social media such as FaceBook, LinkedIn and YouTube with links on and to your home page.
  • Are they current – updated weekly, if not daily or are they outdated
  • Do you allow for social sharing
  • Are you publicizing via social media
  • Are you monitoring your social conversations

Deep dive into the medical practice, staff and physicians Providing value beyond the basic information

  • History of the organization – are you part of larger healthcare system
  • Do you participate in latest clinical trials – if so did you list them
  • Patient stories – Do you let your patients share their stories
  • Online tools to support networking
  • Do you have the latest technology
  • Current treatments and procedures
  • Tell me about your physicians – their backgrounds – training – certifications – publications – research – can I search a physician by sub specialty
  • What are your sub specialty centers
  • Do you have volunteers – well don’t forget them
  • Teaching and continuing education – research fellows – medical students – residents
  • News releases are they current and up to date
  • Events – are they easy to find – is there information regarding location, time and date
  • Images, innovative and educational videos, podcasts, webinars
  • Email subscription box
  • Going beyond local – thinking of international patients also

Apps  We live in a mobile world where patient empowerment and practice portability reign

  • Are you using apps to streamline doctor-patient communication
  • Can I schedule an appointment directly from an app