Digital Marketing

7 Critical Signs Your Medical Practice Need A New Website

By Amber Turner On Oct 16, 2020 . 0 Comments

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Make the best and lasting first impression on your patients with your website. 

A well-designed medical practice website can provide both educational medical information, practical information, like office hours and locations, and makes it easy to book or request an appointment. An effective site can also boost credibility, capture the attention of your potential patients, and help you to grow your practice.

You should consider your medical practice’s website to be a living entity that grows along with your business. 

Whether you own an ENT or orthopedic practice, chiropractic clinic, urgent care, or primary care office, we want to help your practice grow and succeed online.

Run through these critical signs you need to look for when considering if your practice’s website needs a facelift.

Your Site Doesn’t Look Fantastic On a Mobile Device

First and foremost, this is the MOST important feature you need to have on your website. Why? 

Mobile traffic now makes up more than half of all internet traffic. From our data, 80% of website visitors for Urgent care practices and emergency rooms are mobile.

Try opening your website on your mobile phone. How does it look? Can you still easily navigate the pages?

If your site is not responsive, meaning the content on your site is not built to automatically adjust to fit the size of a smaller screen, then potential patients are not having a positive experience on your site and will form a negative impression of your practice.

Google boosts the rankings of websites that it identifies as mobile-friendly. 

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to have to fix the one you have or get a new one. Until this is fixed, you could be losing out on half of your new patients.

If you have a web developer (the person who built your existing website) or marketing agency, ask them to fix it ASAP. If you don’t, your task today is finding someone to help you. 

Your Website Doesn’t Come Up In a Google Search

Try searching your practice on google with a few key terms, like your “[specialty],” “[location],” and “[Name of physician].” Does your practice website show up?

If your website isn’t ranking in the top 3 results of Google for your most important keywords, it’s practically invisible.

In Google’s algorithm, you’re more likely to rank higher if more people click on your content from the search engine results page. That means you need to be on the first page and likely in the top three.

Take the keywords you just used to search for your practice. Are they used throughout your site, on several pages?

If you have incorporated targeted keywords in your content, but your website does not rank well on Google, then maybe it is time to consider redesigning your website.

SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines), is a detailed and sometimes confusing process. You may want to hire an SEO and digital marketing expert to do it for you.

Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. And with more patients than ever searching online for you, it’s imperative that your website is optimized for them to find you.

Your Website Has Lost Its Appeal – New Patient Volume Has Gone Down

Considering that your website is essentially the face of your medical practice on the Internet, is it designed in a way that impresses its visitors and showcases your practice in the best light?

Your medical practice’s branding should be resonating with the expectations modern patients have.

  • Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your website:
  • Does it make your practice look better or worse? 
  • Does my website feel modern? 
  • Can patients easily book appointments?
  • Does my website match my practice’s established visual brandings like logo and brand colors?
  • Does the site show images of my office and medical care team to help site visitors get to know my practice better?
  • Are my mission and values (i.e. delivering compassionate care) clear on my site?
  • Are the site’s layout and organization the impression I want to leave?
  • How do potential patients feel when looking at my site?

Having a website that doesn’t reflect your medical practice and the vision you see for it, can make your practice blend in with your competitors.

Your Website Is Outdated – Needs a Dramatic Makeover or Fine-Tuning

Think about your own experience.

When you land on an outdated website that looks ugly, old, neglected, or even with incorrect information… you assume some things. And those things aren’t great.

Do you know how old your website is? Or do you know the last time you updated the information?

When your website looks ignored, outdated, or just plain old, it sends a message to your patients. And not a good one.

If it has been 4 years or more, it is definitely time for a new look.

Want a blog? Need a careers page? Want to show off your awesome doctors? Update your website!

You want to let people know you are alive, thriving, and still cutting edge.

If you want to keep people (and Google) interested, then you need to keep your content fresh and accurate.

A website without updates of any kind is viewed by the search engines as “dead”. 

Google’s algorithms are in place to ensure web users get the best possible results, and they could see your site in a poor light if it has a lot of dead pages.

If you update your content often with reliable and valuable information, then you have a better chance of Google ranking your site higher with each update.

It doesn’t stop there though. You need to be updating the website, code, speed, usability. 

If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code and may be slowing down your website loads speeds – which will, in turn, impact your ranking in the Google search results.

Simply put, if you update your website often with important information and new high-quality content, search engines will love you for it.

You need to remember that as your website evolves you should update pages, add new ones, and delete those that are not useful anymore.

Here are some details your patients are likely looking for on your website:

  • A location map. This section is one of the most used aspects of any website. If there is a link to Google Maps, be sure it’s working.
  • The services you provide — list of any specialties
  • A list of doctors and specialists
  • Practice opening hours, including emergency/after-hours contact details
  • Educational content like blog articles

Your website deserves attention. And attention includes YOU being in the know about the different elements of your website.

Your Website Takes a Long Time to Load – Load Speed Can Make or Break a Website

You have probably heard that age-old saying “slow and steady wins the race”, but when it comes to the performance and speed of your website, that certainly is a recipe for failure.

1 in 4 visitors would abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load and 46% of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites. (LoadStorm)

The longer a webpage takes to load, the more its bounce rate will skyrocket. A high bounce rate tells search engines that users don’t find the page content useful, so its rankings will plummet.

Google also tanks slow sites in search results. If you don’t maintain decent website performance, your site’s visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) may decrease, leading to lower website visitors.

If your website is not performing at a reliable fast speed, you are losing patients.

Ideally, you’ll want your website to load within three seconds. You can evaluate your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. 

Your Website is Not ADA Compliant 

You are well aware that your office needs to be accessible to people with disabilities, as determined by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). 

What some people do not realize is that the ADA also covers virtual extensions of your medical practice, such as your website.

The central purpose of the ADA is to ensure people with disabilities are able to participate fully in American life, and the reality is that much of American life now occurs on the Internet. 

This is especially important for healthcare specifically as websites have become the center of information for medical practices.

In 2018 alone, there were around 1,000 lawsuits related to website accessibility. Fines for not making your website accessible can be as high as $75,000 per incidence.

Here are a few steps you need to ensure your website is compliant:

  • The text must be written and positioned on each page in a way that someone who has impaired vision can access through a reading device to convert the text to audio.
  • Any video content has to have closed-caption subtitles to accommodate someone with hearing impairment. They need to be able to read along as they watch the video images.
  • Any job openings on your website need to be readable, and the application must be structured so that someone with a disability can fill it out and complete it.

Have your web development agency review all the materials, services, and information on your website and ensure they are accessible to everyone. 

Your Competitors’ Website Looks More Professional and Trusting Than Yours

“Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make sure your website stands out from others in your field.”

– Google webmaster guidelines 1

If your competitors’ websites are more streamlined, functional, and fresher than yours, they may be drawing in more patients with a stronger online presence.

Make a list of three to four competitors that are a reasonable comparison to your own and check their websites every so often to get an idea of what they’re up to.

If you think the websites of your competitors are doing better than your own, try putting yourself in the shoes of potential patients to think about why that might be.

Think about the people you want using your website and how you can make their lives easier by providing what they are looking for.

When looking at the websites of your competitors, don’t forget to think about all the things that they’re doing wrong along with the things that they’re doing right.

How are you going to target the weak spots of those competitors? Your website should capitalize on those holes to put you at the top of the food chain.

Having a better website requires that yours is one or some of the following types of things in comparison to your competitors:

  • more functional for mobile devices
  • more useful
  • faster to load
  • ranked higher in search results
  • more visually stunning
  • solve problems quicker or more effectively
  • more current with content
  • more accessible

Conducting a competitive analysis is an important part of your business strategy and digital marketing efforts. 

Without knowing how you stand against your competitors, it is impossible to know which ones are your greatest threats, how to beat them, or where you should be focusing your efforts.

Alright, You Need a New Website—Now What? Find a Partner With Experience Developing Medical Practice Websites

Your website is critical to the success of your medical practice. 

If your site is not being found on Google, has a slow loading speed, and is not mobile-friendly, then it’s time for a website redesign.

Consider the pros and cons of building from the ground up vs freshening up an existing website. Both can be a very time-consuming and technical process.

Fortunately, you’re not on your own with that. Koda can do both and we can help you make that decision. In our experience improving what’s there ends up costing about the same as building from scratch. 

It’s a bit like maintenance for your house – you can extend the life a little bit, but it’s going to be a temporary fix.

For that reason, Koda Digital places tremendous emphasis on developing custom marketing strategies for each of our clients. No two practices are the same, so they shouldn’t have the same solutions and approaches.

We’re here to help you reach your goals and outshine your competitors, so please don’t hesitate to reach out and request your free website audit if you want to start seeing more patients at your medical practice.

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