Traditional referrals are likely the main way you attract new patients. But in our technology-driven world, that shouldn’t be the only way.
Physicians spend many years in medical school, and marketing probably wasn’t a part of the curriculum. However, there’s a good chance your next potential patient will be looking for a physician with a search engine or on Facebook. So what’s a savvy practice to do?
What Makes a Modern Website?
Practices must rise to the challenge by creating modern websites. In the past, it was acceptable for a practice to use a website that amounted to an online business card. But as the web has evolved, so have patients’ expectations. Modern website design has as much to do with functionality as with visual design. Here are a few areas to consider when planning your website:
Mobile Responsive Design
“Responsive design” isn’t just a techie buzz term. It's a style of coding that allows a website to adjust to fit any screen or device.
Over 50% of internet traffic takes place on a mobile device. Websites not built with mobile responsive design are likely to cause visitors to leave and visit one they can use on their phone without having to pinch and zoom.
Responsive design is necessary not just because it provides a better user experience, but also because Google practically demands it. Mobile usability is now a search ranking factor; responsive design pleases the Google algorithm, resulting in better search rankings overall.
Internet security is important to internet users and Google. Starting in 2018, Google began to label websites that don’t use HTTPS as “not secure” in the Chrome web browser.
Because Chrome and Google have large market shares, there’s a high chance people won’t want to visit or enter information into a website that Google prominently marks as “not secure.”
This change sends a clear message that Google expects website owners to have HTTPS enabled by default. Websites that don't likely will experience a penalty in search engine rankings.
Adherence with ADA Guidelines
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that aims to protect the rights of people with disabilities so they aren’t discriminated against due to their disability.
However, the law didn’t account for our growing dependence on the Internet and didn’t provide specific language to cover differences between physical locations and a website.
Currently, there is no legal definition of "ADA-friendly" websites, or legislation that requires a website to be ADA-friendly. However, there are guidelines as to what accommodations may be required when laws go into effect. Check out the summary of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 to learn more.
Officite, endorsed by the Texas Medical Association, is the leading website design and digital marketing partner for healthcare practices trusted by over 8,000 practices and 20 healthcare associations. Visit the TMA website to learn more.