If you’re a healthcare or medical professional, your website is often the first place a patient will go to learn about your business. Do your know what your patients expect from your website?
Let’s be clear, patients visit your website because they’re on a journey to find a solution to their healthcare needs.
In our digital age, looking online for answers is a prominent aspect of our lives and having a healthcare website that meets the needs of your patients is critical to ensuring you stay relevant amongst your competition.
Your website is a big factor of influence in a patient’s decision on whether to choose you.
Here’s a little insight into what patients not only want, but expect, from your medical website.
1. Do you have the solution to my problem?
Whether patients are looking for information about a particular health condition, a specific treatment they’ve heard of or are trying to find a health practitioner with unique expertise, your website should have the answer.
Unless you’ve clearly outlined who you help, how you help and what’s in it for them, you’re probably missing out on many new patients who could be the perfect fit for your clinic.
Providing solutions that uncover how you can help your patients in form of comprehensive information about the range of services you provide and your treatment processes helps patients to feel you understand their problems.
Does your website show patients you can address their concerns?
2. How will I benefit?
It’s important to clearly outline the benefits of choosing your practice. Show your patients how they will benefit from booking an appointment with your team, rather than the clinic down the road.
Here’s some ideas:
- Do you have a unique philosophy that sets you apart?
- Do you have easy access to parking?
- Are there other Allied Health professionals on site?
- If you’re a medical centre, are you located near a pharmacy or pathology collection centre?
Ways you help your patients to save time, make their life easier, or provide them with value can be considered a benefit.
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As a healthcare professional, helping others comes naturally to you. Have you ever thought about how you can help patients before they’ve even step foot in your clinic? Your website can be an amazing resource for patients. Whether it’s writing detailed information about the services you offer or the process for a particular treatment, when you use your website as a helping tool, you can more easily build rapport with patients and stand out from the competition. #medicalmarketing #getlocallyconnected
3. Can i trust you?
Does your website help patients feel a sense of trust in your practice? Appearing approachable and sincere in your communications goes a long way when it comes to helping patients believe you are trustworthy. After all, they are trusting you with their most important asset, their health.
- Are there images of your team and importantly, do you look approachable?
- Is there info about individual practitioners?
- Have you provided information about the clinic owners and their mission / philosophies / expertise?
- Have you included logos of relevant accreditations and industry associations you belong to?
Something else to consider is your online reputation. What do your reviews say about you?
While encouraging reviews in a healthcare setting can be problematic due to AHPRA and National Board regulations, most practices will get a 1-star review at some point in time. The most important element of a 1 star review is the business response, and that can help you either attract or repel new patients.
How do you respond to negative reviews about your clinic?
4. Which practitioner is best suited to my current health concern?
While it might feel like you’re being judged, the fact is some patients will make a decision about which practitioner or doctor they want to see based on the photos and information on your website. The most important thing here is ensuring you have adequate information about your team to help patients select the right person for their needs, if they prefer.
Many patients are looking for a doctor or health practitioner with specific experience. In fact, practitioner pages are often the next most viewed page on a healthcare website after the home page. Making sure your individual practitioner pages include special interests, previous experience, cross-modalities and other relevant information not only helps patients start the rapport building process via your website, it can also be helpful for search engine optimisation, so more patients can find your website in the first place.
5. How much will it cost?
Most patients want to know upfront what their costs will be. Some things to consider and include – if appropriate – on your website:
Are there concession rates for:
- Concession card holders?
- DVA card holders?
How do you handle payment for:
- Work Injuries / Workcover?
- Motor Vehicle Accidents?
- Private Health funds?
- Do you have HICAPS facilities?
- Are you an NDIS provider?
- How long are your consultations?
- Is there a fee for no-shows?
Having this information clearly on your website can help alleviate payment anxiety for patients as they can find out ahead of time what the costs may be in seeking treatment and rebates they may be eligible for.
Here’s an example of clear fee information:
6. Where are you located?
A separate contact page with detailed location information is a must.
Your contact page should clearly display your address and other contact information, a Google map, and photos of your location and parking accessibility so it’s really easy for people to find you in real life.
An embedded Google map allows patients to click on the map to open the Google Maps app on their phone and enter their address or use their current location to get directions to your practice. It’s something so simple that can be a big help. Just make sure the info on your Google My Business profile is correct – otherwise you might send patients to the wrong location. More on Google My Business here.
Including clear information about the parking and transport options is essential. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and get to your clinic.
7. How do I contact you and book?
Do you make it easy for patients to make a booking?
Whether patients have to phone your office/reception to book an appointment or you’ve integrated your website with an online bookings provider, the key is making it simple.
Just like purchasing an item from an online shop, your booking button is like clicking the ‘BUY’ button. It needs to stand out from everything else, and what comes after the button is clicked needs to be quick and easy.
Your booking or phone number buttons should be clear and easily clickable no matter where a patient is viewing your website – on a computer, tablet device or mobile phone. These buttons should be visible on every single page too.
Whether you’ve got a simple website or the fanciest healthcare website around, these 7 areas need to be covered to ensure patients are getting what they need from your site. Remembering that patients primarily visit your website to solve a problem, can help you to include the right information and positively influence patients to choose your practice. Getting your website in top shape is a critical step in improving your presence online and ensuring your healthcare practice can evolve and thrive into the future.
Easy Action Step:
Ask your reception team to put on their ‘patients hat’ and assess your website against the 7 areas above. What improvements can you make based on their findings?