Statistics reveal that in the last year, 72 percent of Americans used the Internet to search for health information. The searches encompass specific diseases and symptoms as well as treatment. Details about medical procedures are high on the list of information that is searched for. These same Internet searchers also look up information about doctors and more than 60 percent of them end up calling a doctor’s office.
Unfortunately, many physicians do not even have a website for their medical practice or, if they do have one, it is out of date, abandoned or difficult for users to navigate. In the current technological environment, where 87 percent of adults use the Internet to find information relevant to their needs, it is imperative for physicians to have an online presence. This can make the difference in having a thriving practice or being forced to close the door to an already empty waiting room.
Medical website check-up: Elements of a successful medical website
There is a difference in having a website and having a successful one. You want a site where prospective patients can find you and current patients can find the information they need and have their questions answered. It is a place where you can educate your patients. It is important that you provide current and accurate information so that your ranking in search engines remains consistently high.
When you evaluate your website, try to look at it from the point of view of prospective and current patients. Consider how they would rate your website based on the following criteria.
- Is it possible for them to readily discover the information they are seeking? If searchers do not find the information they want in three to five seconds, they leave and go to another site that is easier to use.
- Is the focus on patient problem-solving and providing them useful information?
- Do you give enough information that users will view you as trustworthy without overwhelming them with irrelevant data?
- Is the information easily readable without distractions of advertisements or other useless design elements?
- Can all users access the same information no matter which browser they are using? For example, does it look the same to those using Internet Explorer as it does to those using Google Chrome?
- Are there concise and easy to find instructions about contacting your office for an appointment or more information? Do you have forms that users can easily fill out while at your site and submit them online? Do you have links where users can find you on social media such as Facebook?
As you improve your website and online presence, you should discover that your practice increases in volume. A website that meets the suggested marketing criteria generally results in greater customer service satisfaction as patients, both current and prospective, find what they need by taking advantage of your new marketing strategies.
Last Updated on June 10, 2014