Five Common Medical Practice Website Mistakes

September 2, 2014

A website that conveys a lot of information in the right way can be the difference between gaining a patient or losing one to a competitor.

Let’s pretend you’re short on time and you want to do some quick research on medical practices in your area. Maybe a family member is ill while visiting you and you need to find a physician nearby. What you’re looking for is concise, pertinent, easy-to-find information.

Designing a website that conveys a lot of information in a short amount of time can be the difference between gaining a customer or losing him to a competitor. The following are a few common medical practice website mistakes:

1. Information overload. A mistake many people make when designing their website is trying to cram too much information into one paragraph. Rather than trying to convey every bit of information about your company and what you do on the homepage, try to make the homepage feel like a “home.” Keep it light on content and heavy on mood. Use large, bright images and large, descriptive text. Keep it short and sweet.

2. Too many options. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with options. Try to keep your tabs and pages to a minimum. Having pages with unimportant information will navigate your visitors away from the information that really is important. Also, steer clear of duplicating information and links. Having more than one link to a page on your site will make it look disorganized and cluttered. Keep tabs where visitors expect them: at the top of the page.

3. Inconsistencies. Keep the design of your website consistent. This applies to the design and the content. If you’re using a specific font and color for headings, use that combination site-wide. Keeping the design and content consistent will allow for easier navigation and a more effective exchange of information.

4. No added value. Any website can provide basic information, but if you can provide value beyond that, visitors will be more likely to return. One way a medical practice can add value is by offering a patient portal. Additionally, this will help reduce calls coming in from patients asking for test results, medication refills, etc.

5. Ignoring SEO. We’ve all heard the buzzword: SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s how people find you online. It used to be that designers utilized Flash to make up large portions of websites, but the problem with Flash is that the content within the images is not searchable, so search engines like Google can't identify what a website is all about. Now, most websites use keywords that can be searched and, as a result, place the site higher on search engine results pages. Adding additional content such as blogs and social media plug ins will further increase the number of times those keywords are used and will, once again, increase your results ranking.