Your medical website design should cater to the needs of your audience of patients and visitors that need to access to information in a quick and accessible manner.
A medical website should look great, be easy to use, and be compliant with the latest ADA-compliant website standards. According to the federal government, ‘manual testing is always necessary.’ That means testing your site to make sure that the site is correctly designed and developed to handle disabled individuals accessing content.
So what are the best improvements you can make to medical website design and what features will help from a business and brand standpoint? Here are a few:
Effective WCGAG 2.1 & 508 Compliance
Many healthcare sites are difficult to navigate, leaving visitors frustrated trying to find service-related information. That frustrating website experience may also not meet the latest WCAG 2.1 & 508 compliance guidelines, which basically is like putting up a barrier between you and some of your patients. Missing out on potential customers is not only bad- it could also be against the law as many businesses have become susceptible to expensive discrimination lawsuits.
In order for a medical practice to effectively communicate up to date patient information as well as provide a clear explanation of benefits to new visitors, an effective medical website design must cater to the needs of both audiences. Below are a few areas to consider improving in order to provide the best possible visitor experience.
Why is website design important for medical practices?
Patients and other audiences rely on medical websites to get useful information about health conditions, medications, chronic illness management, and services offered by medical personnel and practitioners. A medical website must provide any easy to understand navigational structure since the website is accessed by multiple audiences.
Medical website design can also pose challenges, as healthcare information should be presented within the legal structure as defined by industry regulations. Therefore, patient information must remain confidential and inaccessible to other visitors browsing the site.
A well-designed medical website will meet all the necessary standards and regulations, as well as provide an efficient online patient experience. A medical website should be simple to navigate, providing the necessary details about products and services in a clear, concise way. A medical website should also have professional branding that helps develop a sense of trust for first-time website visitors.
Enhanced Compliance and Security Features
Patients accessing health and billing information online have an expectation that their information will remain confidential between them and the medical professional with whom they are working. A medical practice should therefore take extra precautions when mapping their medical website design to ensure the proper security features are in place. To prevent theft or loss of data, your medical website design should include the following security features:
- Upgrading to HTTPS (protects your website code from hackers)
- WGAG 2.1 Compliance scans
- 508 Compliance scans
- Creating a password protection section for patients to access their account and confidential information. Try to enforce a strong password policy to keep accounts as secure as possible.
- Encrypt all login pages
- Use a secure hosting company
- Ensure all software is up to date
- Backup all data
- Perform frequent security audits to detect any data risks or threats
Include New Functionalities Such As Online Bill Pay or Appointment Setting
An effective medical website design will include additional functionalities that allow a patient to complete all necessary medical procedures before or after an appointment. Increasing the functional capabilities on your medical website will help increase online use by patients, as well as free up the number of daily tasks required by medical staff. Many medical practices are creating online patient portals, which are password protected sections of the website that allow individuals to view test results, book upcoming appointments, communicate directly with medical professionals through online messaging, and pay outstanding medical bills. This increased functionality turns a medical website into a one stop shop, allowing patients to complete all medical related tasks in one place.
Many individuals come to medical websites to access information. Including an online news area on your medical website is a great way to communicate with the public about recent health information and medical technology that they may not be aware of. A blog or news section of your website will help generate more visibility for your brand, as the additional content will help improve search rankings. Some topics to include in a news section on a medical website might include:
- New medical technology
- Pharmaceutical innovations
- Awards, media coverage, or recent recognition of medical staff
- Patient experiences or testimonials
Search Engine Optimization
A medical company now has the ability to acquire new groups of patients through search engines. By identifying keywords that relate to your medical services and target audience, your medical company can drive the right types of leads to your website that are interested in learning more about how you can help. To improve rankings, your medical practice will want to identify what long-tail keywords visitors are searching. By having an SEO expert provide analysis on your industry and competitive space, you can determine where your business stands when it comes to search results. A few areas on your medical website that will improve search rankings include:
- Upgrading performance
- Enhancing security
- Creating a sitemap
- Optimizing back end code for search engine readability
- Using keyword strategy and internal linking in blog or news posts
- Having a responsive design
Consistency Throughout Branding, Messaging and Imagery
Many visitors find medical websites confusing due to inconsistent messaging and poor choice of imagery, Your medical website should have a brand image that creates a sense of reliability and trust. When choosing your messaging, you need to clearly communicate what kind of doctor you are, what types of patients you treat, and what services you currently provide. Since these types of individuals are in a hurry, too much information can lead to these important details being overlooked or missed.
You also want the choice of imagery to relate to your messaging and have a professional look and feel. Many medical websites have images that are poorly focused, or choose generic stock images that don’t directly relate to their website content. Instead, your medical practice may want to look into having professional photography done to give patients a better visual understanding of your medical facilities and expertise.
Improve Funding Through Conversion Optimization
To improve patient lead generation, your medical website should also be optimized to improve online conversion rate. This can be done by incorporating a call to action, which is a request made within a website that encourages a prospective patient to either provide information or further explore your website. They are usually in bold bright lettering or incorporated as part of a landing page design to draw more attention to the statement. Some examples of calls to action that a medical practice may want to include within their website design might be:
- Request more information
- Book a consultation or appointment
- Talk to a specialist
- Learn more
Inclusion of Case Studies or Patient Testimonials
In order to get a visitor to consider booking a procedure with you, your medical website should showcase some of your expertise, which can effectively be done by including case studies or a testimonial section. Prospective patients want relatability and an idea of what to expect when undergoing a medical procedure since they are trusting you with their health. Case studies provide information about the process behind previous medical procedures and how the patient’s life changed as a result of the service. Case studies are usually backed by data, helping individuals gain a better understanding about the level of expertise the medical company can provide. Testimonials are overviews of patient experiences and have more of a personal feel to them. Much like product reviews, testimonials provide a sense of trust to an individual when considering a certain medical practice for their treatment.
Overall, a medical website serves as a resource for information to patients, medical professionals and new online visitors. By enhancing your medical website design with increased functionality through patient portals and improving your brand experience through informative content such as case studies or an online news area, your medical practice website can increase brand visibility, improve funding, and create a better onsite experience.
Alliance Interactive is a digital, web design, web development, and website maintenance agency for nonprofits, associations, b2b organizations, and more. Give us a call today at 888-222-9056 or contact us here.