Most patients will visit your website long before they enter your doors. This means your website is responsible for setting expectations, communicating your values, and demonstrating the quality of your care–all within a few seconds. Patients need to know in the first few seconds if your practice understands and can fix their needs. Otherwise, they will move on to someone else who can.
This means that stock websites or cookie-cutter designs will not be able to deliver the results you desire. That can be frustrating–most physicians and healthcare professionals are too busy providing high-quality care to moonlight as a website designer.
Why is My Medical Practice Website Important Anyway?
There’s an old saying: You only have one chance to make an excellent first impression. That certainly holds for your website. But the fundamental role of your website–especially a medical or healthcare-related website–reaches far beyond making that great first impression.
After all, any medical website must start building credibility and trust from the first click. With that trust, visitors to your website will feel comfortable clicking on your contact forms and becoming a patient. Your medical practice’s goal should be to make potential patients feel like they know you and be ready to call you for an appointment.
At the same time, your website needs to be easy to use. If your website is too frustrating (for example, because it is hard to read the text or know where to find an appointment), patients will likely look for care elsewhere. This also applies to mobile versions of your website. They must be easy to use at any size and on any device–otherwise, you’re likely to lose patients before they ever call your office.
What’s Trending in Medical Website Design Today?
Thankfully, some tried and true methods can help you succeed in healthcare. Some of these top trends are recent developments, while others have been helping medical organizations grow for years.
Clean and Minimalistic Design
Current healthcare website design best practices emphasize simplicity and ease of use. This means giving your website enough white space to make text easily readable and images more impactful.
And it means avoiding overly complicated designs that do little but draw attention to themselves. Modern, clean, and minimalistic designs create healthcare websites that are sophisticated and deceptively simple. Think about it like this: the design itself is a supporting character. The real star is your services and how you can improve patients’ lives.
You can find an example of a clean and minimalistic website here: https://dfwspinecenter.com/
User-centric and Intuitive Navigation
Modern healthcare websites generally have a lot of information to offer–and patients are eager to absorb that information. However, the density of that information means healthcare-related websites must create navigation that helps potential patients understand if you can help them with their problems and how to contact you. This means your site’s navigation must be easy to use. The entire experience of moving from page to page should be seamless.
This can be accomplished in several ways, but the most popular are:
- Clear and organized menu structures.
- Visible, easy-to-use navigation bars.
- Where applicable, the use of mega-menus and search functionality.
You can see an example of a user-centric and intuitive design we’ve created here: https://brazen-solutions.com/
Engaging Visuals and Imagery
Studies show that 90% of information processed by the brain is visual. Statistically, site visitors only read 28% of the content on the page. This means that for patients to know, like, and trust you, your website must have many images. But not just any photos- potential patients want to see the results of the treatment you provide. They want to see what life looks like after solving their health issues.
This type of engagement can be created using high-quality images or engaging videos. However, it’s essential to incorporate authentic and diverse visuals to ensure that you are appropriately relating to your audience. (Remember, you are not the primary audience for your website–patients are.) To generate even more visual interest, you can:
- Deploy images and illustrations throughout pages.
- Use infographics to convey complex information.
- Give your website a distinct visual style.
You can see examples of engaging visual imagery here: https://bostonconciergeorthopedics.com/
Patient Success Stories
Using testimonials and success stories is critical to showing new patients they can count on a great experience, a concept of social proof. In general, people understand that you are biased in favor of your own business. Testimonials, as a result, seem like a much more reliable and trustworthy form of “proof” when it comes to the quality of services you provide. As a result, testimonials and reviews are very effective in building trust with your healthcare brand.
That’s why we usually recommend that medical websites include areas specifically designed to highlight and call out patient reviews or testimonials. We also urge practices to encourage patients to share their stories while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
The more patient stories you can share–and draw attention to–the better.
You can see examples of this strategy here: https://www.ares-xl.com/
An Embrace of Responsive Design
Statistics show that 55% of website traffic comes from a mobile phone. This means that a website should be usable on a mobile device, and the entire website experience should be seamless across devices and screen sizes. Your website should be as beautiful and easy to use on a phone as on a desktop computer. This will help users better use your website whenever they need to.
Responsive design is also critical for your search engine results, as a non-responsive website can significantly lower your organic search rankings.
You can see an example of excellent responsive design here: https://www.fortworthobgyn.com/
Accessibility and Inclusive Design
An inclusive website design means your website is catered to patients with disabilities or impairments. Providing all patients with the same high-quality experience is critical to your long-term success. (Indeed, many practices are required to have accessible websites by law–and you could be at risk of a lawsuit if your website is not accessible.)
Some basic accessibility steps include:
- Ensuring all images have associated alt-text to go along with them.
- Ensuring you can use a keyboard to navigate your website easily.
- Ensuring screen-reading technologies easily read websites.
- Following contrast guidelines for those with color blindness.
- And more
You can see examples of accessible and inclusive designs here: https://www.sos-ortho.com/
Helping Patients Get to Your Practice as Quickly as Possible
The fundamental purpose of your website is simple: You want patients to contact your office so that you can help them make an appointment. The more new patients you schedule, the better your website is working. This means your website should prioritize making appointments–and ensure that scheduling an appointment is easy.
Typically, this is accomplished via online forms.
In this regard, it’s important to work with a qualified and experienced marketing firm because all of those forms must be HIPAA compliant. And once you have HIPAA compliance incorporated into your website, you can offer patients more convenience. For example, you can provide patients with onboarding forms online so they spend less time in the waiting room.
You can see examples of efficient, secure forms here: https://greenurology.com/
Get the Website Your Practice Needs
Your website is critical to attracting patients, building trust, and helping your healthcare business grow. This means it’s vital that your website does not stay tethered to the past. Embracing these current design strategies, principles, and best practices can help you move forward and create a positive patient experience.
After all, the healthcare field is dynamic and constantly innovating. It makes sense that your website should, too.
If you need help with your medical website or want more tips on growing your medical practice, contact us!