Five fast ways to improve any medical website on a budget
1. Stand out from the competition
If your current site is a template or a customized template, chances are you are losing out to your competitors right from the start. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. While this has been heard a million times, seldom do practices understand this could be your only impression. Design cost has dropped significantly over the years. What used to cost 10-30 thousand dollars can now cost as little as $2,000, depending on your exact needs and desires. Keep in mind on your quest for a world class look and feel to not overdo it. Often, sites that are overdone, heavy on color, and heavy on Flash will look more like a site marketing something. While marketing online is critical in today’s world for your medical practice, no one wants to feel like they are being sold or marketed to.
2. Content management system
If your current site does not have a content management system, make sure your next site does. With 20 minutes of training or a little time invested in reading blogs, anyone can make small changes to a content management based site such as WordPress. If you are the type who wants nothing to do with editing your website, a content management system still makes sense as it will save you money. Anytime you ask your provider to make a change, it will take minutes of labor not days. If your current medical website and SEO provider is charging for small changes it is for two reasons; 1.They love to find reasons to make you pay for anything and everything or 2. They build on a platform that requires hard coding for simple changes. Either way it is costing you more than you need to pay.
3. Get feedback on your current medical website!
The best place to find solid feedback on your current site is from your patients who found you online. Asking an employee, partner or spouse hardly gives you the honest feedback you need. If you ask someone an opinion, you will always get one. If you ask what changes should I make, people will always offer up suggested changes, because that’s what they think you want to hear. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Everybody loves to solve problems and fix things. Who doesn’t love a project, especially when it’s not theirs? Simply ask a handful of patients who found you online the following questions.
1. What did you like about my website?
2. What didn’t you like about my website?
3. What specifically did you see on the site that made you come in to see us?
Not only will asking your patients give you a better understanding of what triggers the general public, it will also make them feel special. Everyone loves to be asked for their opinion; it makes us all feel special.
Have a professional medical website and SEO analysis completed.
Make sure the company performing the site analysis is using non biased information. The last thing you want to do is fix something that isn’t broken. Here at my company, Omni Medical Marketing we not only do them for free, we do them fast. We generate reports in 24 hours or less, Monday-Saturday. We use third party companies to provide us with accurate and non-biased data, giving you a complete picture of where you are and where you should be. Often times we tell people who have requested an analysis to do nothing at all. I suspect this is because the people requesting them are on top of their game in regards to web marketing which means they are constantly looking for ways to improve their overall marketing.
4. Integrate social media.
I could spend hours making the argument why medical practice social media works and why it doesn’t work, but that isn’t the point. Today, a Plastic surgeon, dental, or any other medical website with great SEO can be a marketing machine. However, when the web first began to gain popularity 15 or so years ago, having a website to market to the general public worked marginally, if at all. The most important reason to have a website 15 years ago, was the fact it brought validity to almost any business. Patients saw your site, or the fact you had one, as a sign that you were cutting edge, modern and in-touch with the world.
With that being said, adding and integrating medical social media and branding into your site will show your potential patients the same things your site showed them 15 years ago. No one wants to visit with someone who is out of touch, 40 thousand miles from earth, or doesn’t portray themselves as someone who wants to connect with their patients. Social media played a huge part in the last presidential election. I don’t think the message that was being sent out had much to do with it; it was the appearance of wanting to connect socially.
5. Blog Blog Blog ….Maybe
If you and or members of your staff love to write and share the happenings of your office, medical news, breakthroughs, changes in way patients are treated, consider adding and integrating a blog into your site. We all know people are self-diagnosing themselves online. How many times has a patient told you, “I read this online,” or “I looked it up online and I have ____ and I need some ____ to treat it.”? I want to be clear, don’t list symptoms and treatments; do the opposite. Encourage your readers to NOT self-diagnose, and do it often.
Don’t be afraid to write on personal matters such as family or last year’s Christmas party. Share some of the “bed side manner” people are looking for. If you are going to add a blog, make sure to update it at least four times per month. The more you blog the more often people will come back to read more. The more they come back, the more likely they will be to refer their friends to you! It’s also important to note that the more you write, the more Google loves your site. The more they love your site, the higher they list it in their search engine.
If blogging is something you would enjoy and will do often, stop reading here. However if you are not committed to blogging regularly, don’t do it. It will look empty on your site, turning readers off. It will also offer no benefit in the search engines. The last thing I want to do is to suggest you waste your time. Only blog and reap the benefits if you are committed to it and enjoy writing about your practice.
CEO Omni Medical Marketing
firstname.lastname@example.org Direct line (303)588-8187