If you are a practicing healthcare provider and do not yet have a medical practice website, now is the time to get one!
A healthcare provider's online presence is no longer optional. Patients are constantly looking for health information and new doctors online. A medical practice website can also help to streamline patient check-ins, make a patient portal easily accessible, and educate patients about common health issues.
As the online representation of your medical practice, the content and design of your website must both attract and inform new and existing patients.
So, where do you begin?
Building a practice website may appear daunting, but the good news is that there are numerous affordable, user-friendly website creation tools available to you! Anyone with a small budget and a free weekend can build a simple website today.
Locate a web host.
If you've looked for website hosting, you've probably come across WordPress. It's the most well-known website host, and it provides two options to get you started. www.wordpress.com - Purchase a domain from Wordpress.com and design and operate your site online using a basic, limited platform. (This is the simpler option for beginners.)Wordpress.org - Purchase a domain through an external site (think GoDaddy) and pay monthly or annual hosting fees while having more freedom and ownership over your website's creation and design.
There are plenty of other options, but if you want something quick and easy, these are two of the best.
Select a domain name.
Your domain name should be relevant, simple to remember, and related to your practice. However, keep in mind that the Internet already has approximately one billion websites, so some of your first choices may already be taken.
Using the following prompts, come up with a domain name:
- Personal name. For example, drtomjones.com or www.tomjonesmd.com
- Name for practice. For example, healthcare-associates.com
- Specialty. For example, www.pediatricorthopedistcare.com
- For example, www.yourtownophthalmologist.com
Choose a web design template.Choosing the right template can mean the difference between functionality and an appealing, professional appearance. WordPress provides a plethora of free and low-cost templates (referred to as "themes") that you can use. If you're just starting out, these are a great place to start. If you have a small marketing budget to work with, I'd recommend spending a little more to get something that looks professional and unique.
For inspiration, visit the following websites:
- WordPress (Themes)
- Template Monster
- Creative Market
A good template will cost you between $20 and $200, but the right one will be well worth the investment.
Learn how to use Wordpress.
While you're getting started with Wordpress or another web service, spend some time watching tutorials and learning how to use the platform. Wordpress, as one of the most popular web hosting services, provides a plethora of DIY walkthroughs. If you get stuck, remember that you can always look for help on the Wordpress forum.
Fill in your contact information.
First and foremost, your patients must be able to locate you. Include all of the essentials (address, phone number, email address, and so on) on your home page, header or footer, and even a separate contact page.
Consider including extra features such as a Google Map of your location or a contact form for patients if you want to add a dedicated contact page. Just make sure to include a disclaimer that patients should not fill out the form with any personal health information.
If you use social media, include buttons or links to each of your social media profiles in your site's header or footer.
Make a plan for your content.
You don't want to overwhelm your website visitors, but you do want to include basic information that could attract new patients while also saving everyone time on the phone or in the office. Examine other medical practice websites and choose your favorite.
Consider including the following information on your medical office's website design, in addition to contact information:Services. Describe any procedures, diagnostic tests, or common ailments that you treat. Make a point of emphasizing any unique services that set your practice apart, such as online booking or virtual visits. If you want to go deeper, make separate pages with brief descriptions for each of those services or service categories. Staff. Include photos of your staff as well as relevant educational and career background and accomplishments. Display your providers and culture to new patients.
Insurance. Include accepted carriers to save your patients from having to call you.
Photographs and videos Other images, such as photos of your facility or professional healthcare-related stock photos, may be appropriate (Try iStock or Shutterstock). Including a few YouTube videos or recordings from your practice's providers is a great way to engage your patients! Blog. Including a blog can help you educate and engage patients while also improving your website's ranking in search results. It also does not have to be a significant time commitment. Begin by blogging once a month about health tips or news in your field.
Maintain the integrity of your website.
Last but not least, don't just build a website and then abandon it. Appoint someone in your practice to manage the website, or schedule a reminder on your calendar to keep it up to date.
If you don't already have a marketing consultant or someone else who can assist you, you might want to think about hiring a web development contractor who can assist you with any website issues that may arise.
Don't forget to share your website with the rest of the world once it's up and running! Anywhere your practice is advertised or listed (such as Google Maps) should include a link to your website. Make contact with online review sites and directories to ensure they have the link.