Websites for Medical Professionals
Websites for medical professionals have their own logic. And ultimately, as the owner of a private practice, one of your reasons to have a website is to support your business.
Today I’d like to share 5 reminders when inspecting your medical website:
1) Use the right skill sets
Many doctors delegate the important task of web design to an IT company or an IT provider. This would be like hiring an electrician to set up an advanced medical lab, design the operating theatre and make sure you comply with hospital regulations. Your website is one of the digital tools you need to communicate. So your first step is to get clear on the strategy, the content and the target audience, before even a single pixel of design is created.
2) It’s a channel. Not a brochure.
It’s good to look at your website as a 24/7 channel offering content. So unlike a brochure, that you design and then don’t revisit, your website is a portal with a dynamic life. It contains fixed pages and regular blog updates, new content being added on a regular basis. Doctors who take this “channel” approach will have higher visibility in their local area, simply because their websites are updated more frequently.
3) Never judge a book by the cover.
When looking at a provider, beware of focusing only on beautiful designs. Although compelling graphic design is a key pillar of your digital success…it doesn’t come first in line. The starting point is the strategic vision on your content, keywords, copy and videos. It’s supported by a clean, professional, contemporary and effective design, both on desktop and laptop computers and on mobile.
4) Make sure you know what’s under the hood.
When you buy a car, you open the bonnet and check the engine. You ask questions about its performance and security. With a website, I recommend you ask about the platform that is used. It’s longevity (will it still be updated in 3 years time). Its security features. Where is your website physically hosted? Is there a back-up plan in place? Is it easy to make changes? Is everything registered in your name? This quality check will avoid multiple potential mini-dramas down the track and you will have more peace-of-mind about your digital real estate.
5) Focus on education
No matter how simple or fancy your design, always bear in mind that the main purpose of websites for medical professionals, is to help patients. Part of this supporting role is to provide valuable information about conditions, symptoms and treatment options. So when you are embarking on this exciting journey of creating a new website, check that your provider has the same focus. Sometimes creative teams can get carried away by the latest feature of web design, and it’s good to bring it back to this essential reality: we are creating a channel to communicate effectively with your patients, not a submission for an art festival.