The Ultimate Guide to Planning and Designing an SEO-friendly Healthcare Website for Improved Patient Outcomes
More often than not, your website is the first experience a potential customer will have with your brand. A well-designed healthcare website can provide patients with valuable information, improve communication between healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.
Creating a user friendly, branded space for users to experience is fundamental for effective marketing. When you have a clear strategy, branding and messaging are distinct and consistent across all your digital channels and your website, your shot-term and long-term business goals are better supported, such as:
- Improved brand image
- Trustworthy representation
- Enhanced reputation
- More leads and appointments
- Increased patient volume
- Higher patient retention
- Increased revenue
- Stand-out from the competition
Planning a healthcare website in 2023 would require considering the latest trends and technologies in the healthcare industry. Effective strategies should be followed and organised by stages of the website design process.
- Define your goals: What are your business goals and what do you want your website to achieve for your business? Does the company need brand awareness? Do you want to increase recognition? Do you want to increase patient volume? Understanding what you need from your website is the first step in shaping the website functionality and how it will support your business objectives.
- Identify the target audience: Defining your target audiences is critical to the success of your website and achieving your goals. Are you targeting patients, healthcare providers, or both? Understanding your audience will help you design a website that meets their needs. What features would they want, need or expect and how can they be combined with engaging design, high quality and valuable content.
- Define the purpose of the website: The purpose of the website should be defined clearly. Is it to provide information, to allow patients to book appointments, to provide virtual consultation services, or to sell healthcare products? Once the purpose is defined, the website can be designed accordingly.
- Develop an integrated marketing plan: The marketing plan is often overlooked or developed in a piecemeal structure as an afterthought. An integrated marketing plan should be developed early that offers a holistic brand experience. This is a fundamental part of building a successful website which is capable of achieving long-term business objectives.
- Responsive website design: The design of the website should be clean, professional, and easy to use. With the majority of internet users accessing the web from their smartphones, it's crucial to have a website that's optimized for mobile devices. A responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes and resolutions will ensure that patients can easily access your website, no matter where they are.
- User-friendly navigation: A website with easy-to-use navigation is essential. Patients should be able to quickly and easily find the information they're looking for, whether it's contact information, services, or patient resources. Clear, concise headings and subheadings can help with this.
- Develop a roadmap and sales funnels: Determine the most effective ways to guide users through your marketing funnels and buying process via forms, optimised landing pages, contact pages, clear calls to action (CTAs) and thank you pages.
- Relevant and up-to-date information: Keeping your website up-to-date with accurate information is key. Patients will appreciate having access to current information about your services, staff, and policies.
- Visuals and multimedia: Incorporating visuals and multimedia into your website can help engage patients and make your content more interesting. This can include videos, infographics, and images.
- Strong branding: Your website should reflect your healthcare organization's brand. This can include your logo, colour scheme, and messaging.
- Accessibility: Making your website accessible to all users is important. This can include features such as alt text for images, captions for videos, and easy-to-read fonts and colours.
- Patient reviews and testimonials: Including patient reviews and testimonials on your website can help build trust and credibility with potential patients.
- Online scheduling: Offering online scheduling can make it easier for patients to book appointments and can help reduce wait times in your office.
- Secure patient portal: A secure patient portal can help patients access their medical records, view test results, and communicate with their healthcare providers. This can improve patient engagement and communication.
- Health education resources: Providing patients with health education resources can help them make informed decisions about their health. This can include articles, videos, and other resources related to specific health conditions.
- Monitor and update the website: The website should be monitored regularly for any issues, and updated as necessary. This will ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant to the target audience.
- Continuously optimize the website: SEO is the key ingredient of website design. Strategic, keyword rich content allows search engines to match your website pages to users search queries, which boosts your organic rank on search engine pages (SERPS).
- Google Analytics: Fresh and regular content is a vital component of website success as it supports SEO and increased search engine rankings. Review, revise and monitor your website with data from Google Analytics to stay ahead of your competitors in the ever changing digital landscape.
Developing a healthcare website with these strategies as the backbone will lead to a better brand reputation, improved trust, increased patient volume, higher patient retention, lower competitive risk and an increased revenue.