A website is essential to every business that has customers (or patients). Yet, the decision to add a website to your practice can be daunting. How much will it cost? What type of information should it have? Where do we get started? (For those of you who already have a website, reading this blog may help with your current site.)
There are basically three types of websites:
- A pure HTML/CSS site. This allows you to design the site exactly the way you want. This type of site has to be developed by an IT professional including all updates, so it will cost the most to produce.
- A template-based site is something like GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, where they advertise that anyone can develop their own website. The only drawback to these sites is you’re limited to the templates/tools they offer. They are cheaper, especially if you decide to do the whole project yourself.
- Blog-type sites are like Word Press, which are becoming more popular because of all the different items like Plug-Ins (on Word Press) you can add to your site to help things like SEO. This type of site usually requires you hire a professional to develop but you may be able to add updates.
Once you have decided which type of website will work for you, pay attention to the following.
- If you hire a company to design your website, make sure you have a solid relationship with them. You need to be okay with their pricing, the staff that assists you, their turnaround time.
- Homepage content is critical –make sure your homepage has the all the basic information -practice address, phone, short description of your practice and/or services. Users shouldn’t have to search for the vital information they need. In fact, your address and phone should appear on every page of your website.
- Remember –the right amount of content is also important –too much and you will lose your viewer or leave them confused. You don’t need anything flashy, professional and accurate is key.
- Main menu –Your top or side menu should have the right words that lead to the right pages of information.
- Make sure if you are on social media you include your links.
- Edit, edit and edit again –make sure your websites has no typos, incorrect or outdated information. Also, no links that go to pages that don’t exist or are incorrect.
- Services – Services can be listed on your home page and then expanded into greater detail on individual pages.
- Adding patient portals communicate with your patients on appointments, test results and more. They improve efficiency and allow patients to take more control of their healthcare.
- Also think of adding online appointments and bill pay. Remember, everything you add to your website you will need staff that will monitor and respond to requests within 24-48 hours.
- I would also recommend putting a disclaimer to not use for immediate assistance or emergencies on anything, emails, forms, etc. that your patients can submit to your office.
After you have your website developed the next important step is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which I will cover in the next blog. Until then, if you have any questions on getting started on your website or on your current website, OCMS can help. We offer a complimentary consultation to our members on any asset of your website, SEO or marketing practices. Give us a call!