Health care professionals are high achieving, typically top of the class individuals who are committed to bettering themselves and their patients. With this dedication to excellence, it has never made sense to me why so many practitioners have poorly functioning websites. If you would like to see an example of an engaging, dynamic website that communicates and represents a clinic well, you should check out Koru Natural Therapies.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BAD WEBSITES?
There are a few considerations to be made when thinking about why so many sub par websites exist. Doctors and other allied health care practitioners have traditionally been busy via word of mouth. This is not a good reason to not invest in your website. Know you need help,
click here. Increasingly, time poor people are turning to search engines such as google or social media sites for information, rather than their friends, family or neighbours. In order to stay relevant and to communicate what you do well and on your own terms, you need to be present and found on these platforms.
PEOPLE KNOW WHAT I DO (DO THEY REALLY?)
People who work in the health industry can incorrectly assume that the public know what they do and therefore don’t need to have a website or blog. More than ever, the community are turning to bloggers, influencers and self appointed guru’s for information. How many times has a client come in to see you telling you the latest (unhealthy) craze they are following because it’s good for their health? COUNTLESS! Health professionals more than ever, need to get active online. The public is relying on you to spread accurate and informed information. This will allow you to help more people.
I CAN’T ADVERTISE (YES YOU CAN)!
Let’s assume for a moment that I know what you are thinking, but we are not allowed to advertise. I’m a doctor, a physio, podiatrist etc. It’s against the rules. No it is not. You do need to be aware of the advertising guidelines. Don’t make outrageous claims about what you do. No testimonials and don’t quote research unless it’s a randomised control trial or even better, a meta analysis. To be honest, this is not the best way to connect with people in our community anyhow. Let’s focus on what you can do with a website to make it interesting, engaging and exciting. More importantly, let’s make sure you get found when people search for you online.
WHAT NOW – THE BASICS
So assuming you have looked up the Koru website – let’s highlight some of the basic features first before going deep into the detail.
CLEAR AND SIMPLE LAYOUT
When people land on your homepage, they want to be able to navigate their way around clearly and simply. A menu bar at the top of the page is a fantastic option. The main options are called “parent” with drop down options beneath are referred to as the “child”. Alternatively you could have a menu down one side of the page. As people tend to read from left to right, it has always made more sense to me to align in the direction given in the example.
A warm and well-spoken welcome video adds a nice touch. It allows for people to get the feeling they are getting to know you before they walk in the door. This provides familiarity and a sense of comfort, you are no longer considered to be unknown. For videos to work, you need to consider the following.
They must be clear with good sound and pleasant on the eye. Consider your professional appearance and how this reflects your business. Tone of voice, eye contact and body language are all important. You may need to have numerous practice videos before you make one that you are happy to launch online. Remember to keep an attentive audience, maximum length 1-2 minutes.
Health professionals are accustomed to reading long research articles, the public are not. They need you to break it down into bite size pieces. This helps them find what they are looking for and keeps their interest.
There is a reason why they say a picture says a thousand words. This again can help maintain attention and interest in your message. However it is important to remember that pictures can not replace text entirely, it must complement the message.
Links that take you to another page within your website are referred to as internal links. Providing the link works and is relevant to what the reader is looking for, people like to click thru to different pages to check out what you offer and how you can help them. However what lots of websites don’t do is provide links to external websites. You may be thinking, but I don’t want them to leave my website. This is a legitimate concern, but remember you choose where you are sending them to. This can increase the perception in the readers mind of your trustworthiness. You are becoming a source of valuable information. Bloggers and influencers know how to do this really well. Implementing these skills and features will only benefit your readers. Search engines like it too and is a feature that will help increase your credibility in their eyes too.
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP
This is a great feature and everyone should have this. If people sign up, they want to hear from you and you should be in contact with them regularly. Does this sound like more work (well yes) but it is totally worth it. People want to hear what you have to say. You can send them links to your blog articles, interesting practical tips or even recipes.
It is important that your website works perfectly on all devices, be it phones, iPads, laptops or desktop computers. I’m sure you have experienced frustration when a website you like wouldn’t work on your screen. The Koru website works perfectly every time.
You want your website to be readable for people with challenges and disabilities. Your images should be well labelled and be able to be read out loud for people who have low vision.
Many of you may be aware of some or all of the features outlined above. Now we are going to take you to the next level to create an even better site.
USE A TABBED ACCORDION
If you refer to the “Our Team” page on the Koru website, you will see a feature called a tabbed accordion. One of the benefits of this feature is creating a single page, with large volumes of text on it. Search engines like lots of text, it indicates you have important and relevant things to say. However as the viewer clicks thru the different practitioners, it creates a point of interest and keeps engagement high. To them it feels like they are clicking on different pages, when in fact they are staying on the same one.
WRITE TO THE PUBLIC
Avoid using medical latin, jargon and other language that the general public won’t understand. If they don’t understand you, they won’t trust you. This is a barrier to forming a relationship, just as it would be in any other aspect of life. Let’s assume some (or most) people don’t have your level of education, we need to write to them, for them. Write for your audience. If you are unsure, get a teenager to read it for you. They will tell you what they do and don’t understand or like. Remember they are internet savvy too, they can be a valuable source of feedback.
WRITE IN AN ACTIVE VOICE
Active Voice is a term describing a specific sentence structure whereby the subject performs the action stated by the verb. This adds impact to your writing.
The alternative is to write with a passive voice. This is where the subject is acted upon by the verb. Passive voice writing tends to use more words
Active: Researchers showed high stress increases heart attacks
Passive: It was earlier demonstrated by researchers that heart attacks can be increased by high stress.
BE THE FIRST LINK
On your websites home page, the first link you create has the highest impact. You want this valuable link to go to another page on your website, preferably your primary keyword. If you are unsure what a keyword is, this is the word you want google to focus on in relation to your website.
Bloggers have become influential for a reason, they communicate regularly with their audience. This is your way to make an ongoing impact and provide more value to your clients and the wider community. Increase trust, maximise engagement with current, helpful information. Be accurate, but also remember to speak to the people, not your colleagues and people will connect with you.
IT’S SIMILAR TO HOW YOU HELP PATIENTS
Creating a well functioning website requires planning, building, reassessment and maintenance. In actual fact, it is similar to seeing a patient. Once you have a diagnosis, you create a plan, do what is required, reassess and then aim to maintain change once it has been achieved.
Your website should look good, but it also needs to function well. That is where SEO comes in. There is no point having a pretty website with great information, if no one can find it. Google and other search engines have specific features they like in a website. There are lots of features to consider and google doesn’t announce what it looks for. This is why you need an experienced developer to guide you through this process.
Again, if you compare this to your interaction with your patients, they need someone who can break down what is going on into small steps. Then they need a guide to help them achieve the desired result.
Since launching the new site 3 weeks ago, we have had over 1700 visitors to our site. This is huge! We are thrilled with the result and hope you see a massive increase in traffic on your website too.
Hope you enjoy and use these hot tips for successful healthcare business websites. We would love to hear what worked for you and your website.