Does your clinic's website need a health check?

Your clinic's website is more than just an advertisement. It should be a true reflection of your business that emphasises your strengths and shows prospective patients what they can expect.

In the competitive health industry, your website needs to make a great first impression on visitors. It then has to maintain this interest all the way to them booking an appointment or getting in touch.

If it's been a while since you last updated your website, or you've never paid it as much attention as you should, here are some questions to ask yourself that will reveal whether it's up to standard in 2018.

Is it easy to use?

Depending on what you specialise in, you may need to communicate some complex information. If your audience is the general public, this needs to be kept as simple and relatable as possible. The same goes for your site's design and navigation.

Take a look at some leading websites in any field and see how easy they are to use. The layout should be intuitive and familiar, with pages organised into categories that are easy to find in menus. Text should be broken up into manageable sections, ideally in plain black on a white background which is easiest to read, and in a legible font size, especially if you often deal with elderly or visually-impaired patients.

With many people now accessing websites on their phones rather than computers, it's vital that your website has a responsive design that adapts to all devices. If you've ever been browsing on your mobile and ended up on a non-responsive website with a desktop layout, you'll know how long you stuck around.

Is it easy to find?

Unless your name is established, most people who find your website through searches will likely be searching for a service you provide + your location. This is where hiring an SEO specialist can be useful, as they can optimise all the text on your website to help you show up in search results.

As more people use their mobiles to browse websites, many also use voice search rather than typing in their search queries. You can target these queries by presenting information on your site in a Q&A format using natural language, providing answers to the sort of questions being asked. Which brings us to the next point:

Is it helpful?

People are researching your clinic because they want to know if you can help them with a problem. Your website should provide clear answers that are easy to understand, along with your full contact details and a location map so they know how to get in touch or where to go to find out more.

If you offer a range of treatments or services, these should be given dedicated pages that provide a detailed overview and cover all the relevant details. Most patients want to know about costs, so even if you can't or don't want to get into exact prices, you should at least discuss your payment plans and what insurance providers you accept. Any information that you can't find a place for can be added to a general FAQ.

Be aware that in some countries, such as Australia, health industry websites are strictly regulated and must only include factual and balanced information rather than being overly promotional. Rather than being a hindrance, this serves to ensure that your content will be genuinely useful to patients and helps to demonstrate your professionalism.

Is it welcoming?

You can have the most detailed and usable website, but if it looks off-putting to patients, you won't make that vital first impression. All good website providers offer a choice of templates, which should be kept simple and attractive. It's best to customise your template so you don't look like everyone else, but at the same time, you should stick with colours and imagery that are associated with your field.

Images are important for any web page, and for a health site these should be directly related to your clinic, your staff or the services you provide. Stay away from stock photos and abstract clipart, instead using real photos of your practice and your team.

If a picture tells a thousand words, videos are even more powerful for engaging attention. These days, it's not too difficult to shoot a good-looking video with someone's smartphone, where you can introduce your clinic and your team or give quick introductions to accompany your service pages. When people can see who you are, this builds trust.

What do the patients think?

After reading through your website, a patient might be convinced you're the right choice, but they'd feel better if they had a personal recommendation. Online reviews are the next best thing.

Depending on the industry regulations in your country, you may not be allowed to solicit reviews, but if people like what you're doing, they may still send you feedback or leave reviews on local listing sites that you can quote. Maintaining active social media accounts and linking to these on your website will give patients and visitors more opportunities to see positive feedback from real people and to develop a connection with your health brand.

However much experience you have creating websites, whether it's your first time or you're a veteran, you'll find all the tools you need at Limecube. Limecube's themes keep things simple and can be customised as much as you want, making it easy to create a website that's professional, responsive and secure.