If created correctly, your website can be a powerhouse sales and customer service tool for your plastic surgery practice. The trick is to make sure it is easy to access and navigate, it’s enjoyable to read and view, and ultimately, that it encourages patients to take action.
At Outlet Creative Group, we specialize in helping medical as well as plastic surgery practices create websites tailored to their goals and focused on their patients’ needs. After nine years in business, we’ve found that there are seven keys to creating a top-notch website. As you read through this list, we encourage you to do a self-check to see if your site measures up!
By now you have probably heard that Google is penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly. While we don’t have time to go into the details of what that looks like, just know that Google has the power to make it so people can’t find your website if you don't comply. Your best bet is to make certain that your site functions properly on all mobile devices. This means that your text is easy to read (no matter the device), your pages automatically resize, your photos are properly positioned, and your navigation works correctly.
1. Make it Mobile-Friendly
While this may sound overwhelming, don’t worry, all reputable web designers should have the capability to create new sites or transition preexisting sites to mobile-friendly platforms. With the majority of people browsing the internet on mobile devices, you can’t risk dropping the ball in this area.
2. Optimize for Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a phrase you’ve probably heard used in conversations about websites and growing your online presence. This concept is something you will want to understand because it directly influences how your website is found online. The truth is, if your site is not optimized for search engines, no one will ever find it.
Today’s search engines are what deliver your website on a silver platter to your current and future patients. You can strategically manage your SEO to target your local area and promote your services. Keeping your website updated with fresh content, using the right meta tags, and using well-researched keywords can help you strengthen your approach to SEO. Here are 7 SEO trends to watch out for in 2017.
3. Grab Their AttentionIf your website does not immediately grab the attention of visitors, they won’t stick around. In fact, you have less than five seconds to capture a potential patient’s attention to convince them to look around your website. While this may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Use clear, focused, and compelling headlines to draw your reader in. Make sure your services and expertise are clearly stated and are given top priority. After all, your potential patients want to know if you have the solutions and services they are looking for. While we don’t encourage you to talk extensively about yourself, you can present your services and expertise in a way that showcases the value you offer.
Another key factor to retaining your audience’s attention is to make sure your site is easy to navigate. The last thing you want to do is confuse your readers or make them feel like they are lost within your website. Think about how the information flows from one page to the next. Is it easy for them to understand your content and how your site is organized? When reviewing each page, ask yourself, what is my goal with this page, what do I want my reader to do? Make sure it is easy for them to do what you want!
4. Build Your Site with the End in MindSure, it’s easy to feel like we just have to build our website as quickly as possible so we don’t miss out on opportunities. But you need to make sure you are building your site with a clear focus and goal in mind. Ultimately, what do you want your potential patient to do once they have visited your site? Most likely, you are hoping your site will generate more leads and encourage visitors to get in touch. The best bet when creating a website is to make sure that each page is helping you reach that end goal.
For example, if you want to capture leads, you need to make sure your site has high-quality opt-ins - things such as free downloads, case studies, or infographics that entice your readers to download and give you their contact information. Another way to improve your patients’ experience is to make your contact information extremely easy to find. One way to do this is to put your phone number in the site’s header and footer, and on your contact page. If you would ideally like to set up consultations with potential patients, have a widget or form that makes it easy for them to schedule appointments immediately.
5. Integrate Your Social MediaIf someone is viewing your website, they will likely want to see what you’re doing on social media. One of the best indicators that someone is interested in your practice is if they visit your website, then visit your social media pages and click that coveted “like” button. To make this an easy experience for your patients, add links to your social sites on your website.
If you are actively blogging or offering high-quality opt-ins, give your visitors the option to share the content on social media! The use of social sharing buttons is a great way to simplify this process so they don’t have to copy and paste a link anytime they want to share it.
6. Create Content Regularly
Once you have made your stellar website, the content creation process does not stop. A high-performing website consistently has updated and new content. In fact, Google pays close attention to websites that are constantly updating their pages and those that never update their site after it was first created. They reward sites that are reliably delivering the latest and most relevant information to its readers. The best way to do this is to do a quarterly review of your website. Ask yourself if there are new questions you could answer for your readers or if any of your services need to be updated.
One of the most powerful and productive ways to consistently add new content to your website is through blogging! By blogging about the solutions your patients are searching for, you are improving your SEO, positioning yourself as an industry expert, and strengthening your standing with Google. Just make sure your content is relevant, timely, and high-quality!
7. Give it the Time it Deserves
A quality website does not happen overnight - it takes a significant amount of time. No, that’s not the answer we want when we want to see immediate results, but that is the truth. Keep in mind that once a website goes live, it can take Google several weeks and sometimes months to index those new pages. There are billions of webpages on the internet, and Google needs time to scan them and register the content that is on them. As your site is developed and continually updated, be patient and remember that consistency and quality will reward you in the long run.
However, if you are like most practices we work with, you want to focus on your patients and not have to worry about creating content for your website. Partnering with a company like Outlet Creative Group will allow you to focus on providing the best care to your patients, while still positioning your website for success. We understand the ins and outs of web design and content creation and can handle all of the details for you. We know how long this process usually takes and can take the burden of keeping your website updated off of your shoulders.
So, how did you do? After reading this list of seven key factors, are you pleased with your website or did you realize your site needs to be updated? If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or just want to talk through your website, we’d be happy to help!