If your organization built their website more than a few years ago it’s time for an update, if for no other reason than the fact that usage patterns have changed dramatically. According to Mobile Insights, consumers spend more time on their mobile devices than desktop. So if your website is not mobile-friendly, it is time for a complete redo. However, updating your website should be an ongoing process of editing and adding content.
I ‘m continuously visiting hospital websites and to be honest, many could use a trip to the ER. While healthcare technology continues to change at a rapid pace, many healthcare providers have not kept pace with new web design and usage practices. Luckily, keeping an effective website is about keeping the content fresh and organization. Here are a few tips to keep your website looking great and user-friendly.
- Simple and Clean: Treat your homepage like your lobby. People walk in the door and see only the essentials: a front desk for appointments, a door to the pharmacy, and perhaps a gift shop. When someone visits your website, they should be able to easily find the most important topics or areas of interest. If people want to learn more about a topic, they go where it intuitively makes sense to go. You’re the cutting edge of medical miracle work through carefully developed procedures and space-age technology. Your website should not look like it was last updated in the 90’s.
- Emphasize Accessibility: When people visit a healthcare website, they’re typically trying to complete a transaction or find information. Make the things people are searching for easy to find. For example, with the popularity of scheduling appointments increasing, placing a button on the homepage may make the user experience faster and more pleasant. Your address should also be visible without having to click anything and important health information should be accessible through no more than a few clicks.
- Highlight the Important Info: Regardless of what content is on your site, consumers won’t benefit from anything they can’t find. Our Health Risk Assessments, evidence-based online health assessments, are deployed on many hospital websites. The sites that prominently display the assessments see greater participation and generate more leads than those hospitals that have them buried under a maze of links. The message is simple: If you show it, they will use it.
- Integrate Social Media: Social media is far from a secret in the healthcare world, but it is a true gem. Not only do social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to reach out to customers, but also it provides a medium through which your customers can actually engage with you. Social media is a great opportunity for your hospital or clinic to enter into a public dialog with customers and improve your online reputation while at the same time building a rapport.
Making effective use of your website isn’t just part of a smart patient engagement strategy, it’s a consumer expectation. Managing a well-organized website is easier than a cluttered one and will accomplish more for your hospital or clinic. So ask yourself, do you like searching for content on your website?