We all know the importance of having a website in 2022, right? Actually, not all of us. Did you know that 27% of businesses in the US still don't have a website?
In the healthcare industry, this problem is even worse. Fortunately for you, that means there's less competition standing in your way. Let's talk about the importance of healthcare web development and how your practice can benefit from proper web design today!
You're busy saving lives, so why should you be concerned with your web design? It's a fair question.
The truth is that if you don't have a website in any industry, you're not even competing. People are always looking for new locations, new practices, and more. This could be because they've experienced a new medical issue, moved to a new location, or are unhappy with their current provider.
Having a strong online presence overall is a great way to promote your practice. With the right tools, you may be the first practice new users see in your area! With that in mind, here are some of the key reasons why web development is so important in healthcare.
First impressions are important in every industry, but healthcare is a little different. Most people have high expectations for healthcare facilities before interacting with them. They expect cleanliness, professionalism, and more.
Unfortunately, if your website does not reflect or exceed these expectations, you may not get a second chance at making a strong impression. 76% of consumers look at a business's online presence before ever visiting their store, and we can imagine that's only more true for non-emergency healthcare facilities.
The good news is that you have total control over your website, which is typically the first impression for users. By offering a high-quality website, they'll understand that your practice has high standards.
Every business needs customers, and the healthcare industry is no different. On average, the quality of your website has a direct correlation with your conversion rates. This means that any boost to your website is a boost to your bottom line.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Your website is the center of your entire digital marketing strategy. It's where your ads and all other marketing efforts direct traffic.
If you're attempting to bring new patients into your facility, an ad campaign is only as strong as the journey it takes the user on. Have you ever clicked on a link and it didn't load or displayed an error? How long did you continue trying to navigate through this previously unknown website?
Like it or not, users are accustomed to high-quality sites. Without the desired quality, you invite users to search elsewhere.
Building a strong website will directly impact the amount of traffic you bring to it and retain. While a strong website will help you retain more users from social media, email campaigns, ads, and healthcare directories, search engine optimization (SEO) can help build new traffic for you.
SEO is how websites optimize their content for search engines like Google. Whether you realize it or not, that's why you try new pizza places or how you found your dry cleaner. The business worked to get to the top of your search result with quality web design and content.
This has a long-term effect on traffic, and the need for ongoing expenses diminishes greatly. Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) ads, there's no limit to your return on investment. Once you have the website and content that's ranking, you can continue to build traffic from it for years to come.
However, this can only happen if you lay a strong foundation. Google uses over 200 ranking factors dedicated to the quality of your website. Without a strong, user-friendly website, your content is unlikely to go very far.
Now that you know why a strong healthcare website is so important, you may want to build one of your own. Here are some tips on building a high-quality healthcare website today!
Even if your primary goal is to build SEO traffic, users should be at the forefront of your strategy. Not only are they the ones you're trying to appeal to, but Google's algorithm is specifically designed to detect user engagement. No matter what your goals are, this is the top priority.
Consequently, your navigation system, page layout, user functions, and content need to keep users in mind at all times. Never sacrifice a user-friendly feature for what you think search engines would prefer. In the long run, user engagement and quality content will always win.
It doesn't matter if users are looking for an X-ray or an ice cream shop. The majority of them will use mobile devices to find it. As a result, you're missing out on the majority of traffic without a mobile-friendly design.
Most importantly, your pages need to load fast with minimal lag. Average users don't stick around for more than a couple of seconds if the pages don't load, and Google knows this. They prefer your pages to load fully in under 0.4 seconds!
Also, your page needs to fit on mobile screens seamlessly. Navigation features, page layouts, and more need to be designed for mobile devices. Unfortunately, you can't simply rely on automation from CMS tools like WordPress or Shopify to do this for you.
Don't know how your website holds up? Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to find out.
If you don't already know, blogs are arguably the most important aspect of any business website. In the healthcare field, you have one particular advantage; expertise. You likely have a team of experts in your facility who can either create or review accurate and informative content in a given niche.
The reason blogs are so important is that they offer you endless opportunities to rank on search engines and provide value to potential users. They're also incredibly helpful for driving conversions.
For example, a standard healthcare website may have 15 to 20 pages. These may include pages for specific services, locations, and more. In this case, how will anyone find your website?
Unless they search for your hospital's name, they may never find it. At best, they may find your website by searching for your services, but that's only if your website is top-tier and trusted by Google.
Conversely, you can rank for thousands of keywords with a blog. Remember, people search for information more than they search for specific companies or services. Offer that information and try to convert users into patients.
If a user searches for a specific query like "recovery time after appendectomy" or "how to know if I need stitches," then you can offer the information they need and suggest they seek your services as a solution. If you've provided them with high-quality information in a concise, user-friendly manner, why wouldn't they? Blogs are an essential component of any modern website!
On your blog and across your website, you will need a strong list of keywords to rank for. You can find these by using your favorite keyword research tools and typing in the obvious keywords to find related ones. Using the same tools, you can also input your competitors' URLs to find which keywords they use.
Overall, you want to diversify this list as much as possible while keeping it relevant to your practice. If you have a full-sized hospital, then you have endless keywords to choose from with so many different departments and services. For a small-scale practice, you'll still have plenty.
Most importantly, use a combination of both short-tail and long-tail keywords in your content. Short-tail keywords are the obvious ones in any industry like "hospital" or "urgent care." They will have the most competition, but also the highest search volume.
Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for in the short term, as they have significantly lower competition on average. These are highly specialized keywords like "how to know if you broke your leg" or "MRI scans near me."
While these have a lower search volume, the people searching for them are far more likely to convert into patients. Use as many relevant long-tail and short-tail keywords as possible early on in your strategy for the best results. You can use these in your blog, but make sure they're spread around your entire website!
The sooner a user can find the answer to their question, the better. When you're searching for an answer on Google and can't find it on the first page, do you keep going to the next pages or retype your query?
There is no such thing as a perfect website. A perfect website with perfect content would imply that 100% of users can find the answers to their questions within a few seconds.
However, you can make up for this by offering users a real-time chatbox on each page. As long as there is a human presence ready to respond at a moment's notice (at least during business hours), this can help improve engagement and retention. They may have questions about hours, insurance, rates, and more that you don't want to display on your website.
If they can't find this information or chat with someone about it, they will likely head to another hospital website. Give users every opportunity for a successful journey with your hospital site.
Hear us out. Not all value takes place on your website. Your entire online presence needs to reflect the same level of quality.
This goes beyond social media and ad campaigns. Managing your online reputation and building a series of directory links to your website can show immediate benefits to your website traffic. While this seems out of place, it's essential for your SEO strategy.
More importantly, you don't want conflicting messages or imagery. If users see two completely unrelated pages that look totally opposite, this can create issues with trust. For this reason, creating a uniform and cohesive brand with your healthcare web design is quite helpful.
Your website should contain everything a user would need to convert from a reader into a patient. This includes necessary information, schedules, booking platforms, contact forms, and more. Any question they need to know or any step they need to take should be readily available to them!
Without a doubt, the most effective way to build a high-quality healthcare website is to hire an experienced healthcare web developer. This way, you'll ensure that you have industry experts with experience in your field who can get you the best product in the shortest time.
This is important regardless of your goals. DIY or outdated websites stick out like a sore thumb in today's online world. Also, if you want to rank higher on Google, you will need a quality web design.
Once you have the website, the sky is the limit. You can continue reaping the rewards for as long as possible. This makes web design services a small investment for a massive potential reward.
Now that you know the importance of healthcare web development, put some of these tips to use today. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start seeing the results you want. Remember that SEO and organic traffic take time to build, so don't wait.
Stay up to date with our latest tips for healthcare marketing, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy!
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