In an age where first impressions are born on the web, it’s important to put your practice’s best foot forward. To do that, you need a website that will make a strong first impression while being useful, easy to read and pretty to look at.

Now, you could stuff your website full of features and educational tools specific to your subspecialty, but the truth is patients are generally only looking for a few key things. They want to scan your bio, find out where your office is and download their new patient paperwork. Pretty much every website offers these basic functionalities, so what can you do to take your website to the next level and make it one of the best medical practice websites out there?Medical Practice Websites

Offer Online Appointment Scheduling

This one should be a no-brainer. With online appointment scheduling your office can schedule patients 24/7 from anywhere. You’ll never miss an appointment if you’re always open, right?

From a patient perspective, this is a wonderful feature that allows them to set up their appointment without the hassle of picking up a phone, being put on hold or having to scramble to find any information. It’s a win-win for your office and the new patient.

We’ve seen clients go high-tech (and sometimes high price) to integrate this feature with their current EMR and practice management software. On the flipside, we’ve seen offices have the appointment request form emailed to a generic address that is then forwarded to the appointment scheduler, costing next to nothing. In fact, one of our clients has over a 10 percent conversion ratio for visitors that click on the page to schedule an appointment. That’s a few thousand appointments that might not have been scheduled a year and a half ago before their website was redone.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

A big trend in developing sites today is to make them responsive. All that means is that the site is smart enough to recognize what size screen it’s being viewed on and adjust accordingly. In other words, if your patient is looking at your website from a smartphone, they’ll get a scaled down version that fits their device perfectly. If they’re on a tablet, they get the same thing but a little larger. If they’re on a computer monitor, they’ll get the full experience. Why does that matter, you ask?

Well, there are a few distinct advantages to building a responsive site. For one, your website will now load faster, thus decreasing the amount of time the user spends sitting and waiting around to see where your office is located. Again, this is all about making the best first impression possible on your potential patient, so you want to be as accommodating to them as you can be. Next, a mobile-optimized site perfectly positions your brand as leading-edge. Rather than endlessly scrolling or loading technology a smartphone might not be able to handle (see: Adobe Flash), a mobile-friendly site is designed to look good on any device and show users that your practice really knows its stuff.

Utilize a Blog

Blogging works wonders for websites. Not only does it position you as an expert in your subspecialty field, but it also helps tremendously with search engine optimization (SEO).

Did you know that 70 percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than advertisements? That’s why blogging on your website a few times a month comes in handy. By writing about topics you work with on a daily basis, you position yourself as a leading area expert. Best of all, since it’s on your page, you control all of the content and can make changes immediately if you need to. Plus, it’s cheaper than advertising.

According to a recent study from HubSpot.com, companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than those that don’t. Search engines use these indexed pages to help determine search ranking. The more pages you’ve got, the higher your potential ranking. The higher the ranking, the more leads you’ll see.

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