Understanding the fundamental concepts of what makes a winning website can be the difference between success and failure for your organization’s online presence. Your website acts as the gateway for new and existing customers to engage with your business; so don’t let common mistakes get in the way of your hospital’s success.
Here we take a look at the six most common pitfalls in hospital web design – and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of Clear Objectives and Purpose for Your Site
Just like your business, your hospital website needs clearly defined objectives and goals. Making your goals SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) also helps ensure you keep focused on results and moving in the right direction, adjusting things where necessary. A SMART business goal could be to increase leads by 10% over a 6-month period by offering a superior customer service experience. Be sure to keep your customers top of mind when setting goals, not just those of the business.
2. Not Having Simple and Clear Navigation
Hospital websites often have a lot of information that they need to present, thus a clear, concise and easy to understand navigation is imperative to guide customers in the right direction. If important information is hard to find, visitors are likely to leave your site.
A navigation menu ideally consists of 5-6 items at the top of your homepage, such as “Patients & Visitors”, “Our Services”, and “Research”. Underneath “Patients & Visitors”, a sub-menu should then include items such as “Visiting The Hospital”, “Inpatient Procedures”, and “Emergency Information”. This groups logical information together and keeps the homepage concise and clean.
3. Putting Design Before Content
A beautifully presented, visually appealing website is an important aspect of hospital web design. It’s important to make a good first impression, yet the design has to be backed up with quality content that is written for your audience. You need to state, in a persuasive and compelling way, what your company does, how you help solve your customers’ problems, and what value you can deliver to them. Copy that is well written, along with an appealing design, will ensure you attract and maintain your audience.
4. Not Designing for Mobile Devices
In 2015, Google officially announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers, so it’s no longer an optional extra – it’s an absolute must. If your site is not mobile responsive, you are missing out on potential customers –and sales.
5. Calls to Action That Don’t Perform
Calls to action (CTAs) encourage users to do something – and ultimately converts visitors into customers. Effective CTAs should work in harmony with your content and taglines, and serve as the next logical step in their journey, such as “Sign Up To Receive Our Health Newsletter”. Effective CTAs will create a sense of urgency and move your prospects to take action.
6. Taking but Not Giving
Giving customers a taste of your value or service first can help win trust and foster greater engagement. Sometimes, even the best call to actions can be too big a step for a potential customer to take straight away, especially asking for contact details, which people value and protect the most. To get around this, consider offering something of value first – a health report, a free sample, or a complimentary consultation. This step can help to win customer’s trust and lead to their business.
Avoiding these six common pitfalls in your hospital’s web design will mean you can accomplish your organization’s goals effectively.