We live in an Internet-driven world, and websites are increasingly replacing once-traditional informational outlets as the main source of knowledge for Americans. In fact, according to findings from Pew Internet research, websites play an integral role in patients’ search for health information.
In order to capture the attention of some of the people searching for doctors online, your organization needs to have an attractive website with useful tools that engage patients and encourage interaction. With the following add-ons, you can enhance the appeal of your current website and increase credibility without spending a fortune.
Testimonials from patients who have had a positive experience with your physicians and staff can be a great addition to your website – whether you choose to group all testimonials together on one page or disperse them strategically throughout your site. Testimonials show potential patients the good things about you and your services, and they tend to be effective because they come from real patients. To increase the credibility of the testimonials on your site, add photos of the patient alongside the text. You might also consider adding video testimonials. They can be more compelling but require a greater commitment from patients.
Setup a blog.
Blogging will allow you to start a conversation with patients and develop more personal relationships built on credibility and trust. To get started, you can create a blog using a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com, and then simply link to it from your website. A different alternative is to fully integrate WordPress with your website by downloading the components to your site. Whichever option you choose, once your blog is setup, be sure to update it regularly. Focus on topics that interest your patients, address their health concerns, and provide value.
Integrate social media buttons.
Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are ideal outlets to reach patients and to share content that’s added to your blog. They are also a great way to build awareness of your brand and of the services that your organization provides. Once your hospital or practice sets up social media accounts, the next step is to add buttons to your website so that people can find them. Twitter and Facebook both provide resources to do so – and there are also free services and widgets online.
Add a sliding banner.
A great image can be much more effective at conveying a message than even the most perfectly-crafted words. It makes sense then that homepage sliders with engaging images are becoming more and more common on medical websites. A sliding banner is a cheap add-on alternative that can help you update the look of your website. It’s not as easy a task to take on as adding client testimonials or incorporating social media buttons, but an experienced web design team can help you design the slider images and add them to your website for a reasonable price.
Just like images can speak louder than words, so can video. Adding a short, simple video to your homepage is an opportunity to connect with site visitors on a personal level. It can allow you to explain what your practice is about, put a real “face” to your business and help you stand out. Anyone with a smartphone can record a video – and you can make it as professional or casual as you like, depending on the resources available to your practice. Once you’ve recorded a video, the next step is to upload it to a video sharing website like Vimeo or YouTube. From there, you can get an embed code to easily add it to your main site or blog.
What website improvement ideas do you have to share with other hospitals and healthcare practice owners?