What role do websites play in the providers’ business strategy?
With health concerns increasing massively within the pandemic, patients are in search of more knowledge and resources (i.e. websites,…) to help them with the decision-making and care journey steps. As in-person access got limited, healthcare professionals had to adjust and evolve to remote settings and digital interactions with both patients and partners.
The industry fastened the pace with more technological solutions available. Patients’ expectations account, now, for quick access to health-related and added value content. Which is, most of all, delivered in an understandable way by providers.
To better meet the patients’ needs and expectations for support and guidance, it’s crucial for the business to have a website. A portal also plays a big role when it comes to increasing brand awareness, fastening care access, and becoming a trusted source for medical data.
In this new digital era in healthcare, developing a website is an important piece of the business strategy. As more and more people are turning to them for medical answers, updates, and online health access to book appointments and pay bills.
Medical Services: Why is Having a Website so Important?
Let us look in detail at some of the direct benefits of having a medical website for both healthcare providers and patients.
Accessibility: Care for Everyone at All Times
COVID-19 is now leading the list of reasons why people avoid in-person appointments with healthcare providers. Medical websites can play, in this sense, an important role in addressing and solving unmet needs.
Combining medical relevant up-to-date content with online services can ensure a 360º approach to the most important needs and expectations of the target audience. Some of the options offered can be:
- Book remote or in-person appointments with healthcare professionals; and
- Request a physician’s house visit
Care access becomes broader and faster, with bigger opportunities for providing full support at each stage and guidance for improved health outcomes. Providers become active and proactive partners, consistently present at the right time of need.
Go-to Source: Trust & Authority Building
When deciding on healthcare providers and services, online research is the first for the new digital era patient. A high-quality, accurate yet bite-sized, and digestible educational content is more than likely to ensure the patient’s choice in the decision-making process.
Making valuable resources available at all times will help establish the provider as a trusted go-to source. Which will lead to an increase in both business authority and brand awareness. With so much scattered information online, providers benefit from being a patient’s compass in the needed content navigation and consumption, guiding the patient along the way.
Healthcare end-users are currently more concerned. These are perse, knowledge seekers whose favorite media type is video. So, having medical animations that educate the patient about disease-related data is added-value content that the audience will want to engage with.
It is crucial having a responsive website where patients can communicate with the healthcare professionals and medical staff. This ensures the sense of having care access at all times and guidance whenever needed. Improving their healthcare experiences outcomes.
To increase the patients’ loyalty, the medical website must also include some most wanted features, such as:
- Appointment booking/ management;
- Direct contact with the HCP; and
- Billing management.
Marketing Results: Reach & Engagement Improvement
The medical website opens the door to more marketing opportunities, as it can be the promotion channel for the provider’s latest news, events, initiatives, and more. All with an extended reach.
Content marketing-wise, providers must acknowledge the importance of providing up-to-date, accurate data as a way to offer high-quality educational resources that can be accessed at the device of choice.
When creating the content it’s therefore important to check how it looks on different screen sizes with the increasing usage of mobile devices by the general population.
Also, it’s vital to transform complex medical data into understandable and engaging content. Such as an explainer video – which is now one of the most-watched and demanded video content on a global scale.
Mapping the patient journey is essential to check if the website is friendly and easy to navigate through. This allows providers to put themselves in the patient’s shoes, making room for improvement according to preferences. And a further tailored continuous optimization.
Medical Websites: Design is also important!
The first impression is usually the one that remains and dictates further engagement from the customer while researching online. So, the design must be professional, appealing, and differentiate the provider from all others.
This is what will guarantee patients are granted the best treatments and most competent professionals. And there are a few tips that can help in developing a design that checks all of these boxes.
- Patients visit healthcare websites in search of answers, so the website’s appearance must be clean and its navigation simple;
- Highlight the popular services on the homepage to help with both promotion and visibility to the end-users;
- Keep the content up-to-date and accurate with valuable data delivered in a timely manner and attractive format. Have a blog and add video content to the page to benefit SEO. That way you increase the number of visitors with longer time spent on the page;
- People connect with people and patients want to know more about the medical staff. So a page with the team gives the human touch a medical website needs;
- Include patient testimonials and ratings to increase the visitors’ trust and the domain authority. Also, reviews can be important sources of extra comprehensive health-related information that other patients can benefit from;
- Guide the patient by adding a unique Call-To-Action (CTA) button to appointment booking. Also, use simple forms for the scheduling process;
- To ensure engagement continuity and promote the patients’ loyalty, encourage visitors to sign up for communications received through email. This way the provider guarantees the flow of digital interactions and the potential number of patients;
- Check if the website is multi-device and mobile-friendly, as this is the outlet users use the most to research. If the website functionality is compromised according to the device used, there’s a risk of losing potential patients and damaging the SEO;
- Optimize the website SEO for local searches. As the majority of the patients will probably be nearby, including directions (address, map) and focused content.
Why the right design matters
The right design makes all the difference and is a major breaker when it comes to reaching, decision-making and engagement.
Standing out of the crowd is now more crucial than ever with a vast sea of offers. So, the provider must reflect the brand and business in the style, content expertise, and tone of voice of the website to ensure more visitors and patient loyalty.
Having the patient’s health experience on top of the mind, granting support and trusted guidance, goes in line with what they are in search of. Medical websites play a very important part in both the decision-making process and loyalty. While enabling differentiation from the competition, it makes the patients more aware of the brand. Consequently, increasing the marketing efforts’ visibility and reach.
Through the medical portal, patients can access care at any time from anywhere with a direct communication channel with physicians and valuable relevant medical content at hand. Providers become partners in every stage of the journey and trusted primary go-to sources.
A well-developed healthcare website is crucial to meet the digital native patient expectations while serving its care needs and achieving the business goals.
The main goal is to deliver medical valuable information as a seamless experience. And the best way to go is to have a clean layout with plenty of white space and simple colour schemes. So, providers must keep the quality of the content while simplifying the navigation.