Whether you’re a general practitioner, psychiatrist, pediatrician, dermatologist, chiropractor, gastroenterologist, physical therapist, cardiologist, nutritionist, allergist, dentist, orthodontist, acupuncturist, or any of the countless other types of doctors, specialists, and caregivers, you probably don’t devote much effort to marketing your practice.
Many healthcare providers rely mostly on word-of-mouth, referrals, and patient proximity for new business. But your website is a powerful branding and marketing tool—at least if you treat it as such. And once you launch a compelling site, it keeps working for you, and mostly without sustained effort on your part.
There are plenty of basic web design best practices for professional sites that are always relevant. But below are some web design best practices for medical practice websites that are specific to the industry. They help your practice stand out from all the others and help establish trust, which is never more important than in healthcare.
So, if you’re starting a new practice or have realized it’s time for a redesign, see to it that your site is built with consideration for these web design best practices for medical practice websites.
Tips for Great Medical Practice Website Design
- Include all the information about your education, degrees, residency or internships, practice history, awards and other recognitions, board positions, major publications, and other resume-type details that give you credibility.
- Talk about your philosophy about health, healthcare, optimal lifestyle, the doctor-patient relationship, etc. Patients are eager to connect with a relatable person—not just a bunch of qualifications.
- If you have a niche area of interest, expertise, extra study or work history, or treatment, highlight it. Consider having a page on your site that’s dedicated to this niche.
- Link prominently to social proof in the form of patient ratings and reviews. General sites like Yelp are good, as are healthcare-specific sites like RateMDs and Healthgrades. If you don’t have many reviews online, ask your patients to leave them.
- Place trust signals around your website. On-site testimonials are powerful, as long as they’re real and attributed. Also, don’t overlook icons that reassure about your site’s security, since patients may be sharing private information.
- Use high-quality professional photos of yourself on your About page and elsewhere on the site. It’s crucial for credibility.
- To go along with the above, avoid stock images on your site. They tend to feel too impersonal for a medical practice website. Invest in a few professional photos of your staff and office.
- Make a Resources page on your website where patients can find reliable, up-to-date information about your field, improving their health in ways relevant to your practice, conditions you treat, and so on. You can simply link to off-site information if you want, with a small introductory blurb about each link. Just make sure you link to well-written, quality information.
- Publish a blog with health and lifestyle information and medical news that’s relevant to your patients. This builds your authority and shows you as invested in your patients’ well-being. It also helps your practice’s site rise in search engine results. If you’re not a great writer, use a professional one, but always review the information for accuracy.
- Combine resources and blog posts in a monthly newsletter. Put prominent sign-up calls to action on each page of your site. This helps build your authority while also building a mailing list to stay in your patients’ minds and suggest reasons for them to come see you.
- Have systems for online appointment scheduling, downloading forms to fill out before appointments, and bill payments. This level of convenience isn’t just nice—it’s expected these days.
- List your services. If applicable, identify your treatment techniques, the types of conditions you treat, or other details that help users figure out if you’re the right provider for them.
- Also list the insurance companies you accept at your practice. Include self-pay information too for those who may want to see you without coverage or out of network.
- Optimize for local SEO, because everyone searching online for a health services provider searches with a location. Include the places you’re convenient to on your About page, publish some locally focused content, make sure your practice is listed in these online directories, create a Google My Business page, and make sure your practice’s address and other contact information appears accurately and consistently on the web.
- It’s essential that your website looks clean and modern (which includes working well on mobile devices). Outdated sites don’t instill much confidence in visitors, and they don’t communicate that you’re invested in your image or reputation.