3 Tips to Make Your Website Actually Useful
Gone are the days of a “form over function” internet. Where once the simple novelty of seeing a business online, in any fashion, was often enough. Now, today’s more savvy audiences simply want to get where they are going. So with the priorities of today’s business websites being speed and ease of use, here are 3 tips that can make sure you are providing your followers and patients the information they require in the best way possible to help you make conversions either on your site or in person.
1. Where is the business?
Contact information is the most important information you can have on the internet. Seems simple enough, yet many well-intentioned websites make this information difficult to find. Studies show that people will tend to look at the top left corner of your website first, like they’re reading a book. This is where the most important information should be, your contact info—don’t make patients and potential patients scour the page looking for a way to find your practice.
There is lots of data you can include in the contact information section. The trick is finding the balance of information overload vs. unnecessary vagueness. There are three things you need to specifically include:
Hours of operation
People seeking this information are likely close to buying, so having your hours of operation listed accurately and in a fashion that’s easy to read is a huge priority. Here are two examples, one bad and one good, to showcase how your hours should be listed online
Don’t do it like this
We are open Mondays – 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Tuesdays – 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Wednesdays – 8:00 am-7:00 pm, Thursdays – 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Fridays – 8:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturdays 12:00 pm-5:00 pm and the service shop is also open until 7:00 pm.
Looks hard to read, right? It doesn’t look nice, it’s hard to look at specific days, and you don’t know if the service shop is just open on Saturdays, or if it’s always open until 7:00 pm every evening.
A better example
Mon 8 – 5
Tues 8 – 5
Wed 8 – 7
Thurs 8 – 5
Fri 8 – 7
Sat 12 – 5
Mon-Sat: 12 – 7
Looks a lot nicer, right? It’s a lot easier to read and find the information you need. The most important part is to make sure the hours are accurate. Even if it takes an extra line to better explain a confusing set of hours, patients and potential patients greatly appreciate knowing when they can expect your practice to be open.
Unless you’re an online retailer, your address is an essential part of your contact listing. But just like hours of operation there is are a variety of ways to share your location. Here is how we recommend it. Provide enough information so that Google maps can locate your practice. For people in major cities, often times just your street address is sufficient. But if your practice is a little tricky to find consider linking to a map application, or have the map right on the website. If you’re going that direction, make sure to use an accredited map engine like Google Maps, instead of a hand-drawn creation. People tend to be a lot more familiar with popular map formats and might get confused/scared at the sight of your beautiful artwork.
This is the number where patients and potential patients can most easily reach you. Physicians should have one phone number on the homepage display to be a catch-all for any inquiries. Don’t forget an area code for those out-of-town patients or potential patients. Make it easy for those on-the-go to hit a button and have their mobile device ring the practice instantly.
2. Who is the business?
You likely have a lot to say about your Direct Primary Care practice so the real challenge here is the distillation of your story. Here, think of the company from the patient’s’ perspective; what makes you unique? Why are you better than their competitors? What do you do for patients? These question will likely shed light on the most important information to share, at least at the top of the page.
Once you’ve got your top level information cased, consider designing a way for interested patients to learn even more about the physician and practice. There you can dive deeper into your history, philosophy, and share any achievements or media coverage your practice has had in its past.
3. What does the business do?
This is where functionality needs to be the highest priority. Patients are looking for confirmation that your practice is what they are looking for in the moment they are searching. You can’t afford to have this information be anything but concise, easy to find, and extremely helpful. It’s challenging to know the exact right strategy for your practice but a tactic we recommend is taking a look at your closest competitors for insight.
Look at those website and assume the perspective of their patient. If you like something about the way their website works, make a note. If you find something super inconvenient or confusing, again, make a note. Have these notes inform your approach.
A lot of people think a website should be an online version of your practice. In reality, this is virtually impossible. A website is more like a messenger for your practice. It’s a tool for relaying information about the practice to potential patients. If your messenger is long-winded, confusing and tries to use flashy bright colours to grab attention, the patient is not going to be engaged. If your messenger relays all the information in a simple, concise and memorable way, patients will be much more likely to engage. It is quite likely a website is the first impression the patient might have of your practice—remember, you only get once chance to make a first impression!
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