A website is an effective tool to market your medical or not clinical products and services. That is a given! Why then do so many medical practices try to develop their own websites? This is akin to a lay person attempting to remove his own tonsils.
Web site design is a skill. It is one that competent web designers and webmasters have trained for and honed, after both study and plenty of practice. They have learned the language of computing, and mastered the art needed for good-looking and, even more importantly, functional, user-friendly website development.
However, while I discourage you or your teenage kid from building your own medical practice or physician business website (unless of course this is a true skill of yours), I strongly urge you to know what is involved in creating a top-notch website that not only promotes your practice but actually generates business (and revenues!) for you.
There are many concepts to consider when having a website designed and built for you, including the following:
1. Know your own practice or business
If you are a professional who wants to make people aware of your or your practices capabilities and offerings via your website online means, you need to know yourself and your practice or business deeply and intimately. You need to articulate your core competencies to highlight them as much as possible through both design and content.
The same could be said for a good website designer who creates websites for physicians. A competent physician website designer knows that a certain medical practice’s web site design should always reflect that practices specialization. For example, to promote a pediatric practice, a designer is likely to opt for a more lighthearted, nurturing and even fun look, unlike the website for a geriatric practice that may need to offer large fonts and easy-to-digest formatting.
2. Sometimes “Free” is a bad word
A common mistake people make when it comes to web design is to use free templates. Templates work fine if you are not really competing with anyone or are just using it for a personal website.
However, a website designed for professional purposes is a different story. You will want your website to reflect your unique or distinctive practice and to appear classy and professional. You would not want your site to look like it was home made. Again, using the doctor website design example, using a free template puts you at a risk of having a design that is similar to a doctor that you are in direct competition with.
3. Content is King
Many web designers (and medical practice website owners!) become complacent after creating a very beautiful and eye catching design. Don’t forget – your website content is hugely important as well. It does not matter how stunning your design is if your website visitors leave your website without taking the action step you intend them to take.
You should consider having someone update your website regularly with well-written concise and interesting content to prevent the content from becoming stale AND to keep the search engines visiting frequently to index your “fresh relevant content”. This content can include images, videos, or even audio clips.
Your job as a prospective medical practice or physician business website owner is to arm yourself with enough knowledge to know what to ask your web designer for. In that way, your website stands the very real chance of becoming the shining centerpiece of your medical practice or physician business marketing plan.