Whether you’re just beginning to build your healthcare website or are interested in a redesign, it is a huge part of your healthcare organization’s identity. Your website communicates your services and — just as importantly — your values.
You can look at it from a marketing, business, financial, or accessibility perspective, and the conclusion will be the same — your website is a key factor in your organization’s success.
The Healthcare Market Is Competitive
In the next few years, 42% of Millennials are expected to switch practices and physicians. With plenty of options — and plenty of healthcare websites to compare — your website has the power to speak to many potential new patients.
What features on your healthcare website have the longest shelf life — and which ones need to be updated more frequently?
Like A Fine Wine, They Stand The Test Of Time
At CareContent, we spend a lot of time building healthcare websites. Through research and analytics, we identify best practices to create dynamic and long-lasting content. We want your healthcare website to not just survive the test of time, but to thrive through it.
If you’re looking for features that last, here are some of the ones we’ve seen in our work that have the best potential for a long life.
Your patients will always need to be able to easily access the medical professionals working within your healthcare organization. Even if the method changes — think telehealth and patient portals — being able to easily locate names, faces, phone numbers, and clinic locations will continue to be important.
For this reason, one feature on your website that will always be a good investment is your provider directory.
Provider directories connect patients with their current providers, but they can also be instrumental for new patients choosing a provider. If your provider directory is unusable, hard to locate, out of date, or nonexistent, patients may not be able to find the information they need. This is frustrating for your patients, and it can also mean a loss for your organization.
While specific blog posts might be time sensitive, having a blog as a feature on your healthcare website gives you a place for that relevant and ever-changing information.
Your blog can share important healthcare news, health and safety information, or more personal insights into your organization’s providers — just to name a few.
Having a blog on your healthcare website creates a space for your healthcare organization to be a part of the conversation and to generate a recurring interest in your website. A blog can grow with your organization and with the changing trends, so while it’s a good, stable place to share content, it should never be stagnant.
Contact And Scheduling Information
While a good portion of a patient’s scheduling journey happens on your website, 88% of appointments are still scheduled by phone.
So, while your website may be impacting a potential patient’s desire to schedule an appointment, there’s a good chance that they pick up their phone to seal the deal.
Whether it’s a phone number, address, or an online scheduling form, be sure to make that clinic contact information accessible. And accurate. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re calling one location only to have someone in a totally different department answer the phone.
Preventing Your Healthcare Website From Going Sour
In addition to maintaining website features that will remain evergreen, you don’t want to forget to keep up with the times. Ignoring these shifts in culture and technology can leave your website to age like milk — and quickly go sour.
Whether it’s new trends in content or the generational needs of your community, here are some things to consider when identifying the features that require more routine maintenance.
If this past year has shown us anything, it’s that the digital assets of healthcare organizations are only becoming more valuable — when done well.
If you want to diversify the kinds of content on your website, consider:
These forms of media require different talents, resources, commitments, and investments, so you’ll want to think through your organization’s goals — and capabilities — before choosing the best fit for you.
Generation Z prefers to access their test results and communicate with their provider online. And you only have about 8 seconds to capture their attention — that’s not a lot. This means your content not only needs to be easy to find and easy to navigate, but it also needs to be aesthetically pleasing and visually compelling.
But this doesn’t only go one way. While you are making considerations for your younger audiences, you will also want to think about the way that older users are interacting with your digital content as well.
Almost 60% of adults aged 65 and older are now regular internet users, and that number will only continue to go up. It is short-sighted to assume that only younger audiences are using — and benefiting from — your digital content. Consider the value of user experience testing with audiences of all ages.
One thing you will want to continually be reassessing is your website’s accessibility. Your content should be usable for people with disabilities and be ADA compliant.
Because website accessibility takes into consideration the different needs of your healthcare website users and the different accessibility tools they may be using, this isn’t something that is “one and done.”
While accessibility standards will continue to evolve, here are some consistent accessibility considerations that won’t go stale:
- Images with alt text
- Videos with text captions
- High contrast color schemes
Your healthcare website is a critical asset to your organization’s success. Dedicating time and resources to its development — or even redesign — can help you attract and retain patients regardless of changing digital trends.
These are just a few of the different moving parts in your website. Developing a site that works and grows with your users can be tricky — but not impossible. If you start by setting clear goals and prioritizing specific website features, your patients will thank you.