Practice marketing and website building are not taught in medical school, yet these tasks are incredibly important to the success and longevity of your business. According to a recent study, 81% of people visit websites before picking up the phone.
If you’re using an Integrative Medicine-specific EMR software, such as Power2Practice, your website is also where patients go to login into their personal patient portal to schedule appointments, check lab results, download education tools, message your office and more.
Even a simple website has the potential to significantly accelerate your online presence and improve patient engagement. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend loads of cash developing one. In this article, we’re going to break down five of the most important factors for creating an efficient practice website that keeps current patients engaged while attracting new ones!
5 Ways to Build a Practice Website That Performs
Position Your Practice Appropriately
Your site is your electronic calling card—one that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, by anyone who types the right combination of words into a search engine. These search engine sites, such as Google, use algorithms to lead more patients to you by searching for keywords in the text.
What words best define your practice, your specialties and your uniqueness as a physician or practice group? These are words that you will want to integrate into your website content; think page titles, paragraph headers, blog content and video.
By narrowing your focus and targeting your practice’s description, you will begin to appeal to a particular demographic, or niche. Perhaps your niche is geographical and you would like to extend an invitation to potential patients in your city or neighborhood? Or, maybe you have a particular specialty that would attract new patients from all over the city or state?
There is no need to feel pressure to come up with your keywords all at once or in one sitting.
Often times, these words or demographic niche ideas will come to you when you least expect it and at the most inconvenient times, such as in the car, at the gym or during off-hours spent with family. Plan for this scenario by voice recording notes on your mobile phone, or carry a small spiral notebook for such a purpose. The best ideas, born from inspiration in the moment, so easily slip our minds once our focus shifts to another task. Your best bet is to jot down notes down as they come, then bounce your ideas off of colleagues or staff at a later date.
Establish an Immediate Connection With Bios & Video
As uncomfortable as writing a bio may feel, your current and future patients want to know what makes you tick. In addition to your credentials, education and current position, we encourage you to write about your passion as a physician.
Why did you go into medicine? What do you love about being in the field? What can you promise your patients if they come to see you or others in your practice?
Use video to instantly connect with future patients. A short, one-to-two-minute video can go a long way in establishing a connection with patients before they even pick up the phone to schedule an appointment. While beneficial for all practice types and sizes, videos can dramatically accelerating the success of cash-pay and concierge practice models.
You don’t need expensive equipment to create a gorgeous and effective video! A webcam or iPad and Internet connection is all you need:
- Click to learn how to upload your videos to Youtube.
- Click to learn how to embed your videos to a website or blog.
Express YOUR Thought Leadership & Credibility
The end goal of your content is to inspire confidence and engage both future and current patients. The most effective websites are not focused around physician accomplishments, but rather, how a physician’s expertise and thought leadership can benefit the reader!
Patients invest in benefits, not features.
Add value to your website by developing one new educational blog or video each month. We suggest that you write or create video about:
- Conditions that affect a large number of people
- Unique diagnostic tools and tests that lead to more targeted treatment plans
- Nutraceuticals of interest
- Any new services being offered
- “Health-hack” tips
Offer brief education and a few tips that people can bring into their lives and use immediately. Show that you “get” your patients and the way they think; speak their language and use images that will emotionally appeal to them. After 3-6 months, you can repurpose these materials by sending them directly to current patients through a monthly or quarterly practice newsletter.
Testimonials from current patients are the absolute best way to demonstrate credibility on your website. Collect as many positive statements as you can—when and where you can. Do patients rave about you or other physicians at check-out? If so, consider having front office staff collect testimonials in that moment, while enthusiasm to do so is high. Text, audio and video are all suitable methods, just ask for permission before publishing!
Entice Action & Ask for the Sale/Phone Call
This tip is short, but incredibly important and powerful for building your practice base online. Simply stated…
Every page and every blog should direct the reader somewhere—ideally to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment! In addition to phone calls, there are loads of contact form widgets that you can install in your website, should a potential patient wish to ask a question outside of business hours.
Prioritize Website Development Tasks With a Checklist
Building a new website may feel like an insurmountable task, but you can retain your sanity by working with checklists. Prioritize the most essential elements—about section, bios, treatments offered, contact information—for the initial phase of development. Blogs, videos and testimonials can be added at any time.
Create an engaging website that provides value and connects with your patients with this checklist of best practices:
- About section – If you were to meet a new friend at a party, how would you describe your practice in 30 seconds or less? This compelling introduction should be featured on the homepage of your website.
- Physician images and specialties, with short bios that link to longer bio pages (if applicable).
- Prominent contact phone number and address on every page of the website.
- Map link and clear directions, if your office is at all difficult to find.
- Short descriptions of treatments with “click for more information” links that lead to longer descriptions (include testimonials if you have them).
- Prominent patient/client testimonials.
- Videos (two minutes or less) that focus on one topic at a time.
- Links to relevant research, brands or people that demonstrate that you are well-connected and aligned with the reader’s needs, wants and interests.
- Write blogs and record audio podcasts, then share them in your newsletter.
- Include a clear “Call to Action” on every page, asking the reader to take specific action (click a button, schedule a consultation, make an appointment, access more information, etc.).
- Include a prominent “opt-in” button or form for your email updates or newsletters.
- Update your website once per month with new information, such as treatments offered, physicians added or specials on treatments or retail products.
Now that the Internet has replaced phone books and flyers as go-to sources of information, building a simple practice website is essential for attracting new patients and keeping current patients engaged in their healthcare.
Power2Practice, the first EMR designed for personalized medicine, can link directly to your website, allowing patients to access the advanced patient portal in an easy-to-find location while driving more traffic to your site.
The engaging patient portal includes features such as online:
- Appointment scheduling and confirmations
- Integrative-specific intake forms and questionnaires
- Treatment plans
- Lab test results
- Education on health conditions, vitamins, herbs and more
- Lifestyle tracking tools, such as diet, stress, sleep and Fitbit integration
See Power2Practice in action – Schedule your 30-minute demo today!