Why Your Medical Practice Needs a Website
Imagine a physician’s office not having a phone. There would be no way for patients, potential patients, outside organizations, or any other important parties to ask questions, learn about services, or set an appointment unless they walked in the office. There would be no form of communication. We tell our clients that a website is also a communication tool. So, why do so many doctors’ offices not have one? In this day and age, that is the equivalent of not having a phone in your office. Unfortunately, too many doctors and medical practitioners fail to see the value of standard marketing practices like websites. Some doctors may even see website as mere advertising and fall prey to the old-fashioned notion that advertising makes a medical professional look desperate. But today, the lack of a website can put both your reputation and your business at risk.
Benefits of Having a Website
Many doctors assume that they only need a website if they want to use it for marketing to potential patients. But, according to a recent study, 80% of Internet users (about 93 million Americans) search for medical information online. This means that your current (and future) patients are already online looking for medical information, and most likely, they’re looking for you. Do you want your patient’s first impression of you to be something created by Yelp or another online review source…or do you want to control your patient’s first impression? A well-designed medical practice website can provide both medical information and practical information, like office hours, to patients. A well-designed site can also provide credibility and marketing support to potential partners and patients. For specialists, a well-designed website makes it easier for colleagues to make referrals to your practice.
What Makes a Good Medical Website?
So, what makes for a well-designed medical website? The most basic answer is that a good website provides a clear message and communicates the practice’s value proposition. For those not big on marketing speak, your “value proposition” is the thing that makes you attractive to customers. It could be the schools your practitioners attended, their backgrounds, their willingness to make house calls, or even their hospital affiliations and the insurance you take. Whatever it is that will draw people to your practice is what needs to be communicated on your site.
What Does Your Medical Website Need?
Working with a medical marketing company like MEDmar Solutions, a division of the full-service marketing firm Marstudio, will help you uncover not only your value proposition and selling points, but also other features you may want in a website. For example, patient portals, downloadable forms, and online bill paying. A full-service marketing company can also provide a holistic view of your needs and your budget. Even the most basic website requires some upkeep and you don’t want to spend your entire budget on the design and then discover that you can’t make changes as needed. Consciously or not, a patient or potential partner may judge you and your knowledge of up-to-date practices by how up-to-date your website appears. You also want to make sure that you are sending a consistent message in all of your communications, digital and print.
At MEDmar, we’ve worked with a variety of medical practitioners. We go through a discovery and design process that’s created to ensure that your website is both attractive and useful. Your patients are already online looking for you―we want to make sure that they find you and that you are in control of what they find.