Managing Your Practice

5 ways to wake up your Web site

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Your Web site should work for you. Implementing these steps will bring you closer to having a true online patient conversion system.


 

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Web sites are not like wine and cheese—they don’t necessarily get better with age. You may have started your Web page 20 years ago by moving your 3-color trifold brochure onto the Internet. It may have worked then, but to compete today you must have a robust, interactive, attractive Web site that is continuously being updated with new content. What prospective patients are looking for in a Web site has evolved rapidly. How to get these patients to take action and call for an appointment requires a process or a system.

Trying to keep your Web site current can be daunting for most medical practices. If you find that your Web site is not generating new patients and that your existing patients are not using the site in an interactive fashion, then it is time to upgrade. In this article we suggest 5 practical ways to make your Web site a useful adjunct to your medical practice—an automatic patient conversion system.

1. Go mobile
Make your Web site “thumb friendly.” Mobile technology has taken over the desktop and laptop worlds. Now nearly everyone is using a hand-held smartphone or tablet for their Internet needs.

To attract patients your Web page must be responsive to the screen size of a smartphone or tablet—very different from your Web site, which is accessed from a desktop or a laptop computer. The majority of ­users navigate not with a mouse but with their fingers and thumbs. To ensure they can find their way on your Web page on a mobile device, the screen view should adjust automatically to the mobile device being used. Whether that is accomplished through a mobile responsive design or an entirely different mobile Web site, you do not want the user to have to resize, zoom, or pinch their way through the page in order to read the content. All the buttons must be large enough to be easily pressed without having to zoom in, and the font should be easy-to-read in style and size.

Having your current Web site programmed to be responsive to these devices will increase the time a mobile user spends on your site and make it easier for her to make an appointment.

2. Add patient reviews
What others say about you is far more important than anything you can say about yourself. Almost half of prospective patients will check out your online reviews before calling you to schedule an appointment.1 Therefore, it is very important that you ask for positive feedback from your patients and post it to your Web site. We recommend that you capture compliments from your existing patients when they are in the office. Have a computer or iPad handy for them to create a positive review; patients who “promise” to do it when they get back to the office or home rarely follow through. Testimonials should be visible on your homepage and can link to another testimonial page or review site.

According to HealthCareSuccess.com,
“as many as 8 out of 10 people will look online for information about individual doctors. And all of that happens long before they make an appointment … and what they find—positive, negative, neutral or nothing at all—influences their decision to call or not to call.”2

Always invite your patients to evaluate you, your practice partners, and the practice online. There are numerous patient review Web sites, including: Google Plus, http://www.RateMDs.com, http://www.Vitals.com, and http://www.HealthGrades.com. And check out what your patients are saying about you on a regular basis. Just type “Reviews for Dr. <your name>” into your search bar to find the results.

Although we hope they will, happy patients rarely fill out these online reviews. However, it takes just 2 or 3 unhappy patients to ruin your online reputation. That could be costing you tens of thousands of dollars in lost billing.

3. Share your videos
What’s hot and what’s not? To answer that, just take a look at how many people watch videos on YouTube every day! People don’t want to read anymore; they want to be entertained and spoon-fed information.

Take advantage of this trend by placing videos on your homepage. Post a video that introduces your practice, provides testimonials of satisfied patients, explains some of the procedures you perform, or shows you describing the latest breakthrough in medical technology.

Your videos don’t have to be long. One to 2 minutes is plenty. They don’t have to feature you talking about medical symptoms or procedures (what’s called a talking head video). Use a PowerPoint presentation with voice overlay—and you don’t have to be the one talking.

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