Why a Slick Website Design Doesn't Guarantee Conversions for Your Medical Practice


When it comes to maximizing the rate of conversion for your medical practice’s website, there really is some truth to the saying, “beauty is only skin deep.”

These days, it seems as though the general mindset when it comes to web design, appearance is everything. Sure, brands like Nike and Apple have to look good. After all, they’re selling a lifestyle and aesthetic alongside their products — and they have the budget to invest tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in custom-designed sites that support this aim.

But what about organizations that aren’t selling sleek fashion products or high-tech gadgets? What about the industries that need to achieve more complex goals in order to capture new business, such as gaining the trust of someone in a highly sensitive or even life-threatening situation?

The point I’m getting at is that for medical professionals, there are more important considerations that must be taken into account than color scheme or drop down menu animation. Websites need to be optimized in accordance with patient expectations and preferences if you want to maximize your rate of conversion. Here are a few tips to help get you on the right track.

Keep Things Simple

As Business News Daily points out, a complex design may sound like a good idea, but can often end up producing the exact opposite of the intended effect. Imagine you walk into a building lobby and you’re immediately blinded by flashing lights, information is shouted at you from 15 different directions, and all of the doorways are hidden — there’s probably a good chance you’re not going to A) end up accomplishing what you came to do, or B) rate that experience as a positive one.

Avoid irritating distractions like pop-ups, auto-play content, and flashing banners. The reality is that these become conversion path obstacles, and can even drive prospects away from your site entirely.

Optimize for Scannability

It’s true that patients are coming to your site in search of information, but the truth is that nowadays, people rarely read everything on the page. Instead, they quickly scan the screen for interesting, stand-out information. As such, your content should be easy to read (think short sentences, bullet points, etc.) and be accompanied by clear navigation instructions. Information should also have a clear visual hierarchy: big text and pictures first, easily-digestible, smaller details second.

Try to craft headlines using common search queries, like “What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?” or “When Do I Need Knee Surgery?” This will not only help readers immediately and effortlessly identify the area or subject they were looking for — it will improve your practice’s search engine rankings as well.

Include Calls to Action

When a patient arrives on your site looking for actionable information like a phone number, address, or even the option to book an appointment, you can bet they’re not going to hang around long if those elements aren’t easy to find.

By placing a variety of calls to action (CTAs) throughout your website, you can encourage visitors to obtain more information on your practice and your services — or even convince them to convert and book an appointment right then and there. Here are a few examples of CTAs that you should consider adding to your site:

  • The option to “call now” to schedule an appointment or get additional information. Note: as mobile usage continues to skyrocket, click-to-call functionality is becoming increasingly important
  • “Prospect Patient” submission forms to receive a call from practice staff for an upcoming appointment
  • Links to award and patient testimonial pages to enhance trust

There’s no shortage of people out there who are in need of medical advice and/or treatment. If you want to maximize your rate of conversion, you should be focusing on projecting credibility, providing an intuitive online experience, and giving visitors plenty of opportunities to become new patients along the way.

Sure, flash animation and parallax web design are certainly impressive to look at, but when it comes to attracting new patients for your medical practice, they often end up doing more harm than good.

Medical Marketer's Guide, Website Design, Digital Marketing