6 Ways to Tell Your Medical Practice Needs a Website Refresh
By Amanda Weber
Your website is the gateway through which patients can access your medical practice. Because of this, you need to make sure it is always firing on all cylinders. Periodically, you may find that a website refresh is necessary.
When your website isn't up to par, you may be driving patients toward your competitors. Whether you think it’s time for a website refresh or not, this article will help you determine some signs to look for.
Learn why a website refresh is so important for your business and how recognizing these signs can ultimately help your medical practice.
Website Refresh vs Website Redesign
A website refresh involves updating or changing a few elements on the site, rather than redesigning it from scratch. You can think of it as painting a yellow living room white to brighten it up. It’s not a total renovation but can make a drastic difference to the look of the space.
A website redesign goes beyond changing the visual appearance of your site. It includes a major overhaul of the inner and outer workings of the website.
Though the lines between refresh and redesign can sometimes get blurred, you can think of something like a refresh if it doesn’t change the way your site functions.
6 Signs You Need a Refresh
Not sure whether your site needs a refresh? Here are 6 signs you can look for to help you decide.
1. It Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
With 85% of Americans owning a smartphone, they can quickly and easily search for services with the touch of a screen. If they're looking for a medical practice and your website isn't mobile-friendly, they'll head elsewhere.
The focus on mobile-friendliness should be high, as 54% of traffic comes from mobile devices. Enhancing your site to have the ability to be viewed on any cell phone can help drive your website traffic and overall SEO success.
The key to this success is to be sure your website is compatible across all major device types. This may require some professional development, but the results will be worth your efforts.
2. It Isn’t Aesthetically Pleasing
While your website may have looked aesthetically pleasing a few years ago, trends and patient expectations change. As a result, it may look dated without you realizing it. Take a look at your site and consider whether it now meets modern design expectations.
As a part of your website refresh, you should also consider whether your site uses the right color scheme. Opting for clinical colors is far more effective than those that are bright.
3. It’s Slow to Load
The harsh reality of the internet is everyone wants everything instantly. Your patients are no different in that respect. So, when they wait more than a few seconds for your website to load, there's a strong chance they may click away. Almost 40% of users will abandon a website if it doesn't load within three seconds.
Test-drive your website from time to time and see how long it takes to load. Tools such as Google's PageSpeed Insights can give you accurate reports of your website's loading time.
The average full load time for a website is 10.3 seconds on a desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile. If yours is taking longer than that, it's time for a website refresh. You may need to hire a professional to remove unnecessary coding and items that could force your patients to wait around. Having a website loading at an optimal speed will make the investment more than worth it.
4. It’s Hard to Navigate
Much like slow loading times, a website that's hard to navigate is frustrating for your visitors. They may already know that you offer a particular service. But unless they can find the page that offers details of that service, they may feel your practice can’t help them.
Consider whether your website is organized or confusing. For example, will your navigation menu allow your patients to easily locate the treatment they're looking for? Or do they have to click through several irrelevant pages to get to their end destination? If it's the latter, the time for a website refresh has come.
5. It’s Lacking Information
People who head to your medical practice's website are curious about what you do. They also want to know how you do it. For example, if you're a dentist who offers teeth whitening services, you need to provide information that lets your patients know you're right for them.
If offering valuable information to your patients is important to you (which it should be), then a focus on content is key. Use blogs to answer patient questions, explain procedures and offer helpful information.
Be sure to include links to your social media channels so patients can follow your practice. This will allow them to stay up to date on any changes or offers faster than a website refresh.
6. You’ve Changed Your Branding
Many businesses undergo facelifts that require a complete change of their branding. If your medical practice has benefited from one but you haven't adjusted your website, check to see if the two still match.
If your website no longer reflects your branding, you may need a team of design professionals to give it a refresh. Achieving branding consistency ensures you remain recognizable across all your marketing channels. In addition to making sure your website matches your new branding, ensure your social media channels are updated.
If you believe your medical practice could benefit from a website refresh, now's the time to act. With the right professional advice and input, you'll soon grab more visitors and attract more patients.