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Five Ways For Medical Practices To Convert Website Visitors Into Patients

[lead]Remember when you simply wanted a website for your practice to be found online? Think back to those internal conversations where the website was looked at as just another business expense?[/lead]

Let’s fast-forward to today and I bet in many cases, a lot of your physician’s thinking around the practice’s website has not progressed much. I can hazard a guess that many still view this as merely a capital outlay. Why have those impressions not changed much? Simply put, the site is not doing its part to show value. When done right, your practice website goes way beyond an expense and can become the tool that will generate a measurable ROI and elevate your brand in the eyes of current and potential patients. Here are five key ways to build value in your website that will help convert visitors into patients:

Give Visitors The Information They Want and Need

More and more healthcare consumers are turning to the web for information on conditions, treatments, providers, and facilities. In fact, 76% of potential patients are turning to medical websites for healthcare and provider information. This is a huge percentage of the population so you want to be sure you are grabbing their attention when they come to your site. People want information, be sure to give it to them! Ensure your content is well organized and easy to find. Be clear about the services you provide and more importantly, why your practice stands out. As a note, “We provide the highest quality of care” is not a differentiating factor. Be specific as to why your practice is different.

Think Mobile First

The data for healthcare consumers and the way they are using mobile is quite compelling. One of the most impactful statistics is the conversion rate of mobile users. Studies show that 44% of healthcare consumers who turned to medical websites for information went on to schedule an appointment. This fact alone points to the absolute importance of an engaging, mobile user experience. Plus, Google’s algorithm penalizes websites that aren’t mobile friendly. By having an effective mobile strategy, you put your practice in the best position to connect with these highly engaged healthcare consumers.

Make It Easy for People to Reach Out and “Touch” Your Practice

Regardless of how a person wants to connect with your practice, whether that is by phone, email, or contact form, make it easy. Ensure your phone number is prominently featured on every page of your website and enable click-to-call functionality on mobile devices. Provide an email address for those that feel more comfortable typing a free-form email instead of filling out a contact form. Lastly, develop strong call-to-actions throughout your site and give visitors a compelling reason to want more information or to schedule an appointment. The easier you make it for people to contact your practice, the greater the chances they will. That initial connection becomes the fuel for growing your practice.

Let Your Patients Help Tell Your Story

The voices of your current patients will set the stage for attracting future patients. People want to feel confident in their choice of a healthcare provider. They are looking for a glimpse into the practice from an impartial third-party. They want to hear about the experience from those that have already been through it. These voices speak volumes. Reviews have a very measurable impact and 88 percent of consumers trust ratings and reviews as much as personal recommendations, up from 79% just over a year ago. Encourage feedback from your patients and integrate that information on your site. You can still be HIPAA compliant and at the same time, bring the human voice to your practice that will drive new business.

Use Video Content To Engage With Consumers

Videos are far more engaging than static web content and can help your physicians forge an initial human connection with potential patients when they are seeking a new provider. Not to mention, one out of every three healthcare consumers are actively watching and searching for healthcare videos online. Doctors are people too! Don’t be afraid to showcase them as such. Think about the needs of a potential patient and what they are hoping to find when they visit your site. First and foremost, a healthcare consumer wants to feel a connection with the physician they entrust themselves to and they want to feel cared for in the process. Video content is a powerful way to bring that message alive and bring new patients through the door.

Your website is the face of your practice to the world. By stepping back, taking an objective look, and implementing these five key tactics you will begin the process of elevating your practice’s website from a mere online brochure to a true, ROI-generating tool. The healthcare market and the habits of the healthcare consumer have changed dramatically over the past few years, it’s time for your website to do the same.

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Walk West

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