Is your website patient friendly?
At BuildPT, we like using the term “patient friendly” because it’s a good reminder that a PT website needs to be inviting to the user. Provide a positive user experience, and it’s likely visitors will stick around longer.
Below are five steps to make sure your website is made for patients.
1) Clearly show your clinic’s identity
The internet is enormous, which gives people who are searching online plenty of options. If a viewer lands on your homepage and cannot immediately identify what you do, then they will most likely bounce.
This may all sound simple and rather obvious, but it is often the most overlooked step for most business websites. Below are some simple recommendations to make your clinic’s brand identity more obvious on your website:
- Logo. Display a highest quality image of your clinic’s logo in the top header. If your website has a colored background, then make sure your logo is saved with a transparent background.
- Services. Clearly show the top services that you offer. This is viable especially if you specialize in certain areas of physical therapy (i.e., women’s health, geriatrics, athletic enhancement, etc.).
- Quality images. Use images that are relevant to your clinic. It is a huge mistake to use low-resolution or stretched images. Make sure your images are of the highest quality as this has a direct impact on the design and credibility of your website.
2) Use calls to action
A website viewer can only turn into a patient through a call to action. A good PT website should have several calls to actions on the homepage.
Below are some recommended calls to action:
- Phone number. A viewer should never have to dig through your website to find a phone number. Strategically place your number in an obvious location, preferable one that can be found on every page of your website (i.e., above the header, in the footer, in a side widget, etc.).
- Address. Same as the phone number, choose an easy-to-find location for your address. A footer is a common and appropriate place for the address of your PT clinic.
- Contact us. Having a contact page is a must, and showing this option in your main navigation menu is an absolute.
- Online forms. Using a “Contact Us” form or a “More Info” form on your homepage without a link to another page makes it easier for the users.
- Offer. Do you have a deal or offer to promote? A free 15-minute screening can be a good incentive for a patient.
- Chat. Chat tools are not for everyone. Yet, if you have the resources, it can definitely help turn viewers into patients.
3) Easy navigation
A patient-friendly website needs to have a well-structured navigation strategy. A clinic with multiple pages of services, locations, and content should all be easy to find for the viewer and, if possible, directly from the homepage.
Below are some easy navigation practices:
- Main navigation menu. The main navigation menu should be in the header area.
- Secondary navigation menu. Many visitors scroll to the bottom after landing on a website. Showing a secondary navigation menu within the footer provides another option that makes your site easier for the user.
- Icons. Using icons is ideal for social media links, directories, and recognized brands.
- Links. Using text and image links is a user-friendly practice.
4) Show credibility
It is a common practice that potential patients browsing the web do research before choosing a clinic. Therefore, a website that has admirable content and shows reliability on the homepage may provide enough trust for the viewer to take further action.
A credible PT website consists of:
- About the clinic. The about page is an ideal place to showcase the story of the clinic, the owners, and the staff.
- Testimonials. It’s wise to have a testimonial page. We recommend having a testimonial on the homepage, as well, for quick recognition of a credible PT clinic.
- Links to directories. If your business has positive reviews, then it’s a good practice to provide links to these third-party sites (i.e., Yelp, BBB, Healthgrades, etc.).
- Publications or in the press? Using links to an article you wrote or anything published by you in the media can drastically help credibility.
- Quality/modern website. An old website, with low-quality images or outdated functionality will influence visitors to go somewhere else. Recommended read: Physical Therapy Marketing: Do I Need a New Website.
5) Homepage design
The homepage is your most viewed page and the foundation of a PT clinic’s website. The design and flow of the homepage should be modern, visually appealing, and user friendly. Here are fundamentals of a patient-friendly web page:
- Visual. A professional design and color scheme that properly represents the clinic’s brand with the use of high-quality images will impact the performance of your website.
- Template. A unique website can help you stand out. However, “unique” usually doesn’t mean user-friendly. It’s not always necessary to re-invent the wheel or to hire a programmer to create something flashy. Choosing a common and simple template or website theme is best for most users, which we qualify this as a patient-friendly practice.
- Flow. Using a strategic level of hierarchy on your homepage and throughout the website is a good practice. A PT website that has a good flow will influence the viewer where to go next. Tell a story through your website – the story of you and your profession.
6) Other patient-friendly to-do’s
- Mobile. A mobile responsive website is not just a recommendation; it is an absolute requirement for any website to be considered patient-friendly. Not having a mobile responsive website can potentially turn off more than half your visitors.
- Maps. Displaying a map of where your clinic is located makes your business easy to find.
- Media. Using video of services helps keep your website viewers engaged.