Medical Practice Website Checklist

Written by on July 1, 2015 in Practice tips - No comments

checklistWEBIt is uncommon to find a physician practice that is really maximizing the impact they could be having with their website and online presence.  My team and I are frequently giving out information and checklists to clients so that they can get out of their heads and into their websites.

To start, if your practice doesn’t have a website, then your first step is to get a site — TODAY.

But, by in large, the bigger challenge is what to do with your website once you have one.

Here are a few basics:

  1. Look into a user friendly website platform. WordPress, for example, offers is one of the best platforms for your website. With a little shopping around you can get a custom, professional WordPress site designed for about $2500-$3500 (that should include logo design, and branding for your social media platforms to match).  Generally hosting costs, domain purchase and registration will cost about $70 to $100 per year.
    It is advisable to use a hosted WordPress site and NOT one originating from wordpress.com or .org.  Using a platform like WordPress allows you or your staff to easily make simple changes, and to easily publish your blog if you desire.
  2. Check for easy loading. Your site should take less four seconds to load across major browsers.  Avoid dense, heavy graphics, animations, auto-started videos or music, and pop-up ads that monopolize the entire screen until you close out or click thru the ad. (Pop-ups that float can be useful for mailing lists if you test them in your market and determine if they are right for you.) Be sure and leave plenty of white space.
  3. Optimize your website for most browsers and mobile devices. Patients/customers/clients come from all browsers; the top three continue to be Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome users that come to your site. Make sure that your content is viewed easily on at least the top three browsers. More than 80% of people will be using their smartphones and tablets to find you online, so make sure your site is optimized for mobile. This is so important that Google actually checks this for search engine ranking.
  4. Connect to social media.  Use your web site to drive patients/clients/customers to your clinic’s Facebook fan page, Twitter account, LinkedIn company profile, and even YouTube channel  and visa versa.
  5. Check to see how recently your site has been updated. Your website should be updated at a minimum of once per month., it keeps the Google Gods happy and means you stay relevant. Update your copyright dates too. And double check your pictures, make sure that your professional photo is up to date (no fresh-out-of-med-school glamour shots, unless you are really fresh out of medical school).
  6. Get blogging.  Statistically somewhere between 60-80 percent (depending on the source) of Internet users look up medical information online; if you have a blog with small posts about the aspects or ailments you are most passionate about, your site will become a living resource. Aim for one to two posts per month: At least one should be original information, the other could link to and discuss an interesting article or information from another trusted source. Sprinkle in a few posts about events or a particular upcoming holiday and you are running a well-maintained blog.
  7. Stay-in-touch. If you aren’t utilizing your website to stay-in-touch with your patients and prospective patients, you are missing the proverbial marketing boat! Weekly is best, but even a monthly newsletter is better than nothing. This helps you stay in the forefront of your patients mind and ensure you are their go to resource.

Here is the most important tip for your website:

8. Throw away the digital brochure.   Gone are the days where your website works as a digital brochure listing all the great accolades of your staff and providers. Now your website should be a resource for patients and prospective patients that not only provides an insight into you and your practice but also informs them of other patients you have helped like them and how you can help them.

Your web presence is too important to leave to chance. Take action today and download our checklist.

By Audrey Christie McLaughlin RN

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