Building a website for your practice or redesigning it can be a simple decision. What’s not so intuitive is knowing first how to approach the project strategically.
That’s why user experience (UX) design exists. It offers useful principles about factors to consider when designing your website. In this article, we break down those principles, providing you with additional suggestions on how you can create a refreshed website – one which not only looks good but also gives patients and future clients easy access to all information.
Over, UX design will help you present a consistent message. That way, your practice website can drive conversions of website visitors to patients in the door.
What is Optimal User Experience?
User Experience or UX Design is the foundation of any professional website. To truly cater to visitors, UX design looks through the perspective of visitors to a website. In other words, the design of the practice website is in accordance to the target audience: their concerns, needs, and standards.
A good way to assess the state of a website’s UX is by using the User Experience Honeycomb, a diagram showcasing the seven facets of UX design. An optimal practice website will be useful, usable, valuable, desirable, accessible, credible, and findable. All of these things combine to present a well-structured, persona-geared website that attracts the right potential clients to a practice.
Neglecting the user’s point of view can reduce their perception of your practice’s value. When UX is suboptimal, visitors may feel frustrated, finding it difficult to find the information they seek.
Consider these 7 tips when designing your practice’s website:
Tip 1: Know your target audience
As intuitive as it may seem, knowing your user is the first step to optimal user experience design.
Depending on your practice, you may need to do research on what type of person is most likely to be a potential client. One way of doing so is to assess the common demographics of previous clients. Be aware of every possible factor, such as age, gender, life-stage, health concerns, and even location.
As an example, for practices that treat opioid addiction, they must know that prospective clients might search for something like, “easy ways to overcome opioid addiction.” In this case, you can tailor content to that question, with the same keywords.
In another example, an EMDR therapy practice may have a broad potential audience. They might receive anyone seeking mental health services, at any age. However, many of them may not know that EMDR is a possible treatment that exists. The practice can create pages regarding a variety of mental health concerns that EMDR treats.
All of these areas provide opportunities for you to understand the needs of the user. From there, you can guide your content to match such needs, so that when a user lands on your medical practice site, they find exactly what they searched for.
Marketing plan is able to boost your business and make it profitable with minimal costs. This plan requires fresh view at the market, product and competitors, and the right decisions.
Some say the marketing plan is dead: the world just moves too fast. Just throw stuff out there; it will all work out. Successful business owners know their good customers, their bad customers, and their mediocre customers. They know more about their competitors than their competitors know about themselves. They never stop gathering information that will help them succeed in the marketplace. They use this information to reach new customers, retain existing customers, and grow their overall customer base.
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Tip 2: Create a Content Strategy
A content strategy is a part of inbound marketing, which is one of the many things Practice Tech Solutions helps medical practices accomplish. The goal of inbound marketing is to draw clients in with content, SEO, branding, and anyone that your practice broadcasts.
Start with identifying keywords
To direct relevant visitors to a medical practice website, we start by pinpointing potential keywords they may search. The goal of content is to answer questions and needs people may have, while also optimizing keywords to better attract prospective clients.
After all, the purpose of setting up a medical practice website is to drive traffic on a broader landscape. On the internet, it’s easier to bring your services to the attention of thousands, if not millions of people.
However, simply having individual pages displaying your services may not be enough. Remember that when people search for something related to health or a medical concern, they want useful information. Landing on a service page perpetuates the idea that you are simply marketing to them. Creating more content based on keywords opens more entry points for visitors to learn about your practice.
Publish content that matches the audience
Most of the tenets of content strategy fall under what makes up optimal UX design: useful, usable, and valuable. For an optimal user-focused website, you must be two steps ahead.
Guess your target audience’s questions or pain points
Tailor content to be appropriate to user’s needs
Include actionable tips that engage visitors
With a content strategy, your website is balanced. It is optimized for search engines and for humans. All in all, quality content satisfies user needs, and thus visitors spend more time on your website.
Tip 3: Include Location-Specific Pages
Since online platforms today use location to provide users recommendations, location is a vital factor of SEO.
If your practice has only one location, then it’s relatively easy for you to optimize your website for that locale. Sites like Google, Bing, and Facebook allow your practice to be easily discoverable by the right people.
However, with multiple locations, keeping your information geared to a general audience isn’t the best strategy. Rather, it’s better to lay out location-specific pages. That way, your content speaks to the audience in each area directly, allowing for better engagement and personability.
Another reason for location-specific pages is that patients tend to search for services nearest to them. Content that remains general can get lost in the search results – or even worse, visitors may leave as soon as they realize the practice isn’t near their location. As a result, your practice website will have a higher bounce rate, leading to a worse search engine ranking.
Tip 4: Provide Useful, Authoritative Content
With your content strategy to guide, recognize what information your target audience is seeking. Usually, when people are looking for a service, they search questions related to their concerns.
Of course, sometimes people are specifically looking for a medical spa in their location. However, for the most part, many people might know yet if they need any service.
Fortunately, for health and medical practices, about 80% of all people have searched things related to health, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. On the other hand, your practice faces much competition with other informational sites, like WebMD.
Useful content enhances user experience
As an authoritative voice, your practice has all the answers in whatever field it is in – medical services, spa, therapy, nutrition, whatever it may be. Providers are in a place to offer science-backed tips regarding the field in which they practice.
For example, someone may search, “how to recover from muscle strain,” and come across a blog post by a physiotherapy practice. They might not necessarily need or know that they want physiotherapy, but the post seems helpful and is a resource from experts. Perhaps it informs them about muscle strains, different locations of sprains on the body, and then how physiotherapy can help.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Otherwise, the visitor would leave without any solutions, and instead feel that the post was trying to sell them their physiotherapy service.
Instead, a blog post with optimal UX would pose different methods of treatment, both those done professionally and those accessible at home, like self-stretching and strengthening exercises.
This is a fitting example of user-geared content, because it aims to answer questions before people ask. A popular question like, “When is this concern bad enough to see a professional?”is usually a clever topic to include.
Tip 5: Prioritize User Experience Design Over Creativity
While UX design has a lot of creative elements, it’s better to keep a balance between creativity and functionality. Creativity has no limit, but user design must be focused.
In a 5-year McKinsey study, companies with optimal user-geared designs were financially healthier than those without. No matter how stylistic your website is, if it doesn’t include the major factors of UX design, it won’t be suitable for users.
A content strategy can keep you grounded in how you design things. Remember that the purpose of every decision you make is to allow users to easily access and navigate your practice website. In the field of medical health practice websites, try not to veer away from your professional brand image.
Design your practice website to show that your practice is an authoritative figure that is trustworthy and capable of addressing health concerns.
Be creative in tailoring the site’s design to match users’ motives and goals. Give them what they are looking for with a format and aesthetic that provides a streamlined experience.
Tip 6: Improve Keyword Relevance
To receive new clients, it’s necessary that your practice website ranks well on search engines. A large part of your SEO score includes elements of optimal user experience.
Some may think plugging in any related keywords in your content can get as much traffic as possible. This is not the case, especially with medical services that target a specific group of people.
Keywords must be relevant
If you are a massage therapy clinic, you cannot use the keyword “back massage for sports injuries” on every page just to get as much traffic as possible. Chances are, someone looking for useful information about sports injuries massage might deem your page useless because it only mentions the keyword in passing. In turn, this hurts user experience.
Target different keywords per page
When too many different keywords populate a page, search engines can’t decipher the subject. As such, the page won’t be deemed a useful resource.
When it comes to SEO, you must pay attention to the relevancy score, which factors into the website’s ranking. For a landing page, keep as little distractions off the page as possible. By distractions, this also entails irrelevant keywords. The purpose of a landing page is one: To call a visitor to action. Keep the keywords on the landing page focused.
Any other regular page on your website will have many different links. It’s equally as important to use distinct, specific keywords on each page to separate them. Keyword relevancy allows users to find what they are looking for, boosting your website’s user experience. As such, it prevents a damaging bounce rate and directs the right people to your services.
Tip 7: Provide Self-Service Features
When it comes to medical practices, user experience also means patient experience. Offering self-service on your site is a good way to boost user experience – it will engage users and prospective patients.
Self-service integrations include:
Requesting online appointments
As long as all self-services processes are compliant with HIPAA, keeping patient information confidential, then your website can provide a huge relief for users.
Let’s face it: There are a lot of obstacles in the world keeping people from getting the health-based services they require. Forgetting, being too busy, being physically unable, or feeling apprehensive about speaking directly to your practice’s personnel. These are all possible reasons why people would rather do things themselves. According to Kyruus’ Patient Access Journey Report, patients prefer convenient ways of researching and finding services online.
Online self-service is relatively new in the healthcare world. However, in light of the recent development of COVID-19, telemedicine options are becoming more necessary. In fact, we expect it to propel a future of more remote health services.
Because we understand this rising need, we offer easy consultation and administration of HIPAA-compliant self-service options. It’s important for practitioners to put their energy into their work, rather than administrative tasks. We focus on optimizing user experience for your practice, while you focus on the patient.