Now more than ever, patients utilize the Internet to ﬁnd their next practice, research their potential choices by reading reviews and a whole host of other activities. It’s estimated that more than 89% of patients will begin their search for a surgeon online.
At the end of the day, a really great website is ultimately one tool within a holistic strategy that ophthalmologists must use for patient acquisition and retention. Using best practices like responsive web design and others can help take your website to the next level, attract new patients, and grow your practice.
Here are a few reasons your practice could benefit from a redesigned website:
1. A new website can help refine your message
When you think about online marketing of your services, it’s crucial to think about consistency, especially in your messaging. Many patients will come across your website while researching their options for ophthalmic surgery, a process that can frequently be time-consuming and overwhelming to the average patient.
By clearly, consistently communicating your practice’s expertise and services across each digital marketing channel you employ (especially your website), you can help the patient in their decision process, making their life easier.
Using strategic content and design, your website will demonstrate the knowledge and expertise you possess while highlighting what the practice does best and why the patient should select you for their surgical needs. Inconsistencies in your messaging, your product offerings, or your expertise, and patients can easily get scared away, costing you business (and perhaps even your reputation).
2. A new website can attract more patients
The realm of ophthalmic surgery is often new to many patients, so your website will be the first place most of your patients will land. A strong, informative website is essentially the practice’s calling card, as it is able to concisely demonstrate the full breadth of knowledge and expertise you possess.
Aside from word-of-mouth referrals, your website is the strongest way to attract new patients, many of whom are now accustomed to doing extensive internet research on potential ophthalmologists.
Good web design signals to prospective patients that the practice is serious about giving their patients the best experience. In fact, if a website isn’t mobile-responsive or laid-out well, the vast majority of visitors take that as an indication that the company doesn’t care. Do you want that to be your reputation?
In addition to being a calling card, a good website is also indicative of how well practices are able to adopt and adapt to new technologies. While subtle, this signals to the patient that the practice has taken the time to understand the patient and ensure that they’re taken care of at every level. After all, if a practice isn’t investing in their public image through their website and digital marketing, how can the patient be assured that the practice has adequately invested in patient care and the non-public aspects of their practice?
3. A new website can dramatically help with SEO
“Search Engine Optimization” has become ubiquitous in this day and age, and it still reigns supreme for businesses in every sector. One of the key ways patients ﬁnd new doctors is through search engines: according to a 2013 study conducted by Pew Research Center, when asked to think about the last time they hunted for health or medical information, 77% of online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
This demonstrates just how important SEO is for successful internet marketing. Re-designing your practice website (and regularly updating it) can signal to Google that you have invested significant time and attention to your website, leading their robots to more frequently index your site.
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What does that mean for you? Well, if done correctly, your website should show up higher in search engine rankings.
Regardless of whether you completely re-design your website or just make some adjustments, following SEO best practices and making sure each page is optimized for Google and other search engines can be a boon for your business.
4. A new website gives your practice personality
Both new and existing patients want to feel like their practice has a distinct personality and is a welcoming place. To evoke that feeling of comfort and familiarity that patients desire, ophthalmology practices should look to their websites.
We’ve seen a ton of practice websites that are old, out-of-date, or don’t accurately reflect the practice’s current offerings and expertise. Updating your website to convey not only what you do but why you do it can be incredibly beneficial.
Creating a safe space where patients can learn about your practice, the people behind it, and directly interact with you is a great retention strategy for new and existing patients alike. Giving your practice a personality through solid, effective web design demonstrates that patients will get the care and attention they deserve without feeling like just another face in the crowd.
5. A new website can increase efficiency
If done correctly, a new website is also a fantastic tool to create and improve efficiency. Tools and pages such as FAQs, appointment requests, click-to-call functionality, and downloadable patient forms can help save your patient – and your practice – valuable time.
Not only will it save time, but it can help lead to happier patients and staff, too. Patients are able to quickly access information, ﬁll out forms ahead of time and submit questions directly through the site rather than calling the ofﬁce. That means your staff can have more time on their hands to deal with business issues rather than answering the same patient question 100 times every day.
Making the Most of Your Website
Your website is effectively an extension of your practice itself. With the right features, it is an incredible way to directly engage with patients while reducing wasted time and ineffective communication.
Curious about what a website re-design looks like in real life? Read our Case Study about our work with the Eye Center of New York.