Episode 43

How to Know When it’s Time to Redesign Your Practice Website

Episode Transcript: How to Know When it’s Time to Redesign Your Practice Website

Nearly every patient you interact with in person is bound to visit your practice website at some point. In many ways, your practice website is the “hub” for all of your marketing and patient acquisition initiatives.

But everyone needs a change from time to time. But how can you know when it’s time to redesign your practice website?

That’s what we’ll explore this week on the Medical Marketing Podcast.

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Medical Marketing Podcast – the show where we give you actionable tips and advice to help you improve your practice marketing, grow revenue, and take patient experience to the next level. I’m your host, Crawford Ifland, and today we’re going to be taking a look at how you can know when it’s time for a practice website redesign.

First up, let’s look at a few common “inflection points” that could be a good time to update your website…

Opportunities to Redesign Your Practice Website

Some doctors opportunistically redesign their practice website from time to time, but for many, the most common question is when is the right time? How can you know when your practice website has gone “stale”? How can you know when it’s the right time for a redesign?

Well, there are certain events in the life of every practice that present a good opportunity for a website redesign – we’ll explore some of them here.

New Branding

One of the most popular times to redesign a practice website is when you’ve updated your practice’s logo or branding. Giving your practice a new look and feel with a new logo, colors, and fonts is often times the perfect opportunity to update the look and feel of your website, too.

Incorporating a new logo and/or colors into an existing website is usually a pretty minor and easy change, but if you want to make a larger change to your website, this can be a natural inflection point – and it’s the perfect opportunity for a website redesign.

A Lack of Functionality

If you’re having trouble adding much-needed functionality to your practice website because of limitations in your website’s Content Management System (CMS), it might be time for a redesign.

This is a common problem among private practices, but doing a complete migration from one CMS to another is a big undertaking – and if you don’t change your website’s design along with such a change, there’s very little to show for all that hard work.

Because of this, many doctors choose to update the look and feel of their website when they’re migrating to a different CMS. It’s a change in the underlying architecture of the site that prompts such a switch – but if there’s any opportunity to provide a better, more engaging patient experience online, many practices take it.

So if you find yourself needing to update your website’s technologies or Content Management System, the time might be just right to redesign your website while you’re at it.

User Experience Problems

Another great opportunity for a website redesign is when you start finding user experience problems. By this, I mean things like difficulties with mobile accessibility, a lack of appointment scheduling, or other features that make your content hard to find, or your website hard to use.

It’s important to pay attention to your patients here. Ask them:

  • How easy was it to schedule an appointment online?
  • What did they like about your website?
  • What did they dislike?

Take their feedback to heart. It’s easy to develop blind spots over the years, so having the fresh perspective of a patient who is interacting with your practice for the first time is crucial to understanding the weak points of your website.

When you start to hear recurring themes in patient feedback, it may be time to redesign your website – or at least certain parts of it. Just because patients find certain elements of your website hard to use doesn’t mean that you have to throw your entire website out the window – it may be that a few minor changes are needed to improve their experience.

Just be sure to ask patients how you could improve, and listen to their feedback.

Problems with SEO

Another “inflection point” that could necessitate a website redesign has to do with SEO.

We’re huge believers in practices regularly auditing their websites to uncover hidden SEO problems, and we won’t stop now.

If you run regular audits of your website, chances are any problems you find will be minor. But if you haven’t run an audit in a long time – or if you’ve never run an audit before – you might uncover some big problems. If that’s the case, a website redesign could do the trick.

Sometimes you actually need to change your Content Management System to fix all of these SEO issues – we’ve already talked about that.

But other times, the issues that an SEO audit uncovers will require lots of changes to the content and structure of your website. What better time to redesign your site? Addressing outstanding SEO issues can be a great time to redesign your site and give patients – not just Google – a fresh perspective on your online presence.

Change of Ownership

Finally, many practices choose to update their websites whenever the practice undergoes a change in ownership. The new leaders of the practice may have a new vision for the direction of the practice, and may want to change the look and feel accordingly.

If you already need to change the bios or leadership information on your website, why not go all the way? Many new owners of practices feel this is the perfect time to put a fresh coat of paint on their online presence…so if you’ve just taken ownership of a practice, it could be the perfect opportunity to redesign your website.

How Often Should I Redesign My Practice Website?

We’ve just run through a few natural “inflection points”, so to speak, that represent good opportunities to redesign your practice website.

But those don’t apply to everyone. How often should you redesign your practice website if one of those inflection points doesn’t present itself?

Well, the best practice is to redesign your practice website every 4-5 years.

Websites, like food, have a shelf life – after a certain point, they go stale and need some work to renew their appeal.

Think of your website like your physical clinic space. You’ll occasionally replace furniture as it wears out, hang different photos on the walls, or repaint as the colors fade.

You wouldn’t want your practice or your physical office space to appear “out of date” or “behind the times” – why is your website any different?

While you don’t need to do a big overhaul of your website very frequently, it’s a best practice to redesign certain aspects of your site every few years to ensure patient experience is the very best it can be.

Technologies and patient expectations change – and you need to keep up with the times. This should be your North Star as you continually evaluate and consider which parts of your practice website may not be performing.

In our experience, the practices that make smart investments in patient experience online tend to deliver better patient experiences in the physical space – and patients reward them for that.

So if you want your practice to stay on top of trends, conform to best practices, and deliver exceptional patient experiences online, it might be time for a practice website redesign…

Next Week…

Well, that’s all for today’s episode of the Medical Marketing Podcast – thanks for listening.

Next week, we’ll take a look inside the human brain and offer some psychological tips for writing more compelling copy in your advertisements and marketing materials.

If you want more practice marketing resources, check out our website at www.messenger.md. We’re always sharing helpful tips and know-how to help you improve your practice marketing, grow revenue, and take your patient experience to the next level.

That’s all for today’s episode – I’m Crawford Ifland. See you next week.

Crawford Ifland, CEO at Messenger Healthcare Marketing

Crawford Ifland is the CEO of Messenger Healthcare Marketing. Messenger is a digital marketing agency specializing in custom healthcare website design, healthcare SEO, promotional videos, and more. Messenger gives the nation’s leading physicians and healthcare organizations the tools they need to grow their organizations.

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