In today’s fast-paced world, technology continues to expand while attention spans shrink. This presents a dilemma when it comes to attracting new visitors to your website and ultimately turning them into patients: unless you grab their attention immediately, they are liable to move on in their Google search. That could mean paying a visit to your competitor next. Designing or updating your website so it is easy to scan is a good way to attract visitors and keep them from leaving.
Strategic Website Design
To ensure your website delivers the information visitors are looking for quickly, your site should be easily scannable. There are several steps you can take to make this happen.
- Give the people what they want. There is a time and place for creativity, but website design is not it when you are competing with others in your industry. Potential patients expect to find certain features when visiting a site in search of a doctor or other medical information; a “contact us” link, “about us” section, staff bios, and health conditions you treat or areas of specialty are all standard and should absolutely be included in your site layout. And don’t make them tricky to find! A search bar at the top can be your best friend.
- Utilize visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy refers to organizing the arrangement and presentation of information in order of importance. The best way to draw in the human eye is to create visual contrast. Pay attention to design elements such as size (emphasize headers and calls to action by making them larger than surrounding text), color (bold and/or contrasting colors draw attention to certain sections), and layout (group similar items together, such as social media links and navigation buttons).
- Don’t overlook text. You’ll want to project an air of professionalism and ensure your information is legible, so whatever you do avoid Comic Sans and other casual or cute fonts. Stick to something more universally accepted, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Make sure the text is neither too large nor too small, and strive for consistency; headers should all be the same size, as should body text. You’ll want to aim for just the right amount of text, as well; utilize white space and images or graphics to break up large amounts of text and improve visual appeal.
- Stick to what’s important. Your staff might have had a lot of fun at last summer’s company picnic, but few visitors will want to sift through 20 photos of your group’s sack race or egg toss. Include only the most relevant information; be sure to emphasize any patient testimonials or awards your staff or practice has won. Potential patients will be far more interested in seeing those than in reading your mission statement.