Suggestions for Every Page

There are a few elements that need to be on every page of your site – not only will your viewers expect them, but so will the Search Engines!

Logo at the top left corner

Navigation Bar, usually across the top

Phone Number, usually near the top

Office Addresses and Phone Numbers at the bottom

Social Media links

Bottom Navigation Bar

Copyright Statement

 

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Medical Staff Designing WebsiteStarting up a new medical or dental practice website can seem pretty daunting – but it really doesn’t have to be at all.

After all, there are thousands of examples out there to follow, although they’re not always good examples...

And what pages and features do you need? How much is too much? Luckily, we’ve been building healthcare websites since the turn of the century (sounds impressive? ...it’s just since 2000) and are happy to present our thoughts on what should be included on every medical and dental website, along with tips on things to consider for every type of specialty practice.

Which Pages Do You Really Need?

At a minimum, every site should include the following pages and content:

Home

A typical healthcare home page will include the following features:

  • Slideshow – this gives some life to your site, and can include photos of:
    • Your entire staff
    • Your providers as a group
    • Individual provider “action” shots
    • Your building(s)
    • Stock photos of happy, healthy people
  • Hot Buttons – quick ways for viewers to get to your important pages, such as:
  • Main text block – make sure to include keywords!
  • A link to your practice’s Non-Discrimination Policy (required for all healthcare practices)

About Us / Our Practice

Here’s where you list everything patients need to know about how your practice works – each item below can be either a section on the About Us page or a separate page linked from a sidebar list on the About Us page:

  • Office hours
  • Appointment info/No-show policy
  • Accepted insurance
  • Billing policy
  • Practice history
  • Hospital affiliations
  • Map and directions (if a single office)
  • Employment opportunities
  • Mission statement (although no one ever reads them)
  • Frequently asked questions

Our Providers

A portal page showing all your providers (doctors/dentists , nurse practitioners, physician assistants, audiologists, etc.) is a must. This is one of the best ways to impress your website visitors. Then a page for each provider (at least for your doctors) containing:

  • Full name and credentials
  • Portrait photo
  • CV - usually limited to:
    • Education
    • Internship/Residency
    • Fellowship
    • Board certification
    • Association memberships
  • Significant sccomplishments in their field
  • Specializations within the practice
  • Short personal info paragraph (interests, hobbies, brief mention of spouse/children)
  • Action photo if available

Things you can leave off: CV dates, long lists of publications, awards, presentations, detailed family member info.

Our Services

List everything your practice does here – not only will it inform potential patients, it may help with current patient referrals, and will certainly help with search engines. You may want to break the list into categories if that’s applicable.

Just a list is only the begining. Search engines will only give you so much credit for a line-item listing of your services, and it doesn’t tell your visitors very much about what the services are or why they should consider them.

You can start by adding a page for each of your major services and then add more as time goes by. Each individual service page will serve as a landing page for specific search engine inquiries that you never would have benefited from with just a list of services on your site. 

Individual services pages are great ways to explain to your patients exactly what you treat and what they can expect. After your providers have diagnosed a patient and suggested a treatment plan, a mention that the topic is covered on your website can save a lot of patient questions after they leave the office.

Patient Forms

No patient likes to sit in your reception area and fill out a bunch of forms, especially when they don’t have access to all the details of their medical history, prescriptions, insurance info, previous surgeries, etc. If you want to get a complete collection of patient info, let them fill it out at home, ahead of time.

Whether you present all your patients forms right on your website, or just the ones that your patient portal doesn’t include, you’ll both benefit from making them available.

Going one step furher is the use of submittable patient forms. Our Secure Patient Forms program allows your patients to fill them out online and submit them directly to your practice long before they show up for their appointment. Not only are they perfectly legible, but they may help in reducing no-shows once they’ve gone as far as submitting your paperwork.

The Patient Forms section is also where you can include your practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices (required to be available on your website).

Contact Us

The Contact Us page should include the full address, phone number and fax number for each of your offices, as well as instructions on reaching a provider after-hours.

We recommend against including any e-mail addresses; email is not a secure medium and can lead to HIPAA violations, and you don’t want patients emailing you that they’re having chest pains or can’t get the bleeding to stop.

The Contact Us page is a great place for a Call-to-Action form, the most HIPAA-compliant way for a potential or current patient to reach you online.

Which Additional Pages Will Add Value?

There are many supplemental pages that can be quite valuable to your patients and staff:

Our Locations

Even if you only have one office location, providing a direct link to a page with a map and photo helps solve a very common patient question.

The Location page should contain a complete address and phone for each office, as well as a photo (if available) and a detailed map.

Maps can be either a Google® or MapQuest®-type map, or a custom-designed map that can show the surrounding landmarks of your choosing. A multiple-office practice can benefit from an area map showing all your locations on the Locations portal page.

Providing directions to each office is usually appreciated, especially if there is construction in the area or if visitors often have problems finding you. You may want to spell out where the best parking is available if you’re in a busy area.

Patient Education

Ask your providers what they think when a patient opens up with “I figured out what I have on the Internet...” Who knows what website they visited or how well they understood it – your docs have to talk them out of their self-diagnosis (and how they want it to be treated) before they can even get started.

It would be nice if patients got all their extra information directly from your website (or a website that yours recommended). There are two ways to accomplish this:

  • Write your own content. Not as difficult as it may sound if you have a provider who likes this sort of thing – or you can employ a professional service to create it for you. A great side benefit is that search engines will usually give these pages a great page rank if the content is all yours (and doesn’t exist elsewhere on the web).
  • Use your association’s content. Many practices belong to an association that’s already developed a set of patient education materials. They often will allow a member to use this content on thieir websites, usually for a nominal fee. In some cases, this content can live right on your website so it appears to be your own (and keeps visitors from going off-site and not returning).

Resources

Similar to the Patient Education item above, providing a Resources page on your site can direct visitors to external resources that your practice feels comfortable with.

You can include links to a wide variety of sites that relate to your main practice services, including:

  • Professional associations your providers belong to
  • Organizations dedicated to research and cures for specific diseases
  • Organizations that help people cope with specific diseases and conditions
  • Hospitals you’re affiliated with
  • Government health websites

Our Blog

Once you’ve put together a great practice website, you probably want to be able to keep adding content to it, keep it fresh and viable, make the search engines keep taking notice. Short of adding new staff or new services, the only viable solution is a practice blog.

See complete details on our Practice Blogs page. 

First Visit

For many practice websites, the First Visit page may be the one most often viewed by new patients. When they know just what to expect and exactly what to bring, their anxiety levels decrease (as might your no-show numbers) and your front office staff will be happy to see things move more smoothly.

See complete details on our First Visits Pages page.

Specials

Some practice types have a built-in advantage when it comes to getting their patients to look at their websites every month without fail – the Specials page!

Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Medical Spa and Cosmetic Dentistry practices can publish a list of all their special offers and update it every month. Not only does it bring in patients who might not show up otherwise, the opportunities to then upsell associated products and procedures are significant.

Make sure to link each offer to the page on your site where that product or service is described to make it easy for interested patients to see all the benefits that the special offer can provide.

You can often get promotional materials from your product vendors to add some life and color when they’re added to your Specials page.

Conditions / Symptoms

People using a search engine to look for a medical or dental practice may not search for a particular treatment – they may be unsure if there even is a treatment, or which one is best. They often search for the condition they think they might have, or even just the symptoms.

Are those patients going to find your practice website? A great way to capture this audience is to provide a Conditions or Symptoms page, listing the most common ones you treat with a link from each one to an item on your Services page. You can even employ links going the other way (helps with SEO). 

Building a complete page for the more common conditions will significantly help you capture those searchers, as well as provide more helpful detail to those patients who are affected.

Pre- and Post-Op Instructions

There are three easily-prevented situations when it comes to pre- and post-op procedures:

  • Patients who aren’t sure or don’t remember what to do
  • Patients who call your office repeatedly to ask questions
  • Patients who show up for procedures unprepared
  • Patients who don’t follow the proper post-op and develop complications

Publishing a detailed set of instructions can pay for itself many times over. PDFs are a great format, allowing the patient to print a copy and post it somewhere in their home where it can be referred to often (and maybe viewed by the spouse to help keep them compliant).

Patient Testimonials

Just like what people see on TV, in newspapers and in magazines, the content they read on your practice website is often taken with a grain of salt. After all, you can say anything you want to about your providers or your services.

Your patients are another story. There’s an entire world of recommendation relationships going on in social media – as well as millions of online product and service reviews, in large part because people have more trust in what other people say.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Every time a patient contacts you to describe their experience make sure it gets added to your Testimonials page. You can even employ a Patient Survey to encourage participation.

See complete details on our Patient Testimonials page.