Five Signs Your Site Needs a Redesign
When it's time to redesign your medical website:
1. Your web traffic is decreasing or activities are not congruent with your business goals.
The majority of your website traffic depends on search engines who display your website on search results. Search engines change the way they rank websites all the time. If your traffic is stagnating or shows a declining trend over a 6-month period, your website is no longer optimized for search engine and it’s time to redesign.
The most effective medical website can generate up to 50% of new patient volume. If your website is not the source of at least 25% of new patients, consider the investment into a redesign.
2. How familiar are you with your state’s Medical Board regulations for physician advertising?
We are. Violating those regulations is considered a misdemeanor and is cause for revocation or suspension of your license to practice medicine or other disciplinary action. For example, the website of a plastic surgeon needs to identify each photograph if an actual patient or a model is displayed. In addition, there are other industry guidelines we recommend your website should comply with. Does your website follow HIPAA guidelines and the generic guidelines set by the American Medical Association? Are you aware of AMA’s guidelines for medical and health information sites in the Internet? These are just two generic sets of rules you will want to follow closely when posting a medical website on the Internet. Things get more specific for a fertility specialist with the “Guidelines for advertising by ART programs” set by the ASRM in 2004. Your website is a reflection of the quality of your patient services. Make sure you comply with medical field standards of today.
3. Is your website adhering to current web standards?
Over the past years, web standards have evolved dramatically and continue to do so. Take a look at your website and evaluate the semantic structure of the site. Is your site Flash content driven? Flash content cannot be indexed by search engines and might do more harm with increased page size than good. Adhering to modern web standards, we recommend to design a table-less website in XHTML, using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and optimal page size.
Are you using an adaptive design? On one hand, monitor screens get larger and on the other, an increasing number of users access your site via a mobile device. Conversions depend highly on user experience and therefore a website needs to display perfectly, no matter how big or small the screen.
4. Are you satisfied with the overall performance of your website?
As a minimum requirement for a website, your practice’s name should come up No. 1 on all search engines! If somebody is looking for you, it is unacceptable that your competitor gets listed before you on a search engine. After that, there are key phrases relevant to your business you should be ranked on search engines. As a test, pick a key phrase you would expect patients to use to find your site on the web. When typing in this keyword on the most powerful search engines, is your website listed in the top 10 or top 20 organic search results? Try additional key phrases. If organic results are not satisfactory to you, it’s time for a redesign.
5. Current search engine optimization is linked to excellent content as much as a good website design.
Today, the top rule for search engine optimization is adding value to your site to make it an unique information resource to patients and less of an advertising tool. It is important to go beyond the basic information site and offer unique content that fosters community. Offering free patient education in form of videos and interactive content, links to other helpful sites, newsletters, a search tool or a blog are ways to accomplish this. Doing something special can bring attention to your site and increase popularity.