First impressions are important in any relationship and certainly any business relationship. They’re even more important when that relationship is one as personal as that between doctor and patient. In today’s digital world, your website is going to be the first point of contact a lot of prospective patients will have with you and your office.
These medical web design tips will help you make the most of that first impression.
Check compliance and accessibility
When you’re in the medical field, it all starts with privacy. Whoever designs your website must have experience in HIPAA compliance as the privacy of information given on submission forms must be protected.
There’s also the issue of access for the disabled. The Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that businesses make their services accessible to the disabled. This is generally assumed to mean things like wheelchair access to a restaurant, but it also applies to your digital presence. Those who are visually impaired need to be able to use the website.
That means making sure web visitors have the ability to make text appear in larger type. It also means filling out the “alt” tag that’s available on the back end when you upload photos. The “alt”—short for alternative text—is what will appear to tell someone what’s in the image on the page.
Your developer may want to take a look at Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which lays out regulations in this regard for government websites. Even though, as a private sector business, you aren’t strictly held to 508 standards, this can be a reliable guidepost to use in making sure your website is accessible.
Compress your photos
Good images are important for any website and certainly for a field that relies on cultivating trust with new prospects. But photos can also weigh down your website, making load times slower. We’ve all gotten used to very fast websites and even losing a half-second on load time can have a big impact on your website traffic.
Compression is a way to reduce the photo size. Please note that this isn’t simply the act of resizing your images, making one that has a 1000/width into a photo with a 500/width. Compression doesn’t alter the size of the image. Put simply, it makes the image weigh a little less on the server.
If you use a WordPress site, there are compression tools within the Media Library. There are also a lot of free tools online. Compression is easy, takes just a few seconds and will make a big difference for your web design.
Review your call-to-action
The call-to-action (CTA) is the bottom line of your website. A medical office is likely wanting visitors to call for an appointment, and at the very least, fill out a “Contact Us” form. These objectives need to be easily accomplished by the user.
Make sure the phone number and the contact form are visible. They need to be above the fold—i.e. the user shouldn’t have to scroll to find them. They should also be visible on every page, not just the home page (organic search traffic can enter your website from any page).