One of the best ways to get patients interested in your practice is to have a website that is attractive, informative and easy to navigate. Your aim is to make a good first impression so patients will desire to do business with you. If you want to build a website for your practice that patients will absolutely love, then it is essential that you make sure your website is accessible to people with disabilities, ensure that your web pages are clutter free, make information easy to obtain, guarantee that navigation is seamless and craft quality content.
Make Sure Your Website is Accessible to People with Disabilities
Whether you know it or not, a portion of your patient population will be individuals with disabilities, such as blindness, motor impairments, seizure disorders, deafness and cognitive disabilities. Many of these individuals will have disabilities that are as a result of various diseases and conditions that will cause them to need quality doctors that can monitor them and help manage the care they need.
Since you do not want to alienate anyone from doing business with you, it is crucial that you make accessibility a priority when you are constructing your website. To make certain your website is accessible, you will need to do the following.
*Make sure all images that are a part of your content have alt text that provides a brief and concise description of what is being portrayed.
*If you will be using decorative images, such as background images that are for looks only that do not add anything directly to the content, make sure they are hidden from screen readers by using a blank alt tag.
*Make sure you have a skip navigation link on each web page that allows the user to skip past navigation menus and jump directly to the main content.
*Make sure to use correct semantic structure. This means that you will tag elements correctly by tagging lists as lists, page titles and section titles as headings, paragraphs as paragraphs, tables as tables and so forth.
*Make sure headings are structured in the proper hierarchical order. The title of each web page should always be tagged as an h1. Section titles should always be tagged as an h2. Subsections within each section should be tagged as an h3 and so forth.
*If you will use tables on your website to convey data, make sure the column headers are always associated with each column so screen reader users will be able to read and interpret the data accurately.
*Make sure all buttons, form fields and links have proper programmatic and textual labels that clearly describe each of their functions.
*Make sure all video and audio content has an associated transcript so users who are deaf or deaf blind can have access to the content. Videos should also have closed captioning and audio description.
*Construct content that is easy to read and understand so as to not exclude those with cognitive impairments.
*Eliminate the use of content that flashes or scrolls automatically so as to not cause difficulties for users with seizure disorders and motor impairments.
*Make sure all interactive elements on each of your pages receive visual focus to enable users to know where they are when they are navigating.
Of course, this list is not completely exhaustive: however, it is a great place to start if you want to make sure users with disabilities can access your site. In addition to following these recommendations, you need to hire an accessibility consultant, preferably one who has a disability, to test your website for you and give you feedback.
An accessibility consultant will provide advice on remediating any defects that are found to guarantee that your site can be used by all.
Ensure Your Web Pages Are Clutter Free
The next thing you want to do to make sure you build a website that your patients will love is to keep all web pages free of clutter. When pages are cluttered, this makes information hard to find and causes frustration. Some people even become overwhelmed when they see cluttered web pages and will click away immediately.
The last thing you want to happen is for you to lose prospective business to your competitors. In order to keep your web pages clutter free, only put the necessities on each page, structure pages so they are well organized and resist the urge to cram many features on one page.
Make Information Easy to Obtain
When patients come to a practice website, they are also going to be looking for information. To ensure that they stick around and do business with you, it is critical that you make sure information is easy to obtain. Make sure patients can find answers quickly, and construct all resources so they are easy to read on mobile phones, tablets and computers.
Guarantee Navigation is Seamless
One thing that is an immediate turnoff for many is a website that is difficult to navigate. If website visitors have to spend a significant amount of time and effort trying to access various features and information, you can almost be certain that you will lose them to your competition. You obviously do not want to lose anyone to your competitors, so you will need to make sure users can navigate your website with minimal effort.
Create menus that are easy to get through and understand, and do not crowd menus with too many options. Furthermore, group certain feature categories into submenus. Additionally, it is essential that you make sure all features, such as the payment portal, Patient portal and chat boxes, are easy to find.
Craft Quality Content
Finally, if you want patients to absolutely love your website, you need to craft quality content. The content must be written in a way that is informative, warm and inviting. You also want to make sure you will grab the attention of your website visitors to turn prospects into profits. If your content is of poor quality, you will lose potential clients, and that is the last thing you want to happen.