As people are increasingly turning to the internet for health information and services, professional healthcare web design is an essential part of a successful online presence for every healthcare business.
In this article, our web design agency in Chicago will explain what makes medical websites unique and why it might be a wise choice to hire professionals who can build a custom healthcare web design for you.
Table of Contents
- Why is web design so important?
- What makes healthcare web design so different?
- Best healthcare web design practices
- SEO-friendly healthcare web design
- Do you need a web design agency that specializes in healthcare?
- Final thoughts
Why is web design so important?
A website is a valuable marketing and communication tool for healthcare providers. From a product discovery phase to final conversion – healthcare web design significantly impacts the outcome of a complete digital marketing strategy. Investing resources and hiring a web design firm that provides custom web design WordPress services usually proves essential for health organizations, as it opens additional opportunities for improving their online presence. Since premium medical web design is built using a variety of advanced technologies, it will help you run your business more effectively. Experienced healthcare website developers can implement all the necessary features to promote your brand values, connect with the target audience, and increase conversion rates.
However, while a well-designed healthcare website can help your business grow, an average one will only put weight on your shoulders and prevent you from enjoying all the benefits a strong online presence gives. To be able to build a website that truly supports your brand’s digital marketing efforts, it is crucial to understand how medical web design differs from web designs across other industries.
What makes healthcare web design so different?
Healthcare website design is a unique field that requires a particular set of skills. To make it right, a web designer needs to have a deeper level of understanding and knowledge about the complex healthcare industry. Since medical websites usually involve a lot of data entry and allow patients to access health records online, a web design firm must ensure that forms are easy to use on every device and that health information is protected from other internet users. That’s why choosing the right content management system, making the website mobile-friendly through responsive web design, and building a secure infrastructure are crucial steps that healthcare website design professionals need to keep in mind.
And as people usually invest a lot of time and effort in choosing between healthcare providers, knowing how to build trust with potential patients is increasingly important when creating a medical website design. Knowing which web design elements are vital for healthcare websites will help you gain an advantage over the competition and achieve business goals.
Best healthcare web design practices
It is vital to keep best practices in mind when building a healthcare web design. It will help you avoid some common mistakes that could negatively affect your online presence. When building custom healthcare websites, designers from Alpha Efficiency pay close attention to the following areas:
Navigation on medical websites needs to be intuitive and provide quick access to different pages. A good navigation design will improve the user experience on your healthcare website, help you increase conversion rates, and reduce bounce rates. To ensure the navigation on your healthcare website is easy:
- Keep patients in mind – When building a healthcare web design, you need to ask yourself what end-users will be searching for on your medical website and then provide quick and easy access to the pages containing health information of their interest.
- Avoid overcrowding navigation menus – Keep your menus clean and straightforward. Avoid placing too many items in the categories of the main navigation bar (place up to 7), and stay away from crafting unique phrases for navigation titles, as those can only confuse visitors on your healthcare website.
- Pay attention to footer design – Footer navigation is often overlooked in healthcare website design. However, that doesn’t mean that investing effort in designing a great website footer is not worth it. Enriching it with useful links that provide quick access to important destinations, such as service pages, can help you save the time visitors would otherwise spend scrolling. That will result in an enhanced user experience on your medical website, which is one of the top priorities for every medical web design.
- Make navigation elements readable – Navigation elements on healthcare websites need to be easy to read on both desktop and mobile devices. As a rule of thumb, avoid using a font size smaller than 12px.
If you have noticed that users have trouble navigating through your digital landscape, it might be the right time to redesign your website and hire transformation experts to enhance the user experience on it.
The human brain processes visuals much faster than text. To take advantage of this, web design firms implement data visualization in medical website design. This technique can be used to make complex information more accessible and understandable. Data visualization allows users to see patterns and relationships that would otherwise be hidden. That can help them understand complex medical information much faster and remember it for a more extended period. There are many different types of data visualization, each with advantages and disadvantages. Professional healthcare web designs usually utilize:
- Bar charts
- Pie charts
- Line graphs
- Scatter plots
However, including custom illustrations in your medical web design can also help you find a unique brand voice, simplify complex information and engage potential clients to keep exploring your website. Considering data visualization might help you find a healthcare website design inspiration faster.
Successful health organizations don’t use images on their website just for aesthetics – they also understand how powerful tool images can be for marketing. Visuals are an essential part of medical web design since they better explain your services and important health information to the target audience. Placing the right images on your website can help you build trust, increase conversion rates and achieve business goals. Here are a few best practices when it comes to implementing images on healthcare websites:
- Create a mood board – planning aesthetics upfront is vital, and that’s where creating a mood board comes in handy. Craft different versions with various image combinations; find the one where stock photos, before and after galleries, photos of your staff, etc., work together perfectly to deliver a desired visual appeal that reflects your brand values. However, professional web design firms usually recommend using original photos and illustrations instead of stock photos whenever possible.
- Choose diverse images – Keep your target audience in mind when choosing images for your healthcare website design. If you primarily target the elderly population, your images should reflect that. However, your ideal customer’s age is not the only factor you should consider during this process – gender, race, economic status, disability, and similar are equally important.
- Represent your services accurately – To build credibility and trust, it is essential to show your medical procedures and staff as accurately as possible. You’ll get bonus points if patients recognize your doctors when they arrive for an appointment, as it usually calms their nerves.
- Stick to the color palette – Use light colors associated with health, and avoid placing too many images that don’t comply with your brand’s color palette.
Since it is important to keep health information accurate, healthcare providers should invest additional efforts in their website copy. Misleading information will not only break the trust between your business and its patients, but it could also result in a lawsuit. Your visitors need to feel confident that the health information they are viewing is accurate and unbiased, and you also need to deliver it in a clean manner. Poor copywriting can lead to frustrated patients who may abandon your healthcare website or search engine results page. To enhance your medical web design, use the correct language for your target audience in the website copy.
Online Scheduling Features
Your healthcare web design needs to utilize features that allow both returning and new patients to schedule appointments and fill out different forms online. Making the whole process smoother and more engaging will improve the user experience and appear more professional.
One way to automate this process is by integrating a practice management system with your medical website. That will help you keep track of your client base and handle online appointments much easier. However, to avoid losing potential leads just because of software issues, consider hiring a company that specializes in healthcare web development to do it for you.
Healthcare web design should be ADA-compliant to ensure that all users with disabilities have equal access to the website. That means that the healthcare website should be easy to navigate and understand for all users, regardless of their ability to see or hear. All content on the website should also be accessible, including images, videos, and forms. Medical web design that is ADA-compliant will also help to improve the user experience on your website, which can lead to more customers coming back to your website.
When dealing with sensitive health information, you need to ensure that your medical website design is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. This act sets strict privacy and security standards for safeguarding patient information. A compliant healthcare web design will help you protect the privacy of your patients by ensuring that all personal information is safe from third parties.
To make healthcare websites HIPAA compliant, web design firms implement SSL certificates that encrypt all the communication between clinics and patients.
Essential parts of every healthcare web design are online reviews and testimonials. Before scheduling appointments with healthcare providers, people usually look for social proof. Research suggests that, when making a decision, online reviews of healthcare businesses are critical for 82% of people. Showing what previous patients think of your medical services will help you calm potential clients’ nerves, which will result in increased conversion rates.
Let’s say you were designing a supplement landing page. Writing a powerful copy that explains the benefits of using your product will help you intrigue internet users and convince them that they need your supplements. However, before clicking the order button, most visitors want to know whether your product delivers on its promises. That’s where well-designed testimonials come in handy. Placing them in the right spot on your medical website will help you support the copy and remove any doubt preventing potential customers from converting. And to add credibility to testimonials, with clients’ consent, add their photos next to their statements.
Hiring professionals who provide healthcare web development services and know how to build trust with customers will help you appear more credible, trustworthy, and professional and increase conversion rates on your healthcare website. And to help you get more reviews, healthcare software product companies can adjust your practice management system to send review requests after the appointment is finished. An option for patients to rate doctors is another powerful feature healthcare organizations should implement in their medical web design.
SEO-friendly healthcare web design
Patients increasingly use Google and other popular search engines to find healthcare providers, and that’s why you need to ensure your medical web design is ready for intensive search engine optimization campaigns. Ranking high in search engines will increase the chances that internet users will find your medical practice during the product discovery phase. Increased visibility will lead to more organic traffic and help you gain a competitive advantage in the crowded healthcare industry.
However, as there are many factors that Google algorithms consider when ranking health websites, building one with page builders that provide drag-and-drop simplicity is not the wisest choice. Instead, hiring a healthcare web designer or a medical web design company to write clean code from scratch is probably your best bet. Custom healthcare websites usually perform much better in search engines.
The following tips might help you achieve better SEO results on your medical website:
Write valuable content
People often search for health information online or want to learn more about a specific medical procedure before they schedule an appointment. Writing high-quality content that informs visitors while keeping them engaged will help you improve your chances of achieving desired rankings on Google. Before writing an article for your healthcare website blog, conduct comprehensive keyword research and think about all the different ways your target audience might search for an answer to a specific problem. However, besides blog posts, there are several other approaches to content creation you can utilize, including:
- Social media content
- Case studies
Providing visitors with helpful information will positively affect your domain authority, especially if your articles start obtaining backlinks. Healthcare website developers can implement custom features within your content management system (CMS) to meet your specific needs.
Make healthcare web design mobile-friendly
When designing a healthcare website, you must ensure that it looks great and functions well across various devices and screen sizes. Making your website mobile-friendly will help you rank better on Google, as the most popular search engine announced a mobile-first indexing policy a few years ago. And since iPhones are currently dominating the US market, investing additional effort to perfect the iPhone web design during the healthcare website development process will benefit your business.
Placing a lot of high-quality images on your healthcare website can ruin the user experience by causing slow page speeds. Luckily, there is a solution that allows you to keep all images without extending the loading times of your web pages. The key lies in image file size optimization. Using certain WordPress plugins or online tools allows you to reduce image file sizes just enough to ensure high-quality visuals and fast loading times on your website. Professionals who provide healthcare website development services know how to choose the right image file size to make it almost impossible for end-users to notice any change in quality.
Image alt text is another element you should not forget about when optimizing images for your medical website. Every image should contain descriptive text that helps search engines understand its context.
Optimize URL structure
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is an address that identifies a page on your website. During the healthcare web design process, you need to optimize the URLs of your pages to meet your SEO strategy. As they appear on the search engine results page (SERP) just under the page title, it is advisable to include focus keywords and make your URLs easy to read for humans. Also, the best practice is to plan categories after conducting keyword research, as it will give you a much better insight into how people interact with your healthcare business.
Do you need a web design agency that specializes in healthcare?
Healthcare websites are complex and require a lot of customization to meet the specific needs of the healthcare industry. Such websites are often used to gather patient information, connect with patients and doctors, and manage medical records, so there is no room for mistakes in healthcare web design. That’s why hiring an agency that specializes in designing medical websites is advisable.
It is important to understand that web design for plastic surgeons, one for ambulatory health care services providers, or web design for the family cosmetic dental practice – all differ from one another and require additional efforts and specialization. A healthcare web development agency will ensure that your website is not only visually appealing and has zero technical issues but also compliant with all the crucial acts and regulations within the industry. And by implementing custom features, a specialized agency will be able to create a healthcare website that meets your specific business needs.
With many factors to consider when designing a healthcare website, you should avoid using drag-and-drop page builders and hire professionals who can build your digital landscape from scratch. They will help you get a website that looks beautiful, provides a great user experience, performs well in search engines, and meets strict regulations within the healthcare industry.
If you are looking for an agency experienced in healthcare web design development, feel free to schedule a call with Alpha Efficiency. Our professionals will introduce you to the software development life cycle and try to help you build a strong online presence for your healthcare business.