When was the last time that you went window shopping in a mall? Imagine the stores that you walked into even if you didn’t need anything. Picture the stores that stood out to you enough for you to remember their displays.
Your website is like those stores, and you want to create a similar reaction for your customers and patients.
The problem is that most healthcare websites look the same or very similar. They utilize similar messaging, web design templates, stock imagery, and sometimes even the same color palette.
When your website is the digital storefront of your brand (yes, healthcare companies are brands, too), and more competitors are creeping up every day, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the others.
A great place to start is with your web design.
Web design vs website development
We’ve talked about this in previous blogs, but here it is, simplified for quick reading.
Web developers and web designers are two completely different jobs. A web developer is in charge of the backend functionality of your website. They are in charge of the coding language that your site uses to create things like banners and customer service chat boxes. Your website’s user experience and overall website performance depends largely on the backend.
Web designers are in charge of the customer-facing portion of your site. They take care of the visual designs and UX designs. Web designers are graphic designers who understand the intricacies of branding, marketing, and target audiences.
In healthcare, they design based on your business goals, competitive research, and the message that you are trying to communicate.
For a health website, both web design and web development are equally important. One thing to keep in mind is that web design comes first.
What does your site say about you?
Picture your website without all of the copy. Simply look at the design elements, the white space, the photography, your navigation, and your menus.
What does this say about your company or product?
Is the design speaking to your target audience, or do you look like everyone else?
For healthcare organizations, differentiating yourself through your website is extremely important in the digital age. The healthcare industry as a whole doesn’t necessarily say ‘new and exciting’; typically, companies will use similar color pallets and design elements.
A high quality healthcare website can be exciting without breaking so far out of the mold that it’s scary. Think of accent colors, replacing that stock imagery with 3-D elements or motion graphics, and making your copy a little bit more conversational. These are all easy ways to help you stand out in the market.
Your digital storefront.
Imagine yourself in that mall again. You walk into a clothing store and right away, you are overwhelmed with the cluttered table displays. There are racks in the middle of the walkways and you wouldn’t be able to find what you are looking for even if you tried.
Instead of continuing to browse, you leave for the store across the way.
The visual elements of your site are like that table display and the interaction design is like racks in the walkway. Site visitors won’t try to navigate through your website long enough to read your selling points if what they are looking for is hard to find.
A medical website that is cluttered affects your user experience and breeds distrust. Your patients and customers need responsive design in order to work with you. Especially in 2023.
Everything is digital now. Your website is the X on the map that your ads lead to, it’s the first place that your prospects, customers, and patients will see when they Google you after watching that commercial.
SEO for healthcare.
The most important thing that you could do for your website is to optimize it for search engines. Think about it: when a consumer gets an idea about something, they Google it. What if you’re a food sensitivity testing company and someone Google’s What is the difference between a food sensitivity and a food allergy?
You would want to be on the top three websites that pop up in their search results after the ads. That’s what SEO does. Once you pass the first page of Google, over half of your potential customers have already either chosen the website that they are going to visit, or dropped off of the browser altogether.
Search engine optimization not only makes your website easy to find, but can also help build trust since you are showing up on that first page of Google.
You might be wondering what this has to do with your web design. It actually has a lot to do with it. Search engines don’t just look at the copy on your website, they also determine how responsive your site is for users through the site architecture.
Guess who designs that site architecture.
Your web designer.
Trade show season is almost here.
For healthcare marketers, trade show season is the time of year that brings all of the solution providers, prospects, large health systems, and payers under one roof. Sure, a lot of people attend these events to network and listen to speakers, but most people are there to either get solutions to their problems or to provide that solution.
The trouble here is that these trade shows are full of solutions just like yours. Your prospects are having conversations with similar companies, and everyone is trying to stand out, just like you are.
Your website is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself. Remember when we mentioned that a lot of healthcare companies look like cookie-cutter versions of each other, too afraid to break the mold?
Well, when prospects leave your booth, they visit your website if they’re truly interested. This is likely where they’ll go before scheduling a meeting. Instead disappearing into the quilt of competitors, give them something to remember.
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Trust is the secret ingredient.
Healthcare marketing is largely based on trust. There is so much red-tape in this industry, with HIPAA, GDPR laws, and more, that understanding how to market your product or service for the 21st century can feel like a losing game of tetris.
Paying attention to your digital footprint and how a clean and responsive website helps build that trust is crucial.
For more information on how to find a website designer, here is a great resource.
Are you revamping your website for 2023?