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Why Visitors Leave Your Site - And What It Could Mean for Your Patient Retention

What does your website say about your hospital or medical practice? If you’re not getting the right message across, you could be losing more than just prospective patients; you could also be at risk of losing current patients who aren’t finding what they’re looking for. The relationships you build with your patients start online. How does your website hold up?

Ranking for certain keywords on Google is only one part of the online marketing equation. The art of keeping visitors engaged while on your website—and enticing them to come back—is a whole different beast, particularly for marketers in the healthcare industry. Reaching new patients through your website (and retaining these patients) is vital to your success, and there are steps you can take to achieve both.

Reasons Website Visitors Leave

Studies conducted by the SEO-consulting company Moz show that website visitors might leave for any number of reasons. Among the most common:
  • Your website loads too slowly. Research has shown that most people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Your website design is outdated, unprofessional, or bland. Or, even worse, a combination of all 3.
  • The general navigation and menus on your website are confusing, making it difficult for visitors to find the information they’re looking for.
  • Certain aspects of the website detract users from the actual experience you want them to have on your website. For example, popup ads, misplaced images, and videos that can’t be silenced or paused.
  • The content on your website is poorly written and / or formatted in such a way that’s difficult to read, i.e. large, chunky paragraphs, difficult language, etc.

Steps to Take to Retain Visitors...And Keep Patients

  1. Decrease your page load time. Page load speed is vital to retaining website visitors. Users won’t hesitate to go to another website if yours takes too long to load. A tool like Pingdom is a great way to test your website speed; it checks your site from several different locales (across the US and internationally) to get the most accurate results. The best way to solve a slow-moving website is to have your website designer compress all images and website code, and to make sure the plug-ins being used aren't unstable or outdated. In the healthcare industry, a slow-loading website can look unprofessional and will quickly drive potential patients away from the site.
  2. Avoid letting your website get stale. At Scorpion, we recommend redesigning your website every 2 years keep the content, design, and coding cutting-edge. Internal website code becomes outdated quickly new code is constantly replacing old code. A great website redesign can work wonders for your brand value and recognition, and it can help retain visitors. On the flip side, an old, outdated or even confusing design could make it difficult for visitors to find information about your location, contact information, services, and business hours. In the healthcare industry, patients need to be able to find the information they’re looking for without hindrance. Just from your home page, they should be able to answer these questions: “Does the physician perform the services I need?” “What are the hospital’s hours of operation?” “Where is the facility located?” All of these questions should be easily accessible and displayed on a fresh website that’s been redesigned in the past few years.
  3. Don’t display advertisements on your website. In the healthcare industry, the goal is to earn revenue through services, not pop-up ads. If advertisements are displayed on your website, they should be strategically placed where they will not detract your visitors from the actual information you want them to see. And they should not be flashy or carry sound, because this could also distract visitors. Potential patients visit your site to learn how you can help them. Doctors and hospitals that can prove their value are the ones that retain and keep patients. Meanwhile, healthcare providers who litter their websites with ads and “flashy” images lose patients to the competition.
  4. Provide quality content that answers patients’ questions. Healthcare providers need to be especially careful about the actual content on their websites. It should be extremely well-researched, well-written, and informative. Website content is one of the most important factors for boosting page rank on search engines like Google, and if it's well-written and engaging, patients will keep coming back to learn more. And, when the patient is finally ready to choose a care facility, your hospital or practice will be at the top of their mind.

If your current website isn’t bringing you the patients you want, it’s time to talk to Scorpion's healthcare marketing experts. Call us at (888) 848-0097 or contact us online.