Building a website isn’t a “set it and forget it” marketing tactic. Technology changes, healthcare consumer preferences evolve, and search engines like Google add hundreds of updates to their algorithms every year.
As a result, if you’re not mindful about keeping your website up-to-date, your medical practice’s online visibility could suffer. And when visibility declines, so do your opportunities to attract new patients.
Whether you own a dental or orthodontic practice, chiropractic clinic, plastic surgery clinic, med spa, veterinary practice, etc., we want to help your practice succeed online—and that’s why we’re providing you with these 5 signs that it’s time for a website redesign:
1. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
Have you tested out how your website looks and functions on a mobile device? If you do and discover that you’re having a hard time viewing or navigating the content on your website (you’re constantly scrolling or zooming in to find the content you need), then your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
This data shows that the overwhelming majority of your prospective patients are on a mobile device when they visit your website. And if your site is not responsive, meaning the content on your site is not built to automatically adjust to fit the size of a smaller screen, then visitors are not having a positive experience on your site and may form a negative impression of your practice. Research shows that (48%) of people say that if a business’ website does not work well on their smartphones, they take this as an indication that the business simply does not care.
Furthermore, if your website is not mobile-responsive, you could be hurting your practice’s ability to rank well in online search. This is because Google, in response to the consumers’ overwhelming shift to mobile, has changed its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites. Over the past years, Google has launched multiple mobile-friendly updates to its algorithm allowing mobile-compatible sites to rank higher in search results, and it has even switched to mobile-first indexing meaning Google now uses the mobile version of a website as the default for adding web pages to its search results, instead of the desktop version.
If your practice’s website is not yet mobile-friendly, then you should consider a redesign using mobile-responsive technology, to prevent your practice from being overlooked by search engines like Google, or by your potential patients.
2. Your website takes a long time to load.
When your web pages load slowly, you run the risk of frustrating your visitors and making them leave your site—especially when they’re on a mobile device, which is when they’re typically on the go and expect faster results.
Research by Google shows that more than half (53%) of mobile users will leave a web page that takes more than three seconds to load. Yet, many businesses (including medical practices) are failing to meet visitors’ expectations, as the average time it takes for a web page to load on a mobile device is 15 seconds.
Slow page loading time is not only bad for your website’s user experience, but it can also have a negative impact on your ability to attract new business.
First, slow load times decrease visitor engagement with your practice by increasing the likelihood of the user “bouncing,” or leaving after they visit just one page on your website. According to Google...
Digital marketing industry experts say page speed can directly impact online conversion rates, or the percentage of your website visitors who take an action desired by your practice, like calling your office or filling out a web form.
Here at Scorpion, we recommend keeping your page load time to 1-2 seconds on mobile whenever possible so you can increase patient engagement and boost your online conversions. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that other factors can impact page load times, such as the type of mobile device being used, the network speed (e.g., 4G, 5G, LTE, etc.), and the strength of the Wi-Fi connection. As a result, even when you are following all the best practices for your website, load times may vary.
3. Your website doesn’t reflect your practice’s brand and values.
For many of your prospective patients, your website will be one of the first places they look to learn about your medical practice and determine whether the services you offer are right for them. Having a website that doesn’t reflect your medical practice can, at best, make your practice blend in with your competitors or, at worst, give prospective patients a negative impression of your practice.
Considering that your website is essentially the face of your medical practice on the Internet, you should ensure it is designed in a way that reflects your practice’s brand—or essentially, your mission, values, and tone of voice. Your website should serve as your practice’s visual identity and tell a story about how you serve your patients and why.
Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating your digital branding:
Does my website match my practice's established visual branding, such as my logo and brand colors?
Does my site show images of my office and medical care team to help potential patients get to know my practice better?
How do the images and messaging make people feel when they visit the site? Is that the impression I want to leave?
Is the tone of my website content aligned with how I want to communicate to my patients?
Are my mission and values (i.e. delivering compassionate care) obvious on my site?
Once you’re able to answer yes to all of these questions, you will be able to show prospective patients who you really are as a practice, demonstrate your value, create an impression of authenticity, and attract more patients.
In one example, Adventure Dental in Santa Clarita, CA was able to increase their volume of new patients by 15-20% after they redesigned their website and launched new digital advertising that did a better job of highlighting why their practice was unique. They went from having a “boring website” to a site with vibrant colors; images, videos, and artwork of their office environment (which includes ceiling-to-floor wildlife murals and other nature-themed decor); photos, videos, and bios of their team members; and content positioning Adventure Dental as true experts in pediatric dentistry. Read the full story here.
4. Your website leaves visitors feeling lost and confused.
You can have a sophisticated design, valuable content, and engaging videos, but it isn’t effective if you can’t encourage visitors to stay on your site long enough to learn about your medical practice and develop a desire to work with you and your team.
It’s imperative to have a website that has an organized layout and user-friendly design that allows your visitors to quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for. This includes everything from the way your site’s pages are displayed and structured to placement and visibility of your contact information and web forms.
It should also be noted that when your website is structured properly, it’s easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find, crawl, and understand your site content, making it more likely that you’ll get your web pages ranking well in organic search.
5. Your website isn’t ranking well in online search.
If your website isn’t ranking on the first page of search engines like Google and Bing for your most important keywords, it’s practically invisible.
Research shows that the first page typically garners 92% of all traffic in the average search. Furthermore, the very first link gets 53% of organic search clicks. It’s no wonder people there’s a common saying in the digital marketing world that "the best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google."
As a result, if your website is not regularly ranking on the first page of the search results (and high up on the page) for your most important keywords, your practice is inevitably losing visibility, as well as the chance to generate new business.
Nashville orthodontic practice Braces by Dr. Ruth is a fun, community-oriented practice that has been around for about 20 years, with an iron-clad reputation in its local community. However, the practice was only able to take that positive reputation so far because it needed more than just word of mouth to succeed—it needed to be visible on the Internet in order to truly maximize its patient volume.
After our team at Scorpion helped Dr. Ruth Edmonds optimize her website to align with the latest standards set by today’s most popular search engines, she was finally able to get her practice consistently ranking at the top of the search results for important terms like “Nashville orthodontist,” which helped her drive more traffic to her site and increase her patient volume and revenue by 15%.
If your website isn’t getting the visibility it deserves in online search, it’s probably time to update your site and implement a new search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.