Branding Strategies for Medical Practice Websites
People rely on the information they find on a medical practice’s website. Word of mouth referrals used to count for everything, but not anymore.
The internet is so accessible these days that most people look online for information before they make a doctor’s appointment or schedule a consultation about a new procedure. The information they find there governs what they do next.
A well-designed website is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy, but without a good website, your medical practice will struggle. However, the right marketing strategies are needed to give your website the ‘human touch’.
Branding is an important factor in digital marketing, as it helps you communicate the right message to your clients. Done well, website branding combined with effective social media campaigns will sow the seeds for success, but be careful, as there are pitfalls to avoid.
Here are some tips to help you ensure your medical branding has the right touch.
Meet the Staff
Medical branding should always be about making the practice appear more ‘human’. Visiting the doctor can often be a bit scary. Since your website is effectively a store window for your medical practice, it needs to be welcoming.
Include a page where prospective patients can meet the staff. A short bio plus a photograph enables patients to learn a bit more about staff members before they make an appointment. This will help them feel more at ease. You may also wish to add a bit of information about each doctor’s specialist interests. That way, patients know in advance who to see.
Revamp the ‘About Us’ Page
An ‘About Us’ page is very important. Provide some back history about how the practice started, its ethos, and other relevant information. This differentiates your practice from other ones in the area, which is an essential part of creating a recognisable brand.
To be effective, medical branding needs to be consistent. Logos and colours should be the same across all marketing platforms. Ideally, employ one person to manage your website and social media channels. This will ensure content remains consistent and professional.
Set up each social channel individually. The main ones to target are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. Check each feed looks inviting and features your logo. Be sure to post regular updates.
The Personal Touch
Medical practices need to strike the right balance between professional and approachable. If your practice comes across as too cold and clinical, patients will be discouraged from making contact, which is the last thing you need.
A website can help to reinforce a brand and promote a sense of community amongst your patients. The more valuable your website is, the more patients are likely to return. Fill the site with useful information about everyday health and wellness topics. Do not forget to make sure the website is easy to navigate and user friendly.
Meet Your Patient’s Needs
Put yourself in the shoes of your patients – what are their issues? To a certain extent, this will depend on your patient demographics, so find out more about your patients and build a website according to their needs.
A blog is very helpful in this regard. You can write about important healthcare issues and publicise the latest healthcare news and developments from the medical world. Make your posts engaging and conversational. Avoid too much medical jargon and technical vocabulary.
Medical websites need to be kept updated. Installing a blog on your practice website is helpful, but you also need to keep other website information updated regularly. If a patient visits your website and the content is clearly well out of date, they will lose confidence in your brand.
Social media channels also need to be kept updated. Social Media is a key part of any branding strategy, for this is where a lot of your patients will connect with you. Be sure to maintain a professional yet friendly persona on social media and avoid getting involved in any discussions that could damage your brand.
Everything you say and do in the public arena has the potential to damage your brand, so think before you speak at all times, particularly on social media.