Doctors and dentists are all beginning to realize the importance of creating a web presence, and setting up sites and pages to reflect their practice and expertise. The trouble is, creating a site that will keep people around long enough to decide to make an appointment. We have explored a number of these sites and picked out elements that make them less scary, and more compelling.
For general advice, most people just turn to WebMD or another like minded site. Individual offices are looking to book appointments, not just give out advice, so these need to be a bit more creative.
Start by picking background colors that are soothing and professional, just like in your office. Soft blues and greens are always good or even yellow if you want to portray something more cheerful. Stay away from bold colors, especially reds, as they will invoke anxiety immediately. Offices that are geared for women only may want to try using shades of pink with natural colors for good results.
Home pages should not have any kind of photo showing procedures or medical equipment. Instead, they should feature the staff of the office all welcoming and smiling. On subsequent pages you may put relevant pictures to reflect the subject, but nothing disturbing or graphic. For example, a dentist may show a nice photo of an electric toothbrush and water flosser on his page that talks about dental hygiene.
Every page must reference where you are located if you are looking to build local traffic. Think about what a prospective dental patient would Google and then intersperse that throughout the text. If someone has a toothache their Google search would read “dentists in Des Moines” which is the phrase you should use if that is one of your target areas.
You only want to provide bare bones medical advice on your website, like with the electric toothbrush picture and how to take better care of your teeth. If you start getting too specific about diseases and treatments, not only are you scaring people, you could be setting yourself up for a law suit. Beyond basic preventive care, the medical advice on your site should be limited to “go see your doctor”.
What people really want to know when trying to find a doctor or dentist is how the office is run. What are the hours? What types of insurance do you accept? They are wondering where you practiced before and what your credentials are. This should be the focus of a medical website, rather than disease and treatments.
Creating these types of sites is not easy, and will take some time. Remember to include a blog that is updated regularly, talking more about relevant news in your community than the latest treatments for gingivitis. This will make you stand out as a local medical provider who cares, rather than a doctor who is providing a revolving door of medical assistance.