I’ve recently been looking to find good dentists in my area. My search starts out on Google and then I click through the doctor’s websites. Except for word-of-mouth recommendations, a clinician’s website has to be spot on. In this article, I’ll talk about website basics and what your patients are looking for when they search for a physician online.
Searching for a Doctor
You might think that your name and brand and services are easy to find. You are likely wrong.
I spent hours a week on this website here and I still can’t get people to find me easily or know what I offer and don’t offer. It takes a lot of tinkering but you don’t have to do it alone. More on that later.
When a patient searches for a doctor they are going to want to find some website where they can research that doctor. Where did they go to school, how old are they, what’s their specialty, what are their patient reviews, etc?
And your patients aren’t going to be that tenacious. If I have to sift through your ego shots and can’t find out much about you I’m out. On to the next physician website.
Website Basics for a Physician
You don’t need much but you have to have the basics. And be careful with your photos, your patients will read a lot into them.
Less is more. Some of these things below might seem like they’d need a novel to address but it can be done with just 3-4 sentences in most cases. Use strategic links for further reading for the curious-minded.
1. Photos & Videos
You need media on your site so that a potential patient can see what you look like, how you behave and interact, and whether they would be comfortable with you.
Avoid vanity photos unless you have that kind of practice. But photos taken of you chatting with your nurses or patients are probably more effective.
There are too many doctors who don’t have any photos of themselves on their own sites. I am not sure the 21st-century patient accepts that these days.
2. Your Practice
A page about your practice should always be available. The only thing more important is the “about me”, more on that below.
Why? How? Who? Where? When? What?
Why do you have your practice and why should the patient choose you? How do you service your patients? In-person, virtually, or both?
Who is your ideal client and who do you not see?
Where do you practice and where are you licensed?
Where can patients find you in person or online?
When can the patient book a session with you and when are you available to them for a follow-up?
What services do you offer and what services do you not offer?
3. About Me
You should write something about yourself, ideally not in the third person. Connect with your audience and write something about yourself.
This is something you can always come back to and touch up later. In this “about me” or “about us” you can have links that send the patient to other websites or pages for further reading.
You do dermatology, great, but are you a board-certified dermatologist with an active medical license? People want to know.
You can add a credentials page if you want. But definitely mention what you focus on or what your interests are so that, again, you are filtering out the right client for your practice.
Your practice style is important to patients, especially these days. It’s your physician brand that reflects on your website.
Don’t be afraid to stand out even if you are heavy into the alternative medicine realm. Yes, you’ll detract certain customers but you’ll also find clients who are far more likely to refer their peers to you.
If you are all about fast service, advertise that. If you are all about 1-2 hour appointments, highlight that.
Also, add links to your medical license page or board certification profile.
A static page is fine but ranks low. A website with proper links, both internal and external, will rank higher.
7. Landing Page
This is the “action” page. If someone lands on your physician website, what do you want them to do? I want them to book an appointment with me.
Bonus points if the patient can book a free session with you, especially if your service price point is on the higher end.
8. Contact Information
How can someone reach out to you? Email, text, phone call? Make it easy. Online forms never work for me, they always fail on the server end or end up in spam. WhatsApp works great. Google Voice, is also solid.
You must have an address, even if you are location-independent and virtual. I recommend TravelingMailbox.com. Easy, very effective.
Put an FAQ on your page, it will save you a lot of time having to answer the same questions.
Anytime your front desk or you get a question that’s been asked more than once, add it to an FAQ spreadsheet and update it on your site in the future.
People need to find reviews of you online. Ideally not the ones you handpicked and placed on your own site.
Asking patients to offer you feedback after their visit and giving them a link on Yelp or Google is a good start.
Don’t ask for a positive review. Ask for genuine feedback so that you can review it and improve your services.
Keeping it Simple
Your physician website should be simple. There is little value in the fancy sites most of us interact with these days.
Simple links which can be viewed on mobile devices are a must. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing and if links fail it will look poorly.
You can have a marketing expert or brand expert do a website audit of your physician website and tell you whether your brand looks appealing to the kind of patients you are advertising to.