Creating a website is easy. That is why having a successful medical website is a challenge. Today, there are literally thousands of tools that will allow virtually anyone to have a website for practically any reason. The biggest challenge to our medical website development company is differentiating for our clients between having a website and developing a medical website that successfully promotes the desired services and brings patients to the practice.
The biggest mistake that practices make is that they hire a designer and then go back to the practice with the expectation that at the end of the project, patients will flock to their site. The reality is there are a lot of very nice medical websites that get few if any visitors each day. That is because the clinic did not have a full understanding of the steps necessary to have a successful medical website.
The steps are not complicated, but they are involved and require a real commitment on the part of the clinic and their website partner. Additionally, the steps are never finished but are more like being on a treadmill. Even after completing the steps, some of them must be routinely revisited to insure that they have kept up with the competition.
The general steps are:
- Plan Evaluation and Update
The foundation of the successful medical website is understanding what the website should do and what is involved with achieving that goal. You must articulate what you want to achieve and how you are going to measure the success. This should be the guide from which all medical website development work stems. If you have not done this basic step, almost any website designer or self design program will work, because looking good becomes the only criteria.
During the planning phase, proper expectations should be developed. Development and implementation of a successful medical website takes time. It is much more involved than tbm simply having a website developed and making it available to the world wide web. Patience will be a virtue. Very few overnight successes occur in marketing websites and those are usually in niche or evolving markets. This condition may still be true for a practice in an area with a smaller population, but for large metropolitan clinics, the market is very competitive. Education is the third part of plan development. A successful website should be built around what potential visitors are searching for. Proper key word research and planning must be done. Analysis of successful competitors and finding under served markets will speed a medical websites track to the top.
Finally, commitment of all involved individuals will complete a solid foundation for building and maintaining a successful medical website development plan. Each principal in the business, the contracted development and marketing firm, and each involved employee must understand what is involved and be committed to the website’s success.
With proper planning, the rest becomes as easy as following a good road map. The development often is the focus of the greatest number of resources and effort. I would challenge you to consider development of the site to be the easiest part of the process. That is, if proper planning and implementation have been committed to.
Development is simply taking the existing plan and utilizing proper design techniques to build a structure and design that is appealing to both human visitors and search engine spiders. Then take the same criteria and apply it to generation of content. The content and design should funnel visitors to take an action that has already been defined in the planning stage.
Finally, the developed site should be tested and retested. It should be spell checked and proof read by multiple people. It can then be uploaded to the server and made available to the rest of the world. Certainly, there is a lot more that goes into developing a good website, but we are focused on making a good website successful!