At Advice Media, we have a kind of split personality. One side of our persona is a tech geek, constantly staying abreast of how to keep our client websites optimized so they perform and rank in organic search. The other side is art geek, building the most beautiful medical practice websites that are engaging, aesthetically pleasing, yet awesomely functional.
Our first blog this month talked about the tech geek, obsessed with search engine optimization for our dermatology practice websites.
This month’s second blog is all art geek. We’ll detail how design is changing for these practice sites and how certain facets of design can impact your site’s effectiveness.
Mobile design isn’t an afterthought
It used to be that website design focused on wide pages and big visuals. The questions a decade ago were how to accommodate older, smaller monitors, while catering to the trend to wider, sharper monitors.
As smartphones and tablets came on the scene, sites were adapted to these mobile devices as an afterthought. The copy was parsed, photos removed, and everything downsized. Most designs were based on desktop viewing and searching, while a second design was created for the smaller world of mobile viewing and searching. Many businesses didn’t even bother to accommodate their designs to mobile devices.
Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore. Today, around three-quarters of all searches are done on mobile devices. People are searching when they’re on the train or eating a sandwich at the deli. They may also search for their work and home computers, but the majority of search is now done on mobile devices.
How Patients Search for Doctors- Presented by Google
Ah, but the design firm that created your dermatology practice website built it mainly for desktop search; it’s not mobile friendly. When potential patients find your site on their new iPhone, they get carpal tunnel just trying to open their thumb/index finger to expand pages to try and read the microscopic copy from the desktop design. How much you want to bet they’re going to stay “potential,” not become “actual” patients?
Every website we design and build at Advice Media is mobile-friendly from day one. We still design with big landscape thinking to create a beautiful site, but we never forget to consider how it will look and function on a smartphone. When potential patients view the desktop version and mobile version of your dermatology site, they instantly can see they are the same practice, but we simplify the navigation and layout for mobile viewing.
Contact info is there when needed
Think of how you engage with a website. When you scroll downward, you’re usually reading content, watching videos, and otherwise engaging with the site. When you move upward, you’re usually looking for a menu or contact information.
To accommodate these acknowledged behaviors, we use what are called “sticky menus.” When a potential patient hits your site on his or her phone, they first see your home screen, along with a menu. When they scroll downward, the content is foremost. But at the first sign up an upward scroll, an abbreviated overlay menu bar appears with the practice name, a direct live link to the practice phone, and a stacked menu icon. Now, anything the user needs is instantly available. If the user scrolls back downward, the menu goes away.
Show them what they’re getting into
If one of your dermatology practice specialties is using IPL to remove age spots and broken capillaries, patients who are new to the procedure may be skeptical as to its ability to remove these cosmetic blemishes. So, while detailed content on how IPL addresses and treats these issues is important, it’s just as important to show them in ‘before and after” photos.
By clicking through these galleries, patients don’t have to wonder if IPL removes age spots, they can see the results for themselves. We build before and after galleries into every one of our practice sites.
More than words and photos
Designing dermatology websites is much more than wrapping descriptive copy around photographs on every page. Today’s site visitors want more. They want videos showing procedures. They want 360-degree office tours. They want animated simulations (for which Advice recently acquired PEC Interactive) of procedures showing how something like IPL or laser energy does its magic. Today your dermatology practice website needs to be a multimedia showcase.
Industry-best website design and optimization
Our dermatology website design has one thing in mind — to engage potential patients, providing them the information they seek in a fun, exciting manner. Once they know how a procedure works, thanks to your enlightening website, who do you think they’re likely to call to book a consultation?
There’s a reason some practices are more successful than others. These days that difference can come down to the quality of the practice website and how it is optimized for search. Maybe that’s why Advice Media has been the leader in building beautiful, hard-working medical websites since the early days of website development. When it comes to putting a face on your dermatology practice website, you’ve found your partner — Advice Media.