Web Design and Social Media Tips
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all have a huge following. Unless you’re from another planet, you know that online social media channels have long tentacles when it comes to getting more exposure for numerous industries and small businesses. Whether you’re a marketer or a web designer, it’s a juggling act trying to keep the creative juices flowing and then delivering your ideas to medical professionals who want to keep their communities updated about their services.
Your mission, if you should decide to accept it, is to produce an attractive, functional website that integrates social media channels with doctors and other medical professionals easily and quickly. How a website is designed and marketed will never be a cookie cutter solution. A surgeon practicing at a metro hospital may want their website featuring scenes from the city while a general practitioner working at a rural clinic may want a website featuring scenes of nature or farm life. Whatever the format used, the following tips can make all the difference in the world of whether or not a medical professional attracts new patients while keeping existing ones through social media.
Tips for Designing and Marketing for Medical Professional Sites
- The highest priority for designing a productive website is to immediately show the medical professional’s credibility. That means sitting down and talking to the physician about their personal mission and how they want to reach their community. What is the demographic he or she wants to reach? Do the pictures grab the reader’s attention? Can they personally relate to what they see? Do they present linked captions? Readers may be looking for information on how a certain treatment plan or surgical procedure will be done. Text should be integrated with a site that sports a clean, uncluttered design. It’s a good move to present this type of info above the page fold or within the first screen from the web page loading. Also, adjust the text size for the targeted audience. Smaller text can create a more formal feel while larger text is considered more casual.
- One of the most effective ways to attract new patients is to display a consistent, simple designed website on all pages. Changing the layout, logos or colors too much on the pages can break the reader’s focus and may leave them confused about what to do next!
- Design an easy navigation website that integrates social media channels so doctors can communicate with their community seamlessly by adding social media buttons which can be displayed on the bottom, top or hugging the side of the page. In order to keep readers from leaving the web page, you can generate links or buttons that open to a specific social media page in new windows. Get feedback from the medical professional if they prefer to direct their readers to a specific channel, such as Twitter as opposed to Google+ or Facebook. This allows them to better manage their communications instead of having to respond to questions and concerns on all three. Other considerations will include:
- Determining the design based on how the reader will be interacting with the site.
- Directly integrating social media feeds or post on the website so that a medical professional can keep in touch with their community on a daily or bi-weekly basis, to maintain a strong online presence.
- Including Share buttons to encourage more social interaction about recommended products. As a website designer, you can integrate a medical professional’s site with Google Analytics, such as Event Tracking so that they he or she can monitor the volume of people clicking on to their outbound social media links.
- Delivering XHTML,XML, Dynamic HTML or flash animation in such a way that is fast and readable for both desktops and mobile devices.
- Creating professionally designed, mobile friendly responsive templates.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a custom, easy-to-navigate attractive and custom health care website. Readers are looking for specific information about a medical or health care practice’s services so these details should be delivered right away. Marketing a website’s pages also involves placing pictures and photos accurately with any information on the site’s pages without it being distracting.
Take it a step further to reinforce a medical professional’s reliability by creating custom graphics which can prove helpful for minimally invasive surgeons, alternative care practitioners or specialists who want to post new medical breakthroughs, procedures or alternative treatment methods to address a specific health issue. These updates can then be shared with the followers of the practice’s social media pages. The marketing side of a medical professional’s website should include SEO friendly bulletins about what’s new happening at the practice itself, such as new locations, open house events, new doctors, or new staff who have joined a medical network, health programs and even discounts on services.