Top 5 healthcare website design mistakes

Top 5 healthcare website design mistakes

By Dodge Communications (not verified) on April 24th, 2014

How important is your website to your bottom line?

58% of Americans search the web before making purchasing decisions. For B2B customers, that number jumps to over 85%, making your website the most likely place for a prospect to form their first impression.

What if I told you you’re probably making 5 mistakes right now?

You only have 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) before a prospect has formed an opinion about your company.

How can you make sure your website makes the best first impression?

Don’t break 5 website design rules.

A great website is visually appealing; but it also needs to:

  • Increase visibility online
  • Instill trust
  • Provide value
  • Make finding the correct information easier
  • Entice prospects to move forward with the purchasing process

The specific formula to achieve this depends on a lot of variables, many of which are unique to your company.

I wish the secret were as simple as a beautiful design, bulletproof SEO strategy, spectacular user experience, or just throwing lots of money into it.

The reality is, there is no secret, just lots of work getting the formula right. Sadly, most corporate websites make a lot of the same mistakes that keep them from being great.

In this article I’m going to show you the top 5 mistakes healthcare companies make in their website designs, and what to do about them.

Cluttered Design and Structure. According to the Science of Website Redesign, 76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website's design is that "the website makes it easy for me to find what I want." So most of the time it doesn't matter if you have a visually stunning website and amazing content, if users can't find what they're looking for.  Websites tend to be overly complicated because they try to say too much. This creates the need for excessive drop down menus, confuses visitors, and negatively affects your brand's image. If visitors can't find exactly what they're looking for on your site, they won't hesitate to go to your competitor, who is usually just the next link in Google.

Tip: Use a simple, familiar layout for your website. Utilize clear headlines, sub-headlines, and body copy. Make sure there is plenty of breathing room (white space) around blocks of content. Keep the primary colors to a minimum. Spend a lot of time up front working on the website structure.

Generic Stock Photography. With the high cost of original photography, it's understandable why so many websites turn to more affordable stock photos. Not all stock photography is bad though, there are just too many examples out there of generic images being used. The problem with using generic photos is that they are usually perceived as cheap and untrustworthy because of their association with dubious landing pages and sales websites.

Tip: If you absolutely, positively cannot afford original photography for your website, make sure to find stock photos that are more genuine and/or manipulate them with photo editing software to make them look more original.

Moving Sliders. How can a moving slider on a website homepage be so bad? They are everywhere. Surely they are a good idea. Not so fast. Sliders slow down your website and auto-forwarding versions are just downright annoying for most users. Plain and simple. 

Sliders are so prevalent because they’re an easy way out of determining the correct content for the audience, the myth of "The Fold”, and clients ask for them. You have to find the right message and the fold is dead, but clients will probably just keep asking for sliders.

Tip: If you are set on adding a slider to your site, make sure it is extremely valuable content and that it only advances when users ask for it (click, swipe, etc.).

Unclear (or Missing) Calls-to-Action. A good website will provide a clear and compelling call-to-action designed to move prospects forward with the purchasing process. In fact, over 80% of marketers consider increasing overall conversion a dominant priority for their website optimization programs. However, many websites that I see have unclear calls-to-action, or are missing them completely. Your website has, or soon will, become the predominant source of information about your company that prospects will see. In order to capitalize on this trend, your site must not only attract attention, but also direct visitors through the sales process.

Tip: Make sure that your entire website has a clear focus on converting prospects. Start by creating personas for the largest segments of your potential customers. Then think about what content they will need to select your products or services over your competitors. Make sure to use clear calls-to-action that will appeal to these personas.

Not Designing for Mobile. Mobile isn't just for B2C anymore. According to a Pew Research study, 56% of US adults carry around a smartphone. By the end of this year, mobile internet usage is predicted to overtake the desktop. Still, 46% of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page and 44% complain that navigation was difficult. Looking at this, you can see why 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales. If visitors are browsing for product information on your website using their phone and can't find what they are looking for, they will quickly move on to your competitor (and might even take it as an indication of your business simply not caring).

Tip: Invest in a responsive website design. A responsive website automatically adjusts to look good no matter if you're viewing it on a desktop, tablet, or a smartphone. The benefit to this option versus a dedicated mobile website is that you have just one website to maintain. Making your website responsive is just a small price to pay to reach a quickly growing percentage of visitors.

How many of these mistakes are you making right now? Do you need help fixing them?

We’ve got you covered. Let’s talk!

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