You know what they say…people make their first impressions in the first five seconds, and it takes much longer to change that first opinion. When it comes to your hospital’s website, the same holds true, and you’re not so likely to get a second chance if visitors don’t find the information they’re seeking.
To make sure that your hospital website provides visitors with a positive experience, it must be inviting, informative, professional, and reflect the quality offered by your hospital. This boils down to three aspects on which to focus:
Structure is one of the most important aspects of a hospital website because visitors are often looking for information and unfamiliar with your website. If a person can’t quickly and easily find the information they want, it may turn them away from your site. Having a solid, organized structure is the best way to prevent this from happening.
Four steps to take to make your site’s structure more effective:
- Structure your hospital’s website so that it easy to navigate.
- Focus on visitors by providing easy ways to find the most important information.
- Limit the amount of clicks to get to frequently searched information.
- Include search features to help visitors find information in a timely manner.
Content defines your organization. With the appropriate relevant content and proper content management, your hospital can be viewed as a leader with a website that is a recognized resource for health information. Focus on clinical areas and service lines and provide content related to those specialties to demonstrate your hospital’s expertise in those areas, because ultimately visitors want to know if you can treat their specific conditions.
Enhance content by providing it in a variety of formats such as video or audio clips. Not all content has to be available in multiple formats, but should be selected on the basis of whether or not other formats can add more value.
Providing visitors with content in a variety of formats such as video or audio clips is a great way to enhance your content as well as connect with visitors on multiple levels. For some people, they prefer to get information through watching videos and/or listening to clips. Video and audio content can also reflect the technological ability of your hospital.
Also, make the content actionable, so that people can research physicians and easily make an appointment, for example.
Design is another important aspect of your hospital’s website, especially the colors that are used. Colors can project different feelings and be interpreted in a variety of ways, so proper color choice is crucial. The colors chosen for your hospital’s website set the overall tone of the site. When choosing colors, a good rule of thumb is to use colors that coordinate with your hospital’s logo. The “Best of the Best” blog by Adazing Design has a great post that gives and explains 10 examples of effective hospital websites based on their design.
The design of your hospital’s website should also coincide with its structure. This means that the fonts and font sizes chosen for the design should not only look nice, but they should also enhance the structure of your website by being readable and functional.
Overall you want the design of your hospital’s website to reflect the quality of your hospital.
These three areas will make your hospital website more effective. Not only will people stay on your site longer, but they may also be more likely to choose your hospital over a competitor’s based on their experience.