Technology today has completely changed a number of things to say the least, and how patients are finding their doctors is no exception. It used to be the norm for patients to just rely on a physician referral, a list from their insurance provider or a recommendation from a friend to determine which health care professional they would see. Not to say these methods are obsolete, but the one major difference is that patients are either finding their doctors directly from the web, or, even if they get a recommendation, they are first going online to check out the recommended doctor for themselves. And this is where the game changes. Regardless of where they are coming from, potential patients are likely checking out your website before making an appointment – and this is where building trust is key.
Studies show that it takes about .05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website which determines whether they’ll stay or leave. This means your website needs to convey trust right off the bat. And since trust is especially important when choosing a medical provider, it’s important to maintain that trust even as the potential patient browses through your site.
Your website gives you the opportunity to make the impression you want and will determine whether or not that potential patient decides to make an appointment. No matter how many people find you online or how many recommendations you get, a lack of website trust can turn potential patients away. But with putting a little time and effort into your website, you can ensure you’re conveying the right message and bringing those new patients through the door.
Below are some of the most important factors that help build website trust:
- Website Design: Think back to the .05 seconds it takes to make a good impression. At first glance, if your website takes a long time to load, looks outdated or has too complex of a design, you’re likely to lose your visitor’s trust. Keep it clean and simple and make sure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Mobile Responsiveness: As more and more people are using smartphones and tablets for the majority of their searches, a website that is not mobile responsive will likely frustrate your visitor and cause them to look elsewhere.
- Badges/Affiliations: Include logos or badges of reputable organizations and associations you are affiliated with.
- About Page: Take the time to polish up your About page and bio. Think about what the reader is looking for and keep it informative by including all certifications and credentials while also keeping it personal. People want to make a connection with your practice and see who you are so be sure to also include images of you and your staff.
- Social Presence: Being active on social media and having a decent following will not only show that you’re current, but will also help build authority. Include social media icons on your website to all your major social media platforms.
- Patient Testimonials: Reviews and testimonials are especially critical in the medical field. If your patients are happy with you, ask for those video and written testimonials and include them on your website.
- Grammatical/Spelling Errors: No real explanation needed here. Take the time to carefully check for errors as it is one of the quickest ways to lose the trust of a visitor.
- Broken Links: Comb through your site or use a free online tool to check for any broken links on your site. Broken or dead links will not only cause a lack of trust, but it will also negatively impact your search rankings.
- Content: Another two-for-one deal here. Adding useful content on a frequent basis will not only help you win the favor of search engines, but it will also show your visitors that you are a leader and authority in your field and that you’re current and your information is up-to-date.