It seems like every business is on the internet these days, but is having a website an absolute necessity for your private practice? Especially if you don’t have a tech-savvy member on your team, creating a website may seem like a monumental task. However, today’s tools make it rather simple and there are a host of benefits you need to factor into your decision.
Does Your Private Practice Need a Website?
There’s no doubt that you can operate your private practice without a website, but is the absence of a website standing in the way of your growth? Even worse, is not having a website impacting the experience of your patients? These are two of the biggest considerations you need to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about creating a website for your private practice.
Ultimately, your practice can succeed without a website, but a website might make things a whole lot easier for you and open up the door to new opportunities. So, here are five questions you should ask yourself to determine if now is a good time to invest in a website:
- Do you want potential patients to find your practice when they’re searching online?
- Do you want to cultivate emotional connections with your leads and clients?
- Do you want to give generously and provide valuable information to people as part of your marketing plan?
- Do you want to build and maintain relationships between patient visits and before patients meet you face-to-face?
- Do you want to expand beyond your local market and whatever offline marketing methods you’re currently using?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a website is practically the only way to achieve your goals. Fortunately, building a website for your practice is likely to pay off quickly.
Benefits of Creating a Website for Your Practice
Creating a website for your private practice will benefit your business in four core ways, and all of them contribute to your long-term growth and success.
Attract the Right Clients
First and foremost, your practice’s website acts as an informational resource that explains who you are, what you do, and who you serve. From day one, you will naturally produce content that helps to explain your practice’s offerings and, as you build on that content, your philosophy will begin to shine through.
By explaining the issues you treat, the populations you work with, the members of your team, your availability, equipment, fees, and insurance — all of that information will help your practice attract the right clients.
In a way, your website will become a means for filtering and qualifying potential clients, saving them a phone call if you’re not the right fit for their needs and making them more confident to reach out to you if you are. As a result, your team will be getting more leads and those leads will likely be better suited to your practice.
Beyond content that explains the facts of what you do, your website is a place to provide all sorts of information over-and-above brochures and service descriptions. In fact, creating content around common questions your patients have, along with fitness, nutrition, and wellness content is a proven strategy.
Creating valuable content that relates to your ideal patient’s concerns, needs, and interests is part of a strategy known as content marketing. It could be as simple as posting articles on your blog a few times a month, or you could go as far as creating Q&As with your team members that you post on social media and even detailed downloadable guides.
Regardless of how much information you decide to share on your practice’s website, every new piece of content directly contributes to your practice’s credibility. It also drives traffic because you’ll be touching on various keywords that people who may be interested in your services are searching. That’s a win-win.
Improve the Patient Experience
When patients have questions, they don’t always have the time to call you up or make an appointment, and you might not be able to accommodate them right away even if they did. For this reason alone, creating a robust website packed with information and resources can help improve the patient experience.
Some of the most valuable resources you can include on your website are rather simple, like a checklist describing what your client should do before they come into their appointment or a list of insurance companies that you accept. You can also include digital brochures and other content for them to reference.
At some point down the road, you might even use your website to link to a client portal, which means your patients will be able to login to view appointments, documents, prescriptions, and more. Ultimately, a website can completely transform the patient experience.
While your website may start out quite simple, if you continue investing in it and you spend a good deal of time making sure that the content is thorough and valuable, you will undoubtedly be able to strengthen relationships with clients new and old alike. Just think: How many months does a typical patient go between visits? Your website can be a means of continuous contact so they can stay in touch even when they’re not in the office and possibly remind them to schedule another appointment.
Your website gives patients a place to check up on your latest offerings; stay on top of changes to your team and services; and read what their favorite providers are saying. It also gives way to an email list or other channel where a patient can subscribe so that you can get your content in front of them often.
In other words, a website is truly the foundation for maintaining relationships in today’s digital-first world. Without one, you may easily feel out of touch with your patients, and vice versa. Now more than ever, patients want to work with a practice they know and trust, so using a website to make your team more familiar, likeable, and accessible is a wise move. It is a way new patients can feel like they know you before they even meet you.
Tips for Building Your Website
Your website could very well be the first impression someone has of your practice, so it’s important that you invest time into how it looks, feels, and reads. Here are some tips for building a website that your practice will be proud of:
- Consider WordPress: WordPress is the #1 content management system in the world, and it won’t cost you a dime. It’s also very user-friendly with thousands of themes and plugins to choose from so that you can create an appealing website.
- Drag-and-Drop Websites: User-friendly website building options, like Squarespace and Weebly, give individuals with no website experience the ability to build a beautiful website from scratch. The drag-and-drop capabilities, paired with the fact the web builder also hosts the domain, make for an easy website building experience.
- Choose The Right Host: The hosting provider you choose will determine how fast your website is. While good hosting comes at a higher cost, it’s well worth it. A slow website is only going to harm the perception of your practice.
- Invest in Content: The content on your site directly reflects the voice, values, and authority of your practice. Most people choose to outsource their content to a professional writer and it’s important that you choose one who will help you develop your practice’s brand and philosophy.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a stunning website for your practice that doesn’t take months to build. Once you do, it won’t be long before you realize the benefits a website can bring to your business.