Your poor hospital website is driving patients away

Gaurav Dhingraby Gaurav Dhingra24 October, 2017

As a hospital, your job is to give your guests an excellent experience and this starts with their very first impressions of you. But despite what you might think, this first impression doesn’t happen when they walk through your doors but when they first see your website. In order for them to want to visit your hospital, it needs to seem like a great place to go for treatment.

But guess what? Internet users are fickle, demanding and beset on all sides by an endless wave of options. From the moment they see your website they compare it to every other site they’ve visited from Facebook, to Pepsi, to Twitter, to those of your competitors and everything else in between. If it’s sloppy, unprofessional, confusing, slow or even just aesthetically ugly you’ll lose them to a superior hospital with a better web presence.

If you’ve not been taking the proper care and attention to ensure that every element of your website is geared towards a fantastic user experience then you’ve already lost. You’ve already handed out countless amounts of free customers to your competitors for the very reasons we just cited. Did you know that 76% of people visit hospital websites first when researching their treatment? And did you also know that in a 2017 study, 82% of hospitals cited creating great experiences for their guests as one of their top priorities? This means yours is likely in the bottom 18% of quality regarding hospital websites and if that thought doesn’t disturb you, it should.

Below are some tips that you can use to build a better website for your customers.

Make your site easy to navigate and fast

When someone’s looking for healthcare they usually go online to conduct research. They do Google searches, read reviews, and check out various hospital’s websites etc. But they have an endless ocean of options to choose from and this makes them very impatient. They want to find the info they need immediately and they aren’t prepared to spend time, solving the mystery of how to get it. So; if your website isn’t easy to navigate, they’ll just leave and take their business with them.

And on that point, did you know that 53% of mobile internet users close their browsers when pages take longer than 3 seconds to display? A slow website will discourage people from browsing it and that will hurt you in the long run. Does your hospital’s website load fast enough? You can check its speed by using Google’s Test My Site tool.

Make sure your site is mobile optimised

If your hospital’s website isn’t optimised for mobile devices then you’re shooting yourself in the foot and need to fix it

Also, over 60% of smartphone owners have used their phones to research illnesses in the past year, and 33% of hospital patients arrange their appointments on mobile devices every day. According to research conducted in 2017 mobile internet use in India grew to 18.55% of total online activity in 2015, 21.28% in 2016, and 23.93% in 2017.

By 2022, 34.65% of the population is expected to browse the internet via mobile devices. And finally, Google has a new algorithm called Mobilegeddon which prioritises mobile optimised sites over those that aren’t. Effectively this means that if your site isn’t mobile friendly, it’ll be nearly impossible for it to rank in search results. So with this in mind, is your hospital’s website mobile optimised? Take a Mobile-Friendly test to see how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

Invest in good online advertising

In order for your hospital to attract more patients and raise its brand awareness, it needs to advertise online. If you have ads that are targeted to the needs of your potential patients and direct them to landing pages that contain answers to their questions, you’ll be very successful. 43% of visits to hospital sites come from search engines and 28% of people who see a paid search ad for a hospital visit its site immediately.

Also; let’s say that you invest in paid search advertising that directs people to your hospital’s leukaemia department. Your advert can showcase what’s special about this department and direct the user to further info on your leukaemia services and your contact details. It’s a fantastic way of converting potential interest into physical Rupees in your pocket.

Your Social Media Presence

Many hospitals overlook the importance of social media for making a great first

impression but you shouldn’t be one of them. Firstly, 12% of your guests review your hospital on social networks immediately after they leave. And secondly, a huge number of people use Facebook to read those reviews and to follow updates from their favourite healthcare brands. But are you taking advantage of that? Whether you use paid posts for an immediate impact or simply post useful info over a long period of time you can build a great reputation and encourage people to do business with your hospital.

As we said at the beginning, you need to make sure you give your patients a fantastic experience but this starts from the very moment they see your website, not just when they walk through your doors. The more you can do to meet their needs as early as possible and give them an experience that takes their minds off whatever negative health problems are worrying them, the more money you’ll make as a result.

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Gaurav Dhingra is digital marketing expert for healthcare companies, backed by robust technology team to develop strategy and execute plans to perfection. He is a passionate, dedicated and truly empathic listener, who has made a life of designing and delivering digital
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