An effective healthcare website makes the difference between a trustworthy medical business that thrives and its struggling competitor. In the healthcare industry, a business can’t excel without the trust of its audience and a strong online brand identity to support it.
There are three specific qualities a website should have that can help build trust with audiences and improve its effectiveness:
- It should be a resource for patients
- It should showcase medical successes
- It should establish a dialogue
These elements are not effective alone, however: they should be built into a thorough holistic healthcare marketing strategy to ensure they’re properly implemented. Let’s take a closer look!
1. Be a Resource for Patients
The key here is to demonstrate that you and your brand can be trusted as thought leaders. This doesn’t mean you have to revolutionize your industry – it means showcasing your capabilities while educating potential patients. Patients want to know that you and your staff aren’t just capable at what you do, but also talented.
How can you make your website into a resource? First of all, provide an easily accessible FAQ section that addresses commonly asked questions. An FAQ section is a quick and effective way of reassuring your potential patients due to its immediacy of customer service. Prompt responses are essential to customer service and ensuring you’re not losing consumers in the consideration phase.
You can also strengthen the impact of your FAQ by answering more medical specific questions. For example, having a short FAQ on each of your service pages will both help your potential patients, and keep your website content organized in a clear way.
Another way to demonstrate that you are a resource for patients is to have a dedicated section on your website for writing and publishing informative blogs that are easy and enjoyable to read. Take all the helpful information you know, and convert it into a written piece that informs and reassures patients!
This method has a wide range of benefits for both your healthcare website and its users. First, educating users is the best way to build a base for trust. The more users know about your facility, the better the chance that they will have trust in your abilities. Plus, not only will this improve trust, it is also great for SEO. Frequent blog posts improve SEO rankings as they provide relatable content that is more likely searched for by users.
Last, offering free consultations or virtual meetings is a great way to show your patients what you know. This can be effective as it’s a non-committal method of communication. This is especially important for users just starting their awareness phase. While patients search for their best option, getting them in a personal setting can be a unique selling point to invigorate genuine consideration. More importantly, this method distinguishes healthcare providers that are able to separate good customer service from pure profitability.
2. Showcase Medical Successes
Encouraging and maintaining 5-star reviews is essential to establishing trust early in the conversion funnel. Without positive reviews, or without reviews in general, your healthcare business will struggle to generate trust. How? Well, 68% of people will form an opinion after reading one to six reviews. Therefore, it takes only one review to lose the opportunity to service a patient. Here’s how to make your reviews into an asset on your healthcare website.
One method is to have a page on your website specifically for your testimonials and/or reviews. Users should be able to easily track down any piece of information that supports your credibility. This page can appear within your About page as well, but either way, it needs to be clearly accessible. A benefit to including testimonials or reviews on your website is that you control the environment in which they exist.. For example, on Google Reviews, it’s difficult to have a bad review removed. Instead, on your own website, you can decide which testimonials you want to show to users, and which you don’t.
Whether you have a testimonial page or not, you can even incorporate a testimonials or reviews section into your homepage. Since your homepage is the main source of context regarding your business, it’s the perfect place to showcase the positive hype around your business.
Finally, ensure your testimonials are accessible for users, and that it’s easy for them to write reviews through your website. This is especially essential if you are looking to incorporate a testimonials or reviews page on your website, and can be done in two ways: the first is by linking directly to your Google My Business page, as this simplifies the process for users, encourages them to write a review, and can help improve your websites SEO.
The second option is through a plugin integrated into your healthcare website. Users would then be able to submit reviews directly onto your website that can be reviewed then approved before being posted. Either way, these techniques can improve public trust in your healthcare business
3. Establish a Dialogue
The final important element of an effective healthcare website is that it establishes and maintains a dialogue with patients and website users beyond their initial impressions of you and your brand. Establishing a conversation – and maintaining it – is a great way to both convert and retain patients because it makes people feel important.
Ensuring that your patients, or potential patients, can connect with you is crucial to building trust. To do this, you will need to implement some tools on your website that support an ongoing dialogue. One common method is a live chat box, which allows users to ask questions to live representatives while they browse your website. This is a particularly effective tool as people tend to be impatient, especially when they’re looking for answers.
A chat box allows for an immediate dialogue to be established. However, this method requires a designated individual to respond to users, and is therefore somewhat less effective than other methods as responses can only be given during business hours.
Alternatively, a chat bot is a highly effective solution when you don’t have the resources to designate someone specific to answer website user or patient questions live. Instead, a chat bot lets you program automatic answers to common user questions.
For a dentist’s office, for example, if a user asks if tooth whitening is one of the available services, the chat bot would be programmed to either answer no, or link them to a page related to tooth whitening. Not only does this enable a dialogue between the user and your brand, but it also helps reduce customer uncertainty.
Want to make your dialogue more exciting? Quizzes are another fun and useful way to establish a means of communication with your current or potential patients! However, this is a significantly different option from the others discussed above.
First, and most obviously, this method doesn’t establish an immediate dialogue with website users. Instead, it prompts users to engage with your brand while acquiring information for you to continue to conversation with. For example, a user may need to provide their email to receive their quiz results. By doing this, you can then follow up with and continue the conversation with a targeted email campaign.
Make Results Happen
There is no absolutely 100% successful, definitive way to convert potential patients into new patients. However, there are proven ways to establish your brand as a trustworthy medical company.
If you’re struggling to build trust with your audience, even with the above website elements, then it’s essential to do an overall reassessment of your website. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your website have authentic imagery, or does it only use stock images?
- Do you speak in plain English, or is your website copy heavy with technical terms that the average reader might not understand?
- Does your website have clear navigation, or is it potentially confusing for users?
- Are you appearing for search terms that don’t relate to your medical services?
Checking in on your website with the above questions is a great way to take stock of your current situation, and what you could potentially do to improve it. If you’re still unsure how to improve your healthcare website, let the experts help! Your expertise is in the healthcare industry, and that’s where your attention is needed. Instead, TechWyse can use it’s 20 years of marketing expertise to optimize your online presence. Contact us to build or optimize your healthcare brand’s website today!