How Often Should You Update Your Medical Website?
Your medical practice website is the avenue by which the primary number of patients will find you; a patient’s first impression of you as a doctor will be formed based on your website.
With that in mind, it's critical that your web content is correct, relevant, and easily accessible. How often should you update your medical practice website? The answer is “it depends.”
Correctness of web content not only includes correct information about your practice, hours, and information, but also pristine grammar and spelling. In your profession, the smallest typo can instill doubt in a potential client as to your abilities.
Location, phone numbers, email addresses, office hours, and even staff information are all pieces of information that should be on your website. With changes to any items on this list, you need to update your website accordingly.
If you include pictures of staff, consider updating those pictures annually.
The earlier list is not exhaustive; if you mention a holiday on your website, you will have date-sensitive information that ought to be updated as soon as the date passes.
If you have any sort of promotion on your website, again, you must ensure that at the end of the promotion, mention of it is removed.
In general, a read-through of your website to check for spelling and grammatical accuracy and out-of-date information every month or so is a good idea.
Relevant means that the content is relevant to the user as well as your practice. Relevant not only means that you are optimizing for search engines, but that your potential client can relate to the content. For example, if you use a medical term that the layman might not know without ever defining it in layman's terms, your content isn't relevant to the viewer because it's jargon.
Relevant does have overlap with correctness; updating your website to reflect an upcoming season, like flu season, may be a useful tactic if your clinic offers flu vaccines.
While you absolutely need to keep your information correct and cannot discuss winter colds in the summer, the tactic of avoiding date-sensitive information from your website altogether is not a great plan.
Not only will information specifically relevant to the current season work as a marketing tool, but an up-to-date website can signify to the viewer that the doctor must be up-to-date. The inverse can also be true: if a website is old or has old information, the potential client might wonder what else in the clinic is out-of-date, such as medical practices.
Relevancy can mean more frequent updates, such as a nod to the change in season, even if just to say "Happy Halloween" during October or mention of allergies during the start of Spring.
Relevancy brings a sense of life to the website. Remember that your client will see your medical practice website before they see you, and that sense of current relevancy will be more attractive than a website that, even if still completely correct, was last updated years ago.
Your medical practice website must be easy to browse; the important pieces of information and vital functions must be logical to locate, and everything must work properly. Your website may offer the function to book appointments online, for example.
If clients can book an appointment online, the process should be as straightforward and easy as possible. The less clicks, the better. Ensure that functions like these never err.
Likewise, all information must be easily located. Vital information that your clients will most likely want to see should be directly accessible from the homepage. The button to that information should be large and easily noticeable.
If your medical practice website is easy and convenient to use, your clients will have elevated feelings and thoughts about you before they even come in.
How often should you update your medical website?
Any time that a typo is found; your information changes; the season changes; new information is required; better programming can make your site easier to navigate; new design trends become standard; your website begins to feel dated.