5 Questions to Ask Before Building a New Medical Website
Without proper planning and precise execution, your medical website will not perform in the way you envisioned. If you are unaccustomed to this type of project, you can easily –and understandably– feel overwhelmed. By asking yourself the following six questions, you will have a much clearer picture of the purpose and strategy behind the development of your medical website.
1. What do I want my website to do for me?
By defining the primary purpose of your medical website, you will be able to build the essential digital assets around your concept and create a strategy to reach your practice goals. Do you want your website to be an appointment generator for your practice? Or do you want to create a community for existing patients and use it as a retention tool? Do you want the site to be a place for potential patients to learn about your services?
Once you’ve defined the purpose, you can work with your medical website agency to create the tools necessary to achieve your business objectives.
2. Who am I building the website for?
Once you’ve established the purpose of your site, you need to tailor the site for the people who will be visiting it. Before you can do this, you need to define your target audience. Your target audience is made up of your current and prospective patients.
The easiest way to develop a detailed description of your target audience is to observe and document the characteristics of your current patients. Who are they? Where do they live? Are they married? How old are they? Before you can create a medical website concept, you must personify your current patient base.
3. Do I have the right people on my team?
To design, develop and maintain a beautiful medical website, it takes a whole team of talented people. Before hiring an agency, make sure they have assembled the right designers, developers, clinical content writers and account managers for your project.
In addition, if you do not plan to oversee the project yourself, you should assign or entrust it to a capable person on your team. With the right people in place, communication should be fluid and open throughout the project.
4. Am I committed to the the time it takes to build a website?
Even if you only serve as a decision-maker, your time will be consumed by multiple consultations –– design preference, site consultation, content reviews, etc. Before jumping into a lengthy project, you need to examine your schedule and determine if you have time for regular meetings. Be honest with yourself and don't underestimate the amount of time that will be involved.
5. What is my content strategy?
You can have the most beautiful medical website on the Internet, but if it lacks quality content then your website will not compete against more robust sites. A content strategy is a necessary component of the medical website development process; a content strategy is the planning, creation and delivery of content. While your website is being designed and structured by the development team, a clinical content writer should simultaneously craft the written copy against the overarching business objectives.
Typically, medical websites include a page about the practice, common conditions, treatment options, and any other important facts that set the practice apart from competitors. The content on your site should reflect the practice’s goals and the needs of your target patients. It should be written in a way that potential patients will understand; the content should be useful and easily digestible.
Another best practice is to follow a predefined style guide so that your content remains consistent throughout the site. Most importantly, the strategy should consider SEO so that your content is optimized for search engines.
Medical Website Strategy
By answering questions 1 through 5, you will have outlined your overall website strategy. With this plan in place, the website development process will seem less overwhelming and the end result will reflect a professional and user-friendly online presence to the world.
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