5 Reasons Why Patients Leave Your Website & Why Patient Experience Is Important
Patients may leave your website for a variety of different reasons, including things outside of your control. They got distracted or interrupted. They lost internet connection. And so on.
There are, however, reasons why patients leave your website that you have the power to control, fix, and improve. This article outlines common problems that negatively affect the patient experience and how you can keep more patients on your website for a longer period of time.
Why Patient Experience Matters
As you may know, there has been a notable increase of online searches about healthcare services and facilities. According to one study, 72% of internet users say they searched online for health information before booking an appointment with a healthcare provider. A strong online presence is a critical factor (one of many) that will lead to a positive patient experience and an increase in your practice’s credibility.
Online marketing provides an opportunity for healthcare practitioners to reach more patients via the web. A healthcare facility with an active online presence is more likely to attract a higher volume of prospective patients than an offline, off-the-grid practice.
With high visibility and active online engagement with patients, your practice will continuously gain more credibility, and the practice’s commitment to a comprehensive patient experience will reflect well on the brand.
Here are 5 common (and recoverable) problems affecting the patient experience:
1. Poor Design
The patient experience begins with a first impression, and as we know, first impressions are no longer limited to face-to-face interactions. A healthcare practitioner's website is usually the first impression between a prospective patient and a medical practice, making it your most valuable online asset.
A subpar, dated website decreases your hard-earned credibility and disintegrates patient trust. Dead links, complicated navigation, missing calls-to-action (CTA) buttons are all factors that might cause prospective patients to abandon your website without second thought.
2. Slow loading time
One out of four website visitors abandon webpages that take more than 4 seconds to load.
Mobile users are a little more forgiving; generally, they will wait 10 seconds before abandoning a web page. Don’t bet on patients returning to a slow-loading site because 3 out of 5 people will not return to a site they already abandoned due to slow load times. If your website is not optimized to load quickly, you risk losing patients to a faster competitor.
Responsive website designs adapt to all different screen sizes and resolutions without affecting quality or patient experience. Catering to mobile devices ensures a seamless experience for people who access your medical practice website on-the-go. Optimizing your website for mobile devices increases your chance of attracting new visitors and converting them into new patients.
4. Insufficient patient testimonials
Incorporating testimonials into your online presence is an excellent marketing tactic and will enhance your medical practice’s credibility and prospective patients’ trust. Most first-time patients are likely to look for reviews and testimonials before booking an appointment.
Second to word-of-mouth reviews, online reviews from established patients are more trusted and appreciated by prospective patients than all other information about a doctor, facility or service. Potential patients want to hear the opinion and experience of patients who have already been treated.
While accumulating positive patient reviews, you may also have to deal with negative ones.
5. Lack of patient centric information
Online visitors (or prospective patients) are simple: if you provide them with valuable information, they will keep reading and will remain on your website. If not, they will find another resource that provides them with more robust information.
Each page of your website should cater to the patient experience, including the content. On the clinical pages, it’s important to highlight your practice’s expertise by providing detailed information about specific conditions and treatments using layman’s terms.
To further improve the patient experience, write from an angle that emphasizes how your practice is unique – Do you always put the patient first? Are your wait times short? Is your office location convenient? Are the staffmembers extra friendly? How is your treatment process different from your competitors?
On applicable pages, such as the “About Us” section, include as much information as possible about your practice, your staff and the services you offer. This will demonstrate your professionalism, your patient-focused approach and your commitment to the patient experience.
Before setting the foundation for your future online presence and compounding your online marketing efforts on top of that, put yourself in your ideal patient’s shoes. Begin by building your brand and online presence around the patient and the patient experience.