7 Things Your Website Should Have
by Bob Main - Web Presence Coach/Consultant
How’s your website? Does it help grow your practice or chase visitors away? There’s nothing like a cluttered, clunky web site to drive away prospective patients. Did you know that over 40% of visitors to an average website are new to that site? It is critical to have a well designed website that entices visitors to look around the site. How can you make your site enticing? There is a lot that goes into a well-designed website. But there are a few key elements of a well-designed website that are consistent among all website. Here are a few suggestions for improving 7 key aspects of your Web site.
1. Navigation – Put some real thought into site layout, so patients can navigate it easily. Make sure all important sections
are prominently listed. Graphical navigation sections on the home page (no more than three) should entice visitors to look around the website. The top navigation bar should have no more than six topics. Use drop-down or cascading menus to offer more navigation options without making the top navigation bar too crowded
2. Home Page Banner Graphic– Visitors to the site should be able to tell immediately what your site is about. Any call to action, such as “Sign Up For Newsletter”, should be visually prominent on the page.
Be sure to have a "contact us" tab that allows visitors to send a message or to ask questions. And it is a must to have a place for visitors/patients to schedule (or request a scheduled time) an appointment.
3. Content (Elevator Speech)–Most websites have too much text on the home page. There should be a section on the homepage that briefly explains (about one paragraph) what your practice does (like exam, eyeglasses, etc.) and what you stand for (image, fashion, family oriented, etc.). Put the details about your practice "inside" of the website on other pages. Don’t put too much content on any one page, as internet readers don’t like to scroll down. Additionally, present enough clear, concise information to help the visitor know where you are located or how to contact you. Having short video of the practice/doctor is a great idea and will create a "visual bond" for new visitors.
4. Refresh content – Changing content draws website visitors back. So add information about new frames or equipment that the practice adds. One easy way to renew your content without a lot of code changes is by starting a blog.
5. Think SEO – Always bear search engine optimization (SEO) in mind as you design the website. Photos and splashy graphics may look nice, but likely won’t be read by search engines unless your webmaster puts some special code on each photo/graphic (called “Alt” tags).
Work with your webmaster to use "keywords" that visitors are likely to search on to find your website (or any eye care website).
6. Colors – Use complementary colors that make the website text easily readable. Clashing colors such as red text on a blue background make text too hard to read and will turn off visitors.
This is why it is a good reason to get professional help in designing and building a website. They know what the design trends are and how to select colors that enhance the website, not detract.
7. External links – Links that take visitors away from your site should always load in a new window. Make sure your site stays in front of the visitor, even as you provide them with additional resources. Be sure to have social media icons that link to your Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
Follow these few simple rules when designing (or having a website built for you) and visitors will have a pleasant experience and want to learn more about your practice.
We also highly recommend that you watch our short video on "What Makes a Good Optical Website" by clicking here.