Let’s pretend you’re short on time and you want to do some quick research on house call practices in your area. Maybe a family member is in need of a physician to come to their home or maybe you’re a physician looking to make the transition to working for a house call practice. What you’re looking for is concise, pertinent, easy-to-find information. Designing a website that conveys a lot of information in a short amount of time can be the difference between gaining a customer or losing them to a competitor. The following are a few tips on designing an effective website.
Information overload. A mistake many people make when designing their website is trying to cram too much information into one paragraph. Rather than trying to convey every bit of information about your company and what you do on the homepage, try to make the homepage feel like a “home”. Keep it light on content and heavy on mood. Large, bright images; large, descriptive text; keep it short and sweet.
Decisions, decisions. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with options. Try to keep your tabs and pages to a minimum. Having pages with unimportant information will navigate your visitors away from the information that really is important. Also, steer clear of duplicating information and links. Having more than one link to a page on your site will make it look disorganized and cluttered. Keep tabs where visitors expect them - at the top of the page.
Rinse and repeat. Keep the design of your website consistent. This applies to the design and the content. If you’re using a specific font and color for headings, use that combination site-wide. Keeping the design and content consistent will allow for easier navigation and a more effective exchange of information.
But wait, there’s more. Add value to your website. Any website can provide basic information - but if you can provide value beyond that, visitors will be more likely to return. One way a house call practice can add value is by including an online referral form. An online referral form allows a visitor to sign up for house call services online through the practice’s website, which is more convenient for the user and more efficient for the practice.
Marco... Polo… We’ve all heard the buzzword: SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s how people find you online. It used to be that designers utilized Flash to make up large portions of websites, but the problem with Flash is that the content within the images is not searchable, so search engines like Google couldn't identify what your website was all about. Now, most websites use keywords that can be searched and, as a result, place the site higher on search engine results pages. Adding additional content such as blogs and social media plugins will further increase the number of times those keywords are used and will, once again, increase your results ranking.
I hope these tips are useful ... thanks for reading!
Paul & the CHS crew