practice management

How to Build a Practice Website Patients Will Love

Pediatricians are experts at getting the most out of the limited time they get with patients, and they’re always learning more to serve patients better. Is your website working as hard as you are to provide access to meaningful information for families? Your website should evolve with your practice to offer the education, resources, and services young families expect, like the patient portal and payment options. Here’s how to get started updating your website, from sourcing an expert to the ways you can stand out online.

A Website Makes a Great First Impression

Your office website might have all the information you feel necessary for families to contact your office, access educational resources, and even access convenient services like online bill pay. Even with these important pieces in place, it’s worth checking in regularly to update your website. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a website update.

  • Security and Optimization. Regular updates to the behind-the-scenes systems that power your website, like plug-ins, themes, and security certificates can protect you against cybercrime and broken tools, as well as help keep your website operating at its best.
  • Families Can Find You Easily. Search engine optimization, simply put, helps services like Google or Bing determine whether to list your website first -- this depends on several things, but increasingly on quality content like educational resources. Checking your website for optimal SEO helps families find you fast when a parent searches for “pediatrician near me”.
  • Convenience.  For families on the go, convenience is a key tool in customer satisfaction, and a worried parent needs answers quickly. A website update can make sure important information on common concerns is easy to find on mobile phones as well as desktop computers, and provide the parent convenient ways to access more resources, make an appointment, or call a nurse.
  • Meet Your Community’s Needs. In healthcare, priorities can change quickly. If you’re noticing that families need information in a different language, access to information on Medicaid, or resources for easy telehealth appointments, you’ll need an updated website. Tailoring your practice website to meet your community’s needs can not only make the patient’s experience easy, but also expand access to healthcare for families who need it.

An updated website isn’t just a helpful tool for patients -- if you harness your website right, you can improve your bottom line, too. With convenient resources like online bill pay, patient portal access, forms, videos, and educational content, key factors like revenue, patient recall, and even vaccination rates could improve as patients find it easier to pay bills and schedule appointments. Quality information online can also reduce parents’ anxiety and the number of questions or phone calls your practice receives on common concerns.

Hiring An Expert

When you’re ready to refresh your website, it’s tempting to want to jump straight in with a DIY approach, but here’s the simple reason why PCC recommends hiring an expert instead: a great web design company saves you time and energy. These are crucial resources for pediatricians, which can be better spent managing a practice and caring for patients. 

Searching for a web design expert can result in many individuals claiming they can build your website, however, an expert with experience and recommendations can offer the insight that certifications, promises, or deals cannot. It’s also important to hire an expert willing to collaborate during the design process, as well as answer questions about how your website will work, so that you can perform the small changes like news updates or replace a photo without hassle.

An expert with experience working for pediatric practices could be a perfect fit for your needs. Appleseed Solutions, based in Vermont, works exclusively for pediatric practices to offer websites that connect to patients and promote the practice’s vision. Proprietor Scott Beyer has worked with pediatric practices across the country who love his collaborative process.

Scott has plenty of helpful advice for pediatricians looking to refresh their website. “Be prepared to spend some time and energy on a new web site project,” he says, “Particularly if you are starting a new practice. Planning, assembling, and writing web content will take some time. Working with someone who can guide you along the way and help out with editing can be a big help.” 

Scott also reminds practices that while they work with children, their website should speak to adults, and that your website should be mobile-friendly wherever possible. “It’s now more important than ever to consider how your web site functions on a smartphone. It’s probable that at least half of your site visitors will be viewing it on a small screen.”

“Scott listened to what I wanted in my website, and made my vision a reality. I wanted something unique, and he delivered. And best of all, he allowed me to be an active part of the process. Collaborating with Scott was fun!” - Dr. Robin Warner, Union Pediatrics

Some of the features Appleseed Solutions offers for pediatric practices include a pediatric dosage calculator, a resource guide, symptom checker, and event registrations. Most importantly, whether you want a one-time service or an ongoing partnership to maintain your site, your website is yours to own.

Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out

Your practice website competes with other pediatricians, hospitals, resource pages, and thousands of others on the internet. To make yours stand out, you’ll want to collect some resources to help bring your practice’s personality come through the screen.

The Basics

Unless you’re starting a pediatric practice from the ground up, you likely already have a practice name, location, logo, and contact information. These pieces of information should have prime spots in your final website design, but even more importantly, you should be sure contact numbers, email addresses, and links are up to date and that directions are easy to follow for someone new to the practice.

Your practice’s online brand extends to more than your website -- you can get creative with using your logo, signature colors, or photos on social media and in photos, too.

Introducing your Team

A “Bio” or “Meet the Providers/Staff” page is a great way to introduce yourself to families. A good bio page usually includes quality photos and a short job description, like this one from Union Pediatrics in Kentucky. Be sure to add something extra about the provider or staff member to help make that first connection with a parent, whether you love working with toddlers, volunteering at your church, or taking your dog hiking.

Quality Content

Quality content helps bring value and connection to parents visiting your website. While educational content like blogs, video, or FAQs are important, quality content could also include a photo gallery tour of your office, testimonials from parents, information about an upcoming event, or a dedicated webpage that describes your practice’s mission. Great content is also tailored to your community, which might include specific resources such as information about clinics or vaccination appointments, interpreter services, ride-share opportunities, and more.

A great website makes a great first impression for new patients, and can offer valuable reassurance when parents have questions. With an expert like Appleseed Solutions to help, you can invest in a website that meets your vision and offers the support your families need. Whether you’re hiring a web developer or a new physician, it pays to hire the right people. Learn more about how the interview process can help you make the right hiring decisions with our webinar, "Hiring the Right People".

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Allie Squires

Allie Squires is PCC's Marketing Content Writer and a transplant from upstate New York. She holds a master's in Professional Writing from NYU.