Everything in your practice’s marketing plan should start with a strong brand foundation. At Big Buzz, we call this the Marketing Platform, which is the first step in realizing what marketing efforts make the most sense for your unique patient demographic.
To begin, we recommend that you survey your very best patients to discover exactly what they love about you and your practice. Use this feedback to craft a unique message and custom look for your practice that will serve as a road map for all marketing materials.
Next, analyze the survey results to discern how these ideal patients found your practice, and target those marketing tactics specifically. One of the most common tactics in this day and age is your practice website, so it’s essential to keep it looking current and engaging. If you find that a website redesign makes sense for your practice, here are the seven steps we recommend you take to build a quality, responsive and mobile-friendly website that will drive patients in your door.
7 Steps To Great Website Design
- Start with a Sitemap. This is a one-page document that outlines each of the pages to be developed and illustrates the overall flow of the website. Whether you go through Big Buzz or hire an external agency to build your website, we highly recommend creating a sitemap before you do anything else. Do you remember creating outlines for term papers back in college? A sitemap functions the same way, allowing you to visualize and plan your website before starting the creation process. It’s far easier to add and remove pages at this stage than further into the development process.
- Create Quality Web Content. Quality web content is a huge asset for your website, and this is true for all healthcare fields. Once you have an established brand identity, build out each of the pages listed in your sitemap with rich, descriptive content inspired by your unique message that you developed after surveying your best patients. Web content is your chance to clearly convey what value your practice provides to your ideal patient. It is also a chance to integrate SEO keywords that will get your website found by Google and other search engines.
- Construct a Wireframe. With the sitemap and content ready, combine these into a wireframe, which functions as a blueprint for your practice’s website. This document, if rudimentarily, visually displays how the placeholders, sliders, images, links, text and contact information will be laid out on the developed website. Keep wireframe construction simple; even just a series of sketches of the proposed layout of each web page will do. This is your last chance to easily add or rearrange webpages. Like a blueprint, the wireframe allows you to hone in on the material you want to see on your website and make sure that nothing is missing.
- Design a Captivating Homepage. This is the first time that the design will hit the computer. Most practices rely on an outside graphic designer or marketing agency to complete steps 5 and 6. The homepage is often the very first thing a potential patient sees when investigating your practice. Therefore, it is essential your homepage instantly captivates their interest and drives them to learn more and contact your office today. Large, quality images, intriguing slider text about your brand and clearly visible practice contact information will make your practice seem inviting and alive.
- Develop Your Website. At this stage, pages shown in the wireframe are built and your web team prepares to put the website live on the internet. Now is the time to make any final minor revisions and edits.
- Proof and Test Usability. To ensure quality throughout, proof all text and test phone numbers, links and web forms for functionality. This step is vital if you wish to convey professionalism and modernity to potential patients. Typos, broken links and other defects can raise flags for first-time visitors. Be sure your website undergoes a thorough proofing process before it goes live. Lastly, test the website to be sure it appears correctly across all browsers (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) and all devices (desktop, laptop, mobile phone, etc.)
Whether you go it alone or hire an agency, these steps will ensure a quality product capable of driving patients to your practice.