July 17, 2011

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Elements to Avoid in Web Site Design

Your web site is a reflection of you, your staff, and your practice.  The idea is to help your visitors find what they are looking for and to keep them engaged long enough to determine that you're an expert and decide to schedule a consultation.

If your website is not optimally designed, however, you’ll lose them in the first two seconds of them arriving.  This is ineffective at best and destructive at worst.

To avoid losing visitors to another doctor in your area, make sure your site doesn’t have any of the following "no-no's".

Distractions are Consultation-Killers

Distractions are one sure way to lose your visitors' focus.  This can inadvertently cause them to stop looking for what they came for and to assume that you don’t have the information they want.  Some of the most annoying distractions that can turn off visitors include:

  • Blinking ads
  • Pop-up windows
  • Opt-in requests at every glance
  • Background music
  • Auto-playing videos
  • Moving text
  • A cursor or mouse pointer animation

These elements are extremely annoying and will get people off of a web site faster than you can say, "Go"!

Blinking, Flashing, Moving Items Create Instant A.D.D.

These types of distractions on your site will cause the eye to immediately go to the blinking, moving, flashing objects.  The entire purpose of their visit can soon be forgotten; this is probably not what you intended.

It’s like giving your site visitors A.D.D. because their attention span darts from one thing to the next and they cannot focus long enough to get what they need. Please don’t add these types of distractions to your site; they may seem to look high-tech and cutting-edge at first glance.  Upon further inspection, they drive people from sites in droves.

We highly recommend a professional-looking slide show toward the top of your web site that uses non-flash animation such as jquery.  This type of technology allows for graphics to be moved into place slowly and deliberately; this produces FOCUS on your marketing message...just what you wanted.

Annoying Visitors is the Fastest Way to Lose Them

By annoying your web site visitors, they will not only click their back button to get off of your site, but they will likely remember their experience and never go back.  This impression of you is obviously inaccurate; you're not annoying!

You can avoid this entire scenario by providing the same calming, focused, professional energy that you provide to your patients in your physical office.  Colors should be in professional colors such as blues, grays, browns, or greens; stay away from neon colors, distracting patterns like polka dots, or unprofessional graphics (please don't design your pictures using Clip Art!).

Additionally, you should provide instant ways for visitors to learn more about you through before/after photos, videos, testimonials, and media mentions on TV/Radio/Magazines that make you stand out.

Pop-Ups are Never Welcomed Intrusions

Pop-up windows are yesterday’s news.  Many browsers now offer pop-up blockers that will block it from ever being seen in the first place.  However, if your patient does get your pop-up, it will likely immediately get closed.  They are there to find something specific on your site, not to receive offers that pop into their line of sight to distract them from their objective.  Think of how you feel when a site you visit has a pop-up; annoyance is likely your first reaction.

Give 'Em What They Came For

If your visitors are on your site to learn about a procedure, have a page dedicated to teaching them about that specific item.  Have a complete library of articles, blog posts, and videos that cover each of the procedures you perform.

Include an easy-to-find area with patient testimonials and photo galleries to reassure patients of your skills and expertise.  And, last but not least, provide them with a way to contact you on every single page of your site such as a contact us mini-form in the right sidebar of your web site.

And don't forget that all-important call to action statement in every article, at the top of your contact form, and blog posts.  This statement can include phrases like “Call us now to schedule your free consultation” or “Click here to learn how we can meet your (fill-in-the-blank) needs”.

 Ready for Help With Your Medical Web Site Design?

By following these tips for what to avoid in your web site design, your prospective patients will find what they need and they’ll thank you by contacting you for a consultation.  If you've found that some of these annoying elements are on your own web site, contact us today for a free web site analysis and strategy for how to improve your site design and conversion rates.  Call us today at 951.665.8360.

Updated April 8, 2013