I am in the stage of life where my evenings are spent at soccer and lacrosse games, theatre productions and orchestra concerts. With three kids involved in eleven different activities, my evenings are rarely spent preparing a complicated meal for the family. So I love the crockpot. Throw in a few ingredients, turn it on, and at 6 pm there’s a hearty meal waiting for us to grab in our short 15 minute window of free time.
With a crockpot, you do a little prep up front, and then simply forget about it. It does all the work for you.
Sadly, this is how many medical practices treat their websites. They finally face the fact that their website is hopelessly outdated, so they spend a big chunk of money to have the site redesigned. Then they just forget about it.
But the thing is, forgetting about your website doesn’t make it better the way a pot roast gets better when left in a crockpot. Forgetting about your website is more like leaving that roast out in the sun – it starts to stink. First links get broken, then some plug-ins don’t function properly, and pretty soon it looks horribly dated.
A good website needs consistent attention over time. Over at Kissmetrics they recommend “Evolution” over “Revolution.” Rather than doing a total overhaul every five years or so, they say you should constantly make small improvements. With evolutionary design, you are able to make only the changes needed to improve your results. And since you are making small changes, you can implement them quickly. Further, you avoid the confusion a total overhaul can create, and you don’t change the things that are working.
In addition to changing design, you have to consider changing content – the actual material visitors consume on your site. This includes your web pages, blog posts, podcasts, videos, or anything else you’ve created to convey information to your site visitors.
Leaving this static is a terrible mistake. You need to consistently add new, fresh content, while refreshing old content, to keep visitors engaged.
Think about it – the practice of medicine changes. New research comes out about treatments and outcomes – you’ll want to convey this information through blogs and on condition pages. In addition, your thoughts and approach to practicing medicine may change or need to be highlighted in response to the news of the day.
Maintaining a fresh medical website is good for your SEO. But more imporantly, it’s good for your site visitors. People want to return to a site that offers current, up-to-date information. No one wants to go back to a site to find the same old information.
Your website needs consistent attention to best meet your site visitors’ needs. Your challenge today is to take a look at your site and see what you can do to improve it. Is there a way to make it more user friendly? Is your about page outdated and no longer reflective of your approach to medicine?
Start making the changes, and then enjoy the results.
Photo Credit: © robynmac/Adobe Stock