I don’t know what it is about medical practice websites, but they tend to be the worst offenders in the overdressed website category.
Stock photos of anonymous patients and physicians make the website resemble the frame aisle at Target.
Buttons are everywhere – a button to contact your doctor, a button to make an appointment, a button to connect to the patient portal, and a button to discover The Top Seven Health Practices of the Beautiful and Witty.
The navigation menu is typically packed with links. Often, these menu links lead to the same place that all those buttons do!
And text. So. Much. Text.
So when a website hits the Google lotto, new visitors can’t even figure out where to focus their eyes. There are far too many shiny things distracting them from the main point. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate website clutter so it does the job you need it to do – which is to bring in more patients, in case you were wondering.
Clean Up Your Navigation
Keep the number of items in your navigation menu to a minimum. For example, there is no need to have separate tabs for financial information, insurance, patient forms, and the patient portal. Have one tab labeled “Patient Information.” That tab can have a drop down menu with the various links on it or, better yet, it can link to a single page with all pertinent information.
Take a long hard look at each menu item and decide if it needs to be there. Take a look at your site analytics. If some of the menu items rarely get clicked, they probably don’t deserve the precious real estate in your main navigation menu.
Lose the Dense Text
Most people put off making that doctor appointment. If they get to your website and it looks like hard work to figure out what they need to know, well, that gives them one more reason to procrastinate.
Particularly on your homepage, but throughout your site in general, you need to get rid of the words, words, words. Break up text into short paragraphs. Use subheads to make your site scannable. And summarize your thoughts into easy to read bullet points when you can.
Get Rid of All the Bells and Whistles so the Focus is Clear
You don’t need widgets running down the entire side of your website. The more website clutter in the sidebar, the more likely you are to lose the attention of your reader.
Each page should have a focus (which is probably the appointment button), and your reader should not be distracted by other material. The fewer gadgets and doodads scattered around the page, the better.
Coco Chanel famously said, “Always remove one thing before you leave the house. Less is more.” Today, I want you to give your website the Chanel treatment.
Take a look at your website. What can you delete, consolidate or tidy up? Help your readers get where you want them to go by removing distractions. Can you
- get rid of the massive amounts of text,
- replace the copious stock photos with one nice shot,
- clean up your sidebar, or
- minimize your navigation menu?
Let your “Make an Appointment” button be the star.
A quick ten minute clean up can pay off big time with a more effective website.