Ask any Home-based Health Care business owner about the importance of a website and they’ll tell you one is absolutely necessary in their line of business. But ask them all of the important aspects to include on a website and they may come short. Knowing that you need a website and knowing exactly what to include on a website are two different things.
The simplest way to optimize any website, new or old, is to “assume the perspective of your ideal client.” When you consider your client’s perspective and user journey, you can make decisions that put everything in the right place so someone can easily and quickly interact with your business.
While is absolutely essential to have each of the following elements in your website, the specifics of their presentation and overall design need to take into consideration of your specific customer demographics. In the Home-based Health Care business, the priority will be to get people to trust you enough to consider having your staff enter their home and take care of a loved one.
The absolute must haves
Much of your web traffic will be coming from people looking to use your website as a tool to communicate with you. Whether by email, phone or in person, the information that helps them accomplish this needs to be a top priority. Don’t make it complicated or visitors will get frustrated and leave your site. Place an easily found “contact us” link in the top right corner of your website where people are most likely to look for one. If your customers aren’t web savvy, consider putting your address, phone number and hours of operation directly on the home page.
Let visitors to your site know right away what type of services you offer. This isn’t the time to be vague. If you’re a pediatric home health agency that focuses on children with heart conditions make sure you mention that right away. People who visit your site are not browsing for fun, they or a loved one is in need of care and they want to know if you can help them. This means that the more specific information you can have online about what your services are, the better.
Give a quick, easy-to-find snapshot of your business and history available for people interested in learning a little more about you. Keep in mind, if people are looking at this part of your website, they are likely close to calling you to chat more about your services. Make the section concise but include things like business history, areas served, relevant achievements and philosophy. It’s also not a bad idea to include customer testimonials if you have them.
Quicklinks to social channels
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all great tools to help foster a direct line of communication between your business and brand fans. Your website should prioritize getting those follows and likes as easy as possible by installing a quick link widget into the footer or header of your website. That way, no matter where a visitor goes on the site they are always one click away from connecting with you on social media.
It’s becoming more and more common to see healthcare businesses feature active content strategies and it’s easy to see why:
- Content is authentic – No one likes being sold to, especially when it comes to healthcare and content is a great way for a business to build relationships while leaving the hard sell on the shelf.
- Content is made for local – A good content strategy can help a business establish itself as grounded in its local area through authentic stories that are for and about their community.
- Content is hyper-targeted – Based on how you addressed the first three elements of your website, it is likely targeting people at a specific part of the sales funnel. Having a fully realized content strategy allows you to add balance to your site.
Easy content strategy win = how-to videos
How-to and educational videos can be extremely effective and easy to produce. Plus, creating these types of videos gives you the platform to demonstrate your expertise.
Putting it all together with design
When considering design and layout, it’s completely appropriate to look at it as an opportunity to infuse some of your business’s personality into your website’s look and feel. But heed this warning: design is where it’s most critical to consider the customer’s perspective. Too often small business owners create a website that works perfectly for themselves while failing to consider how it will work for their customers.
Here are two top level considerations when choosing a design.
Mobile functionality is king
This has to be top of mind at every stage of design since 50% of site visitors are likely viewing on a mobile device. While most modern design templates are mobile functional, it’s worth taking second looks at the ones that do it best. And if you haven’t updated your website since the inception of the smartphone, you might want to think about a redesign.
Keep it simple
You may have noticed that this post really pushes the need for priorities. With that in mind, consider putting only the most crucial information on the home page. Your home page must include easy links to: contact info, service info and business description. After that, it becomes really dependent on your goals and objectives. But when considering the perspective of your clients, oftentimes less is more.
Build for speed
By keeping things simple and prioritizing mobile functionality you are likely also building for speed. But this point is critical enough that it bares repeating. Your site needs to be fast! People aren’t going to stick around on your website if it has problems loading. Google also uses load time as factor in determining your search rank so a slow site might even be keeping potential clients from finding you when they look online.
All in all, it’s a pretty good time to consider building or redesigning a website for your business. The pandemic has caused many to seriously consider Home-based Health Care vs going to a traditional clinic, the industry is slated to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years and companies like Studio 8 Twenty-Two can help you with the website design and development process. If you’re curious if your current website is doing it’s job, just follow this tip from Kevin Lao at Google: take out your phone, pull up your site and ask yourself “do you like what you see?” Now go to your closest competitor’s site and ask yourself the same question. Your answer will tell you all you need to know.