Websites: The Prescription for Your Practice

In todays competive business world a website is no longer a optional marketing channel, but instead a necessity. With the cost of website development being so low and the increased number of consumers using the internet to search for businesses, every business should have a website; medical practices are no exception. Here are some things you may want to consider So what should you consider when selecting a company to build a custom website for your practice?

There are two types of websites to choose from: custom and prefabricated. Custom interactive websites will prove to be far more effective, look more professional, and have longer-lasting value than the cheaper prefabricated versions. Every practice is different, so a design company should take the time to understand what the practice has to offer and convey that in their site.

Effective websites take into account common practice management tasks, and integrate them with online tools that not only create a marketing presence but also empower the practice in its daily operations. Specific tools include keeping in touch with patients through email newsletters, greeting cards, and special promotions.

A few companies that specialize in chiropractic websites compile newsletters that they prepare and delivery automatically on behalf of a doctor to his or her patient database. Such newsletters, which can be updated on a regular basis on the website and automatically emailed to patients, are extremely helpful in keeping in touch with patients that do not come in as often. Additionally, patients who subscribe may forward it to others, which could serve as a form of referrals.

Another useful feature is the ability to easily send out pre-scheduled email cards for birthdays, appointments, various holiday, etc. Such e-cards, with fun, professional designs, provide another great opportunity to keep in touch with patients and improve patient relations, while minimizing the cost of traditional cards and postage, not to mention save time.
Practices should also consider providing potential patients with an incentive to visit the office by having printable promotions or coupons on their website, where allowable by law. After all, the hardest part is getting the patient to come in for the first time.

Website can also feature patients the ability to schedule appointments, access patient forms, and even verify insurance. This way, rather than request patients to come in fifteen to twenty minutes early, practices can post their forms online and request patient go online, print and complete them before coming in.

The opportunities for patient education online are almost limitless; a doctor can provide informational resources on preventative care and exercises, explanatory diagrams and illustrations, and descriptions of the unique services of their practice.

A website can also assist the practice in selling different products and supplements to anyone, anywhere, and any time-not just to the existing patient base of the practice. Doctors should not limit their opportunities – current studies show the public is looking for health information, by the millions. Having an online presence now is crucial, not only in reaching new patients but also retaining existing ones. By not being online, a doctor misses out on 100 percent of the Internet-derived business he or she could see.

These days chiropractors are expected to have a presence on the Internet for potential patients. Instead of people running their fingers through the Yellow Pages, many now click with their mouse through their browsers to practices near them. The internet has become the world’s largest health information resource, so a doctor can not afford to miss out on the opportunities that come with having a website.

The key to bringing in new patients who are searching online for health providers and information lies in search engine placement. Who would want a website if no one can find it? In selecting your website company, be sure that the commissioned company can create a search engine and marketing campaign aimed at excellent placement with search engines and directories, and uses both innovative and standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. More traffic means more patients, a better bottom line, and a dramatic return on investment.

Through a website, they can get their questions answered in a non-threatening, non-confrontational way. This new technology is not only limitless, but also much more affordable than all previous means of publicity utilized by doctors in the past. A practice armed with these new tools will be much more efficient, effective and professional in gaining new patients and servicing them 24/7.

Whether you have a current web site that isn’t high enough quality, or if you have no web site to speak of, the next decision is who should you turn to for the creation of your professional website? In terms of working with a freelancer versus an established company, as a general rule, it is usually best to work with a company that will provide the necessary customer service and support. Even if your “nephew Jimmy” or “nice kid down the street” can build you a professional and website to begin with – and that’s a big “if” – will they be around when you need to update your website, or will they be off to college, or what have you?

It helps to find a company who can identify with the practice and even specializes in chiropractic websites. A company or freelancer that does not specialize in chiropractic field will require significant amount of time from the doctor in developing the content and educational materials for the website.

While several design companies specialize in custom websites for medical practices, not all are alike in the quality of their designs and services.

Through outsourcing there is no need to spend $15,000 on a custom medical website, but instead under $1000. In comparison to other forms of advertising, including yellow page ads and direct mail the return on investment of a professional website with quality internet marketing is greater than 10 times in our research, even if you paid $15,000 for your website. Furthermore consumers see websites as the face of a business. A business lacking a professional and informatice website can turn-off consumers, resulting in lost opportunities and business.

Medical Web Experts is the number one provider of websites to physicians and other healthcare providers. Our highly specialized websites for healthcare organizations feature the latest in search engine optimization techniques and is built to suit your exact needs.

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