How to Improve Your Patient’s Digital Experience
Dayton, OH – Signage, colors, and structural elements. These are the “wayfinding” components architects and designers use to help visitors easily navigate through a health facility. But if the wayfinding systems are ineffective, visitors are faced with two choices: ask for help or leave in frustration.
The same can happen when a website lacks an effective digital version of wayfinding known as page navigation. Site visitors can find it so challenging to navigate that they leave almost as soon as they arrive. That results in what’s known as a high bounce rate. And, according to a case study by Vintage, if your online location is their first introduction to your facility, it can predispose them to having negative expectations for when they visit your physical location.
Your goal is to have your facility’s website be easy and intuitive to use, so your visitors’ site experience is as smooth and flawless as possible. You also want their encounter with your site to match any previous interaction with your facility. If they found it easy to navigate in your hospital and get the answers and assistance they need, then that is what they will expect when they visit your virtual location.
Ensure that your health facility’s digital “location” has a high level of usability from the patient’s perspective by undertaking the following steps.
Know Your Numbers
Think of your website as a patient who isn’t feeling up to par. Where do you start your diagnostic procedure? With the numbers! Only in this case you’re looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than lab results.
Some of the KPIs you want to review include:
- Number of visits (also known as “sessions”)
- Ratio of unique visitors and returning visitors or users
- Number of page views (total number of pages that are visited)
- Time spent on pages viewed and total time on your sit
- Bounce rate (what percentage of visitors leave after visiting only one page)
Each one of these KPIs can tell you how “healthy” your site is. If you have few returning visitors despite having a content-rich site, it could indicate that people are finding it difficult to locate relevant or interesting information.
If your bounce rate is high (say in 70s on up), it could be caused by poor design, hard-to-read content or slow page load times — particularly frustrating to the more than 60% of those who, according to Stone Temple, use mobile devices over desktop computers.
And if your call-to-actions (CTAs) aren’t generating a response, it may be because you don’t have them on the right pages or, if they are present, their message isn’t clear. (More on this later).
Track Entrance and Exit Points
Another useful area of information, according to marketing guru Neil Patel, deals with traffic—specifically, how your visitors found your site.
- Did they already know your site address, perhaps from a physician referral, recommendation from a friend or relative, advertising or community event?
- Did they arrive via search query results?
- Are they what Patel calls “referral visitors”—those who came via a backlink or mention on another site or blog?
- Was it your social media posts that attracted them your website?
You also want to know what pages are among the top entry points—the page they came to first before navigating around your site—and where they went from that entry point until they exited. Why is this important? If you have a high bounce rate (see above), and if most “bounces” take place on the same page or pages, then you need to investigate why they are leaving.
But even if your bounce rate is satisfactory—around 40%, according to the latest research from SEMrush—tracking what pages are most frequently visited and which ones tend to be the “exit” ones tells you that those are where you want to focus relevant calls-to-action.
The navigation flow should follow logically, with links to the most visited pages given higher placement. The goal should always be to allow your visitors to access the information they are seeking with the least amount of clicks as possible, using wayfinding elements to guide them through the site.
Choosing Visual Elements
Interior designers know how to use design elements to establish a mood. The same principles apply when selecting the components for your site—everything from typography to images. What emotions do you want to evoke or image do you want to project? Just as importantly, what color and design style will resonate with the demographic you serve?
Every element—the tone of your content, the color palette, the verbiage—must be consistent with your existing brand. By using a mood board, you can solidify images, fonts and other elements that support your brand identity.
The bottom line? Establish a sense of familiarity for your site visitors. Help them feel as comfortable navigating through it as they are at your physical location. Your health facility’s digital location should be a welcoming site that provides your visitors with all the information they need.
Enlist a healthcare marketing team for help
If you need assistance in creating a patient-friendly website for your healthcare practice or facility, B63 can help. We are experts in creating and integrating all the elements for a patient-centric site. We also help with developing strategic messaging, public relations and brand management for practices, hospitals, and networks. An EDGE-certified, woman-owned business, B63 provides strategically focused creative solutions with a sharp eye on metrics and ROI.
Call us today at 937.490.4000 for more information or CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation.