Healthcare marketers dish on new website design and user experience

Lessons learned in creating a healthcare marketing website

The entire Smith & Jones agency collectively breathed a sigh of relief when our new healthcare marketing website design went live. We are healthcare marketing specialists and have embarked on many website projects in the past. However, creating a website for ourselves is infinitely more difficult than creating one for our clients.

We decided to update our site for three reasons: To take advantage of the latest web advancements, to reflect our healthcare specialization and to showcase our new brand identity. The project was labor intensive, drawing on our knowledge of trends, content management capabilities and search engine optimization.

In the end, we are thrilled about the new website. It captures our practice and personality, and also provides high-level content that healthcare marketers can download and use to support their organizations. Not to mention the awesome video on our homepage.

Here are a few things we learned while creating our new site that could help inform your next web update:

Sliders are so 2001

Sliders, also known as carousels, are confusing. To be blunt, very confusing. Why? Well, there is a psychological study that suggests people react negatively to these changing elements.

Images tend to slide quickly from one graphic to the next; users find it distracting and hard to read.

Most important, sliders are proven to have low click through rates and are often not mobile friendly. This hurts your site’s conversion rates and SEO. Sliders can take a long time to load, which is not conducive to Google regulations. Google will not rank your site high, if this is the case.

Images, images, images

Content is great, but visual content is better. If there is one thing we learned, it’s that large, pretty pictures are well received by consumers. According to Hubspot, visual content triggers more readers, leads and customers. Don’t believe us? Check the facts: Hubspot noted that 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. Facebook photos perform best for likes, comments and shares compared to text, video and links. Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

In a mobile world vertical rules

The logic behind this is very simple: Consumers tend to use their mobile phones in an upright state, and are hard pressed to turn their phone the other direction to watch a video. This means that if you have horizontal videos on your site, they better be optimized for vertical viewing. Any on screen words or graphics must be seen when your videos are small.

This may seem silly, but its true. It’s time to start thinking vertically when updating your site.

Push the play button

Video is a great way to grab users’ attentions, and quickly. Think about all the videos you stop to look at on your Facebook or Twitter feed. This interaction also applies on hospital websites. Whether it’s animation or a beautifully crafted film (like our own), video is a great way to engage a user and promote your brand’s identity. Also, videos are shareable. It’s definitely a great way to spread the word about your organization on various social media.

Keep it short

TL;DR. In the Internet world, that stands for: Too Long, Didn’t Read. A homage to our society’s attention span, really. Even Digiday released a TLDR function on their website that makes it easier for their readers to digest their content.

In short, our attention spans are shrinking. The modern day consumer isn’t interested in reading detailed, lengthy articles anymore. They want short, digestible content known as “info-snacks.” Our advice is to give the people what they want. It’ll be to your benefit to shorten white papers, blog posts and other content on your site.

These are just a few of the trends we considered when developing our new site. Of course, as online habits change, these trends will too. Make sure to keep up-to-date with your website game and consistent with your brand in the process.