If you’re redesigning the website for your plastic surgery practice — or developing a new one — you’re embarking on a major undertaking that’s likely to require a great deal of time and effort. You need a website that’s both modern and timeless — something that you won’t need to replace again after a few years. If you need help creating the plastic surgery website of your dreams, contact us. Crystal Clear Digital Marketing is a full-service web design firm catering exclusively to medical professionals. If you’ve decided to build or redesign your own website, though, we have some advice that can help. These are the design elements that can make or break your plastic surgery website.
In any plastic surgery website design, there is nothing more important than giving your current and potential clients a logical structure that enables them to find the information that they want quickly. Most people expect to see a website’s primary navigation menu at the top of the page. Putting the menu at the top of the page ensures that it will be one of the first things that people see when they visit your website. If a visitor finds your website through a search engine and doesn’t land on a page containing the information that he or she wants, putting the menu at the top of the page ensures that the visitor can find the desired information quickly.
When you design your plastic surgery website’s navigation menu, avoid using icons as your navigation links. Use simple words that clearly explain where each link leads. For example, you might have a link that leads to your list of services, a link that leads to your before-and-after photos and a link that explains the financing options you offer and the insurance plans you accept. Move less important links — such as links to your privacy and HIPAA compliance policies — to the footer of the page.
Responsive design is a website design principle in which the website’s code uses relative terms to describe the size of each element. Rather than specifying the width of an image as 800 pixels, for example, a responsive design could specify that the image should consume 50 percent of the browser window. That way, the image would consume half of the browser window regardless of the screen size of the device on which the browser is running. The image will look perfect on any device — whether it’s a computer or a mobile phone.
Why is responsive design so important? As of April 2017, desktop computers generate only 43.41 percent of the world’s web traffic. Mobile phones generate 51.79 percent of the world’s web traffic, and tablets make up the difference. If you design your website only for desktop computer users, you’ll actually neglect more than half of the people who view your website. At the same time, desktop users haven’t become so rare that you can afford to neglect them. A responsive design serves all of your users equally well — regardless of the devices that they use. The best part is that if you’re using a theme-based content management system such as WordPress or Drupal, you can make your website responsive simply by installing a responsive theme. You don’t need any programming knowledge at all.
If you want people to read the content on your plastic surgery website, you need to provide typography that encourages reading. Modern web typography favors the use of large, legible fonts and plenty of empty space on the sides of pages and between paragraphs. The empty space between paragraphs encourages distraction-free reading and helps to break up large blocks of text. Avoid the use of very small fonts, and choose contrasting colors for your website’s page backgrounds and text.
A Blog Section
Although Google’s ranking algorithm has become more intelligent over the years, it performs essentially the same function today that it did when Google launched in 1998. Google’s algorithm reads all of the text on a page — the page’s title, the names of the images, the body text and so on — to determine what the page is about. The algorithm then uses a variety of factors to decide whether that page is a reliable source of information compared to other pages with the same main topic. Without text, Google doesn’t know what a page is about — and if your plastic surgery website doesn’t have text, then it doesn’t have anything for Google to index and rank.
Consider the reverse scenario. If your plastic surgery website has a great deal of text for Google to index, then it can potentially appear on the results pages for many different search terms. The more content your website has, the more traffic you’ll receive from Google. That’s why nearly every business website today has a blog section. A blog section provides an easy way for website owners to create and organize website content. If you want your plastic surgery website to receive plenty of traffic from Google, you need to make room for a blog section in your website’s design.
Calls to Action
People will discover your plastic surgery website in a variety of different ways. Whether they visit your website through advertisements, search results pages or social media posts, though, your goal is the same: You want those people to become patients. On every page of your website, you should set aside space for a strong call to action telling visitors what you’d like them to do next. Whether you want a visitor to click a button and schedule an appointment, fill out a form or call your office on the phone, your website’s design should make that next step as prominent as possible.
Have you ever noticed how often big box stores, department stores, and electronics stores use video displays to call attention to products? Stores use video displays because they capture customers’ attention and because it’s much faster and easier to show a customer how a product works than it is to describe it. A video is equally effective online. It costs relatively little to film short videos describing the procedures that your plastic surgery practice offers. Add those videos to your website, and you’ll have an easy way to maintain the engagement of your visitors and pique their interest in your services.
Every plastic surgery website should have an “About Us” page with general information about the practice and a “Contact Us” page explaining how to get in touch with your office. The “About Us” page should discuss the core philosophies of your plastic surgery practice and describe the primary services that you offer. The page should also build trust by discussing your credentials and professional experience as a plastic surgeon. Your “Contact Us” page is equally important. Even if you put your address and telephone number on every page of your website, some people will still look for your “Contact Us” page to find out if you offer email, live chat or other contact options. Your “Contact Us” page can also include your business hours and a map showing how to find your office.
The website schema.org — developed by Google, Yahoo and Bing — describes a system for adding descriptive information to a website’s code to provide additional information about that website to search engines. Search engines use the information to provide better search results to users. Have you noticed the extra information that Google now displays when you search for some local businesses? If you search for a business in your area, Google will show you the business’s phone number and hours of operation. Google will even offer to give you driving directions to the business from your current location. Much of that information comes from schema markup.
You can use schema markup to tell search engines that your website is a website for a local business. You can provide the name, address, phone number and operating hours of your plastic surgery practice. You can even provide the GPS coordinates of your office for more accurate driving directions. The bad news about schema markup is that you have to add it directly to your website’s source code — something that’s very difficult to do with content management systems such as WordPress. The good news is that you can find WordPress plugins and Drupal modules that can add the markup to your website’s source code automatically.
Get Help With Your Plastic Surgery Website Design Project Now
WordPress and other content management systems have made it incredibly easy for people with no web design experience to create functional, attractive websites. In a competitive field such as plastic surgery, though, it isn’t enough for your website to be functional — it needs to be more compelling than your competitors’ websites if you hope to attract new patients. Are you feeling lost? We can help. Contact us now to learn more about what we can do to give your plastic surgery website the professional design it deserves.