More and more people are becoming comfortable in using the Internet and many now have Internet access at home. A well designed family practice website can serve as an introduction for the practice and an advertisement of services offered.
Family Practice Website as Introduction
The appearance of the family practice website is crucial. Viewers will judge the practice by the appearance of the web pages. The website should match the tone of the clinic. If the family practice sees only adults, the website should reflect that.
Crucial information to be included on the family practice website includes location, hours of operation, telephone and fax numbers, directions, and information about the services offered. If the practice is a cash only one, this should be noted on the website.
Including a signup box for a free family practice newsletter or health report will encourage people to take the time to submit names and addresses. A signup form should be prominently displayed on every page of the website.
Staff information in the form of photos, short biographies and job titles or descriptions can personalize the website. A smiling face goes a long way in starting a family practice/patient relationship.
Some family practice websites include news and notes pages where news regarding the practice is announced as well as news regarding patients. Community and school achievements are a good way to promote area goodwill and advertise the practice. Do be sure to get permission before posting photos. The decision to use full names versus first names only will depend upon the area and the family practice.
Ads and Links on Family Practice Website
The issue of ads and links on the website should be addressed. Ideally, there should be no ads on the main pages. The website is, after all, supposed to be promoting and advertising the family practice. This said, offering a page where patients who use the practice can post a link to their business may be a good idea. Consider sponsoring a community page of some type and encourage anyone from the area to use the page.
Links that lead to health information regarding general health or the specific issues addressed by the family practice can prove to be useful. Patient education can be integrated into the website via an informative section of the website or links to such information.
Including a frequently asked questions area on the family practice website is a creative way to provide information while promoting the practice. Include a form to encourage website viewers to submit questions or comments.
Family Practice Website as Shameless Clinic Promotion
The family practice website should include physician credentials and accomplishments along with those of support staff. If staff have contributed in some way to the community, this information should be on the website. If the practice contributes to community activities, charitable or other such activities, this information should be on the website. Consider adding links for donations to charity.
Maximizing the Family Practice Website
The family practice website can be an important part of building the practice and maintaining it. Make the most of the opportunity. Showcase staff members, clinic and community activity, blog, announce news and hold contests. Include a signup form on every page, encouraging Internet surfers to sign up in exchange for free report or other item. Include the family practice website url in all advertising on and off-line.