Over this past year and a half of COVID craziness we’ve all been home and on our computers far more than usual. That time spent can make anyone feel as if they have mad computer skills that may not be exactly the case. That could apply to the world of website design.
Coincidentally your medical practice or law firm needs a new website. Your nephew volunteered to do the job when you saw him at a socially distanced BBQ a couple weeks back.
Hopefully, you just said, “Thanks, but I’m good.” Or, maybe you offered, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.” And then there was nothing but silence.
There are many reasons not to have a friend or a family member build your practice website. If you don’t believe that, Google this: Why should I not have a friend build my website. It returns, wait for it, 667,000,000 results.
At MyAdvice, we’ve been building the web’s most beautiful, hardest working medical and legal websites for over two decades. That could be longer than your supposed design expert has been on this Earth. In this first blog of summer, let’s get into a few reasons why a friend or relative isn’t a good bet for trusting with the design of your practice or firm website.
How much does invisible cost?
OK, so your neighbor is a “digital marketing consultant.” You sure that doesn’t mean he’s unemployed? And he knows the web. You sure that doesn’t mean he’s just surfing it all day long?
Yeah, but the price for his design is killer. The question is, how good a deal is it if your site is out in the vast wilderness of the web and can’t be found by anyone actually looking for a practice or firm like yours? The price/value here is low on both ends.
Your site needs to work efficiently everywhere
Your nephew is somewhat familiar with a certain WordPress template that works pretty well on your Mac at home. But what about on your iPhone 12? What about your wife’s Pixel Pro? You opened the site on your phone, and you can’t read the text. The photos take forever to load. Uh oh — anyone coming to your site and experiencing these issues is gone. Remember, mobile search is now the preferred search arena, and that applies to medical practices just as much as retail. Search is increasingly done on mobile devices, and your site needs to be mobile-friendly.
To make sites work efficiently everywhere you need two things: expertise and patience. At MyAdvice, from the initial design our web designers integrate mobile along with full desktop design. That way your site works seamlessly on both and it has the same feel and continuity.
Does your designer know the difference between SEO and his dad, the CEO?
Just because your nephew can build a website that is visually attractive doesn’t mean it’s built in a search-friendly design. Optimizing sites for organic search is an intricate process, and Google and Bing change the rules every day. Just five years ago search was ruled by keywords; now search is driven by content. Is your cheap site optimized for the current search algorithms? Doubtful.
Behind the scenes architecture is just as important in search as what the site shows the public. Header and alt tags, meta descriptions, site maps, even making sure all of your practice contact information is the same across different review sites such as Yelp and RealSelf — this all adds up to higher rankings in organic search. Does your nephew know any of this stuff? No wonder your site traffic averages in the low single digits, and those visits are coming from your staff members!
Why skimp on the front door?
The days of the practice being a totally separate animal from the marketing materials are over. Most doctors didn’t even advertise 20 years ago. Lawyers didn’t start advertising until the Supreme Court decision on June 27, 1977 ruled they could. Continuity didn’t really matter — it wasn’t as if the patient or client was bringing the trifold brochure with them to see if it matched the feel of the practice.
But everything’s different now. Today, the first contact — the front door, if you will — is often your website. When researching a procedure or specialty, potential customers are likely to come across your site (if it’s effectively optimized!) before any other marketing materials. So, does your site look and feel like your practice or firm and its other marketing materials?
Patients use practice and firm websites as a virtual tour of sorts. They get a feel for the quality of your practice from the look of your site and the quality of its content. Your site really has to be a receptionist of sorts, greeting potential new customers when they hit your homepage.
But your site’s clunky architecture locked up and now that potential patient is off to the well-built site of your main competitor. How great was your nephew’s discount price now?
There are many more reasons your practice should hire MyAdvice to build, optimize, maintain, and continually update your website. After all, we’ve been building great practice websites for our clients longer than your nephew’s been out of diapers. You could say we know our way around this stuff.