As medical professionals become increasingly web savvy it is easy for them to sometimes lose sight of the basics. In fact, one of the marks of a professional web site as opposed to one done by an amateur is its often-surprising lack of catchy web tactics. The days of animated graphics, flash heavy splash pages, and background music are gone.
One of the best ways to set your plastic surgery web design apart is to remember the law of simplicity. Less really is more. White space is better than multiple fonts. Cleanness and utility of design is paramount.
1. Website Architecture Matters
Internet visitors are continuously assaulted by and overwhelmed with countless layers of disorganized information on the Web. The last thing you want to do is add to the chaos. A clean, well structured site stands out from the crowd and immediately presents itself as the place a visitor will want to spend some time. Information, links, and navigation should be intuitive.
2. Speak Plainly
Most newspapers are written on an eighth grade reading level. Even the Wall Street Journal, a very wordy paper by today’s standards, is only written on a tenth grade level. When writing content for your site it is important to understand the difference in communicating simply and communicating poorly. Poor communication gets in the way of information gathering while simple communication does not.
Web writing filled with clichés and complicated, abstract language does not communicate with and generally insults your visitors. If you need to include highly technical information, save it for a separate page where a procedure is detailed. Even then, keep in mind your visitors are not seeking a medical degree. They are looking for someone to trust that can give them what they need.
3. Make the Web Writing Scannable
Does your website force visitors to wade through long-winded introductions, redundant text, and useless paragraphs? Because people tend to scan web writing, keep it clean and lean. A good rule of thumb is this: web copy should be about half as long as the same copy would be in print media. Work to cut down your web copy into digestible chunks. Eliminate unnecessary words, and keep your sentences and paragraphs concise! This kind of writing utilizes:
- Relevant headlines
- Lists and bullet points
- Concise, single-topic paragraphs
- Descriptive links
4. Be Consistent
Many medical practices have more than one person adding web content which can lead to inconsistencies in style and content. Review every single web page with an eye for:
5. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm for what you do is great but too much of it on a web site can come off as salesmanship rather that professional information. Not only are comparison claims that declare you the best unethical and at times illegal; they are an invitation for a new visitor to make a quick exit from your site.
Use testimonials and before and after pictures as your cheerleaders. The clean and consistent design of your site, depth of your content, and usability of your information goes much further in keeping a visitor on your site than brash claims.