Recruitment microsites are a large part of our business, but typically we create them for healthcare systems that want to recruit physicians and nurses. Today, I want to talk about the value of creating a recruitment microsite to drive new patients to a clinical practice. In particular, I will be covering some important microsite design elements that will encourage engagement and easy use for potential patients. These items are broken down into the categories of clarity, strategy and personalization that will be mission critical when you start building or optimizing your patient recruitment site.
1. Clear Titles
Titles are really meant to answer one of the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why). Each title on each page needs to tell your potential patient what they can expect from the page. For example, a page like "Patient Resources" is much less effective than stating exactly what the resources are. The ideal title for each page is clear – to complete this example consider using something like "Patient Prescription Portal System." The easier it is for patients to understand what your practice has to offer the more likely they are to click on the item to investigate further.
*Pro tip! Titles are NOT headings. Headings can be simple like Radiology or Ultrasound Department. Headings are also helpful because they help break up space visually and therefore make the information easier to digest.
2. Short and Simple URL
We run a lot of radio to promote recruitment events and companies who want exposure for their practices. In the digital age, these efforts are almost always directed back to a website. Website URLS work best when people can remember them. Keep them short, sweet and clear. For instance, one of our clients created LNACareers.org to drive candidates to their career events. It’s three letters and one word; very easy to remember and type in later.
3. Details on Departments and Specialties
When patients are shopping for a new physician, they want to know what makes your practice different. Maybe they have had a less than personal experience at their last practice and want a smaller group to help with their healthcare needs. Perhaps they want to know that their physician has many years of experience. Or maybe they just want to know that there is an on-call Emergency Services line. These details should all be considered when you create content for your site. Make sure to describe and personalize departments, specialties and really show what makes you different. This personalized brand will help you stand out against your competition.
1. Prime SEO Strategy
SEO is like a behind the scenes ninja army. It might not look like it does anything and you may never see it, but trust me when I say, these little details are doing more than you know! Make sure to utilize your meta descriptions, alt text on pictures, and make sure to use keywords throughout your site. These little things take some time to do, but are definitely essential to help you rank higher in search engines and get found by the right people.
2. Mobile Ready
I’ve written a fair amount about mobile optimization. It really is important that your site is optimized for mobile devices. People (including potential patients) are always on the move and when they get an idea, chances are they will search for that information on the closest device (which is usually an iPhone). You do not want to lose a potential patient because your website loads slowly or doesn't fit on a phone or tablet.
1. Contact Information with a Picture
As a photographer I believe pictures of your clinicians are vitally important. Patients want to feel like they could make a personal connection with their healthcare provider. Healthcare services are largely about trust and confidentiality and nothing is more impersonal than a stock contact form with no picture. Make sure to add in some exciting, informative text and a professional photo to all practice sites.
2. Patient Testimonials
Word of mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising, but what if someone doesn’t know a friend in their area yet? Well, that’s when they turn to testimonials. Make sure you have some great stories from patients (that they have submitted and consented to having published) so that potential clients can become acquainted with the kind of provider you are. It’s the little things that make patients comfortable and this is an easy one to overlook.
If you incorporate these elements into your patient recruitment microsite, we are confident that it will yield great results. However there is another aspect to practice development and that is the use of social media. Want to learn more about social strategy? Subscribe!