Best Practices for Optometrist Website Design
As an optometrist, you're focused on what your patients can and can't see, and how you can help improve their vision. You understand more than just most how important vision is, and how what we see affects every aspect of your patients' lives.
Have you ever thought about what your current and potential patients might see when they look at your website? Does your current optometry website design accurately represent you and your practice? Is it attractive and easy to navigate? Does it convey all the right messages, does it communicate what makes you stand apart from other optometrists in the area?
Is the design of your optometry website up to date? Or has it fallen to the wayside in recent months or years? Optometry website design is more important than you may think — and it can even help you acquire more patients.
Why Website Design for Optometry Matters
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a website worth? The condition of your website should be just as important to you as the condition of your waiting room — they are both important opportunities for first impressions.
What impression does your website make on your visitors? If your site is outdated, unorganized, and difficult to navigate, it's safe to assume visitors have a difficult time online, and they might think the same for your office.
Many potential patients now start their search for an optometrist online. Even those that have received a referral to your office from another patient or doctor will likely head online to look up your website prior to calling to schedule an appointment. This is why it's so important to put your best foot forward online with your website.
It's not uncommon for optometrists to underestimate the importance of your web presence. If you’re zeroed in on patient care, you may think that the design of your website isn’t all that important. But that's a costly mistake, and it could be losing you patients.
Optometry Website Design Best Practices
Years ago, just having a website was good enough. Today, that's no longer the case. When it comes to optometrist website design, your patients expect and deserve more!
How can you ensure you're meeting their expectations? Make sure your current site employs the current website design best practices listed below.
Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Design
It's important to have a website that's accessible on mobile platforms, also called "responsive design." A responsive website is a website is one that will resize itself appropriately to the screen size of the device your visitor is using to view your website, scaling the content up or down to match the screen.
Essentially, responsive design makes sure that your website looks and works just as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer. If your website isn’t responsive, visitors on smaller devices may need to zoom or scroll to view your pages — and that can quickly get frustrating.
Wondering why this type of design is so important? The number of people using mobile devices to access the Internet continues to rise, and this trend shows no signs or signals of slowing anytime soon. If your website is not responsive, you're losing traffic — and potential patients — to your competitors.
Powerful Visual Content
Use powerful graphics, images, and videos to break up content-heavy pages. Avoid common stock images when possible. Using high quality photographs of your office, staff, or glasses options will help set more realistic expectations in advance, and keep your design from looking cheap.
Even if you take a walk around your office with a camera, those photos can become powerful, captivating visuals that help familiarize potential patients with your office, possibly even making them more comfortable. In general, you want your patients to feel comfortable in your office, so why not start with smart optometry website design?
You've heard the phrase “less is more,” and that also applies to web design — including optomestrist website design. A website’s design should be relatively clean and minimal.
The more complicated the design elements are, the more likely your visitors are going to be distracted or confused by the design. This ultimately takes their attention off of the content of your site, and makes the path they need to take to become a patient more confusing.
Informative, Detailed Information
Less might be more with design elements, but that is not the case with content on your site. Consider why users visit your website in the first place. It’s usually because they are seeking information.
Make sure you give your visitors with the details they are looking fo r— otherwise they will go elsewhere. dProvide them with detailed information about what they can expect during an appointment, why it's important to have annual eye exams, conditions that affect your vision, the doctors in the practice, and so on.
Forget About the Fold
You might have heard designers talking about placing elements "above the fold" in years gone by. The fold is the imaginary line that separates the top of the website, which you see immediately upon entering, from the bottom of the page.
In the past, it was a big deal to make sure important elements were above the fold. However, now that screen sizes vary so much, this imaginary line has lost much of its importance. You no longer have to be held prisoner by the fold, because users know how to scroll and they aren't afraid to do so!
Usability is a big factor in website design for any industry, and optometry is no exception. To ensure you have the best optometrist website design possible, you should really be considering your site’s usability throughout the entire website design process.
This includes making sure certain elements of the design are consistent throughout all of the pages on the site such as navigation. Make sure your navigational options stay the same on all pages, and that you use a consistent color scheme on all of your buttons, links, and text.
A relatively simple way to test out usability is to request friends and family test out your site and provide you with honest feedback. Ask individuals of various demographics to locate key pages on the site, and perform important actions such as completing the contact us form or scheduling an appointment.
Include Clear Calls to Action
Last but certainly not least, make sure every page on the website has a clearly defined purpose and call to action for the next step in the process, and that you understand what this next step you'd like a visitor to take is.
The next step isn't always going to be to schedule an appointment. While it would be nice if each page inspired a user to contact you, this won’t always happen. The next step might actually be a page to learn more about your doctors or how to prepare for an eye exam.
Whatever the next step is, make sure you provide the user a clear call to action that allows them to easily take this desired step without digging through menus or links to do it.
Does Your Optometry Website Design Need An Update?
If you’re reading these best practices and realizing that your optometry website is out of date, we can help. WebpageFX has a team of talented designers and developers who will ensure you get the best optometrist website design possible.
Contact one of our web strategists today to find out how we can design a website for your practice that attracts new patients, informs visitors, and drives conversions in the form of new appointments. We’ll be happy to show you our portfolio of web design work, and put together a custom design package just for you.
Ready to find out how a website by WebpageFX can help grow your practice? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online to speak directly to one of our web design experts.