Web Design and Marketing: How to Build a Dermatology Website that Ranks
Here are some fundamental steps to build a website that will start ranking from the start and will effectively compete with your competitors. These practices are essential for dermatologists trying to establish a new practice or make their existing clinic even more successful.
We all know the importance of a website for any business. Attracting and engaging with potential patients online is almost impossible without a website.
In this digital age, any new dermatology practice trying to make a name for itself must have a professional website, even if you only serve local patients.
The website of your dermatology practice should be the one-stop shop for all the information you want to share with your patients and a meaningful way to engage them.
3 Reasons Why you Need a Professional Dermatology Website
When building your dermatology practice website, consumers, search engines, and digital marketing best practices are the three main factors to consider.
Your website must be user-friendly and SEO-optimized if you want to start ranking on search engines. On the other hand, you also need to use different marketing activities to promote your business and let more people hear about you.
Does Every Medical Practice Need a Website?
Lets Patients Know you Exist
Today’s digital patients use their phones to find anything they want. So if someone in your area wants to see a dermatologist, they will type something like “dermatologist near me.” If you don’t have a Google Listing and a website, they will not have the chance to consider your clinic as a suitable option.
A professional website increases the credibility of your dermatology practice. In most cases, other dermatologists in the area will offer services similar to yours. An attractive, professional website is the best way to stand out from the competition and build a solid online presence.
Improves Patient Experience
A few decades ago, medical practices received calls from prospective or existing customers to find the most basic information, such as the address or hours of operation. In many cases, there were so many phone calls that the staff could not answer all calls, leaving customers unhappy and going elsewhere.
A well-designed website can help you boost the patient experience by offering helpful information about your practice.
The ideal website captures your brand voice, who you are, what you do, and why you are doing it.
However, you will also need to define your target audience and customer personas to convey the right message to your audience. Learn more about customer personas and the job-to-be-done framework in the resource below.
What Is Website Marketing?
Web Design Marketing is defined as the combination of building a functional and SEO-friendly website and its strategic promotion to drive relevant traffic (people who may be interested in your services) and convert them to new customers.
The main goal of web design marketing is to get more visits and potential customers by implementing a mix of top-performing marketing strategies for your dermatology website.
More than 50% of traffic comes from websites that appear in the first three organic search engine results pages (including Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and Bing), whereas just about 5% of traffic comes from the sixth ranking page1.
Methods to Build a Functional Website that Users and Search Engines will Love
At first glance, search engine optimization (SEO) and web design seem pretty different topics.
SEO is primarily about getting people to your site by making sure your site shows up in the search for given queries.
Web design and usability refer to people’s behavior after they come to your site to increase conversions.
Basically, SEO happens before the first click, and usability takes over from there. Both methods must be efficient for a site to be successful. Having great SEO but poor web design means your website will get a lot of traffic, but visitors will not stay on your site and convert into patients. On the other hand, a website with great functionality but poor SEO will not attract many visitors.
So how can you leverage these two topics that seem entirely different?
Although these web development recommendations may seem too technical, you must address them with the company or web developer that will build your website.
You don’t need to understand everything we are describing; however, bringing it up will make the agency or web developer think twice about delivering a mediocre website without the proper technical requirements in place.
Web Design and Development Fundamentals to Create a website that Ranks on Search Engines
- Choose a suitable domain name
- Optimize your website for the name of your city or region
- Invest in a good website builder
- Purchase an SSL certificate for your website
- Build a mobile-responsive website
- Include an XML sitemap on your dermatology website
- Use a clear URL structure for your website
- Include the site navigation on all your pages
- Feature your social media channels on your website
- Building Expertise, Authority, and Trust (Google E-A-T) on your website
1. Choose a suitable domain name
a) Choose a unique domain name
Keep your domain name simple, unique, and recognizable. Make it simple to spell, pronounce and remember.
b) Include a keyword in your domain name
Only include a keyword if it makes your domain name more intuitive. Don’t make it too keyword-rich because it will look spammy.
Good example: sandiegodermatology.com
Bad example: childrensnationaldermatologyclinicinsandiego.com
c) Skip using hyphens in your domain name
Domain names with hyphens are usually associated with spam websites (early spammers employed this strategy to deceive search engines).
Good example: sandiegodermatology.com
Bad example: children-national-dermatology-clinic-in-san-diego.com
d) Choose .com domain name extensions
Most marketers recommend always going with the .com domain name; other domain name extensions (like .clinic, .services, .md, or .surgery, can make your practice appear less trustworthy)
The most memorable domain names are .com.
Also, if you may need to translate your website into another language in the future, using a .com domain is internationally more acceptable and recognizable.
www.sandiegodermatology.com/es → for Spanish
e) Buy a domain name
Be aware that you need to pay a fee for your domain and for a company to host your website.
Read more: Digital Advertising Guide for Dermatologist
2. Optimize Your Website for the Name of Your Area
a) Choose a descriptive name for your clinic
Give your clinic a name that is descriptive, easy to remember, and tied to your geographical location to take advantage of local SEO.
When searching for a dermatology clinic, many people will google “Dermatologist San Diego” or “Dermatology Clinic in Pacific Beach.”
You will be ahead of the game if you decide to name your clinic a term that people actually search for.
For example: San Diego Dermatology Clinic
3. Invest in a Good Website Builder or Content Management System (CMS)
There are many very easy-to-use website builders. However, many are too simple to consider SEO and everything this involves.
WordPress is the most popular website builder because it is relatively easy to use, and the functionality, integrations, and plugins are endless. If you decide to use WordPress, get an SEO plugin such as WP Meta SEO or Yoast.
Essential SEO elements that need to be followed when creating a website:
- Meta titles and meta description
Be aware that you need to pay for a WordPress theme, a group of graphics, style sheets, and code that dictates the overall appearance of your website. Themes control your site’s layout, appearance, and colors.
Good example: sandiegodermatology.com
Bad example: childrensnationaldermatologyclinicinsandiego.com
4. Purchase an SSL Certificate to Secure your Website
The HTTP protocol transfers information between the client and the server as plain text, which can be easily hacked. For example, someone could access your patients’ credit card information or their log-in data.
HTTPS (or HTTP Secure) adds a layer of encryption to the communication. The information exchanged between the browser, and the server is encrypted, so if someone intercepts the communication, they cannot decipher the information.
Even if your website doesn’t collect sensitive customer data, it is still necessary to use purchase an SSL certificate. Google insists on it, so if you do not have one, web visitors will receive a warning that your site is not secure. Visitors who see this warning are much less likely to enter your website.
Be aware that you need to renew your SSL certificate every year
5. Build a Mobile-responsive Website
Mobile responsiveness is essential to rank on Google. Besides, most of your users will reach your website via mobile, so you should provide them with a good customer experience.
6. Include an XML Sitemap on your Website
An XML sitemap is a file that lists your website’s essential pages, making sure search engines can find and crawl them. It helps them understand your website structure.
7. Use a Clear URL Structure that Helps Users and Search Engines Understand your Website
The URL structure you choose for your website must be clear and descriptive so that users and search engines can easily understand it.
Use short, simple, and descriptive words and a hyphen to separate words.
Avoid using numbers, special characters, and symbols.
Good example: www.sandiegodermatology.com/services/mohs-surgery/
Bad example: www.sandiegodermatology.com/s123/&_1/75/
8. Include the Site Navigation in all Your Pages for Easy Navigation
Your site navigation (website menu) must be clear, intuitive, and visible on all pages so that users can read more about your clinic and the services you offer, or they can quickly contact you.
9. Feature your Social Media Channels on your Website
Remember to feature your social media channels on your website. This allows users to follow you on social media and interact with your brand.
10. Building Expertise, Authority, and Trust (Google E-A-T) on your website
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This term became well-known after the so-called “Medic Update” in August 2018, which had a huge effect on content related to health, medical, financial, and legal advice.
SEO (search engine optimization) is about giving search engines what they need to find you and proving that you command authority and trust.
There are several ways to prove your site’s E-A-T.
a) Create an author profile of the people who write content. Include a biography, education, qualifications, awards, recognitions, and testimonials of others about the knowledge and expertise of the author behind the site. Link to whitepapers, published journals, and profiles on other sites such as AAD, Web MD, LinkedIn, Google Scholar, etc.
b) Ensure you have only high-quality content on your website. Ensure that each piece of content includes an author and, if possible, a reviewer. Link to their author pages from each article. Ensure that your content is original and that the author is an expert on the topic they are writing about.
c) Create new content and update your existing articles frequently. Search engines should be able to know that you have up-to-date information for your visitors. When you edit a current page or create a new article, submit it to Google for indexing.
d) Display customer reviews on your website. Improve the trust of your page by including clear and helpful contact information and customer service pages that can be easily navigated.
e) Use citations and links to original sources. If you want to include statistics in your content, make sure you link to the source; if you talk about a research paper or a study, always link to the source.
Pages to Include in your Dermatology Website
To attract new patients to your dermatology practice, you must ensure that your website is aesthetic, informative, fast, user-friendly, and mobile-responsive, as 60% of all internet searches come from mobile devices2.
Sections to Include in the Website for your Dermatology Clinic
- Homepage: Your homepage is perhaps the most important page of your dermatologist website; it should include your value proposition and unique selling points. Read more about drafting a value proposition for your dermatology clinic.
- Services: You should include the different services you want to offer
- About: This section discusses who you are and why you are a physician. It also talks about your clinic and your staff.
- FAQ: These are the most frequently asked questions your patients repeatedly ask. For example, if you accept health insurance, how does a telemedicine visit work, is it reimbursed, etc.
- Contact: The contact details of your clinic are listed on this page, including name, address, phone number, email address, and a contact form for patients to reach out. You can also allow patients to book an appointment on the website.
- Blog: Your blog is a very important part of your inbound marketing strategy; this is the section that will bring more traffic and potential leads to your clinic.
Inspiration for Web Design
We have gathered three examples of healthcare websites for inspiration.
What we like about these healthcare websites:
- Modern design
- Clear call-to-action buttons
- Have the capability to book physical and telemedicine appointments directly on the website (fitwise)
- Well-written blog articles (lifecare)
Converting Website Visitors into Patients
After attracting new potential patients to your dermatology clinic’s website with your SEO Strategy and PPC ads, it is important to ensure you can deliver care to all these patients in a timely and cost-efficient way. That is where Miiskin PRO comes in very handy.
Miiskin PRO is a patient engagement solution for dermatologists that helps you deliver care to more patients by automating patient-facing processes such as patient intake, payments, and prescription renewals.
Besides helping you improve the patient experience, the Miiskin website widget is also a great way to attract more patients to your clinic.
Once your patients are on your website, they will see the Miiskin widget, download the free Miiskin app, connect to your clinic and request a consultation.
After reviewing the case, you can deliver treatment virtually, renew their prescription or schedule a follow-up appointment.
Miiskin PRO makes it easy to turn website visitors into patients. The best thing is that in most U.S. states, store-and-forward teledermatology is reimbursable at a comparable rate to face-to-face consultations.
In a nutshell, creating an effective, engaging website for your practice and keeping it updated with valuable content is the surefire way to bring more patients through your doors and position yourself as the leader in your area of interest.
These steps will ensure your website has a solid base to start ranking on search engines.
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