Any smart dental or medical marketer will know that you need to utilise every trick in the book to get more patients through the door. One area that is often overlooked is your website.
“What?” I hear you say.
“I’ve agonised for hours over the colour scheme and layout.”
Unfortunately, there’s a big difference between building an attractive looking website and one that actually converts. While the style and colour of your site are indeed important, it counts for nothing if you don’t follow these 8 key website design principles.
Let’s dive straight in and take a closer look…
#1 – Limiting Decisions – Following the Hick’s Law Principle
When it comes to vital web design principles, The Hick’s Law theory is one area of effective website design that you need to follow. Named after British Psychologist William Edmund Hick, he hypothesised that by increasing the number of choices a person has, any decision time is also increased.
Take a restaurant menu….
It’s often far easier to make a decision on what to eat when you only have a small amount of choice. On the contrary, if you have an extensive menu several pages long, the decision on what to choose becomes that much harder.
But what has this got to do with website design and conversion rates?
This rule can also be applied to create an effective website. In terms of web design principles consider cutting back on the number of choices a visitor has to make.
For instance, you might want to…
- Consider a full-screen welcome gate as part of your website design. A welcome gate is the first page a visitor will see and will lead to a single call to action.
- Try limiting options on your navigation bar – remember less is best!
- Limit the steps the visitor needs to take to arrive at a certain page.
In essence, the more you can limit choices, the more effective your website design will be and the better your conversion rates. That’s the theory anyway!
#2 Strategic Placing
One key area of website design is to use a tactic known as strategic placing. The idea being that the eye is automatically drawn to precise places on a page and as such, this is where you should place the most important elements of your web design. These include a
- Call to action like a ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’ button
- A contact number or
- Testimonials from previous patients.
So how do you know where those key places are?
Simply divide your website into thirds both vertically and horizontally. This should give you 9 equal squares. The four central points where your vertical and horizontal intersections meet are your key areas of impact. If you take a look at any effective website they all tend to follow this design trait. As such, it is one of the web design principles that you really should follow.
#3 – Maximise page speed
People are not very patient when it comes to surfing the world wide web. According to one study, every one-second delay in page loading results in a 7% drop in conversion rates. In terms of web design principles, it’s important to avoid problems that can slow down a page loading speed. These include:
- Un-optimised images
- Excessive use of Flash content
- Too many ads
- Bad or poor web hosting
#4 – Embrace negative spacing
All good website design should involve the use of negative spacing. Despite the name, negative space really is a positive thing in terms of web design principles and actually means empty space.
Think about it this way, without empty spacing, your site would be pretty much unreadable and unusable. It’s what divides the main elements of your page, making it far easier for visitors to scan and therefore creating a more effective website overall.
While negative spacing naturally refers to the white space between your sidebar or header and content, it also refers to the smaller spacing between paragraphs, lines of text, and even individual letters. So selecting the right typography is key. Remember a website design that is easy on the eyes is more likely to convert, providing all the other key elements are in place.
#5 – Use colour to evoke emotion
Did you know that different colour combinations can evoke different emotions and reactions? It’s true! In fact, it remains one of the key website design principles. This is why many medical websites utilise the colour blue. Why? Because it evokes calmness, professionalism, credibility, trust and focus – All things you want your ideal doctor or dentist to be.
One practical way to create a colour scheme for your brand that pops is to create a mood board on Pinterest with images that reflect your branding vision. Then upload several images to Adobe’s Colour Wheel. This cleverly creates an appropriate colour scheme that you can then use throughout your new website design.
#6 – Simplicity is Key
One of the fundamentals of any effective website design is to keep it simple and uncomplicated. We’ve already talked about limiting decisions for visitors but what about creating a clean overall design that is free from complications and clutter?
Too much ‘stuff’ crammed onto a web page makes it difficult to read and navigate. So, get rid of anything which isn’t absolutely necessary in order to create a better user experience.
#7 Adopt the 8 Second Rule
When it comes to website design, you only get a few seconds to make a good first impression – Well 8 to be exact! So when a new visitor lands on your home or site page you need to make it count.
Here are some hints and tips to improve your website design to create that attention-grabbing page…
- Utilise a large benefit-driven headline that gets right to the point
- Utilise strong, eye-catching imagery that breaks up the text.
- Make any ‘book an appointment/consultation’ buttons, large, bright, and clear
- Make copy more enticing and engaging using power words
- Incorporate multimedia such as video, audio, or infographics
- Utilise animated exit popups to re-engage visitors who temporarily lost interest.
#8 – Put a face to a name
The final website design principle we’re going to talk about – and one that isn’t any less important – is to incorporate a face or faces on your site. Not just any old faces mind – It needs to be yours and that of your team.
Because, when we can put a face to a name, we feel immediately more connected. When we feel connected, we are able to empathise and trust more. Obviously, the trust element is fundamentally important for medical professionals who need to do all they can to build that element of trust before converting a reader into a patient.
For a top tip, talk to a professional and get a good photoshoot done. More importantly, remember to smile 😊
So there you have it, 8 key website design principles that will improve conversion rates.
If you aren’t happy with your existing website, then call in the experts at Mediboost. Because we operate solely in the medical niche, we know what it takes to create inspiring medical websites that convert.
To find out more, call us for a chat on 1300 163 058.