A website that’s behind the times is hurting your business.
As specialists in the industry we are seeing a lot of clients working with websites that are 4–5 years old. What was once cutting edge and trendy may now be out of date.
Research has shown that over 80% of professional service buyers check out an organisations website during the business development process. And more than 20% of buyers referred to a firm rule out that firm based on an unimpressive website.
The lesson is clear: A website that’s behind the times is hurting your business.
We’ve examined a wide range of websites, from smaller clinics with highly focused areas of expertise, to large clincis and service offerings a mile wide. We see some common design trends among the most effective websites that may be worth adopting.
We understand the importance of photography when it comes to showcasing visuals. As we head into 2018, we see something more. We are seeing the consistent move away from stock imagery or uninhabited project photography to more contextual storytelling imagery.
There is greater appreciation for the importance of showing these projects in relation to the audience they hope to attract.
Now take images a step further. Whether its a simple photo montage with annotations, video footage, or sophisticated 4D animations, videos are a growing and important media to include throughout a website.
In prior years, the trend had been to create service or team-related video elements. This year, we expect to see the broader adoption of video as a standard way to tell a more compelling story and increase visibility by connection to external channels like YouTube (officially the second most popular search engine).
Whether it’s a community enjoying a beautifully designed space or a project team working together on site, imagery and video needs to be more clearly connected to overall content and messages. Although this requires an additional level of effort, it is a very powerful way to connect a story to a more real world experience.
We also see an improvement in profile and “about us” photography and video content. More polished environmental photography and footage is showing a Medical team in the context of their workspace and often with other members of their team. This tells a story that goes beyond a resume or bio.
The best examples of compelling content reinforces credibility (with a polished and professional workspace), collaboration (with other team members and open workspaces) and, perhaps most importantly, a connection to their audiences. In addition, prospective clients and potential recruits are more likely to engage if they can see that the team looks like their kind of people.
This trend often goes hand in hand with trends in overall brand design, but many websites are becoming visually similar in this respect, with large dominant imagery, very light structural elements and a largely monochromatic color palette.
While this approach has benefits (including clarity and putting the focus on content), there may be opportunity to explore bolder color choices and messaging to differentiate.
We have also seen a positive move toward clearer calls to action and contact form placement, but there is still a lot of opportunity to integrate a more connected engagement model.
Basic responsive websites or, at minimum, a mobile friendly version of your website ticks the checkbox, but doesn’t make the most of the opportunity. We predict the the industry will be drawn more towards offering more mobile-specific website functionality in the form of streamlined communication, client and partner portals, and optimized educational content targeted for use in the field.