What makes a great website? This is a question anyone responsible for marketing has asked themselves. But right now, in this space between research demonstrating the value of psilocybin treatment and legalization, you have the opportunity to answer that question and act on it! You can build a powerful website that will establish your behavioral healthcare center as an expert and authority on psilocybin treatment.
While the visual appeal of your website is an important part of the user experience, there’s more to setting up a quality website than aesthetics. Every element—including layout, navigation, user interface, content, and ongoing updates—has to be taken into account as part of an overall, strategically designed plan.
And the work doesn’t stop there. To be successful your behavioral health center’s website can’t be static. Your digital strategy needs to include regular work on your website to keep the information fresh, the keywords relevant, and the backend running as well as the day you launched.
What Makes a Great Website?
We’ve put together a list of essential elements that your website should nail. If you’re missing any of these elements, or not doing them well, invest time and effort into improving them. The investment will more than pay off in the long run.
1. Cohesive Design
A good website is designed with a purpose in mind. It’s not enough anymore just to slap together a few quick pages with your location, hours, and phone number. With the majority of new patient searchers beginning online, your website is often the first time your prospective patients will interact with your behavioral healthcare center. That means that the first impression you’ll make on most of your patients is through your website.
You must ensure that your web design delivers a clear, intentional, on-brand message. The look and feel of your website—in everything from the colors and fonts to the description of services and your mission and vision statements—should be on brand and consistent with the rest of your center’s messaging and visual language.
Building trust with your prospective patients begins from the moment they first encounter your center, whether that’s online, over the phone, or walking through the front door. Consistent branding and messaging not only creates a great user experience on your website, but sets expectations for your patients and helps establish a foundation of trust.
Consistency of branding is important, but that doesn’t mean you need identical designs on every single page. Use similar themes across different pages so that visitors recognize the consistency in your content and style.
2. Mobile-Friendly Experience
To be successful and rank well on Google, your website must be designed with a “mobile-first” mindset. Last year, mobile devices accounted for 57% of page views.1 And Google now prioritizes mobile-responsive web pages over desktop pages when showing results.2
A mobile-friendly, responsive website gives your mobile users a better browsing experience and improves your rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Optimizing your website for mobile allows your prospective patients to find your behavioral health center no matter when or where they’re searching for help, removing one more barrier between them and treatment.
3. Site Security
Now more than ever, consumers take their digital safety and privacy seriously. Make sure that your website includes all the proper security protocols to protect your and your visitor’s data, and implement routine checks to ensure these protocols are functioning properly. Best practices for data security and privacy continue to evolve, and you need to be sure that your website stays in compliance.
And don’t forget to add the required legal language and permission requests!
4. User-Experience Focused
If your prospective patients find navigating your website difficult, you’ve got a problem.
A good website is easy to explore, and an intuitive design assists users in finding precisely what they’re looking for. If visitors to your website are confused by your layout or have trouble finding your contact details, hours of operation, and other important information, they’re not likely to stay on your site long enough to convert—let alone trust your team to be an authoritative resource for an emerging field of treatment like psychedelic therapy.
You may be tempted to add dynamic features that are flashy and eye-catching, but they won’t serve you well if your potential patients click away because they don’t understand what’s happening on their screen.
5. Engaging Content
Many website owners think stringing together a few sentences and stuffing them with keyword phrases is enough. While integrating keywords is necessary for your SEO strategy, your website content must, first and foremost, provide value to your audience. Your content must also be easy to read and understand.
Google’s PageRank algorithm has evolved far beyond keyword stuffing. The algorithm can now detect intent, quality, and relevance. So start creating content that matters!
Quality content not only helps you rank higher on Google, it builds your subject matter authority with your prospective patients. Spend some time thinking about the questions you would expect to get from patients about a new category of services—the difference between different treatment modalities, how psilocybin therapy works, the logistics of a psychedelic treatment session—and create content that answers those questions.
If you’re tempted to overlook this aspect of your website design, don’t! No matter how beautiful your website is, if the loading time is more than a handful of seconds, you’ll quickly lose your audience.3
7. Regularly Refreshes
Your behavioral healthcare center’s website won’t meet your goals if you only update a few details or begrudgingly throw up a blog article once every few months. To remain in Google’s good graces, and at the top of the search results, regularly add new content and update existing material to keep your rank high and attract new visitors to your site.
Google uses a crawler to index pages for search. If the crawler hasn’t indexed your page, it won’t appear in search results. Period.
Make your web links crawlable by using the right tags and linking to the correct web addresses.4 Nothing ruins a good SEO strategy faster than a typo in a url!
9. Optimized for Conversion
This is the ultimate goal of every website, right? To inspire visitors to your website to “convert” by completing a defined call-to-action. It’s the reason for your website in the first place when it comes down to it, and the function most crucial to delivering a strong ROI on your digital marketing spend.
But did you know that making an excellent first impression on a first-time visitor only takes about 0.5 seconds?5 That’s not a long time—and it means the content on your website needs to be immediately actionable so users can quickly take a step towards converting before.
A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression.
These tips, while helpful, just scratch the surface of what goes into creating and maintaining a successful website. And when you’re adding in a whole new set of services, such as psilocybin and other psychedelic therapies, there’s a lot of components to consider.
If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your behavioral health center’s website to increase conversions and reach your ideal prospective patients, our strategy team would love to hear from you.
Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session today.
For a list of references, please contact us.