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5 Questions to Ask a Potential Practice Website Vendor

Posted By Drew McGray, Monday, August 1, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

As healthcare continues to be transformed by technology; refreshing or completely re-architecting your practice's website might be on your radar. Unless you have an in-house marketing team, you will probably be outsourcing your website design and production to a third party. How do you know who is going to deliver the most return on your investment? Here are five question to ask any potential vendor.

1.) Have you done this before?A provider that has experience in producing web properties for small business is probably a good fit. However, you want to be sure you are not their "guinea pig" and that they have experience in crafting websites that mesh well with your practice.

2.) What tools will be included for my patients? You want your website to be able to meet several objectives in order to make it relevant to your patient base. These objectives are:

  • Communicate information about your services offered and who you are.
  • Secure your practice's contact information, generate driving directions and provide hours of operation.
  • Allow people to contact your front office easily via web form.

Optionally you can give patients the ability to:

  • Book appointments online
  • Confirm appointments online
  • Cancel appointments online
  • Order supplements from your website

There are numerous companies that provide these optional tools that will transform your website from an information-only page to an interactive website.

3.) I have a change. How do I go about making edits? You don't want to have to call your web designer to make edits to your site and you want the ability to update information instantly. For this reason, its important you select a provider who can implement a Content Management System as opposed to simply building you practice a website. A CMS allows you to edit various parts of your website without having to know any code or programming language. It's basically as simple as editing a Word document and pushing "publish." In the case of CMS, simple is best. Ask your perspective web designer to demo a few systems for you.

4.) Can you work with my budget? A lot pricing in the website production industry is arbitrary. I recommend you be upfront with your website budget and have the provider quote products and services in that budget. Reject any supplementary marketing services they may offer (SEO / SEM) and focus on building a great web property.

5.) What sort of user engagement can I expect from the site?If your potential provider even flinches at this question, drop them. A good website developer knows that the focus of any website is on the visitor. They should answer this question with lots of good information related to engagement, conversion and functionality. If they do, they are probably worthy of further consideration.

Providers to consider:

Questions? Want us to help you? Our member-services team will be glad to provide you with a referral or review a proposal. Send to membership@acam.org

Tags:  member benefit  practice marketing 

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