Having a polished and engaging website is a must-have for all industries today, and healthcare marketing is no exception. In many cases, a website is your online face and the first interaction people will have will have service, product or brand.

It’s critically important to present your company or organization as forward-thinking and efficient, and one of the ways to do that is to provide the best experience possible for consumers, providers and patients.

Here are some top tips to help you build a website that drives better engagement and interaction.

Start With The Name

Make sure your company or brand name is clearly visible as soon as the web page loads so that visitors immediately recognize it. The design of the website should complement your company logo and the message you’re sending to visitors should be clear as soon as visitors view the site. The importance of branding and messaging is the direct traffic it drives. Instead of searching for other pharmaceutical companies, users type your brand directly into the browsers.

Make it Responsive

With more users browsing the internet from tablets and phones instead of desktop, mobility has taken over as a primary source of traffic. Users are accessing the web from many sources these days, and you need to make sure your website is optimized for viewing on each device.

Creating a responsive website ensures that your design responds to mobile viewers. If you aren’t responsive yet, you’re cutting 50% of your potential leads from viewing your site properly. On top of that, Google’s recent algorithm update rewards responsive and adaptive websites with higher rankings, and will not show search results for websites that aren’t compatible with multiple devices.

Don’t Make People Wait

Your website isn’t a waiting room in the doctor’s office. With healthcare more so than other industries, efficiency rules. You want to assure visitors that your brand equals top-of-the-line products, services and care. Make sure your website is running at top speed to show users that you are ahead of the pack and have their best interests in mind. Load times of even 2 to 3 seconds can have users reaching for the back button.

Use Colors That Inspire

Color influences moods and emotions. On a subconscious level, color also communicates your brand’s personality and culture.  Make sure the website’s color scheme presents your company or practice the way you intend. Ideally, you will strive for a color palette that is soothing and inviting so that visitors find reassurance and validation to their healthcare choices and options. How you use color is just as important as the colors you choose. Make sure site navigation, calls to action, and other task-related elements are intuitive and easy to find.

Inform and Educate

More pharmaceutical companies continue to embrace the power of content marketing today. It’s not just consumers looking for information. It’s patients, health care providers, and people looking for advice and reassurance about medical products and healthcare choices. Make sure your healthcare website is set up to engage visitors with helpful and educational content. You’ll be rewarded with a successful website that will give you more qualified and targeted leads.

Let It Scroll

Before mobile and tablet devices took over the web, everything on a website appeared above the fold. Nowadays, users are much more comfortable scrolling rather than clicking through page after page. While you still want to keep important messaging and CTAs higher up on the page, shocking people with too much information at once is not the way to achieve success with your website. Exceptional experiences are all about letting visitors discover and unfold your story.

That being said, if visitors have no compelling reason to scroll, they may not see the rest of your page. Include a compelling message to encourage interaction and pull people deeper into your site.

Organization is Key

A confusing web layout and navigation system is the way to lead users to exhaustion and mistrust. Your site needs clear navigation and intuitive design with messaging that speaks directly to visitors’ goals, challenges and needs. Once you figure out what the main message and call to action are, make those attributes eye-catching and obviously differentiated from others. These are just some of the factors that play into great user experiences. You’ll want to A/B test placement, colors, and sizing of high priority elements until you find the combination that clicks.

Get Found Online

When determining your site structure, it pays to keep search engine optimization in mind. While there’s certainly more to SEO than what’s on your website, it starts with a strong foundation during the build. Include location-based keywords in your title and heading tags, meta description, page URL, and the first and last paragraphs of each page. Target one keyword per page so that search engines can clearly understand what you want to rank for.

Engage in Social

Even with regulatory issues, it’s a mistake to avoid social networks. Social media is a powerful way to build your brand, engage with target audiences, and discover their needs and goals. You can avoid any compliance risk by staying away from controversial topics and positioning your organization as a thought leader leader in the space. Share content that offers you unique insight about information from publications and official sources, and include case studies so that potential customers can see the success that others have experienced with your products. Relevant, quality and frequent sharing of original content will help you grow a substantial following and drive traffic to your website.

Co-brand each portal

Many pharmaceutical brands need to appeal to consumers and healthcare providers. Make sure that both portals are co-branded and provide unique experiences for these different target markets. Providers will be more interested in clinical data and fact regarding prescribing, side effects, and so on. Make sure you present this information as clearly and concisely as possible. Consumers, on the other hand, will want a more personalized experience that uses strong visuals and imagery to help them easily digest information. Ensure that the consumer website answers any questions visitory may have in a friendly and inviting way.

Putting your Pharmaceutical Website Design Into Action

By utilizing these tips, you will be well on your way to putting your best face first in the world of web, increasing your communication with your target community.  This checklist is just a few web design topics you should cover with your designer. Web design should never be ignored, especially when pharmaceutical companies continue to gain more brand awareness and search engine traffic.