Plastic surgeons are one of the few groups of professionals who can, nearly across the board, afford to have an awesome website for their business. So while we’ve all seen sub-standard, FrontPage-crafted sites for mom and pop shops, B&Bs, and other family establishments, there’s no excuse for plastic surgeons.
Here are five features that are essential for a great plastic surgery website, using Dr. Philip Miller (rhinoplasty Manhattan New York) and his excellent website as an example. Follow along on his first-class site as we go through the list.
5 – Clean presentation – One of the telling factors of substandard web design is an ugly presentation, whether that comes in the form of homemade graphics or really bad fonts (Comic Sans, anyone?). But for a surgeon, cleanliness is especially essential; after all, if customers are going to give a surgeon thousands of dollars and trust their body to them, shouldn’t they give off a polished, professional vibe?
4 – Crystal-clear navigation – Because just about every plastic surgeon on the planet has a website, it’s a popular research tool. Site visitors are notoriously fickle anyway, but if they’re looking at a hundred surgeons, they aren’t going to waste their time trying to find information on a poorly laid out site. They’ll click away, and take their business with them.
3 – Lots of information, laid out properly – Information is important when making a plastic surgery decision, but the layout is just as important. Ideally, customers should be able to find all the major bits of information about a business (Meet the Doctor, Contact, etc) and also about a specific procedure. Within those pages, it’s also a good idea to have sub-pages, for the people who really want to know all the details (and see all the photos). Just don’t bore every customer with this information, or try to fit it onto too few pages.
2 – Not just a contact form but contact OPTIONS – Yes, we realise spam is a problem, but as a result too many businesses rely on one method of communication for their potential customers. For surgeons this can be the kiss of death, again because the competition is so fierce. Potential clients should have easy access to office email/contact forms, at least one working phone number – an emergency number is also recommended – and the full address of the business (preferably with driving directions or a map).
1 – Doctor philosophy – Most surgeons’ websites take time to provide vast lists of education, experience and accreditation; what many are lacking is a personal look at the doctor. Bios should be in written paragraphs – not just lists – and include plenty of personal bits about why the doctor pursued his/her profession, what his/her specialty is, etc. A personal touch in medicine isn’t a bad thing! Dentist Dr. Joe Armel’s biography is an appropriate example of this.
Whether or not all doctors choose to be as casual as Dr. Armel, they should heed his example and try to personalise their services a little bit; after all, for your average patient, all those “board-certified by this” and “residencies in that” all run together after a while. That information may be important too, but not nearly as important as trusting the person who will be in charge of your life on the operating table.