Healthcare website mistakes that turn off prospective patients

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Most people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find out about a doctor, dentist, or medical care.1 You’re mistaken if you don’t think the quality of your healthcare website matters to them.

Nearly half of patients (43.6 percent) say a medical website helps form their opinion of a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider. Even further, 38.4 percent of patients cite the practice website as a contributing factor in their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider.

Five common mistakes can turn prospective patients away from your medical practice website. These issues include a slow load speed, an outdated and unresponsive design, scarce and unhelpful content, no patient reviews, and a lack of online scheduling.

This guide is designed to help you identify and correct errors with your healthcare website that are keeping prospective patients from scheduling an appointment. Read on for more.

The most common healthcare website mistakes

1. The website does not load quickly

Patients access your healthcare website on both desktop and mobile devices, so it’s important to ensure the load speed is fast across the board. Desktop pages load in an average of 4.7 seconds.2 Mobile webpages tend to take a bit longer to load, at an average of 15 seconds.3 This isn’t great, considering 53 percent of mobile visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Digging a bit deeper, a Google study revealed data linking mobile page load speeds to bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a site after viewing only one page). Here’s a look at the probability of bounce related to load times:


  • One-to-three seconds: 32 percent 
  • One-to-five seconds: 90 percent 
  • One-to-six seconds: 106 percent
  • One-to-10 seconds: 123 percent4

In today’s highly connected world, patients seek instant gratification. If your practice website loads slowly, prospective patients probably won’t stick around.

Additionally, Google places such a high importance on page speed that it’s been a ranking factor for mobile searches since July 2018 and desktop searches since 2010.5 Therefore, if your medical website loads slowly, you might rank lower in search results — in addition to turning away prospective patients.

2. The site design is outdated and unresponsive

When prospective patients visit your healthcare website, they expect it to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. In fact, when pressed for time, 59 percent of people would choose to browse a beautifully designed website over one that’s plain and simple.6

If your medical website design fails to impress, prospective patients will likely move on to your competitors. For example …

38 percent of people will stop engaging with a website if its content is unattractive in its layout or imagery.7

Your website is a reflection of your practice. If prospective patients feel it’s stuck in the past, they’ll probably wonder if other aspects of your practice are outdated.

Beyond design aesthetic, having a modern website also means ensuring people visiting from different devices have the same outstanding user experience. This is achieved by making your healthcare website responsive.

A responsive website automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of the device it’s viewed on. This ensures it will function perfectly for people viewing your site on any device — i.e. laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Since mobile devices have become a prominent way to browse the internet, the importance of having a responsive website cannot be emphasized enough. For example, as of the second quarter of 2019, nearly half of global website traffic (48.91 percent) comes from mobile devices.8 This isn’t surprising since 81 percent of U.S. adults owned a smartphone as of February 2019.9

3. Website content is scarce and unhelpful

Prospective patients visit your medical website to learn more about your practice. If it doesn’t contain the information needed, they won’t make an appointment — it’s that simple.

Prospective patients commonly seek details about the practice itself — hours and address, accepted insurances, what sets the practice apart, and biographies of healthcare providers — as well as services provided.

Nearly two-thirds of people (64 percent) want to see contact information on a company website homepage.10

Additionally, 52 percent want a homepage to include information about the business. People feel so strongly about these features that 46 percent would leave a website that lacked a message and 44 percent would leave due to scarce contact information.

Clearly, failing to share key information will turn prospective patients away. Your website should sell your practice to patients, not keep them in the dark.

Of course, patients ultimately visit your healthcare website to learn about the services provided. Since this is the main attraction, you need to have individual webpages for each service.

Creating a dedicated page for each service offered allows you to provide an in-depth explanation of its importance and your process. This sells your practice by giving prospective patients a preview of what it’s like to be under your care.

Individual service pages also boost your rank in search engines. This is because search engines rank individual pages, not domains, so breaking pages down into separate service offerings will allow your practice to rank for each one.

Making it easier for prospective patients to find your medical practice website will get more people in the door, so this is worth the time and effort.

4. The site does not feature patient reviews

Patients have their choice of doctors, so they want to feel confident they’re choosing the right one. Featuring patient reviews on your healthcare website makes people feel confident that they’ll be in good hands at your practice.

This can be seriously valuable, as 54.6 percent of patients say online reviews from other patients help form their opinion of a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider.11

The more informed prospective patients are, the more likely they are to choose your practice. For example …

59 percent of patients say online reviews from other patients contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider.

Of course, prospective patients seek providers with an outstanding reputation. Most people (69.9 percent) consider positive patient reviews and a strong star rating to be very or extremely important when choosing a doctor or dentist.

In fact, 78 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The fact that more than three-quarters of people trust online reviews from patients as much as recommendations from people they actually know is telling.

Clearly, the importance of including patient reviews on your website cannot be emphasized enough. When choosing a healthcare provider, prospective patients consider reviews a valuable tool. If you don’t feature reviews prominently on your healthcare website, prospective patients might assume your practice isn’t up to their standards.

5. The website does not include online scheduling

Online scheduling is quickly rising in popularity. If your medical website design doesn’t include this feature, it’s time for an upgrade.

For example …

... as of 2019, 68 percent of patients were more likely to choose a provider who offers the ability to book, change, or cancel appointments online.13

This marks a 10 percent increase from the 58 percent of patients who expected this feature in 2016.

Despite the huge demand for online scheduling, patients aren’t necessarily getting what they want. Half of people are still picking up the phone to make appointments with providers.14 Most aren’t doing this by choice, as nearly 70 percent said they would choose to book online if the option was available.

More than any other type of appointment, people want to schedule doctor’s appointments online. Online booking is more convenient for people, as 56.1 percent are frustrated by waiting on hold and the inconvenient office hours related to scheduling appointments by phone.

The demand for online scheduling is undeniable. Including this feature on your healthcare website will give your practice a competitive advantage that entices prospective patients to make an appointment.

Upgrade your healthcare website to attract more prospective patients


A high-performance, high-value healthcare website is necessary to attract new patients and encourage them to request appointments. If your practice website is outdated, you’re missing out on new business.

Modern patients want a practice that meets their needs — and that starts with a website that engages, informs, and enhances the patient experience. Taking the time to upgrade your site is an investment you won’t regret.

If your practice is ready for a new medical website, PatientPop has it covered. Learn more about our all-in-one solution, which includes the creation of a new website for healthcare practices, by visiting

Download the free whitepaper

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Healthcare website mistakes that turn off prospective patients