As a pharmacy consultant I am able to talk with many pharmacy owners. One topic that always comes up is how to increase their pharmacies digital footprint online. This starts with a trustworthy pharmacy website design, pharmacy software, pharmacy consulting and should be followed up with a custom pharmacy mobile app. We tell our clients to avoid pharmacy website template and we explain why in this blog post.
In this article we will look at how successful pharmacies use their pharmacy website design to reach new patients and keep existing patients. We will also explore the difference between a pharmacy website and a custom pharmacy website. As well as why your pharmacies website should focus on your pharmacy services and how patients and prescribers view your pharmacy website.
How a patient views your pharmacy website
A patient is going to view your pharmacy website a few different ways. Often the patient is trying to find out more about your pharmacy they will check out the website. Maybe they drive by your pharmacy everyday on their way to work and saw your flu shot sign. They will look you up on Google and verify if your pharmacy is worth their business. Is the website modern? Can I trust them with my prescriptions, credit card information and personal health information?
A website is often the first impression a patient will have with the pharmacy. It takes less than a second for a patient to make the decision to stay or leave your website. That is why having a trustworthy, custom and updated website is so important. Long gone are the days of template and text based websites. Your pharmacy website needs to stand out from the others, and honestly it’s not that hard. Most pharmacy websites are of poor design, unsafe or templated.
If your pharmacy does have an older pharmacy website then consider updating now. If the pharmacy is in a competitive market, your website should be one of your top priorities. Today websites are all about content, pictures, videos and SEO (search engine optimization). Your website should reflect all of these. Everyone is online now and searching for the best deal. Pharmacies are not an exception. Everyday more and more online pharmacies are being created shrinking the market for brick and mortar pharmacies who don’t fully take advantage of online marketing and SEO.
Pharmacy SEO and content is king
Does your pharmacy offer services such as compounding or free delivery? If so do you show up in a Google search when someone types in “Fresno free prescription delivery”? SEO and keyword optimization is something 90% of pharmacy websites do not have. Why? Because it’s difficult and usually requres an SEO expert. There is a lot of competition for certain keywords such as “compounding” or “pharmacy”. If your pharmacy website was designed 5+ years ago you aren’t going to be in the top results.
SEO for websites is a growing and competitive field. That is why we recommend that whoever your pharmacy website designer is – they include at least basic SEO when designing your website. Later you or a designer can optimize more advanced SEO with keyword planning or blog posts like this one.
Types of SEO
Paid SEO: Another consideration is Google AdWords if you want rank at the top in less than a day. With Google AdWords you can set a budget and show up at the top of searches. For example: Set a budget for $35/day for the keyword: “compounding Pittsburgh”. A patient will see your website link on the top after a Google search. Once the link has been clicked a certain amount of times your budget will be reached and your link will not display the rest of the day.
Organic SEO: Oranic SEO refers to the methods used to obtain a high placement (or ranking) on a search engine results page in the unpaid section. This is highly desiered and very difficult to achieve. However it can be achieved through highly valuable content, blog posts, and more. That is why we suggest listing services like compounding and vaccinations on your website. These are subjects that most pharmacy owners and knowledgeable about and can often provide valuable content about on their website. Google encourages valuable content for readers and this helps with organic SEO a lot!
List your pharmacy services on your website
Not only should you list your services for SEO reasons but also because most patients don’t know the pharmacy does more than just fill prescriptions. Listing ALL your pharmacy services on your website is key to growing your pharmacy. When listing pharmacy services explain the benefit and why the pharmacy offers the service.
Be sure your patients know all of the services the pharmacy offers, not just on the website but in store as well. In-store signage is great for this type of message. Marketing your services should be your focus everywhere, not just on your pharmacy website. Creating a marketing plan that focuses on your service is key to growing any pharmacy.We encourage you to view our marketing plan blog post to learn more.
Pharmacy websites aren’t just for patients, focus on the prescriber also
When working with your website designer be sure to mention prescribers as part of your target audience. Prescribers do check out local pharmacies websites. Prescribers want to be sure they are sending their patients to a trusted pharmacy.
Another great tool to offer providers is a Prescriber Portal. A Prescriber Portal is an online portal that is specifically for prescribers. A prescriber can login with their unique ID into a trusted HIPAA compliant web portal. Once authenticated – the prescriber will be see various prescription forms. Prescribers can then check which prescription or compounding formula they wish to order for a patient.
ConfigRX is the first pharmacy web design company to launch a Prescriber Portal. This is a great marketing piece for any pharmacy to stand out from the competition. If you are interested in a Prescriber Portal for your pharmacy contact us.
Avoid the pharmacy website template design services
Many pharmacy websites companies are very “cookie cutter” or templated, and should be avoided. There are a number of pharmacy web design businesses offering website design. These are sometimes IVR companies offering a copy/paste website design as an add-on product.
Pharmacy website template are limited on design options, SEO and customization. Sadly, the pharmacy world is ran by a few large web design companies that use the same template and content on all their websites. Nothing is unique and when the search engines like Google views repetitive content/verbiage those websites actually take a negative SEO hit. Search engines love custom content and can easily detect when something is taken from another website.
We recommend staying away from pharmacy website template and the large pharmacy/ivr web design companies. Often they overcharge for their template websites. Work with a designer for a custom pharmacy website design. You will end up paying less for a unique higher quality website.
Optimize for mobile
A pharmacy website should be optimized for mobile devices like phones and tablets. More users are viewing websites from their personal mobile devices rather than a desktop computer. If a website isn’t mobile friendly most users never return to your website. This is why mobile optimization is key for patients requesting refills or wanting to learn more about your pharmacy.
Another key benefit from mobile optimization is SEO. Search engines rank mobile optimized websites higher than non-optimized mobile websites. To see if your website is mobile optimized for Google check out this link directly from Google.
Get VIPPS Accredited ASAP.
VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) is an accreditation program offered through NABP. VIPPS was created because of various online illegal pharmacy websites popping up. These illegal websites are out of compliance with US pharmacy law.
We recommend registering for VIPPS. Actually VIPPS is a requirement if you plan on marketing your website through most search engines including Google. VIPPS is also a requirement for some mail order pharmacy networks. We recommend reading more about VIPPS from NABP. This will also help SEO for the pharmacy website.
If you need help with VIPPS accreditation feel free to contact us. We have helped pharmacies become VIPPS accredited.
Choose the right pharmacy web design partner
If you are ready to move forward with an SEO friendly custom pharmacy website – talk to us or fill out the form below. ConfigRX is the industry leader in pharmacy web design. We invite you to check out our portfolio with some of our work.
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