Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Medical & Health professionals face a number of challenges in the online economy, especially when it comes to growing a successful business presence online.
Online Challenges For Medical Businesses
Today, more than ever, businesses in the health sector must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to actively participate in the community you serve, you must also develop an active web presence. This includes having an effective web presence and learning how to better promote your services online.
In addition to investing dollars advertising offline, you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to remain competitive, you will need to assign a more significant portion of your marketing budget towards the development and management of a website that attracts prospective clients, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and social media, and gives you wider marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your pages have to load fast, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change in time and some aspects will need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing well-planned web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that medical or health businesses (and other businesses) face online, is that your site has around thirty seconds or less to give users what they need or they will go away.
“Websites have evolved into central information hubs where service information is still present but enhanced with web portals, hyperlinks to state and federal sites, and a variety of free tools.”
Opportunities For Medical Services Professionals In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the medical or health profession that can evolve to meet the challenges of the online economy and think outside the box about marketing their business better online.
This detailed guide will help you uncover new opportunities to attract new visitors and improve your business presence online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your health-related business website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS), go here:
- Why A Poorly Constructed Website Can Lose You Money
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Using WordPress
Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you ways to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what pages you need, what type of content you need, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need help with website planning, see this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: The Web Site Planning Process Explained - A Practical Guide For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
Professional business websites need several basic pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Your Products And Services
It’s essential to have a page that explains your services and products. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, your page could list services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. acute pain management, neurosurgery blood disorders, oncology, continence management, rheumatology, colon/rectal surgery, optometry day surgery, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. preventive dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, orthodontics, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac surgery, coronary care
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. obstetrics, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screens, skin cancer, radiology and imaging, pap smears, MRI scanning, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – lab testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, food and water testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, trauma counselling, wellness coaching, social development services
- Alternative treatments – acupuncture, reflexology, colloidal silver therapy, shiatsu, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – diet and nutrition, podiatry, reproductive endocrinology, speech therapy, neurosciences, artificial limbs, sleep therapy, home care, sexual health, medical supplies, etc.
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community programs, etc.
It’s important to list any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your medical, dental, chiropractic, surgery services, etc. and to set yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Meet The Team
Are you searching for quicker, easier and cheaper ways to grow your business online and get visitors to stay longer on your site? Then make it easier for your prospective clients to get to know your organization better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team members. This page should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with health or medical terms it should tell who they are and what they specialize in. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. This page should also include social buttons that will allow your prospective clients to follow selected team members on their social networks.
On this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight each staff member’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a page that introduces your team to prospective new clients. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have created a detailed tutorial about how to create and add an easy-to-maintain simple team members directory to your web site using free plugins here: WordPress Plugin Tutorial: How To Add An Employee List Directory In WordPress
List any career opportunities available within your clinic. This page should include training provided, employee benefits, professional development, etc. You can include information about additional career opportunities in the health-related industry.
Maintain a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, subscribe to your updates list, follow your social pages, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. Adding a web page with client reviews and case studies also helps your health site to provide potential clients with social proof.
(Add a page to your site with testimonials from previous clients and case studies. Screenshot source: arrowsmiledental.com)
To learn more about using testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online, go here: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using More Effective Customer Testimonials
Having a functional contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should provide visitors with the following information about your company:
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
If your business services several locations you will want to make this clear when showing the address and contact info.
You can also include links pointing to the most commonly asked questions page, useful pages, online booking form, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Health Or Medical Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business using timely content such as announcements, updates, educational articles, informative posts, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an existing site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to market your medical organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is very hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your website and blog.
Something few businesses know about, is that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that will help begin to drive targeted visitors to your website, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive new visitors automatically to your website)
You can learn more about this here:
Legal Info Pages
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is very important. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening any local, regional and federal laws and regulations wherever you provide services.
Depending on what services and products you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your health website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
Go here for a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s highly competitive online business economy, committing to the practice of content marketing has become one of the key business differentiators.
By committing to providing useful content with great information and tips, you will get your visitors to share your web pages with others online and come back for more content. Using content is a great way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if you provide weight loss services, then some of the areas you can cover in your content include:
- Emotional causes for weight issues (possible causes, identifying yours)
- Easy portion control habits (smaller plate, don’t put food on the table, more vegetables)
- How to develop a better eating and exercise plan
- 5 tips that will help you curb the late night urges for a snack (e.g. sleep earlier)
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your readers understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Include the keywords and terms in your articles that prospective clients will search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your presence online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving your user experience (known as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Adding RSS Feeds
An RSS feed provides many benefits for your medical-related business.
If you provide useful content, other sites may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides links to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides several ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find RSS feeds with useful content by searching online for relevant government departments and respected industry bodies.
Below we have listed examples of useful RSS feeds you could add to a medical site:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can also choose individual feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breast cancer, Healthy aging, Illnesses and disabilities, Minority women’s health, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of feeds from well-known medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. BMJ Evidence-Based Nursing, Epidemiology – Featured Articles, BMJ Injury Prevention, Current Psychiatry, Respiratory Research, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Find many RSS feeds on health-related news here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Get RSS feeds on fda-related topics like consumer health information, MedWatch safety alerts (human medical products), recalls, cosmetics, etc. and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- Department of Health UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health) – Latest news: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health.atom
- The Department Of Health (Australian Government): http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/xml/rssLatestNews.xml
- Department Of Public Health (Australia – State Level): e.g. Western Australia – http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/feed/?types=news
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention - Get various RSS feeds on health-related news and topics and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news RSS feeds in major news publications like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness and nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also choose specific RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Mental Health, Nutrition, Food, & Recipes, Oral Health, Exercise & Fitness, Skin, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also choose individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Public Health, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Emergency Medicine, COPD, Sports Medicine/Fitness, Cancer/Oncology, etc.)
You can also search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “hospice care rss feeds”, “neuroscience rss feeds”, “medical practice management rss feeds”, etc.
(Add RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Adding checklists and medical forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. Checklists and medical forms can provide useful step-by-step information and resources to get necessary tasks completed. Charts and checklists can also be great client educational tools.
You can provide checklists, charts and forms covering a range of subjects such as:
- Checklists and forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, general dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and exercise program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Providing useful tools and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to potential clients. Calculators, for example are useful tools to add to your website. Other tools would include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section, we discuss a number of WordPress plugins you can add to your website that can improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part one of this article on ways to improve your medical or health-related business presence online.
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