Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Medical services professionals today are facing increasingly difficult challenges thanks to the web economy.
Challenges Health Services Providers Face Online
Today, more than ever, health services providers must find smarter ways to stand apart from their competition and obtain new clients. Not only do you have to become actively involved in the community you serve, you must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and searching for better ways to market your practice online.
In addition to investing dollars advertising offline on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television, etc., you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to compete, you will need to designate a bigger portion of your marketing budget to develop and manage a website that drives new clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and increases your marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your web pages have to be fast-loading, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website may change in time and some areas will need to be updated frequently. This requires the implementation of a well-planned website and content management strategy.
One other problem that health or medical-related organizations face online (and most businesses for that matter), is that you have an average of 30 seconds to give visitors what they need or they will go elsewhere.
“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 Businesses In The Online Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for businesses in the health industry that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and who can think progressively when it comes to marketing their business better online.
In this guide, you will learn ways to generate more bookings and establish stronger online credibility for your business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to power your health business website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Learn How A Poorly Built Web Site Can Cost You Customers And What To Do About It
- The Beginner’s Guide To Building A Successful Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
This section will show you how to improve your website and get better results. We show you what pages a medical or health website needs, what type of content works best for medical websites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, check out the guide we have written here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
How To Improve Your Website Pages
All websites need some basic web pages. Let’s go over these.
Description Of Products And Services
You need to include a page that describes your products or services. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, your page can list services such as:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. acute pain management, nephrology haematology, reconstructive surgery, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, renal, urology, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. preventive dentistry, holistic dentistry, cleaning services, teeth whitening, implants, emergency dentistry services, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal and Postnatal – e.g. birthing, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screening, skin cancer, hearing, women’s health, magnetic resonance imaging, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, fine-needle aspiration cytology, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, domestic abuse, wellness coaching, social work services
- Alternative therapies – Chinese medicine, homeopathy, holistic medicine, tai chi, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – diet and nutrition, othopedics, reproductive endocrinology, occupational therapy, inherited diseases, prosthetics, hearing aids, home and community care, sexual health, medical equipment, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using your services and why they should book an appointment.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, supported community activities, etc.
Remember to list any professional awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your business and to set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your business awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Screenshot image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Are you searching for inexpensive ways to grow your business online and get prospective clients to interact more on your site? Then one of the things you can do, is help your prospective clients get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
You want your business to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with medical terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas mean. It can also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow selected team members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your employee’s expertise and qualifications, how their skills contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a page that introduces your staff to prospective new clients. Screenshot source: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to easily create and add an easy-to-manage simple team members directory to your web site without coding skills here: Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Add An Employee List Directory To Your WordPress Site
List any job opportunities available within your organization. This page should include type of training provided, benefits, opportunities for advancement, social activities promoted by your business, etc. You should also include information such as the job outlook and upcoming career opportunities in the medical or health 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 newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Case studies and testimonials are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. Adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies also helps to provide visitors social proof online.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and client reviews. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written a comprehensive article on using client case studies and user reviews to improve your business results online. For more info, see this article: Turn More Visitors Into Prospects Using Awesome User Testimonials
Having a clean contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following information about your consulting practice:
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Request for information – contact details
- Social media URLs
- Online chat feature
If your business operates from several locations you will want to make that clear when showing the address and contact info.
Consider also including links pointing to the most commonly asked questions page, frequently-visited pages, online booking request, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Medical Or Health-Related Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing timely content like news and events, updates, educational articles and tutorials, informative posts, promotional videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing health site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to create more exposure for your medical business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your business website and business blog.
Not many people know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic machine that can instantly begin to drive targeted visitors to your website, simply by publishing regular content to your site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
For more info, see this article:
Legal Info Pages
As a professional health services provider, ensuring that you have a website that complies will all legal requirements online is important. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not breaking local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever you do business.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding the following legal pages to your site will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health and Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your website here: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the practice of content marketing has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
You will want to provide useful content with great tips or information that will get your visitors to share your web pages and come back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to educate your visitors and prospects about using your services and products.
For example, if your business provides weight loss services, then some of the areas you could cover as content on your site:
- What is BMI (what it stands for, what it does, how to calculate yours)
- What are calories and how they play a role in weight loss
- How to develop a better eating and exercise regimen
- Apps for tracking calories and exercise
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your readers gain a better understanding of your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Include the keywords and terms in your articles that readers would search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your presence online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Add RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide many benefits for your medical-related business.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- A feed provides links back to your content
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are multiple ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to adding syndicated content to your site from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, visit sites of relevant government departments and industry bodies.
For example, here are examples of useful RSS feeds you could add to your website:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Latest news feed: http://www.hhs.gov/rss/news/hhsnews.xml, etc. You can search by departments and choose specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Environmental health, Illnesses and disabilities, Menopause, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a list of feeds from various medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Journal of Neurophysiology, Human Molecular Genetics, CDC USA, BMJ Archives of Disease, ADA DOC News, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Find various RSS feeds on health-related topics here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Get FDA-related feeds (e.g. FDA drug safety, food safety reports, pet health, radiological health, etc.) and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- UK Department Of Health (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. Victoria – http://www.health.vic.gov.au/rss/newsfeed.xml
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (www.cdc.gov) - Find various feeds on health-related news 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. Health news: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Health.xml)
- MedicineNet – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also select individual feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Allergies, Menopause, Nutrition, Food, & Recipes, Depression, Exercise & Fitness, HIV, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – MNT Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also select individual RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Gout, Pharmacy/Pharmacist, Pregnancy/Obstetrics, Swine Flu, Endocrinology, Epilepsy, Crohn’s/IBD, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “ADD rss feeds”, “sports medicine rss feeds”, “personal monitoring rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS feeds can help to improve your medical or health-related website’s user experience.)
Checklists And Forms
Adding checklists and medical forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. Forms and checklists can provide users with step-by-step instructions and resources to complete necessary steps. Charts and checklists can also be great instructional tools.
You can provide a range of forms, charts and checklists covering areas such as:
- Checklists/forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different ages, etc.)
Provide Unique Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your visitors. Calculators are great tools you can add to your website. Other applications would include things like nutritional tools, or even recipes.
In the next section of this guide, we will look at a several online tools you can add to your site using WordPress plugins that can improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part one of this step-by-step guide on ways to build your health business web presence.
Click on this link to access Part 2:
- Your Medical Services & Health-Related Website – WordPress Plugins That Can Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Generate More Visitors
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now