Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The online economy has not only transformed the way business is done around the world, it has also created difficult challenges and great opportunities for businesses offering medical or health services.
Challenges Professional Medical And Health Services Providers Face Online
Today, more than ever, businesses in the medical and health sector must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to maintain a strong presence in the community your business serves, you must also develop a strong digital presence. This includes having an effective website and learning better ways to promote your medical services online.
As well as investing money in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to remain competitive, you will need to allocate a larger portion of your budget to develop and maintain a website that brings new prospective clients, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and helps to increase your reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, load fast, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change over time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires a well-developed website and content management strategy.
One other problem that health or medical-related organizations (and other professions) face online, is that you have only about 30 seconds to help visitors find the information they are searching for or they will find what they are looking for 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.”
Michael Alter, http://www.accountingweb.com/technology/accounting-software/tips-for-improving-your-website
Opportunities For Health And Medical Services Providers
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to medical practices that can adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and think outside the box in terms of marketing their services better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn opportunities to attract new visitors and see noticeable improvements in your business online.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your web presence, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your health or medical-related website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, see these articles:
- Discover How A Poorly Built Web Site Can Lose You Prospective Clients
- Everything You Need To Know To Grow A Successful Business With A WordPress Site
Practical Tips For Improving Your Medical & Health Practice Services Site
Let’s start by going over some basic stuff. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what web pages you need, what type of content works best for health websites, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, see this guide: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
How To Improve Your Website Pages
All websites need several essential web pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Services Description Page
It’s essential to include a page that describes your products or services. Depending on which area you specialize in, this page can list services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. anaesthetics, nephrology hematology, cosmetic surgery, continence management, respiratory, urology, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. preventive dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, dental braces, emergency dentistry services, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. birthing, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screens, skin cancer, radiology and imaging, pap smears, magnetic resonance imaging, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, marriage counselling, wellness coaching, social development services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, reflexology, colloidal silver therapy, tai chi, chiropractic services, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, chiropody, reproductive services, speech language therapy, neurosciences, prosthetics, hearing aids, home care, clinical information, medical equipment, etc.
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about what your services do and why they should choose you.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It’s important to also include any business awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your practice and to set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your business awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for quicker and easier ideas to sell more products or services online or get people to interact more on your site, then one of the things you can do, is help prospective clients get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
You want your business to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors will not tend to be familiar with health-related terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It can also include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow individual team members on their social networks.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline each team member’s experience, how their skills add value or 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 staff page. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to easily create and add an easy-to-update list of employees to your site here: Step-By-Step Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory In WordPress
Job Opportunities Page
List any job opportunities available within your organization. This page could include training offered, benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working with your business, etc. You can include information about new career opportunities in the medical-related industry.
Maintain a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies & Testimonials
Testimonials from previous clients and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase the services you offer. Adding a page with client reviews and case studies also establishes social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and client reviews. Image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively on using testimonials, case studies and user reviews to improve your business results online. For more info, see this article: How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions With Compelling Client Testimonials
A clean contact page is vitally important.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following information:
- Business Name
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media networks
- Live Chat/Skype (optional feature)
If you have multiple areas you should make that clear when showing your address and contact information.
You should also include links to an FAQ section, frequently-visited pages, booking form, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Medical-Related Blog
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 events, updates, educational articles, informative posts, videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established medical or health site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to create more exposure for your clinic.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical or health website is hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your website and your blog.
Very few people know that WordPress can become an automated traffic system that will help begin delivering web traffic to your business, simply by publishing regular content to your site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more:
Legal Info Pages
It’s crucially important to make sure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not breaching local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever your practice is located.
Depending on the products and services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your site will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- 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
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your site here: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improve Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, content marketing has become one of the key differentiators for businesses that sell similar products or provide similar services.
By providing useful content with great advice or tips, you will get your readers sharing it with others and coming back for more. Using content is a great way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if your business provides weight loss services, then some of the areas you can write content about include:
- Nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (carbs, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins)
- How to identify the bad habits that need to be corrected to ensure lifetime weight loss
- Characteristics of different diets, e.g. Atkins diet, Mediterranean diet, Nutrisystem diet (what these are, how they can benefit you, how effective they are)
- How to incorporate a little fast food into a healthier diet plan
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Include keywords and terms in your articles that readers will search to find you online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and user experience in many ways.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- An RSS feed provides links to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are a number of ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can read the content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing great content on your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find RSS feeds with useful content for your website, search online for medical-related government departments or well-known industry bodies.
Below we have listed some 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 select individual feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Fitness and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Menopause, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, BMJ Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition, BMJ Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Journal of Cell Science, Infectious Agents and Cancer, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Find many health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Find feeds on fda-related topics like enforcement reports, food allergies, pet health, vaccines, blood and biologics, etc. and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- Department of Health UK (www.gov.uk) – 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 health-related news feeds and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news feeds in places like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness & nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also choose specific RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Men’s health, Cold & Flu, Oral Health, Digestion, HIV, etc.)
- Medical News Today – 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. Medical Students/Training, Headache/Migraine, Lymphology/Lymphedema, Conferences, COPD, Sports Medicine/Fitness, Huntingtons Disease, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific subjects, e.g. “abortion rss feeds”, “pediatrics rss feeds”, “liver disease rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Checklists & Charts
Adding checklists and educational charts to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your readers. Checklists and medical forms can give them step-by-step information and resources to get necessary steps done. Checklists and forms can also be great client educational tools.
You can provide online or downloadable forms, charts and checklists (or links to these) covering a range of areas such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post treatment
- Health checklists and charts for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Other Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to potential clients. Health-related calculators, for example, are great tools to add to your website. Others would include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In the next section, we discuss a several online tools you can add to your health or medical-related site using WordPress plugins and themes that can help to improve your seo, improve user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part one.
Click on this link to keep reading:
- Your Medical Clinic Website – WordPress Plugins And Themes That Improve Search Engine Optimization, Improve User Engagement And Generate More Visitors
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)