Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health and medical professionals face many new challenges in the web economy, especially when it comes to growing their business online.
Online Challenges For Health & Medical Businesses
Today, more than ever, medical and health services providers must work hard to remain competitive and obtain new clients. Not only do you have to become actively involved in the community your business serves, you must also develop and maintain an active presence online. This includes having a dynamic website and learning better ways to grow your business online.
In addition to spending dollars in offline marketing activities like advertising on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., businesses in the health or medical-related industry are now finding that they need to assign a bigger amount of their marketing budget to develop and manage a website that will drive prospective clients, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and help create wider reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your web pages have to load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website may change in time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires a well-planned website and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that health or medical-related organizations face with their websites (as do most other businesses for that matter), is that you have around thirty seconds or less to provide visitors what they need 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.”
Opportunities For Medical And Health Services Providers In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to medical or health practices that can evolve to meet online economy challenges and think outside the box when it comes to improving their online marketing skills.
In this detailed guide, you will discover opportunities to attract more visitors and build more online credibility for your medical business.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your web presence, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your health website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, go here:
Ways To Improve Your Website
This section covers ways to improve your medical or health-related website and get better results. We will look at what pages your website needs, what type of content works best for medical-related websites, suggestions for improving navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, go here: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Basic Website Pages
All business websites need several basic pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Your Services And Products
It’s essential to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area you specialize in, your page could list services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. acute pain management, neurosurgery haematology, maxillofacial surgery, incontinence, renal, endoscopy, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. preventive dentistry, holistic dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, implants, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. heart surgery, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal & Postnatal – e.g. birthing, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – mammography, lung screening, hearing, gynaecology, psychosis, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, clinical trials, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, trauma counselling, diet and nutrition counselling, social work services
- Alternative therapies – acupuncture, homeopathy, colloidal silver therapy, shiatsu, chiropractic services, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, podiatry, fertility services, occupational therapy, inherited diseases, artificial limbs, sleep therapy, home and community care, sexual health, medical supplies, etc.
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about what these services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, causes that you support, etc.
It’s important to list any professional awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your practice and set yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
Your Staff Page
If you are looking for inexpensive ideas to sell more products or services online, then 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 employees or team members. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with medical or health-related terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow your team members on their social networks.
On this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight your person’s expertise, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee description page. Screenshot image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to easily create and add an easy-to-maintain simple team members directory to WordPress using free plugins, see this step-by-step tutorial: Plugin Tutorial: How To Add An Employee Directory
This is a listing of job opportunities within the business. It can include type of training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working with your organization, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and new career opportunities in the medical or health industry.
Include also 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 announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Case studies and reviews from clients are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients, you will also help to are also establishing social proof for your business.
(Add a page with case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
To learn more about using testimonials, case studies and user reviews, see this article: Create Better Results Online Using Powerful Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is essential.
Your contact page should include the following:
- Name Of Your Business
- Physical address
- Facsimile number
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media links
- Online chat (optional feature)
If your business services different locations you should make this clear when showing the address and contact information.
You can also include links to an FAQ page, main pages, online booking form, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Medical Or Health Blog
A blog can be a very powerful business marketing tool. Most blogging platforms are built around a content management system that allows you to promote your business using timely content like the latest news, updates, educational information, informative posts, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established medical or health-related website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your medical clinic.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical-related website is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your website and blog.
Not many businesses know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic system that can begin to deliver targeted traffic to your business, simply by adding regular content to your web site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate web traffic automatically to your website)
For more details:
As a professional health or medical services practitioner, ensuring that you have a compliant website is vital. This is not only important for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not breaking any laws and regulations in whichever location you provide services.
Depending on what services and products you provide, adding the legal pages below to your health or medical site will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
Go here if you would like to learn more about adding legal pages to your website: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, content marketing has become one of the key success differentiators for businesses that sell similar products or provide similar services.
By providing useful content with great tips or information, you will get your readers sharing your web pages and coming back for more. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospects about your services.
For example, if your business provides weight management services, then some of the topics you can cover in your content include:
- What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?
- How to identify the bad habits you need to correct to ensure lifetime weight loss
- How you eat your food is just as important as what you eat (eat at table, chew slowly)
- How to incorporate a little fast food into a healthy diet plan
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your readers gain a better understanding of your medical or health-related services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use the same keywords and terms in your articles that your prospective clients will search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content for your visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Content Syndication – RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide lots of benefits for your health or medical business.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses will want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are a number of ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website from other sites, 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 health or medical-related government departments and key industry bodies.
Here are 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 also choose specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Health care for women, HIV/AIDS, Minority women’s health, Violence against women, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of RSS feeds from well-known medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics, BMJ Heart, BMJ Sexually Transmitted Infections, BMJ Journal of Clinical Pathology, ADA DOC News, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Get various health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Get FDA-related feeds (e.g. enforcement reports, MedWatch safety alerts (human medical products), tainted products marked as dietary supplements, vaccines, blood and biologics, 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. NSW – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/rss.aspx
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (www.cdc.gov) - Get many health-related RSS feeds and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news 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 – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also choose individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Allergies, Men’s health, Cold & Flu, Depression, Exercise & Fitness, Sleep, 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. Gout, Immune System/Vaccines, Health Insurance, Neurology/Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Cleft Palate, Crohn’s/IBD, etc.)
You can also search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “caregivers rss feeds”, “medical malpractice rss feeds”, “wearable technology rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Checklists And Forms
Adding checklists and explanatory charts to your site is a great way to increase user engagement and add value to your audience. They can provide users with step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary steps done. Checklists and forms can also be great client instructional 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 surgery
- Health checklists for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, caries prevention 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 stages of development, etc.)
Provide Online Tools
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to users. Health-related calculators are useful tools for your website. Other applications can include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In part two, we look at a several WordPress-based tools you can use in your medical or health site that can improve your seo, improve user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one.
Click here to read Part Two:
- The Step-By-Step Guide To Building And Growing Your Health & Medical Practice Services Web Presence – Part 2
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