Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital age has not only transformed business worldwide, it has also created a number of challenges and great opportunities for businesses in the medical or health profession.
Challenges Medical And Health Services Practitioners 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 be fully involved in the community your business serves, you must also develop and maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and figuring out better ways to promote your business online.
In addition to investing money in offline marketing, businesses in the health or medical-related industry are also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget need to be directed to develop and maintain a website that attracts prospective clients, engages visitors, outperforms the competition in search engines and social media, and gives their business wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, load fast, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs may change over time and many areas will need to be frequently updated. This requires a sound website and content management strategy in place.
Another difficult challenge that medical businesses face (as most other professions do for that matter), is that your site has an average of 30 seconds or less to provide users with what they are looking 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 a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available to businesses in the medical-related sector that can evolve to meet online economy challenges and can think progressively in terms of marketing themselves better online.
The guide below will help you uncover opportunities to generate more traffic and create noticeable improvements in your health-related business presence online.
As well as providing useful 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:
- Discover How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Business
- Learning WordPress – The Business Owner’s Guide
Useful Tips For Improving Your Medical Practice Website
Let’s start by reviewing some basic stuff. In this section, we’ll look at how to improve your medical or health-related website and get better results. We show you what pages you need, what content works best, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, go here: A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Website Pages
All business websites require a number of essential web pages. Let’s discuss the pages your should have and how to structure your medical website for best results.
Your Products And Services
You need a page that lists your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, your page could include services such as:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. anaesthetics, neurosurgery hematology, plastic surgery, gerontology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, eye diseases palliative care, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. general dentistry, children’s dentistry, oral health, teeth whitening, dentofacial orthopedics, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac monitoring, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. birth suites, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – mammography, lung screening, radiology, pap smears, magnetic resonance imaging, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, insurance and corporate testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, domestic abuse, diet and nutrition counselling, social development services
- Alternative treatments – acupuncture, homeopathy, functional medicine, massage therapy, chiropractic, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – diet and nutrition, podiatry, reproductive services, speech therapy, neurosciences, prosthetics, mobility, home and community care, community health, medical transport, 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 the benefits of using these services and why they should choose you.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropic donations, etc.
It should include any awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your practice and to position yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your industry awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in your About Us page. Screenshot image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Meet Our Team
If you are looking for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to sell more products online, then one of the things you can do, is help visitors get to know you, your team and your organization 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 are probably not very well-versed in health terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas do. It can include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow some of your 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 outline each staff member’s expertise, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your staff or team members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
To learn more about how to create and add a directory of employees in your WordPress site with no coding skills required, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Easily Create A Simple Employee Directory For Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
This is a listing of job or career opportunities available within your business. This page would include type of training provided, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. You can also include stories of graduates who have risen within your company and information about additional career opportunities in the medical industry.
Also include a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, join your contact list, follow you on social media, etc.
Reviews from clients and case studies 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 provide social proof for your business.
(Add a page with case studies and testimonials. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written a comprehensive article on using case studies, testimonials and client reviews improve your business online. Go here to learn more: How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Leads Using Powerful Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should include:
- Business Name
- Your physical location
- Facsimile number
- Email address
- Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media profiles
- Live Chat/Skype
If your business operates from multiple areas you will want to make this clear when displaying your address and contact info.
You can also include links pointing to commonly-asked questions page, useful pages, online booking form, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Many blogging platforms are built around a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to easily promote your business using timely content like news and events, updates, useful articles, opinions and discussions, how-to videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an medical-related site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health or medical site is very hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve as both your business website and business blog.
Not many people know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that can instantly begin to attract new targeted traffic to your web site, simply by adding new content on a regular basis to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more about this:
Legal Information Pages
It’s essential to have a compliant website. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws and regulations are being broken wherever you practice.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your health site will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Privacy Statement
- 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
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site here: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving Your Content
In today’s highly competitive global economy, content marketing has become one of the key success differentiators for businesses.
Provide useful content with great advice or tips that will get your visitors sharing your information and coming back for more content. Publishing content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if you provide solutions that help people manage their weight, then some of the topics you can write about include the following:
- How does fiber help you with weight loss?
- How to set realistic, but challenging weight loss goals
- Comparing different diets, e.g. HCG diet, South Beach diet, Weight Watchers diet (what these are, how they can benefit you, how effective they are)
- How to modify recipes for healthier results (e.g. replacing sugars, fats, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your health or medical-related services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use the same keywords and terms in your articles that readers will be searching for.
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 you how to drive more traffic to your site, 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!
Ways To Improve Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Add RSS Feeds
Using RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in a number of different ways.
If you provide valuable 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
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. users can read the content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits 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.
To find useful RSS feeds just search online for medical or health-related government departments and industry bodies.
Below we have listed some examples of useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to your website:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can also choose individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Health care for women, 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 directory of feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Haematologica, Nutrition Journal, Neurology India, Neurology.org, Infectious Agents and Cancer, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Get many health-related news feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Find FDA-related feeds (e.g. FDA drug safety, MedWatch safety alerts (human medical products), recalls, animal and veterinary news, 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 many feeds on health-related news and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news feeds by going to publications like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness & 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 select individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Arthritis, Neurology, Pediatrics / Healthy Kids, Digestion, Sleep, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Bipolar, Fertility, Eczema/Psoriasis, Menopause, Men’s Health, Cosmetic Medicine/Plastic Surgery, Clinical Trials/Drug Trials, etc.)
You can also just search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “eating disorders rss feeds”, “transplants rss feeds”, “weight loss rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to improve your health-related site’s user experience.)
Checklists And Forms
Checklists and educational charts are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your readers and set yourself apart from the competition. They can provide visitors with step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary tasks done. They are great instructional tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable checklists, charts and forms (or links to these) covering topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Providing unique online tools, gadgets and applications on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add significant value to potential clients. Health-related calculators are useful tools you can add to your website. Other applications can include things like nutritional tools, and even recipes.
In the next section, we look at a number of online tools you can use in your health or medical-related site using WordPress plugins that can also help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this step-by-step guide on ways to improve your medical or health-related business web presence.
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