Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital economy has not only transformed businesses globally, it has also created significant challenges and opportunities for businesses in the health industry.
Challenges Health And Medical Firms Face Online
Today, more than ever, medical providers must work hard to remain competitive and generate new clients. Not only do you have to actively participate in the community you serve, you must also maintain a strong presence online. This includes having a website and figuring out smarter ways to grow your medical services online.
As well as spending dollars in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to compete, you will need to designate a greater share of your budget to developing and managing a website that will drive clients, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help to increase your marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs may change in time and some areas may need to be updated often. This requires having a well-developed website and content management strategy in place.
One other problem that medical or health-related organizations face, as most other professions do for that matter, is that your site has only about thirty seconds or less to help visitors find what they are looking for or they will go elsewhere to get their needs met.
“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 Health Businesses In The Digital Economy
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available to health-related practices that can evolve to meet the demands of the online economy and can think strategically when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
This detailed guide will help you uncover a number of ways to generate new client bookings and see noticeable improvements in your business online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to power your health or medical-related business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see these articles:
- Why A Poorly Constructed Website Can Lose You Prospective Buyers And What To Do About It
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Using WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Health Site
In this section we will start with the basics and show you how 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 navigation structure, etc.
If you need any help with website planning, go here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Website Pages
All business websites need several basic pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Description Of Products And Services
It’s essential to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area you specialize in, this page could list services like:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. anaesthetics, pulmonology hematology, oncology, neurology, respiratory, infection control, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. general dentistry, children’s dentistry, oral hygiene, restorations, implants, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, coronary care
- Prenatal and Neonatal – e.g. birthing, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screens, lung screening, oral health, gynaecology, magnetic resonance imaging, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, food and water testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, trauma counselling, wellness, social work services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, homeopathy, holistic medicine, shiatsu, chiropractic services, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – weight management, chiropody, lymphedema therapy, speech language therapy, medical genetics, prosthetics, sleep therapy, home care, sexual health, medical transport, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using your services and why they should book an appointment.
About Us Page
This page should give a description of your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It’s important to also mention any awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your practice and to set yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Screenshot source: squaremedical.com.au)
Are you looking for quicker, simpler and cheaper ideas to sell more products online or get prospects to stay longer on your site? Then help your prospective clients get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
You want prospects to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. This page should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors are probably not well-versed in medical or health-related terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It should also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow individual staff members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight your employee’s experience, how their skills and knowledge add value or contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff description page. Screenshot source: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to add an easy-to-manage directory of staff members in your site using a free plugin, see this step-by-step tutorial: Adding An Employee List Directory: WordPress Plugin Tutorial
Job Opportunities Page
List any job opportunities within your company. This page could include type of training provided, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. It should include case studies of trainees who have risen within your business and information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the health or medical 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 newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Testimonials and case studies are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. Adding a web page with case studies and client reviews also helps to provide social proof.
(Add a web page with case studies and reviews from clients. Image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials, case studies and reviews to grow your business online. Go here to learn more: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Effective Client Testimonials
A clean contact page is absolutely necessary.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following information:
- Physical address
- Contact email
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Chat (optional feature)
If your business operates from several locations you want to make this clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, main pages, booking request, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Medical Or Health-Related Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Blogs are built around a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business using timely content like news and announcements, updates, educational articles, opinions and discussions, educational videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an existing site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to create more exposure for your medical practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health-related site is hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your website and business blog.
You may not be aware of this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic system that will help begin to deliver targeted traffic to your website, simply by publishing new content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more about this:
- Website Traffic Blueprint – Discover How To Turn Your Website Into An Automated Traffic Generation Machine
Legal Information Pages
As a professional medical or health services provider, ensuring that you have a compliant website is really important. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaching any local, regional and federal laws and regulations wherever you provide services.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your website will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your site here: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s highly competitive global business economy, the practice of content marketing has become one of the key business differentiators.
Provide useful content with tips, advice or information that will get your readers to share your web pages with others online and come back for more content. Content marketing is the most effective way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if your business provides weight management services, then some of the areas you can write about include the following:
- Being overweight vs. being obese – what are the differences?
- How to get support for your weight loss efforts (friends, family, weight loss seekers)
- Diet sodas (common ones, side effects, long term results, do they work?)
- How to make right choices when eating at restaurants
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Include keywords and terminology in your content that readers would 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 you how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your user experience (known as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Content Syndication – RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide lots of benefits for your website.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses 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
- Your feeds can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- An RSS feed provides links to your content
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are a number of ways readers can receive your content (e.g. users can view 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 website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find many useful RSS feeds for your website by visiting sites of relevant government departments and respected industry bodies.
For example, here are some RSS feeds containing useful information that you could consider adding to a health or medical-related 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. Body image, Healthy aging, HIV/AIDS, Mental health, Smoking and how to quit, 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. Rheumatology, The Psychiatrist, Obesity, American Chemical Society, BMJ Evidence-Based Mental Health, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Find various RSS feeds on health-related news and topics here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Get RSS feeds on fda-related topics like FDA drug safety, food allergy reports, product recalls, tobacco news, 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. 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 RSS 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.com – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also select specific RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Allergies, Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Diet & Weight Management, Sexual Health, Women’s Health, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also choose individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Cystic Fibrosis, Headache/Migraine, Surgery, Lymphoma/Leukemia/Myeloma, Bones/Orthopedics, Pediatrics/Children’s Health, Erectile Dysfunction/Premature Ejaculation, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “cardiovascular rss feeds”, “deafness rss feeds”, “alzheimer’s rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your site’s UX.)
Provide Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and explanatory charts to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and medical forms can give them useful instructions and resources to perform tasks. They are also great instructional tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable checklists and forms covering topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post surgery
- Health checklists and charts for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, general dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, sleep requirements at different ages, etc.)
Providing useful online tools, gadgets and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your potential clients. Health-related calculators are useful tools to add to your website. Other tools can include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In part two of this detailed article, we will look at a several online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins that improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
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