Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The online economy has not only transformed businesses worldwide, it has also created a number of difficult challenges and great opportunities for businesses in the health or medical sector.
Challenges Professional Medical Providers Face Online
Now, more than ever, medical providers must work harder to remain competitive and find new clients. Not only do you have to maintain an active presence in the community your business serves, you must also maintain an active digital presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better market your practice online.
In addition to spending money advertising offline, you will probably find that in order to compete with other medical or health-related businesses, you will need to delegate a larger amount of your budget to developing and managing a website that will drive leads, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help give your business wider exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your web 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 the needs of your website will change in time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires the implementation of a well-planned web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that medical and health services professionals face, as do other professions for that matter, is that your site has an average of thirty seconds or less to give visitors 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 Medical And Health Services Practitioners In The Web Economy
As well as facing many business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available for health businesses that can evolve to meet online economy challenges and think progressively when it comes to marketing their services better online.
This guide will help you uncover new ways to generate traffic and establish stronger online credibility for your medical or health business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform to power your health business website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see these articles:
- Learn Why A Poorly Built Web Site Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- How To Grow Your Business With A WordPress Site
Practical Tips To Improve Your Health Center Site
This section covers ways to improve your website and get better results online. We will look at what web pages you need, what type of content you need, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, go here: A Comprehensive Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Improve Your Website Pages
Professional websites require some basic web pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Products And Services Description Page
You need to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, your page can list services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. ear, nose and throat, pulmonology diabetes, oncology, aged care, renal, colon/rectal surgery, ophtalmology elective surgery, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, holistic dentistry, oral hygiene, restorations, dentofacial orthopedics, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Neonatal – e.g. obstetrics, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screens, skin cancer, medical imaging, gynaecology, MRI scanning, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, clinical trials, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, marriage counselling, wellness, social development services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, reflexology, natural therapy, massage therapy, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – diet and nutrition, othopedics, reproductive endocrinology, occupational therapy, neurosciences, prosthetics, mobility, home and community care, community health, 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 these services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
It’s important to also include any business awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your business and to position yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are searching for ideas to sell more products online and get people to stay longer on your site, then help prospects 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 or team members. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors won’t be well-versed in medical terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what they specialize in. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It should also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow selected team members on their social pages.
On this page, make sure to highlight your person’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee description page. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to add an easy-to-maintain simple team members directory to your web site using a free WordPress plugin, go here: How To Create A Simple Employee List In Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
This is a listing of job or career opportunities within your organization. It can include training, employee benefits, professional development, social activities sponsored or encouraged by your business, etc. You can also include information about career opportunities in the medical or health 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 updates list, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials from past clients and case studies are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase the services you offer. Adding a web page with case studies and reviews from clients also helps to provide potential clients with social proof.
(Add a page with case studies and client reviews. Image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online. If you would like to learn more about this here: Improve Your Conversions With Engaging Customer Testimonials
Having a contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide some or all of the following information:
- Business Name
- Your address
- Phone number
- Fax number
- Email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
- Online chat (optional feature)
If your business services several locations you should make that clear when displaying your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ section, useful pages, online booking form, support area, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog is a powerful business marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content such as events, updates, useful articles and tutorials, opinions and discussions, promotional videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an existing website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to market your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical-related site is hard to keep updated with new content or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and your blog.
Very few people know that WordPress can become an automated traffic-generation system that can help begin attracting a stream of targeted visitors to your business, simply by publishing new content to your website on a consistent basis.
(WordPress can generate new traffic automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more about this:
- Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Driving More Traffic For Your Business Automatically With WordPress
Legal Information Pages
It’s important for health services providers businesses to have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not contravening laws or regulations wherever you practice.
Depending on the services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your site will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
Go here for a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin engaging in the practice of content marketing, the faster you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
You will want to provide useful content with information or tips that will get your visitors sharing your web pages and coming back for more content. Content marketing is a great way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about using your services.
For example, if your business provides products that help people manage their weight, then some of the topics you can cover as content on your site:
- What is BMI (what it stands for, what it does, how to calculate yours)
- How to ask for support when embarking on a weight loss program (friends, family, weight loss seekers)
- Why using a measuring tape is better than a scale when it comes to weight loss progress
- Could a personal chef help you lose weight (what they do, is it affordable)
- And endless other content topics
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 services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Remember to use relevant keywords and terms in your articles that your readers will search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful 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 user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
If you provide useful information, other businesses will want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides links back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are various ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. users can view your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits 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.
You can find RSS feeds with useful content for your website by visiting sites of relevant government departments and respected industry bodies.
Below we have listed some examples of useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to a health-related site:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can also select individual feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Body image, Fitness and nutrition, Heart health and stroke, Minority women’s health, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of RSS feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Rheumatology, CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, BMJ Sexually Transmitted Infections, Medscape, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Get many feeds on health-related topics here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Find RSS feeds on fda-related news and topics like criminal investigations, MedWatch safety alerts (human medical products), product recalls, foods, 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 - Get many RSS feeds on health-related news and topics 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 feeds section (e.g. Research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also choose specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Men’s health, Cold & Flu, Diabetes, Prevention & Wellness, Infectious Disease, etc.)
- Medical News Today – MNT Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also choose specific feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Bipolar, Complementary Medicine/Alternative Medicine, Eczema/Psoriasis, Conferences, CJD/vCJD/Mad Cow Disease, Biology/Biochemistry, Obesity/Weight Loss/Fitness, 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. “sexual health rss feeds”, “asthma rss feeds”, “cancer rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your health or medical-related website’s UX.)
Adding Online Charts & Checklists
Checklists and medical forms are a great way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your visitors and provide something unique. Forms and checklists can provide visitors with useful instructions and resources to get necessary steps performed. Checklists and forms are great educational tools.
You can provide forms and checklists covering a range of areas such as:
- Checklists and forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, active maintenance program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, sleep requirements at different ages, etc.)
Providing unique tools and applications on your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. Health-related calculators are useful tools for your website. Others would include things like nutritional tools, and even recipes.
In the next section, we look at a several WordPress plugins you can add to your medical site that improve seo, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part one of this article on ways to improve your health-related business presence online.
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