Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only transformed businesses worldwide, it has also created difficult challenges and great opportunities for businesses in the health or medical industry.
Challenges Health Services Professionals Face Online
Now, more than ever, medical services providers must work harder to remain competitive and generate new clientele. 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 learning how to better promote your business online.
As well as investing money in offline marketing activities such as advertising on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., you will probably find that in order to compete with other web-marketing savvy medical or health businesses, increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be assigned towards the development and management of a website that will drive prospective clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and social media, and help to increase your presence online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, load fast, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs may change in time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires the implementation of a sound web and content management strategy.
One other problem that health or medical businesses face, as most businesses do for that matter, is that your site has only around 30 seconds to provide users what they are searching 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 Services Professionals In The Online Economy
As well as facing many challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to medical businesses that can adapt to meet digital challenges and who can think strategically when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
In this article, you will discover ways to generate traffic and improve your online results.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your medical-related business website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Discover How A Poorly Built Website Can Cost You Business
- Mastering WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
Practical Tips To Improve Your Medical Services & Health-Related Site
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you ways to improve your medical website and get better results online. We show you what pages your website needs, what type of content works best for medical websites, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, see this article we have written: The Web Site Planning Process: A Cost-Saving Guide For Business Owners
Essential Web Pages
Professional business websites require a number of basic web pages. Let’s review these.
Products And Services Description Page
You need a page that explains your services and products. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, your page could list services like:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. pain management, orthopedics endocrinology, cosmetic surgery, aged care, renal, gastroenterology, eye diseases palliative care, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, cleaning services, teeth whitening, dentofacial orthopedics, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. heart surgery, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal & Postnatal – e.g. obstetrics, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screening, lung screening, x-ray, gynaecology, magnetic resonance imaging, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – lab testing and analysis, routine 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 work services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, reflexology, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, chiropody, fertility services, speech language therapy, inherited diseases, artificial limbs, sleep therapy, home 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 what these services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, community participation, etc.
It should include any business awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your business and set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Screenshot source: squaremedical.com.au)
Meet Our Team
Are you searching for quicker and easier ways to sell more products online? Then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for prospective clients to get to know you 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 staff. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be that well-versed in medical terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. This page should include social buttons so your visitors can follow selected team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to outline each team member’s expertise and qualifications, how they contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff page. Screenshot image source: southperthchiro.com.au)
To learn more about how to easily create and add an updatable list of employees in your site using a free plugin, go here: Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Add A Staff Directory
Work With Us
List any job opportunities within the business. It can include training, benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. It should include stories of recruits who have risen within your company and information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the medical and 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 the page, join your updates list, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Case studies and client reviews are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase the services you offer. Adding a web page with reviews from clients and case studies also provides social proof online.
(Add a web page with testimonials and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials, case studies and reviews to improve your business results online. For more info, see this article: How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Leads With Sales Boosting User Testimonials
A functional contact page is absolutely necessary.
It should include the following information:
- Company Name
- Physical location
- Fax number
- Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Request for more information – contact details
- Links to social media pages
- Chat feature (optional feature)
If you operate in multiple locations you should make this clear when showing your address and contact information.
You could also include a few links point to the most commonly asked questions page, frequently-visited pages, online booking form, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Medical Or Health Blog Section
A blog can be a powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically include a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business using content such as news and announcements, updates, training information, informative posts, educational videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your medical practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical website is hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your business website and blog.
Not many people know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic machine that will help begin to attract new visitors to your web site, simply by publishing new content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive web traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more about this:
It’s extremely important for professional organizations to ensure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being broken wherever your business is located.
Depending on the services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your health or medical website 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
- 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
- and others
If you want to learn more about adding legal pages to your site, see this article: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin to publish great content on your site, the faster you will begin to differentiate yourself from other competing businesses.
Providing useful content with advice, information or tips will get your visitors sharing it with others and coming back for more. This is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about using your services and products.
For example, if you provide weight loss services, then some of the topics you could write about include the following:
- What to do before you start any weight loss program (e.g. consult with doctor, record measurements, set goals, etc.)
- Advice on ways to develop portion control habits (smaller plate, don’t put food on the table, more vegetables)
- How you eat your food - just as important as what you eat (eat at table, chew slowly)
- What salad dressings can ruin your weight loss program (and healthier choices)
- And many 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 medical or health-related services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Use the same keywords and terminology in your content that readers would search to find you online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content that will add value to your visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (known as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
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 in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- An RSS feed provides a way for external links to point back 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 your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also 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 searching online for relevant government departments and key industry bodies.
Below we have listed some useful RSS feeds you could add to a medical site:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can search by departments and choose individual feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Fitness and nutrition, Heart health and stroke, Minority women’s health, Smoking and how to quit, 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. Dermatology Times, Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), TheLancet.com, Journal of Cell Science, Molecular Biology and Evolution, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Get many health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Find FDA-related feeds (e.g. criminal investigations press releases, FDA drug shortages, tainted products marked as dietary supplements, cosmetics, 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 - Get many RSS feeds on health-related topics and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news feeds by going to publications like the NYTimes feeds section (e.g. Fitness & nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also select individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Men’s health, Cold & Flu, Oral Health, Sexual Health, Infectious Disease, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News 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. Abortion, Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP, Sexual Health/STDs, Body Aches, Bones/Orthopedics, Allergy, Obesity/Weight Loss/Fitness, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “compliance rss feeds”, “food intolerance rss feeds”, “MRI rss feeds”, etc.
(Adding RSS feeds can help to improve your website’s UX.)
Checklists And Forms
Checklists and educational charts are a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. They can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete necessary tasks. Forms and checklists are also great instructional tools.
Forms, charts and checklists can address areas such as:
- Checklists/forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post treatment
- Health checklists for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, maintenance program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Providing unique online tools and applications on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your visitors. Health-related calculators, for example, are great tools you can add to your website. Other tools would include things like nutritional tools, and even recipes.
In part 2, we discuss a several online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins and themes that can help to improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this guide on ways to build your health-related web presence.
To continue reading, click this link:
- Grow Your Health Clinic Services Website – WordPress Plugins For Improving Search Engine Optimization, Better User Engagement And Generating More Web Traffic
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)