Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Medical professionals today face growing challenges.
Challenges Medical & Health Businesses Face Online
Today, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical 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 a strong digital presence. This includes having a dynamic website and learning how to better promote your services online.
As well as spending dollars advertising offline on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and tv, etc., businesses in the medical-related industry are also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget need to be assigned towards the development and maintenance of a website that brings in clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and helps to create wider reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your pages have to load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website may change over time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires a well-planned website and content management strategy in place.
Another challenge that health businesses face with their websites (as other professions do for that matter), is that your site has around 30 seconds or less to provide visitors with what they need or they will leave the site.
“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 Web Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to medical or health-related businesses that can adapt to meet the challenges of the online economy and can think strategically when it comes to marketing their services better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn new opportunities to attract more bookings and create significant improvements in your business presence online.
As well as providing practical tips and information on ways to improve your website, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your medical or health website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS), go here:
- Why A Poorly Built Web Site Can Cost You Customers And What To Do About It
- The Beginner’s Guide To Growing A Successful Small Business With A WordPress Site
Ways To Improve Your Health And Medical Practice Services Site
This section covers ways to improve your health website and get better results. We will look at what pages your website needs, what content works best for medical-related websites, ways of improving navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, check out the detailed guide we have written here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Essential Web Pages
All websites require some basic pages. Let’s go over the pages your should have and how to set up your medical or health website for best results.
Products And Services Page
It’s essential to have a page that explains your products or services. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, your page can list services such as:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. ear, nose and throat, neurosurgery haematology, plastic surgery, continence management, rheumatology, bariatric surgery, eye diseases elective surgery, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. general dentistry, children’s dentistry, oral hygiene, restorations, dental implants, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. heart monitoring, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. birth suites, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – mammography, lung screening, oral health, gynaecology, MRI scanning, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – laboratory testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, fine-needle aspiration cytology, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, couples, diet and nutrition counselling, social development services
- Alternative treatments – acupuncture, homeopathy, natural therapy, shiatsu, chiropractic, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, sports medicine, lymphedema therapy, rehabilitation, inherited diseases, artificial limbs, assisted living, home and community care, sexual health, medical supplies, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community services, etc.
Remember to also list any medical-related awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your practice and position yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Screenshot image source: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for quicker and easier ways to sell more products online and get people to engage more on your site, then help prospects get to know you and your business better.
Potential clients need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not that well-versed in medical-related terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what they specialize in. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page can also include social buttons that will allow your prospective clients to follow selected staff 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 your team member’s experience, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee description page. Screenshot source: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to add an easy-to-manage simple staff directory in WordPress without touching code here: Plugin Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee List Directory To Your WordPress Site
Work With Us
List any job opportunities within the company. It would include type of training provided, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. It should include stories of recruits who have worked their way up in your business and information such as the job outlook and upcoming career opportunities in the health and medical industry.
Also include a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, subscribe to your contact list, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Testimonials from previous clients and case studies are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase what type of services you offer. Adding a page with case studies and client reviews also helps to provide prospective clients with social proof.
(Add a page to your site with client reviews and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials and reviews get better results online. Go here to learn more: How To Turn More Visitors Into Prospects With Meaningful Testimonials
A contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should provide visitors with the following:
- Physical address
- Facsimile number
- Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media URLs
- Online chat
If your business operates in several locations you will want to make that clear when displaying the address and contact info.
You could also include links to an FAQ section, frequently-visited pages, online booking form, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog can be a powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms are built around a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as announcements, updates, useful information, opinions on current topics, how-to videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established medical or health website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is very hard to manage or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your business website and business blog.
Something few businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic system that will begin attracting web traffic to your web site, simply by publishing regular content to your web site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate web traffic automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more:
Legal Information Pages
It’s really important for professional organizations to have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for establishing credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening any local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever your business is located.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your medical or health-related website will help keep you 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
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your website here: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s ultra-competitive global economy, the ability to deliver valuable content to visitors at no cost has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
Provide great content with useful tips, advice or information that will get your readers to share your information and come back for more content. Using content is the most effective way to educate site visitors and prospective clients about using your services.
For example, if you provide weight loss services, then some of the topics you could cover as content on your site:
- Nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals)
- How to identify the bad habits that need to be corrected to ensure lifetime weight loss
- Characteristics of different diets, e.g. HCG diet, Mediterranean diet, Jenny Craig diet (what these are, how they work, how effective they are)
- A guide to making the right choices when eating out at any restaurant
- 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 health or medical services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Remember to use specific keywords in your content that 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 and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your presence online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (generally referred to as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and UX.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
An RSS feed provides many benefits for your health or medical-related business.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
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
- RSS feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- An RSS feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing great information on your site 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 loads of useful content by searching online for relevant government departments or well-known industry bodies.
Here are examples of RSS feeds containing useful information that 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 search by departments and choose specific RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breast cancer, Healthy aging, Illnesses and disabilities, Minority women’s health, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a list of RSS feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (American Association for Cancer Research), BMJ Heart, The Journal of Immunology, Neurology.org, The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Find many health-related news feeds 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 press releases, FDA drug shortages, pet health, vaccines, blood and biologics, etc. and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- UK Department Of Health (www.gov.uk) – 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 podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news RSS feeds in places like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also select specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Pregnancy, Senior Health, Sleep, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also choose individual RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Eye Health/Blindness, Bird Flu/Avian Flu, Surgery, Dermatology, Primary Care/General Practice, Respiratory/Asthma, Personal Monitoring/Wearable Technology, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “ADD rss feeds”, “body aches rss feeds”, “ear, nose and throat rss feeds”, etc.
(Add RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to improve your medical-related site’s user experience.)
Checklists and medical forms are a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. Checklists and medical forms can provide useful step-by-step information and resources to perform tasks. Forms and checklists are great instructional tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable checklists, charts and forms (or links to these) covering areas such as:
- Checklists/forms for 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.
- Fitness and exercise program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, the importance of sleep at different ages, etc.)
Add Unique Tools
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your potential clients. Health-related calculators, for example, are some of the most popular tools for your website. Others can include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In the next section of this guide, we look at a number of online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins that can also help improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this step-by-step guide on ways to grow your medical or health web presence.
To view the rest of this article, click this link:
- A Practical Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Your Health Services Presence Online Successfully – Part 2
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