Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health professionals today face an ever increasing number of new challenges thanks to the online economy.
Challenges Professional Health And Medical Services Providers Face Online
Today, more than ever, businesses in the health industry must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to be fully involved in the community you serve, you must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and learning better ways to grow your services online.
As well as spending dollars advertising offline, businesses in the health industry are also finding that they need to delegate a more significant part of their marketing budget to develop and manage a website that attracts prospective clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and increases their marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your pages have to be fast-loading, and 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 may need to be updated often. This requires the implementation of a sound website and content management strategy.
One other challenge that health services practitioners face, as do most other professions for that matter, is that they have an average of 30 seconds to help visitors find what they need or they will look 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.”
Opportunities For Health And Medical Services Practitioners In The Online Economy
As well as facing many business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available to businesses in the health-related industry that can adapt to meet the demands of the digital economy and who can think strategically when it comes to marketing their business services better online.
This guide will help you uncover ways and opportunities to source new clients and build more online credibility for your business.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your medical or health-related business online, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform to power your medical business website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system, go here:
- How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Money
- Using A WordPress Site To Grow A Successful Business Online
Useful Tips To Improve Your Health Site
This section looks at ways to improve your medical or health website and get better results. We will look at what pages your website needs, what type of content you need, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, see this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: Planning Your Website: A Cost-Saving Guide For Business Owners
Essential Web Pages
All business websites need a number of basic pages. Let’s review the pages your should have and how to set up your website for best results.
Your Services And Products
You need to include a page that lists your products and services. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, your page could list services such as:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. ear, nose & throat, pulmonology endocrinology, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation medicine, renal, endoscopy, ophtalmology day surgery, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. preventive dentistry, holistic dentistry, gum disease, restorations, braces, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. heart surgery, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal & Neonatal – e.g. birthing, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – mammography, skin cancer, audiology, women’s health, MRI scanning, 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, wellness, social work services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, functional medicine, shiatsu, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – diet and nutrition, chiropody, lymphedema therapy, speech language therapy, neurosciences, artificial limbs, sleep therapy, home care, community health, medical supplies, etc.
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about what your services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It should also include any business awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your medical, dental, chiropractic, surgery services, etc. and position yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your industry awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
Meet Your Staff
If you are looking for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to sell more products or services online or get people to stay longer on your site, then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for your prospects to get to know, like and trust your business better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be well-versed in medical terms it should tell who they are and what they specialize in. It should also explain what those specialized areas mean. It can include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow individual team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to outline each team member’s expertise and qualifications, how they add value to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your employees to prospective new clients. Screenshot source: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to create and add a simple staff directory to your site, go here: Plugin Tutorial: How To Add A Staff List Directory To WordPress
This is a listing of job or career opportunities available within the practice. It could include training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, social activities sponsored or encouraged by your organization, etc. You should also include information about new career opportunities in the health or medical industry.
Maintain 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 newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies & Testimonials
Case studies and testimonials from previous clients are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase the services you offer. Adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients also provides visitors social proof online.
(Add a web page with client reviews and case studies. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
To learn more about using testimonials, case studies and client reviews, see this article: Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Captivating Testimonials
Having a contact page is vitally important.
It should provide visitors with the following information about your business:
- Name Of Your Business
- Your physical location
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Web address
- Contact form
- Request for more information – contact details
- Social media URLs
- Chat/Skype (optional)
If your business operates from different areas you will want to make this clear when showing your address and contact information.
You should also include a few links point to the most commonly asked questions page, useful pages, online booking request, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog can be a powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content like the latest announcements, updates, educational articles, opinions and discussions, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your clinic.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health-related website is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your business website and blog.
Very few people know that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic machine that will begin to drive web traffic to your business, simply by adding content to your website on a consistent basis.
(WordPress can drive web traffic automatically to your site)
Learn more about this here:
- WordPress Website Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Increase Your Web Traffic For Your Business Using WordPress
As a professional health or medical services provider, having a compliant website is important. This is not only important for building trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws or regulations are being broken wherever you provide services.
Adding the following legal pages to your medical website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health and Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your site. For more info, see this article: Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Content
In today’s highly competitive digital economy, being generous with information has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
Providing great content with information, tips or advice will get your visitors to share your information and come back for more content. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and teach your visitors and prospective clients about your services.
For example, if you provide services that help people lose weight, then some of the topics you could cover as content on your site:
- Common medical conditions that can cause weight gain
- Tips for developing portion control habits (smaller plate, don’t put food on the table, more vegetables)
- Why using a measuring tape is better than a scale when it comes to weight loss progress
- How a personal chef can help you lose weight (what they do, is it affordable)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your readers understand your medical or health-related services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Remember to include the same keywords in your articles that your prospective clients will search to find you 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 website or blog, save money creating useful content that will add value to your visitors and grow your presence online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (known as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Add RSS Feeds
Using RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other sites will 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
- Doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- RSS feeds allow for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides a number of ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes to providing great information on your site from other websites, 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 for your website by visiting sites of health and medical-related government departments and key industry bodies.
Here are some examples of useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to your site:
- 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 RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Health care for women, 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, JAMA & Archives, BMJ Sexually Transmitted Infections, jobs.ac.uk health and medical jobs, BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 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
- FDA – Find FDA-related RSS feeds (e.g. enforcement reports, health fraud, pet health, radiological health, 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 - Find various health-related RSS feeds 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. Fitness and nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also choose specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Men’s health, Cold & Flu, Depression, Digestion, Skin, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Eye Health/Blindness, Vascular, Surgery, Aid/Disasters, Endocrinology, Sports Medicine/Fitness, Tuberculosis, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “stress rss feeds”, “gastroenterology rss feeds”, “crohn’s rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to improve your site’s user experience.)
Checklists And Forms
Adding checklists and explanatory charts to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and charts can provide useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks performed. They are great educational tools.
You can provide online or downloadable forms, charts and checklists covering a range of areas such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral maintenance program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, sleep requirements at different stages of development, etc.)
Provide Unique Tools
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your visitors. Calculators are useful tools you can add to your website. Other tools can include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section of this detailed article, we look at a several WordPress plugins and themes you can use in your site 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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