Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health or medical professionals face a number of challenges in the digital economy, especially in terms of growing their presence online.
Online Challenges For Health And Medical Practitioners
Now, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical 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 develop an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and searching for smarter ways to grow your practice online.
As well as investing dollars in offline marketing activities like advertising on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., businesses in the medical-related industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be allocated to develop and maintain a website that brings new clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and helps to increase their presence online.
This means that your site 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 your site’s needs may change over time and some aspects will need to be updated frequently. This requires having a well-planned website and content management strategy.
One other problem that medical-related organizations face (as do all other professions for that matter), is that your site has only about 30 seconds or less to give visitors the information they are searching for or they will leave your site and go 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 The Medical And Health Profession In The Web Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also many online opportunities available for businesses in the health-related sector that are willing to adapt to meet the demands of the digital economy and can think strategically about improving their online business marketing skills.
In this guide, you will discover new ways to increase web traffic and establish stronger online credibility for your business.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using WordPress to power your health website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- Learn How A Poorly Constructed Website Can Cost You Potential Customers And What To Do About It
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Understanding WordPress
Practical Tips To Improve Your Medical Practice Website
We’ll start first by going over the basic information you need. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what pages you need, what type of content works best for medical or health sites, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, read this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: Planning A Web Site - A Useful Guide For Business Owners
Improve Your Web Pages
Professional business websites require a number of essential web pages. Let’s review the pages your need to have and how to structure your health-related website for best results.
Products And Services Description Page
You need to include a page that describes your products or services. Depending on which area you specialize in, your page could list services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. acute pain management, nephrology diabetes, reconstructive surgery, gerontology, respiratory, endoscopy, ophtalmology surgical outpatients, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, implants, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, coronary care
- Prenatal & Neonatal – e.g. birth suites, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – mammography, lung screening, radiology, women’s health, magnetic resonance imaging, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, marriage counselling, wellbeing, social development services
- Alternative therapies – acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, meditation, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – diet and nutrition, chiropody, reproductive endocrinology, optical services, neurosciences, artificial limbs, mobility, home and community care, community health, medical equipment, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what your services do and why they should book an appointment with you.
Who We Are
This page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
It’s important to also include any awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your services and to position yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Screenshot image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
Your Staff Page
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ways to grow your business online and increase user interaction with your site, then something you can do, is help your prospective clients get to know your organization better.
People need to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. This page should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors are probably not well-versed in health or medical-related terms it should tell who they are and what they specialize in. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It can include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow some of your staff members on their social networks.
In this page, make sure to outline your employee’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.
(Make sure to add a page that introduces your employees or team members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have created a detailed tutorial on how to add an easy-to-maintain list directory of staff members in WordPress using free plugins here: How To Add An Employee List Directory
Job Opportunities Page
This is a listing of career opportunities within your company. This page would include training, benefits, professional development, social activities promoted or sponsored by your organization, etc. You can also include stories of graduates who have established a solid career path thanks to your organization and information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the health or medical-related 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 announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. Adding a page with testimonials and case studies also helps to establish social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written extensively on using testimonials and reviews to improve your business results online here: Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions With Profit-Boosting Client Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a functional contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following:
- Business Name
- Physical location
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Interactive chat
If your business operates out of several locations you will want to make that clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You could also include links pointing to commonly-asked questions page, frequently-visited pages, booking request, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Medical-Related Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business using content like announcements, updates, educational articles, discussions on current topics, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an medical or health website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to create more exposure for your clinic.
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 serve both as your website and business blog.
Something few people know about, is that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic system that can begin driving web traffic to your web site, simply by adding new content on a regular basis to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more:
- Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Increasing Your Web Traffic Automatically With WordPress
Legal Info Pages
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is vital. This is not only important for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws or regulations are being broken wherever your business is located.
Depending on what services and products you provide, adding the following legal pages to your site will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health and Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
To learn more about adding legal pages to your website, see this article: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s ultra-competitive online business economy, the willingness to deliver valuable content to visitors at no cost has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
By committing to providing great content with information, advice or tips, you will get your readers sharing your web pages and coming back for more. Using content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospects about your business and services.
For example, if you provide weight management services, then some of the areas you could publish content about include the following:
- Potential health issues caused by being overweight
- How to identify the bad habits you need to correct to ensure lifetime weight loss
- Comparing different diets, e.g. Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, Weight Watchers diet (what these are, how they can benefit you, how effective they are)
- How to incorporate an occasional fast food into a healthy diet plan
- And many other content topics
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your prospective clients understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Use the same keywords and terms in your content that prospective clients will search for.
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 you 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 website using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving website user experience (generally referred to as UX) will help to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and user experience.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide lots of benefits for your business.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses 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
- Feeds can be shared online
- RSS feeds allow for subscribing
- A feed provides links back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. view the content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes 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.
To find RSS feeds with useful content just visit sites of medical or health-related government departments and industry bodies.
Here are some useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to your website:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can also choose individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Health care for women, Illnesses and disabilities, Minority women’s health, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Journal of Applied Physiology, BMJ, The Journal of Immunology, The AAPS Journal (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists), BMJ Postgraduate Medical Journal, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Get many health-related feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Find feeds on fda-related news and topics like consumer health information updates, food allergy reports, pet health, drugs, 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 (www.cdc.gov) - Find various health-related RSS feeds and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news feeds in major news publications like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Medical research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also select specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Pregnancy, Prevention & Wellness, Infectious Disease, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also choose individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Public Health, Pharmacy/Pharmacist, Medical Insurance, Regulatory Affairs/Drug Approvals, Water – Air Quality/Agriculture, Women’s Health/Gynecology, Erectile Dysfunction/Premature Ejaculation, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “eating disorders rss feeds”, “insomnia rss feeds”, “ultrasound rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS feeds can help to improve your health-related website’s user experience.)
Adding Forms & Checklists
Adding checklists and explanatory charts to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement, add value to your audience and provide something unique. Charts and checklists can provide users with step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary tasks done. Checklists and forms are great instructional tools.
Checklists, charts and medical forms can cover topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, sleep requirements at different ages, etc.)
Providing unique tools and applications on your website can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your visitors. Calculators are useful tools to add to your website. Other applications would include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section, we will be discussing a several WordPress plugins you can use in your site that can also help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this guide on ways to build your health business web presence.
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