Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health services providers today face a growing number of challenges brought about by the digital economy.
Challenges Medical And Health Businesses Face Online
Today, more than ever, medical services professionals must work hard and find smarter ways to remain competitive and obtain new clients. Not only do you have to become actively involved in the community your business serves, you must also maintain an active web presence. This includes having a website and searching for smarter ways to promote your business online.
In addition to spending money in offline marketing activities, businesses in the medical or health-related industry are also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be delegated towards the development and management of a website that drives leads, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and helps them gain a wider reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your web pages have to be fast-loading, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs may change in time and some aspects may need to be frequently updated. This requires the implementation of a sound web and content management strategy.
One other challenge that health businesses (and most businesses) face with their websites, is that your site has around thirty seconds or less to give users the information they are searching for or they will 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.”
Michael Alter, http://www.accountingweb.com/technology/accounting-software/tips-for-improving-your-website
Opportunities For Medical And Health Businesses
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to businesses in the health or medical profession that can evolve to meet online demands and who can think progressively when it comes to marketing themselves better online.
The guide below will help you uncover new ways and opportunities to drive more traffic and establish online credibility for your medical business.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your website, we also place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your health or medical website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Learn Why A Poorly Designed Website Can Lose You Customers And What To Do About It
- The Complete Guide To Growing Your Small Business Using WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Health Website
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you ways to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what pages you need, what content works best for medical-related websites, suggestions for improving layout and navigation, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, visit this page: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Basic Web Pages
All business websites need a number of basic pages. Let’s discuss the pages your need to have and how to set up your website for best results.
Description Of Products And Services
It’s essential to have a page that explains your products and services. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, your page can list services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. anaesthetics, pulmonology blood disorders, plastic surgery, incontinence, respiratory, urology, ophtalmology surgical outpatients, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. preventive dentistry, holistic dentistry, cleaning services, restorations, orthodontics, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, coronary care
- Prenatal & Neonatal – e.g. birth suites, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – mammography, skin cancer, hearing, pap smears, psychosis, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – lab testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, fine-needle aspiration, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, domestic abuse, diet and nutrition counselling, social development services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, reflexology, natural therapy, meditation, chiropractic, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, chiropody, reproductive services, occupational therapy, inherited diseases, prosthetics, sleep therapy, home care, community health, medical transport, etc.
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using your services and direct them to your appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, causes that you support, etc.
Remember to mention any business awards, certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your services and set yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot source: squaremedical.com.au)
Your Staff Page
If you are searching for simple ways to grow your business online or get people to stay longer on your site, then one of the things you can do, is help visitors get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
You want potential 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 familiar with medical or health terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It should include social buttons so your visitors can follow selected team members on their social pages.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your employee’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 a page that introduces your staff members to prospective new clients. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
To learn more about how to create and add an easy-to-manage list directory of employees to WordPress using a free WP plugin, go here: How To Easily Add A Staff Directory To WordPress: Tutorial
List any job opportunities within the clinic. This page would include type of training provided, employee benefits, professional development, social aspects of working for your business, etc. You can also include case studies of recruits who have worked their way up in your business and information about upcoming 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 this page, subscribe to your updates list, follow your social pages, etc.
Customer reviews and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with client reviews and case studies, you will also help to provide visitors social proof online for your business.
(Add a web page with testimonials from past clients and case studies. Image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
If you would like to learn more about using client testimonials and reviews get better results online, go here: How To Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Highly Effective User Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a clean contact page is essential.
It should include:
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Contact email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media networks
- Online Chat/Skype
If your business services different areas you will want to make that clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You can also include a few links point to commonly-asked questions page, main pages, booking request, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Medical Blog
A blog can be a very powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to promote your business using content like events, updates, useful articles, opinions on current topics, videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to market your practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing website is hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your business website and your blog.
Not many people know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation system that can instantly begin delivering a stream of web traffic to your web site, simply by adding content on a regular basis to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
For more info, see this article:
- Web Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Generating More Web Traffic For Your Business Automatically With WordPress
As a professional business, ensuring that you have a compliant website is vitally important. This is not only important for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaching laws or regulations wherever you provide services.
Depending on the products and services you provide, adding the following legal pages to your website will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- 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
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site. To learn more about this go here: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you start engaging in the practice of content marketing, the quicker you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from other competitors.
By providing great content with useful tips or information, you will get your visitors to share your web pages and come back for more. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if you provide weight management services, then some of the areas you could write content about include:
- What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?
- The role portion control plays in helping you achieve weight loss results
- Tips for developing an exercise regime you can enjoy and will stick with
- 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 educational articles that will help your readers gain a better understanding of your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Include keywords and terms in your articles that readers would search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your 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 user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
Adding RSS Feeds
Adding RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- RSS feeds allow for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. users can read your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- 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.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, visit sites of relevant government departments or industry bodies.
For example, here are some RSS feeds you could add to a health or medical site:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can search by departments and 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, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a list of feeds from well-known medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. BioMed Central, Human Molecular Genetics, Stem Cells, Current Psychiatry, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 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
- FDA – Find FDA-related news feeds (e.g. criminal investigations, health fraud, tainted products, vaccines, blood and biologics, etc.) and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- Department of Health UK (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 (www.cdc.gov) - Get many RSS feeds on health-related topics and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news RSS feeds in major news publications like the NYTimes RSS 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 RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Mental Health, Cold & Flu, Pregnancy, Sexual Health, Women’s Health, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also select individual RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Ovarian Cancer, Stroke, Blood/Hematology, Preventive Medicine, Parkinson’s Disease, Cleft Palate, Liver Disease/Hepatitis, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific subjects, e.g. “pulmonary system rss feeds”, “diagnostics rss feeds”, “psychiatry rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your health site’s UX.)
Adding checklists and medical forms to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your visitors. They can provide users with useful instructions and resources to perform a task. Charts and checklists are also great client instructional tools.
Checklists, charts and medical forms can address topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post surgery
- Health checklists for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, active maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, sleep requirements at different stages of development, etc.)
Adding Online Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your potential clients. Calculators, for example are great tools to add to your website. Other tools would include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In part two of this detailed guide, we take a look at a number of online tools you can use in your website using WordPress plugins and themes that can improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
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