Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health professionals today are facing an increasing number challenges created by the web economy.
Challenges Medical And Health Services Professionals Face Online
Now, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical sector must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to become more involved in the community you serve, you must also maintain an active web presence. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better promote your business online.
As well as investing money marketing offline, you will probably find that in order to remain competitive, you will need to delegate a larger portion of your budget towards the development and maintenance of a website that will bring new leads, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and help you gain a wider degree of exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your web pages have to load fast, and your website layout has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website will change in time and sections will need to be updated frequently. This requires having a well-planned web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that health and medical services practitioners face with their websites (as most other professions do for that matter), is that your site has an average of thirty seconds to give users what they are looking for or they will go away.
“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 Services Professionals In The Digital Economy
As well as facing significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available for medical or health-related practices that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think strategically when it comes to improving their online marketing skills.
In this detailed guide, you will learn ways to attract new potential clients and improve your online results.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your web presence, we also place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system to power your medical or health website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Learn Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Potential Buyers
- The Complete Guide To Building Your Successful Small Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we will show you how to improve your medical or health-related website and get better results online. We will look at what pages your website needs, what type of content works best for health-related websites, navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your medical-related website, check out the detailed guide we have written here: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All websites need several basic pages. Let’s go over the pages your need and how to set up your health or medical-related website for best results.
Products And Services Page
You need to include a page that lists your products or services. Depending on which area you specialize in, this page could include services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. acute pain management, neurosurgery haematology, cosmetic surgery, geriatric medicine, rheumatology, infection control, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, holistic dentistry, gum disease, veneers, crowns and bridges, braces, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac monitoring, coronary care
- Prenatal & Neonatal – e.g. obstetrics, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – mammography, lung screening, oral health, women’s health, MRI scanning, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – laboratory testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, couples, wellbeing, social work services
- Alternative therapies – Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, functional medicine, meditation, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, chiropody, reproductive services, physiotherapy, neurosciences, prosthetics, 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.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
Remember to include any business awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your business and to position yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your business awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Your Staff Page
If you are searching for cost-effective ways to grow your business online and get people to interact more on your site, then make it easier for prospective clients to get to know, like and trust your organization better.
Prospects need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff or team members. This page should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with medical or health-related terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what they specialize in. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas do. This page can also include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow some of your team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight each staff member’s expertise, 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 team to prospective new clients. Screenshot image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to easily add an updatable simple team directory to WordPress without messing with code, go here: How To Add A Staff Directory
List any career opportunities within your company. This page can include training provided, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. It should include stories of graduates who have risen within your organization and information such as the job outlook and new career opportunities in the health-related industry.
Include also a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, join your announcements list, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Testimonials 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 are also helping to establish social proof online for your business.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and client reviews. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
For a detailed article about using case studies, testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online, go here: Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions With Powerful Testimonials
A clean contact page is vitally important.
It should provide the following information about your practice:
- Company Name
- Address of clinic
- Facsimile number
- Email address
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media links
If your business operates from multiple locations you want to make this clear when showing the address and contact info.
You should also include links pointing to the most commonly asked questions page, useful pages, booking request, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Health-Related Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business using content like news and announcements, updates, useful articles and tutorials, discussions on current topics, videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established health or medical site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to create more exposure for your medical practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing website is very hard to manage or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and your blog.
Not many businesses know this, but WordPress can become an automated traffic machine that will help attract a stream of web traffic to your site, simply by publishing content on a consistent basis to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more:
- Website Traffic Blueprint – Discover How To Automatically Attract More Web Visitors For Your Business
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is extremely important. This is not only important for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws and regulations are being contravened wherever you do business.
Adding the following legal pages to your website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Privacy Statement
- 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
- and others
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your website here: Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s highly competitive online economy, the sooner you start publishing great content on your site, the sooner you will begin to differentiate yourself from other competing businesses.
Providing great content with useful tips, information or advice will get your readers to share your web pages online with others and come back for more content. Using content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if your business provides solutions that help people lose weight, then some of the areas you could publish content about include the following:
- Emotional causes for weight issues (possible causes, identifying yours)
- How to get support for your weight loss efforts (friends, family, weight loss seekers)
- Diet sodas (common ones, side effects, long term results, do they work?)
- A guide to making the right choices when eating in restaurants
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your readers understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Remember to use specific keywords and terminology in your content that readers will search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will show you how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating high-quality content for your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (known as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Adding RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many 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 content updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- A feed provides links to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are a number of ways readers can receive your content (e.g. users can view the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes to providing great content 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 useful content for your website by searching online for relevant government departments or key industry bodies.
Below we have listed some examples of 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 specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Health care for women, Illnesses and disabilities, Mental 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 leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, ADA (American Diabetes Association), Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, Journal of Cell Science, Transplantation – Most Popular Articles, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Get many health-related feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Find feeds on fda-related news like criminal investigations, health fraud, tainted products, animal and veterinary news, 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 - Find various health-related feeds 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. Health news: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Health.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also choose individual feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Asthma, Migraine Headaches, Pediatrics / Healthy Kids, Eyesight, High Blood Pressure, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select individual RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Public Health, Bird Flu/Avian Flu, ADHD/ADD, Aid/Disasters, Diabetes, Cleft Palate, Genetics, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “headache rss feeds”, “drug approvals rss feeds”, “restless legs syndrome rss feeds”, etc.
(Using RSS feeds can help to improve your health-related site’s UX.)
Checklists & Charts
Checklists and explanatory charts are a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your readers. Charts and checklists can give them step-by-step information and resources to complete tasks. Checklists and forms are also great client educational tools.
Checklists, charts and medical forms could address topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post treatment
- Health checklists and charts for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Other Tools
Providing useful tools and applications on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to potential clients. Calculators, for example are great tools you can add to your website. Others could include things like nutritional tools, and even recipes.
In the next section, we will look at a several WordPress plugins you can add to your medical or health-related site that can also help improve seo, improve user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part one of this comprehensive guide on ways to build your health-related business web presence.
Click on this link to access the rest of this article:
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group