Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Medical providers today face an ever growing number of challenges thanks to the digital economy.
Challenges Professional Medical And Health Services Practitioners Face Online
Now, more than ever, medical services practitioners must find smarter ways to stand apart from the crowd and obtain new clientele. Not only do you have to maintain an active presence in the community your business serves, you must also develop a strong presence online. This includes having a website and learning how to better market your health or medical services services online.
In addition to investing money in offline marketing activities, you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to compete with other health or medical-related businesses, you will need to invest a larger portion of your marketing budget towards the development and management of a website that attracts leads, engages visitors, outperforms the competition in search engines and social media, and helps you gain a wider degree of reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website may change in time and many areas may need to be frequently updated. This requires a well-developed web and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that medical services practitioners (and most businesses) face with their websites, is that you have only around thirty seconds or less to provide users with what they are looking for 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 Medical Businesses In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to businesses in the health-related sector that are willing to evolve to meet digital demands and can think strategically in terms of marketing their services better online.
This guide will help you uncover ways and opportunities to attract more visitors and establish online credibility for your business.
As well as providing tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your website, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system to power your medical-related business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see these articles:
- How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Customers
- Using WordPress To Grow A Successful Small Business Online
Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
In this section we will show you ways to improve your health or medical-related website and get better results. We show you what pages you need, what type of content you need, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, go here: The Web Site Planning Process - A Money-Saving Guide For Business Owners
All business websites require a number of essential web pages. Let’s discuss the pages your should have and how to set up your medical or health-related website for best results.
It’s essential to include a page that lists your services and products. Depending on which area you specialize in, your page could include services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. anaesthetics, neurosurgery blood disorders, reconstructive surgery, gerontology, respiratory, infection control, eye diseases elective surgery, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. general dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, braces, emergency dental services, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal & Postnatal – e.g. obstetrics, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screening, lung screening, hearing, pap smears, MRI scanning, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, trauma counselling, wellness, social development services
- Alternative therapies – Chinese medicine, homeopathy, natural therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic services, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – weight management, sports medicine, reproductive endocrinology, rehabilitation, inherited diseases, artificial limbs, assisted living, home and community care, community health, medical supplies, etc.
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using your services and why they should book an appointment with you.
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, community activities, etc.
It should also mention any business awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your services and position yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your industry awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Screenshot source: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for ideas to grow your business online, then help prospects get to know you, your team and your business better.
People need to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors are probably not well-versed in medical-related terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It can include social buttons so your site visitors can follow individual team members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to outline each team member’s qualifications, how they add value or contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a ‘meet the team’ page. Screenshot image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
To learn more about how to easily add an easy-to-manage list of staff or team members to WordPress without coding skills, go here: How To Easily Create A Simple Employee Directory In Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills Required
Career Opportunities Page
List any job or career opportunities available within your clinic. This page should include type of training provided, benefits, professional development, social aspects of working for your business, etc. It should include information about 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 the page, join your contact list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case studies and testimonials from previous clients are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with case studies and client reviews, you will also help to provide social proof for your business.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
For a detailed article on using case studies, testimonials and client reviews get better results online, go here: How To Improve Your Sales With Compelling User Testimonials
A contact page is vitally important.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following:
- Name Of Your Business
- Phone number
- Facsimile number
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media links
If you operate from several locations you will want to make that clear when showing the address and contact information.
You should also include links to an FAQ section, main pages, booking request, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as events, updates, training articles and tutorials, opinions and discussions, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to create more exposure for your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health or medical-related site is very hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your website and blog.
Not many people know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that will begin attracting a stream of targeted visitors to your web site, simply by publishing new content to your website on a consistent basis.
(WordPress can generate new traffic automatically to your website)
To learn more about this go here:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Driving More Web Traffic Automatically With WordPress
It’s extremely important to have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not contravening local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever you do business.
Depending on the products and services you provide, adding some or all of 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. Google), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your site here: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you start engaging in the practice of content marketing, the faster you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You want to provide great content with useful tips, information or advice that will get your visitors to share your information online with others and come back for more. Content marketing is a great way to inform and educate your visitors and prospects about using your services and products.
For example, if you provide solutions that help people lose weight, then some of the topics you can cover in your content include:
- Common medical conditions that can cause weight gain
- What are calories and how understanding them aids in weight loss
- How to incorporate exercise into your weight loss program
- Could a personal chef help you lose weight (what they do, is it affordable)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your medical services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use keywords in your articles that your readers will be searching for.
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 show you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (known as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Add RSS Feeds
An RSS feed provides many benefits for your business.
If you provide useful information, other businesses will 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
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared online
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are multiple ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to providing great information on your website 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 by searching online for medical-related government departments and respected industry bodies.
Here are a few useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to your website:
- 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 individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Fitness and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Minority women’s health, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a list of RSS feeds from various medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. ACS Publications, CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, Journal of Cell Science, BMJ British Journal of Ophthalmology, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Get many health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Find FDA-related RSS feeds (e.g. enforcement reports, food safety, tainted products marked as dietary supplements, animal and veterinary news, etc.) and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- Department of Health UK (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. Western Australia – http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/feed/?types=news
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention - Find many health-related feeds and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news feeds by going to publications like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Medical research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also choose individual feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Arthritis, Cholesterol, Depression, Prevention & Wellness, Thyroid, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also choose specific RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Schizophrenia, Caregivers/Homecare, Radiology/Nuclear Medicine, Swine Flu, Food Intolerance, Litigation/Medical Malpractice, Obesity/Weight Loss/Fitness, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific subjects, e.g. “lymphedema rss feeds”, “autism rss feeds”, “obesity rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS feeds to improve your health website’s UX.)
Adding checklists and charts to your site is a great way to increase user engagement and add value to your visitors. Forms and checklists can provide step-by-step instructions and resources to perform a task. Checklists and charts are also great client educational tools.
Checklists, charts and medical forms can cover areas such as:
- Checklists/forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, active maintenance program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, sleep requirements at different stages of development, etc.)
Providing unique tools and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your users. Health-related calculators are some of the most popular tools for your website. Other tools can include things like nutritional tools, or even recipes.
In part two of this detailed article, we look at a number of online tools you can add to your health or medical-related website using WordPress plugins that can help to improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this guide on ways to build your health-related business presence online.
To continue, click here:
- Your Health Practice Website – How To Improve Search Engine Optimization, Improve User Engagement And Drive More Visitors To Your Website Using WordPress Plugins & Themes
"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