Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital age has not only revolutionised businesses around the world, it has also created many challenges and great opportunities for businesses in the medical or health sector.
Online Challenges For Health & Medical Practitioners
Today, more than ever, businesses in the medical and health industry must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to actively participate in the community your business serves, you must also develop and maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and figuring out smarter ways to grow your business online.
As well as investing dollars marketing offline, businesses in the health or medical-related industry are now also finding that they will need to designate a bigger amount of their budget towards developing and maintaining a website that brings new prospects, engages visitors, outperforms the competition in search engines and social media, and creates a wider exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website will change over time and many aspects will need to be frequently updated. This requires having a sound website and content management strategy.
Another challenge that medical-related businesses face online (as other businesses do for that matter), is that your site has only around thirty seconds or less to provide users with 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 Medical Services Practitioners In The Online Economy
As well as facing many business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to health or medical-related businesses that can adapt to meet digital economy challenges and who can think progressively in terms of marketing themselves better online.
In this guide, you will learn ways to attract new visitors and create significant improvements in your online results.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform to power your medical or health-related website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, see the articles below:
- How A Poorly Built Web Site Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- The Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Successful Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
Let’s start by going over the basic information you need. In this section, we’ll look at how to improve your medical or health-related website and get better results online. We will look at what pages a medical website needs, what content works best for health or medical sites, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your medical website, read this article: The Website Planning Process - A Cost-Saving Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All business websites require a number of essential pages. Let’s go over the pages your should have and how to set up your website for best results.
Description Of Services
You need a page that lists your services or products. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, this page can list services like:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. ear, nose and throat, neurosurgery hematology, plastic surgery, hyperbaric medicine, rheumatology, weight loss surgery, optometry surgical outpatients, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, holistic dentistry, gum disease, restorations, dentofacial orthopedics, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Neonatal – e.g. birthing, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screening, lung screening, audiology, gynaecology, psychosis, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, trauma counselling, wellness, social work services
- Alternative therapies – acupuncture, reflexology, natural therapy, tai chi, chiropractic services, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, sports medicine, fertility services, occupational therapy, inherited diseases, artificial limbs, mobility, home care, community health, medical transport, etc.
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
Remember to also mention any awards, accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your services and to set yourself above the competition.
(List all of your professional awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Screenshot image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Are you searching for ideas to sell more products or services online? Then make it easier for your prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with health terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas do. It should also include social buttons that will allow your site visitors to follow individual staff members on their social networks.
On this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight your person’s expertise, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee page. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have created a detailed tutorial on how to add a simple and easy-to-maintain simple staff directory to your web site with no coding skills required here: How To Easily Add A Simple Staff List To Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
List any career opportunities available within your company. This page could include type of training provided, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. It should include information about upcoming career opportunities in the medical or health-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, join your newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Case studies and testimonials from past clients are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients, you are also helping to provide visitors social proof.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Screenshot source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have written a comprehensive article about using case studies, testimonials and reviews to grow your business online here: How To Achieve Better Results Online With Profit-Boosting Client Testimonials
A contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should include the following information about your business:
- Company Name
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Web address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Links to social media profiles
- Interactive chat feature
If you operate from different areas you should make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
Consider also including links pointing to the most commonly asked questions page, frequently-visited pages, online booking request, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Health-Related Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business using content such as announcements, updates, training information, opinions and discussions, how-to videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an medical site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to create more exposure for your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is very hard to add new content to or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your website and your blog.
Very few businesses know that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic system that can begin attracting an ongoing stream of targeted visitors to your website, simply by publishing regular content to your web site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
For more details, go here:
It’s vitally important to make sure they have a compliant website. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being broken wherever you do business.
Depending on what services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your website will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your website. For more details, go here: Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Site
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 competing businesses.
Providing useful content with great advice or tips will get your visitors to share your web pages online with others and come back for more content. Using content is a great way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your services.
For example, if your business provides products or services that help people manage their weight, then some of the topics you could cover in your content include:
- Nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (protein, carbs, fats, minerals, vitamins)
- The role portion control plays in helping you you lose weight
- How you eat your food is just as important as what you eat (eat at table, chew slowly)
- How to incorporate an occasional fast food into a healthier diet plan
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use keywords in your articles 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 and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your website using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Improving User Experience
Improving your user experience (generally referred to 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.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in several ways.
If you provide useful content, other sites will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides multiple ways for your 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 benefits to providing great information on your website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find many useful RSS feeds by searching online for medical and health-related government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Here are some useful RSS feeds you could add to a medical-related site:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can search by departments and choose specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Body image, Environmental health, HIV/AIDS, 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. BMJ Quality and Safety in Health Care, Bionet RSS, Obesity, Occupational Medicine, Pediatrics, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Find various RSS feeds on health-related topics here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Get FDA-related news feeds (e.g. consumer health information, FDA drug shortages, tainted products, drugs, 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 various RSS feeds on health-related news and topics and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news RSS feeds in places like the NYTimes feeds section (e.g. Medical research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also select individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, Asthma, Chronic Pain, Diet & Weight Management, Eyesight, Sleep, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Stem Cell Research, Multiple Sclerosis, Lymphology/Lymphedema, Sleep/Sleep Disorders/Insomnia, Heart Disease, Dyslexia, Psychology/Psychiatry, etc.)
You can also just search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “ebola rss feeds”, “HIV rss feeds”, “drug trials rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS feeds to improve your health or medical site’s UX.)
Add Online Checklists
Adding checklists and educational charts to your site is a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. Forms and checklists can give them useful information and resources to perform necessary tasks. They can also be great client educational tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms, charts and checklists covering areas such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, caries prevention 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.)
Providing useful tools and applications on your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your potential clients. Calculators, for example are some of the most popular tools for your website. Other tools could include things like nutritional tools, or even recipes.
In part 2 of this detailed guide, we look at a several online tools you can use in your health or medical website using WordPress plugins that can also help improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
To continue, click here:
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