The digital information age has not only transformed businesses globally, it has also created increasingly difficult challenges and opportunities for health professionals.
- 0.1 Challenges Health Professionals Face Online
- 0.2 Opportunities For Health Services Providers In The Online Economy
- 1 Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
- 1.1 Ways To Improve Your Web Pages
- 1.2 Improving Your Content
- 1.3 Improving Visitor Experience
- 1.4 Like It? Share It:
- 1.5 Related
Challenges Health Professionals Face Online
Today, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical sector 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 and maintain an active digital presence. This includes having an effective website and searching for better ways to promote your practice online.
As well as spending money advertising offline on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and tv, etc., businesses in the medical or health-related industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be allocated to develop and manage a website that drives leads, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and social media, and helps them gain a wider reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your web pages have to be fast-loading, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website will change in time and some aspects may need to be updated frequently. This requires having a well-developed website and content management strategy.
Another problem that medical-related businesses face with their websites (and all other businesses for that matter), is that your site has only about thirty seconds or less to provide visitors what they need or they will find what they are looking for 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 Health Services Providers In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available for medical or health practices that are willing to evolve to meet the challenges of the digital economy and think outside the box in terms of marketing themselves better online.
This guide will help you uncover ways and opportunities to increase traffic and notice significant improvements in your online results.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your website, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress platform to power your medical or health business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see the articles below:
- Learn How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Business And What To Do About It
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Understanding WordPress
Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
This section looks at how to improve your medical website and get better results. We will look at what pages your website needs, what content works best, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, visit this page: The Website Planning Process: A Basic Blueprint For Non-Technical Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Web Pages
All business websites need several basic web pages. Let’s discuss these.
Services And Products
It’s essential to have a page that describes your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area you specialize in, your page could include services like:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. pain management, pulmonology endocrinology, plastic surgery, geriatric medicine, rheumatology, endoscopy, optometry palliative care, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, holistic dentistry, cleaning services, teeth whitening, dental braces, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, coronary care
- Prenatal/Neonatal – e.g. obstetrics, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screens, lung screening, medical imaging, pap smears, MRI scanning, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, food and water testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, domestic abuse, diet and nutrition counselling, social work services
- Alternative treatments – acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, yoga, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – diet and nutrition, othopedics, reproductive endocrinology, speech therapy, medical genetics, prosthetics, hearing aids, home and community care, community health, medical equipment, etc.
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using your services and why they should choose you.
This page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It’s important to mention any professional awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote your medical, dental, chiropractic, surgery services, etc. and position yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your industry awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Image source: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for quicker, easier and cheaper ideas to sell more products or services online and get people to engage more on your site, then help prospects get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff. It should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors will not tend to be well-versed in medical terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas do. It can also include social buttons that will allow your prospective clients to follow individual staff members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to outline 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 a page that introduces your team members to prospective new clients. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to create and add a list directory of employees to WordPress without coding skills, go here: Adding An Employee Directory To Your WordPress Site
Career Opportunities Page
This is a listing of career opportunities available within the practice. This page can include training provided, benefits, professional development, etc. You can include case studies of trainees who have risen within your organization and information about career opportunities in the health or medical-related industry.
Also include 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 updates list, follow your social pages, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Testimonials from past clients and case studies are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients, you will also help to provide visitors social proof online for your business.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and reviews from clients. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
To learn more about using client testimonials and reviews to improve your business results online, go here: How To Improve Your Sales Using Standout Testimonials
A functional contact page is essential.
It should provide the following information about your center:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
If your business services different areas you want to make that clear when displaying the address and contact info.
You should also include a few links point to the most commonly asked questions page, useful pages, booking form, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Health Blog Section
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing timely content like announcements, product releases, useful information, opinions and discussions, educational videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established medical-related site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to market your medical business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing website is very hard to keep updated with new content or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your business website and business blog.
Something few people know about, is that WordPress can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that can help begin attracting an ongoing stream of targeted visitors to your business, simply by adding new content to your website on a regular basis.
(WordPress can drive new traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more about this: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – How To Grow Your Web Traffic For Your Business
Legal Information Pages
As a professional business, having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is crucial. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being broken wherever you do business.
Adding the following legal pages to your site 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
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health and Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your website. To learn more about this go here: Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving Your Content
In today’s ultra-competitive global economy, being generous with information has become one of the key differentiators for businesses that sell similar products or provide similar services.
Providing useful content with tips or information will get your visitors to share your web pages online and come back for more. Content marketing is the most effective way to educate site visitors and prospects about using your services.
For example, if you provide products or services that help people manage their weight, then some of the areas you can write content about include:
- Emotional causes for weight issues (possible causes, how to identify yours)
- Easy portion control habits (smaller plate, don’t put food on the table, more vegetables)
- Why using a measuring tape is better than a scale when it comes to weight loss progress
- Vitamins and minerals that aid in weight loss (chromium, calcium, magnesium, etc.)
- And many other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your health-related services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Include keywords and terms in your content that prospective clients would search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to 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 completely FREE!
Improving Visitor Experience
Improving website user experience (known as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
If you provide useful content, other sites may 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 updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides a way for external links to point back to your content
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides several ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. users can view your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing information 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 loads of useful content by visiting sites of medical-related government departments and key industry bodies.
For example, here are some examples of RSS feeds containing useful information that you could add to a medical or health-related website:
- 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 individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Body image, Environmental health, Illnesses and disabilities, Menopause, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of feeds from well-known medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. BMJ Quality and Safety in Health Care, BMJ Heart, American Cancer Society, Occupational Medicine, The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Find various feeds on health-related news here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Get FDA-related feeds (e.g. enforcement reports, MedWatch safety alerts (human medical products), tainted products marked as dietary supplements, cosmetics, 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) - Get many feeds on health-related news and topics and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news feeds in major news publications like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness & nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also choose specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Allergies, Menopause, Migraine Headaches, Oral Health, Exercise & Fitness, HIV, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also select specific feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Stem Cell Research, Fertility, Cervical Cancer/HPV Vaccine, Dermatology, Medical Devices/Diagnostics, HIV/AIDS, Medical Practice Management, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific subjects, e.g. “ebola rss feeds”, “nursing rss feeds”, “obesity rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS feeds can help to improve your website’s user experience.)
Add Online Forms
Adding checklists and charts to your site is a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your visitors and provide something unique. They can provide visitors with useful information and resources to complete tasks. Checklists and forms are also great client educational tools.
You can provide a range of forms and checklists covering topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, sleep requirements at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Other Tools
Providing unique tools and applications on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your visitors. Health-related calculators are great tools to add to your website. Other tools can include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section of this guide, we will be discussing a several WordPress plugins and themes you can add to your site that improve seo, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one of this guide on ways to improve your health or medical business web presence.
Click here to view the rest of this guide: Online Business Tips For Health And Medical Services Practitioners – WordPress Plugins & Themes That Can Help Improve SEO, Improve User Engagement And Drive More Visitors To Your Site
Other Recommended WordPress Plugins And Themes:
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