Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Challenges Professional Medical Services Practitioners Face Online
Today, more than ever, health services practitioners must find smarter ways to remain competitive and find new clientele. Not only do you have to become more involved in the community your business serves, you must also develop and maintain an active digital presence. This includes having an effective website and searching for smarter ways to grow your medical services online.
In addition to spending money marketing offline, businesses in the health-related industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be assigned towards developing and managing a website that can drive prospective clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and social media, and help increase their marketing reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your 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 your site’s needs may change over time and some areas may need to be updated frequently. This requires a sound web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that medical or health businesses face (as all other professions do for that matter), is that you have only about thirty seconds or less to give visitors the information they are searching for or they will leave your site and 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.”
Opportunities For The Health Profession In The Online Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to health or medical businesses that can adapt to meet the demands of the digital economy and who can think outside the box when it comes to marketing themselves better online.
This article will help you uncover ways to generate new bookings and create noticeable improvements in your medical or health business presence online.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress Content Management System to power your medical or health-related website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Customers
- A Complete Guide To Building A Successful Small Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
This section will show you how to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what pages your website needs, what type of content you need, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, visit this page: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
How To Improve Your Web Pages
All websites need several essential pages. Let’s discuss these.
Services Description Page
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 can include services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. pain management, nephrology blood disorders, oncology, geriatric medicine, renal, urology, ophtalmology palliative care, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. preventive dentistry, holistic dentistry, gum disease, teeth whitening, dental implants, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, coronary care
- Prenatal and Neonatal – e.g. birthing, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screens, skin cancer, oral health, gynaecology, MRI scanning, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, emergency pathology testing, food and water testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, couples, wellbeing, social work services
- Alternative therapies – Chinese medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, shiatsu, chiropractic, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, othopedics, lymphedema therapy, speech language therapy, medical genetics, artificial limbs, hearing aids, home and community care, community health, medical supplies, etc.
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.
This page should give a description of your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community services, etc.
It’s important to include any business awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your services and set yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: squaremedical.com.au)
Team Profile Page
Are you looking for simple ways to grow your business online? Then something you can do, is help your visitors get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
Your business needs to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with health or medical-related terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what they specialize in. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page should include social buttons so your visitors can follow some of your staff members on their social networks.
On this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline each employee’s expertise, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your staff or team members to prospective new clients. Image source: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to add an updatable list directory of staff members in your web site using free plugins, see this step-by-step tutorial: WordPress Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory In WordPress
This is a listing of job opportunities within your organization. It would include training offered, benefits, opportunities for advancement, social aspects of working for your business, etc. You can also include stories of trainees who have risen within your company and information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the health industry.
Maintain a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, subscribe to your updates list, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies, you are also helping to provide visitors social proof for your business.
(Add a page with testimonials from past clients and case studies. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
To learn more about using testimonials and user reviews, see this article: Learn How To Improve Your Conversions Using Sales Boosting Testimonials
Having a clean contact page is essential.
It should provide visitors with some or all of the following:
- Company Name
- Physical location
- Contact email
- Map and directions
- Website address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media profiles
- Live chat feature (optional)
If your business operates from multiple locations you should make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You should also include links to an FAQ page, useful pages, online booking request, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Health Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically include a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content like announcements, product releases, training information, informative posts, educational videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an medical or health-related site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to create more exposure for your medical clinic.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical or health site is very hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your business website and business blog.
Something not many businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can become an automated traffic-generation system that will begin driving a stream of new visitors to your website, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive new traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more about this:
- Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Driving More Website Visitors Automatically Using WordPress
Having a compliant website is vital. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening laws and regulations wherever you do business.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your website will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your site. Go here to learn more: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you start to engage in the practice of content marketing, the quicker you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from other competing businesses.
By committing to providing useful content with tips or information, you will get your visitors to share your information with others and come back for more. Publishing content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your services.
For example, if you provide weight loss services, then some of the areas you can cover in your content include:
- What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?
- How to figure out how many calories you consume each day
- How you eat your food - just as important as what you eat (eat at table, chew slowly)
- How to incorporate a little fast food into a healthier diet plan
- And many other content topics
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your readers gain a better understanding of your health services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Include the keywords and terms in your content that your readers will search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your website using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Ways To Improve Visitor Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (generally referred to as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and UX.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed provides plenty of benefits for your medical or health business.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- An RSS feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides several ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. users can read your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing great information on your site from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, search online for relevant government departments or well-known industry bodies.
Below we have listed a few feeds you could add to your site:
- 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 select specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Healthy aging, HIV/AIDS, Menopause, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. AHA Journals (American Heart Association Journals), Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Radiology, BMJ British Journal of Ophthalmology, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Find many RSS feeds on health-related topics 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, tobacco news, 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. NSW – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/rss.aspx
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (www.cdc.gov) - Get many health-related RSS feeds and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news RSS feeds in places like the NYTimes feeds section (e.g. Health news: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Health.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, Asthma, Chronic Pain, Pregnancy, Senior Health, High Blood Pressure, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select specific RSS feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Eating Disorders, Vascular, Asbestos/Mesothelioma, Neurology/Neuroscience, Medical Devices/Diagnostics, Litigation/Medical Malpractice, Genetics, 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. “pharmacy rss feeds”, “pediatrics rss feeds”, “huntingtons disease rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your medical website’s user experience.)
Provide Online Checklists
Adding checklists and charts to your site is a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your readers and set yourself apart from the competition. They can give them useful information and resources to complete necessary tasks. Checklists and charts are also great client instructional tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable checklists, charts and forms (or links to these) covering topics such as:
- Checklists/forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and exercise program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Online Tools
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications on your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your users. Health-related calculators are useful tools for your website. Others would include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In part two of this guide, we look at a several WordPress-based tools you can use in your site that can help improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this step-by-step article on ways to grow your health or medical business presence online.
To continue, click here:
- Grow Your Health And Medical Center Services Website – Improving Search Engine Optimization, Increase User Engagement And Drive More Traffic With WordPress Plugins
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum