Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Challenges Health And Medical Services Face Online
Now, more than ever, businesses in the medical industry must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to maintain an active presence in the community you serve, you must also maintain an active digital presence. This includes having a dynamic website and learning smarter ways to promote your medical or health services online.
In addition to investing money in offline marketing activities, you will probably find that in order to compete with other medical or health-related businesses, increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be assigned to develop and manage a website that can bring new leads, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help you gain wider reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, load fast, and your site layout 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 sections may need to be updated frequently. This requires having a sound web and content management strategy.
One other challenge that health and medical services professionals (and other businesses) face, is that you have around 30 seconds or less to provide users with what they need or they will go elsewhere to get their needs met.
“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.”
Online Opportunities For Medical And Health-Related Businesses In The Digital Realm
As well as facing significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available for medical or health businesses that are willing to evolve to meet the challenges of the online economy and can think outside the box in terms of marketing their services better online.
This comprehensive guide will help you uncover opportunities to generate web traffic and notice 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 Content Management System to power your medical or health-related website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see these articles:
- Discover How A Poorly Built Website Can Cost You Customers
- Using A WordPress Site To Grow Your Business
Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
This section will show you ways to improve your health-related website and get better results online. We show you what pages a health or medical site needs, what content you need, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, go here: The Web Site Planning Process: A Practical Blueprint For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All business websites require a number of essential pages. Let’s review these.
Services And Products Description Page
You need a page that describes your products and services. Depending on which area of health you specialize in, your page can include services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. ear, nose and throat, neurosurgery endocrinology, reconstructive surgery, stroke, renal, weight loss surgery, eye diseases elective surgery, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, veneers, crowns and bridges, implants, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, coronary care
- Prenatal/Neonatal – e.g. obstetrics, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screens, skin cancer, radiology and imaging, pap smears, psychosis, allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, clinical trials, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, domestic abuse, diet and nutrition counselling, social work services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, natural therapy, yoga, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – diet and nutrition, sports medicine, lymphedema therapy, optical services, inherited diseases, prosthetics, sleep therapy, home care, clinical information, medical transport, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what these services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community services, etc.
Remember to list any awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your services and to set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your awards accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Screenshot image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for cost-effective ways to grow your business online and increase user interaction on your site, then help prospective clients get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
Potential clients need to relate to your business. A 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 will not tend to be familiar with 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. It should include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow some of your staff members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to highlight your person’s expertise and qualifications, 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 employees to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to easily add an easy-to-maintain simple employee directory in your web site, go here: How To Easily Create A Simple Employee Directory For Your WordPress Site
Career Opportunities Page
List any job opportunities available within your clinic. This page would include type of training provided, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can also include case studies of trainees who have risen within your business and information about career opportunities in the medical or health industry.
Also include a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, join your newsletter, 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 reviews from clients, you will also help to provide social proof online for your business.
(Add a page with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have created a detailed article on using case studies, testimonials and reviews to grow your business online here: How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects With Engaging Testimonials
A clean contact page is crucial.
It should provide the following information about your clinic:
- Business Name
- Physical address
- Contact email address
- Web address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media web addresses
- Live Chat/Skype
If your business services different locations you should make this clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, frequently-visited pages, booking form, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like news, new releases, educational articles and tutorials, opinions on current topics, how-to videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established health website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your business website and business blog.
Something not many businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that can help begin delivering a stream of targeted traffic to your website, simply by adding new content to your website on a consistent basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate new visitors automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more about this:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Driving More Web Visitors For Your Business Automatically
As a professional medical services practitioner, having a compliant website is vitally important. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws or regulations are being broken wherever your business is located.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your site will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- 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
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your site. Go here to learn more: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving The Content On Your Site
In today’s ultra-competitive digital economy, being generous with information has become one of the key differentiators for businesses that sell similar products or provide similar services.
Providing great content with useful advice and tips will get your visitors sharing it with others and coming back for more content. Publishing content is a great way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about using your services.
For example, if your business provides products that help people lose weight, then some of the topics you could cover as content on your site:
- What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?
- How small efforts in portion control can help you lose weight
- Incorporating exercise into your busy schedule
- Vitamins and minerals that aid in weight loss (chromium, calcium, magnesium, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Include keywords and terminology in your articles that your prospective clients would search to find you online.
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 you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content that will add value to your visitors and grow your presence online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Use RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide useful content, other businesses will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- It provides links back to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your site from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find RSS feeds with useful content just visit sites of relevant government departments or industry bodies.
For example, here are examples of RSS feeds containing useful information that 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 select specific RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Healthy aging, Illnesses and disabilities, Mental health, Smoking and how to quit, 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, Neuroanatomy, BMJ Medical Humanities, Journal of Cell Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Get many health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Get feeds on fda-related topics like enforcement reports, food allergies, tainted products marked as dietary supplements, radiological health, 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 (www.cdc.gov) - Find various health-related RSS 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 feeds section (e.g. Fitness & nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also select individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, Menopause, Nutrition, Food, & Recipes, Diabetes, Exercise & Fitness, Women’s Health, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News 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. Pharma Industry/Biotech Industry, Pain/Anesthetics, Melanoma/Skin Cancer, Irritable-Bowel Syndrome, Nursing/Midwifery, Women’s Health/Gynecology, MRI/PET/Ultrasound, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “alternative medicine rss feeds”, “addiction rss feeds”, “oncology rss feeds”, etc.
(Add RSS feeds to improve your health website’s UX.)
Add Forms And Checklists
Adding checklists and explanatory charts to your site is a great way to increase user engagement, add value to your audience and set yourself apart from the competition. Charts and checklists can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform steps. They are also great educational tools.
Forms, charts and checklists can cover areas such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post surgery
- Health checklists for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Online Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications on your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your visitors. Health-related calculators, for example, are popular tools for your website. Others would include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In part 2 of this guide, we take a look at a several online tools you can add to your site using WordPress plugins and themes that improve seo, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
Click on this link to view Part Two:
- Your Medical Center Website – WordPress Plugins That Can Improve Search Engine Optimization, Increase User Engagement And Drive More Visitors To Your Website
"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