Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
Health & medical professionals today face a number of challenges.
Challenges Medical Services Face Online
Now, more than ever, medical services providers must work hard to remain competitive and find new clientele. Not only do you have to actively participate in the community you serve, you must also maintain a strong web presence. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better market your practice online.
As well as investing dollars in offline marketing, businesses in the health-related industry are also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be allocated to develop and maintain a website that can drive new leads, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and social media, and help create a wider amount of exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, 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 will change over time and sections may need to be updated frequently. This requires having a well-developed website and content management strategy.
One other problem that health professionals (and other businesses) face with their websites, is that you have around thirty seconds or less to help visitors find what they are looking for or they will go away.
“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 Services Practitioners
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available for medical or health-related practices that are willing to evolve to meet online economy demands and can think outside the box in terms of marketing their services better online.
In this guide, you will learn new ways to attract more visitors and establish stronger online credibility for your medical business.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System to power your health-related website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see these articles:
- How A Poorly Constructed Website Can Cost You Money And What To Do About It
- Learn How To Grow Your Small Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you how to improve your medical-related website and get better results. We will look at what web pages you need, what content works best for health or medical-related websites, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, check out the detailed step-by-step guide we have written here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
Professional websites require a number of essential web pages. Let’s go over these.
Services And Products
You need a page that describes your services or products. Depending on which area you specialize in, this page can include services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. anaesthetics, nephrology diabetes, oncology, hyperbaric medicine, respiratory, weight loss surgery, eye diseases surgical outpatients, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, gum disease, restorations, dental braces, emergency dental services, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. heart monitoring, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Neonatal – e.g. birthing, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screens, skin cancer, hearing, gynaecology, psychosis, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, insurance and corporate testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, couples, wellness coaching, social work services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, homeopathy, holistic medicine, meditation, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – diet and nutrition, chiropody, fertility services, speech language therapy, inherited diseases, prosthetics, assisted living, home and community care, sexual health, medical supplies, etc.
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using these services and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
It’s important to list any awards, certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your services and to set yourself above similar service providers.
(List all of your business awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are searching for quicker, easier and cheaper ways to sell more products or services online, then one of the things you can do, is help your prospective clients get to know, like and trust your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. This page should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors won’t be very well-versed in medical-related terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas mean. This page can also include social buttons so your visitors can follow your team members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to outline each person’s expertise and qualifications, how they contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your staff to prospective new clients. Screenshot source: southperthchiro.com.au)
To learn more about how to easily add an easy-to-maintain list of employees or team members to your web site using free WP plugins, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: How To Add A Simple Staff Directory On Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
Work For Us
This is a listing of job or career opportunities within your practice. This page would include training offered, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, social activities sponsored or encouraged by your organization, etc. You should also include information about new career opportunities in the medical or health industry.
Also include 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 newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials from previous clients and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase what type of services you offer. Adding a web page with reviews from clients and case studies also helps your medical or health business to provide social proof.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and client reviews. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have created a detailed article on using case studies, testimonials and reviews to grow your business online. Go here to learn more about this: How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions With Effective Client Testimonials
Having a contact page is essential.
It should provide visitors with some or all of the following:
- Address of consulting practice
- Phone number
- Web address
- Contact form
- Request for more information – who to contact
- Links to social media profiles
- Live chat feature (optional feature)
If your business operates from multiple areas you will want to make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You can also include links to an FAQ page, main pages, online booking form, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like news and announcements, updates, educational articles, discussions on current topics, educational videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your medical practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health-related site is very hard to manage or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can serve as both your business website and your blog.
Very few businesses know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic machine that can deliver a stream of targeted traffic to your site, simply by adding new content on a consistent basis to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
To learn more about this go here:
Legal Information Pages
It’s crucially important for health services providers companies to make sure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online. This is not only important for establishing credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being breached wherever you practice.
Depending on what services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your health or medical-related website will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your site here: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
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 differentiate yourself from other competitors.
By providing great content with useful tips or information, you will get your visitors sharing your web pages online and coming back for more content. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if your business provides weight loss services, then some of the topics you could write content about include:
- What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?
- Advice on ways to develop portion control habits (smaller plate, don’t put food on the table, more vegetables)
- Diet sodas (common ones, side effects, long term results, do they work?)
- Smartphone apps for tracking calories and exercise
- And many other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your prospective clients understand your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use keywords and terminology in your articles that your readers will be searching to find you online.
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 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 completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s 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 your visitor engagement and UX.
Add RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide plenty of benefits for your health or medical-related business.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites 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 kept in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides several ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can read the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to adding syndicated content to your site 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 for your website by searching online for relevant government departments and respected industry bodies.
Here are some useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to your 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 select individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breast cancer, Fitness and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Mental health, Pregnancy, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of RSS feeds from various medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Dermatology Times, CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, The Journal of Immunology, The AAPS Journal (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists), Transplantation – Most Popular Articles, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health - Get various health-related feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Get RSS feeds on fda-related news and topics like FDA drug safety, food allergies, tainted products, cosmetics, etc. and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- UK Department Of Health (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 many feeds on health-related news and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news RSS feeds by going to publications like the NYTimes feeds section (e.g. Research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also select specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Arthritis, Cold & Flu, Diabetes, Senior Health, Women’s Health, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also choose individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Cystic Fibrosis, Pulmonary System, Pregnancy/Obstetrics, Pancreatic Cancer, Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “psoriasis rss feeds”, “endocrinology rss feeds”, “clinical trials rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Checklists and explanatory charts are a fantastic way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. Checklists and charts can give them useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform a necessary task. Charts and checklists are great client instructional tools.
You can provide a range of forms, charts and checklists covering areas such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral maintenance program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. caloric level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Providing unique online tools, gadgets and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your visitors. Health-related calculators are popular tools for your website. Others could include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In part 2, we look at a number of online tools you can add to your website using WordPress plugins that can also help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1.
To continue, click here:
- Your Medical Practice Website – How To Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Increase Web Traffic Generation Using Plugins
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)