Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only revolutionised business globally, it has also created difficult challenges and opportunities for medical-related businesses.
Challenges Health Businesses Face Online
Today, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical 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 a strong presence online. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better promote your business online.
In addition to investing money marketing offline, businesses in the medical or health industry are now finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be assigned towards developing and maintaining a website that can bring in prospective clients, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and increase their marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website may change in time and some areas may need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing well-developed web and content management strategy.
Another problem that medical services providers face online, as all other businesses do for that matter, is that your site has only about thirty seconds or less to give visitors the information they are searching for or they will leave the 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 Health Practitioners In The Online Economy
As well as facing many challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available for businesses in the medical or health-related profession that can evolve to meet the challenges of the online economy and can think strategically about improving their online business marketing skills.
In this article, you will learn new opportunities to generate more traffic and establish online credibility for your health or medical-related business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your medical business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see these articles:
- Discover Why A Poorly Built Website Can Lose You Money
- A Beginner’s Guide To Growing Your Small Business With WordPress
How To Improve Your Medical Practice Site
This section will show you how to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what pages your site needs, what type of content works best, useful tips for improving layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, check out the guide we have written here: The Web Site Planning Process Explained - A Practical Blueprint For Non-Technical Business Owners
Essential Website Pages
Professional business websites require a number of basic pages. Let’s review these.
Description Of services And Products
You need to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, this page can include services such as:
- Medicine & Surgery – e.g. acute pain management, nephrology diabetes, plastic surgery, continence management, respiratory, gastroenterology, eye diseases palliative care, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, cleaning services, veneers, crowns and bridges, braces, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, chronic heart conditions
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. birthing, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screens, skin cancer, hearing, gynaecology, magnetic resonance imaging, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, food and water testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, trauma counselling, diet and nutrition counselling, social development services
- Alternative therapies – acupuncture, homeopathy, functional medicine, tai chi, osteopathy, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, othopedics, fertility services, physiotherapy, medical genetics, artificial limbs, assisted living, home care, sexual 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 book an appointment.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, causes that you support, etc.
Remember to include any business awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote your medical services and set yourself above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are searching for quicker and easier ideas to grow your business online, then make it easier for prospective clients to get to know, like and trust your organization better.
People need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff or team members. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with medical-related terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. It can also include social buttons that will allow your site visitors to follow your team members on their social networks.
In this page, make sure to highlight your team member’s expertise and qualifications, how their skills add value or contribute to the success of 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 easily add an easy-to-update simple team directory in a WordPress site using a free WordPress plugin, go here: Tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory
This is a listing of job or career opportunities available within your business. It could include training, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, social activities promoted or encouraged by your business, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the 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 this page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. Adding a web page with case studies and testimonials from past clients also provides social proof online.
(Add a page with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have created a comprehensive article on using client testimonials and reviews here: How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Sales Boosting Customer Testimonials
A functional contact page is absolutely vital.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following:
- Business Name
- Location of consulting practice
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Interactive chat
If your business services several areas you should make that clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, frequently-visited pages, booking form, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Health-Related Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like news and events, new releases, useful information, discussions on current topics, promotional videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing medical or health website is hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your website and blog.
Not many businesses know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic-generation system that will help begin to drive targeted visitors to your website, simply by adding content on a consistent basis to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive new traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more:
- Web Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Create An Automated Web Traffic Generation Machine With WordPress
Having a compliant website is extremely important. This is not only important for establishing credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaking any local, regional and federal laws and regulations in whichever region you provide services.
Adding the legal pages below to your medical-related website will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- 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 about adding legal pages to your website here: Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Web Content
In today’s fiercely competitive online business economy, the ability to deliver valuable content to visitors free of charge has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
Providing great content with tips, information and advice will get your visitors sharing it with others and coming back for more content. Publishing content is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if you provide weight loss services, then some of the topics you can write content about include:
- What is BMI (what it stands for, what it does, how to calculate yours)
- How to set realistic, but achievable weight loss goals
- Is using a measuring tape better than a scale when it comes to weight loss progress?
- Could a personal chef help you lose weight (what they do, is it affordable)
- 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, terminology, etc.
Use keywords in your content that your prospective clients will search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will show you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content that will add value to your visitors and grow your website using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (known as UX) will help to 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 (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide many benefits for your medical-related business.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses will want to syndicate your content.
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
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- An RSS feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides various ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. view your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to 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 health and medical-related government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Here are some useful RSS feeds you could add to your website:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Blog posts RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SelectedHhsBlogPosts, etc. You can also choose specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Emergency preparedness, Fitness and nutrition, 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 list of RSS feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. BMJ Evidence-Based Nursing, ADA (American Diabetes Association), TheLancet.com, BMJ Journal of Clinical Pathology, 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 various RSS feeds on health-related news and topics here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- FDA – Get feeds on fda-related news and topics like enforcement reports, FDA drug shortages, product recalls, vaccines, blood and biologics, 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. NSW – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/rss.aspx
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention - Get various RSS feeds on health-related news and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News: You can search medical news RSS feeds in major news publications like the NYTimes feeds section (e.g. Health news: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Health.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Daily Health and Medical News: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyhealth.xml. You can also choose specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Oral Health, Exercise & Fitness, Women’s Health, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also select specific feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Eye Health/Blindness, Multiple Sclerosis, ADHD/ADD, Body Aches, Back Pain, Tropical Diseases, Liver Disease/Hepatitis, etc.)
You can also just search online for general feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “lupus rss feeds”, “fitness rss feeds”, “alzheimer’s rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your health or medical site’s UX.)
Provide Online Forms
Adding checklists and charts to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. Forms and checklists can provide users with step-by-step information and resources to get necessary steps done. Checklists and charts can also be great educational tools.
You can provide online or downloadable checklists and forms (or links to these) covering a range of areas such as:
- Checklists/forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists and charts for specific medical conditions
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, general dentistry, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, sleep requirements at different ages, etc.)
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications on your site can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your visitors. Calculators, for example are popular tools for your website. Other applications can include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section of this guide, we look at a several WordPress plugins you can use in your website that improve your seo, increase user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this step-by-step guide on ways to improve your medical or health business web presence.
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