Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital business age has not only revolutionized the way business is done globally, it has also created a growing number of challenges and opportunities for health services providers and financial service providers.
Online Challenges For Health Services Practitioners
Now, more than ever, businesses in the health and medical industry must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to become more involved in the community your business serves, you must also maintain a strong web presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better market your practice online.
In addition to spending dollars in offline marketing, businesses in the health-related industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be assigned to developing and managing a website that can attract new leads, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and social media, and help to create a wider degree of marketing reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, 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 will change over time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires a well-planned web and content management strategy in place.
One other problem that health or medical-related organizations face, as do other professions for that matter, is that they have around thirty seconds or less to provide users with what they need or they will 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.”
Online Opportunities For Health Practitioners
As well as facing a number of significant challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to health or medical-related businesses that can evolve to meet the challenges of the digital economy and who can think strategically when it comes to marketing their services better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about opportunities to generate new clients and notice significant improvements in your business results online.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your health website, we also place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your medical or health-related business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), go here:
- How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Lose You Customers And What To Do About It
- Using A WordPress Blog To Grow Your Business
Practical Tips For Improving Your Health Center Website
Let’s start by covering some basic stuff. In this section, we’ll look at how to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what pages your site needs, what type of content works best for medical-related websites, your navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, check out the article we have written here: Planning Your Small Business Website: A Money-Saving Primer For Business Owners
How To Improve Your Web Pages
All websites require some essential pages. Let’s review these.
Products And Services Description Page
It’s essential to have a page that describes your services or products. Depending on which area you specialize in, your page can list services such as:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. ear, nose & throat, neurosurgery endocrinology, cosmetic surgery, incontinence, respiratory, endoscopy, eye diseases emergency surgery, etc.
- Dental Services – e.g. general dentistry, children’s dentistry, gum disease, veneers, crowns and bridges, dental implants, emergency dentistry, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient education, coronary care
- Prenatal/Postnatal – e.g. obstetrics, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health services – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic services – breast screening, lung screening, medical imaging, women’s health, magnetic resonance imaging, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology services – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, insurance and corporate testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, marriage counselling, diet and nutrition counselling, social development services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, functional medicine, meditation, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – diet and nutrition, othopedics, fertility services, rehabilitation, inherited diseases, prosthetics, assisted living, home and community care, community 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 appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It should list any health or medical-related awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your medical services and set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your professional awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Image source: squaremedical.com.au)
If you are looking for cost-effective ideas to sell more products online, then make it easier for prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
You want potential clients to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees or team members. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with health or medical terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what they specialize in. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas mean. It can also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow your staff members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight your staff member’s expertise, how they add value or 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 members to prospective new clients. Image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
If you need help how to easily add an updatable simple team members directory to your site using a free WP plugin, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Add A Simple Employee List On Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills Required
List any job opportunities within your organization. It would include training, benefits, opportunities for advancement, social aspects of working for your organization, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and upcoming career opportunities in the health or medical-related industry.
Maintain 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 you on social media, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Case studies and testimonials are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. Adding a page with case studies and testimonials from past clients also provides social proof online.
(Add a page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
If you want to learn more about using testimonials and client reviews, see this article: How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Sales Boosting Customer Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a clean contact page is absolutely necessary.
It should provide visitors with the following information:
- Location of business
- Contact email
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Interactive chat (optional)
If your business services several areas you want to make this clear when showing the address and contact information.
You could also include links pointing to the most commonly asked questions page, main pages, booking request, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to promote your business using content such as news and announcements, updates, educational articles, opinions and discussions, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your practice.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing website is very hard to manage or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your business website and blog.
Very few businesses know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic machine that can attract a stream of targeted traffic to your web site, simply by adding regular content to your website.
(WordPress can generate web traffic automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more:
Legal Info Pages
As a professional business, having a compliant website is crucial. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws and regulations are being breached wherever your practice is located.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your medical or health website will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site. To learn more about this go here: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips On How To Improve Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, being generous with content that educates and informs visitors has become one of the key business differentiators.
Providing useful content with great tips, advice and information will get your visitors sharing your information and coming back for more. Publishing content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospects about using your services and products.
For example, if you provide products that help people lose weight, then some of the areas you could write content about include:
- Nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (carbs, proteins, minerals, vitamins, fats)
- How to figure out how many calories you consume each day
- How to incorporate exercise into your weight loss program
- How to incorporate a little fast food into a healthy diet plan
- And many other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Remember to include keywords 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 that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your presence online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (generally referred to as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
Content Syndication – RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide valuable information, other businesses may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides links to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides several ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. users can view the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to providing great content on your website from other websites, 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 relevant government departments or industry bodies.
For example, here are a few useful RSS feeds you could consider adding to a health-related website:
- US Department Of Health And Human Services – e.g. Latest news feed: http://www.hhs.gov/rss/news/hhsnews.xml, etc. You can also choose specific feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breast cancer, Healthy aging, Heart health and stroke, Mental health, Screening tests and vaccines, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a list of RSS feeds from well-known medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Bionet RSS, CDC USA, jobs.ac.uk health and medical jobs, ADA DOC News, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health (www.nih.gov) - Find various health-related RSS feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Get feeds on fda-related news like enforcement reports, food safety reports, tainted products, vaccines, blood and biologics, 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. Victoria – http://www.health.vic.gov.au/rss/newsfeed.xml
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (www.cdc.gov) - Get various RSS feeds on health-related news and podcasts here: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/rss.asp
- Medical News Feeds: You can search medical news feeds in places like the NYTimes RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness and nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet – MedTerms Medical Word of the Day: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/dailyword.xml. You can also select specific feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Lung Conditions, Menopause, Neurology, Diet & Weight Management, Exercise & Fitness, Women’s Health, etc.)
- Medical News Today – Medical News Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- Medical News Today – You can also select individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Pharma Industry/Biotech Industry, Bird Flu/Avian Flu, Fibromyalgia, Swine Flu, Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy, Nutrition/Diet, Psychology/Psychiatry, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific subjects, e.g. “acid reflux rss feeds”, “body aches rss feeds”, “drug trials rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS feeds can help to improve your site’s user experience.)
Checklists & Forms
Checklists and medical forms are a fantastic way to help increase user engagement, add value to your visitors and set yourself apart from the competition. Checklists and charts can provide useful information and resources to complete tasks. Charts and checklists are also great client educational tools.
You can provide forms and checklists covering a range of topics such as:
- Checklists and forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for post-surgery recovery
- Health checklists for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, maintenance program, general dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and exercise program checklists
- General charts & infographics (e.g. acidity level of different foods, sleep requirements at different ages, etc.)
Adding Online Tools
Providing useful online tools, gadgets and applications on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to potential clients. Calculators, for example are useful tools to add to your website. Others could include things like diagnostic tools, or even recipes.
In the next section, we look at a several online tools you can add to your medical or health-related website using WordPress plugins that improve seo, improve user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this article on ways to improve your health-related business presence online.
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