Grow Your Medical Or Healthcare Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only revolutionised businesses worldwide, it has also created an increasing number of challenges and opportunities for health services professionals.
Online Challenges For Medical And Health Services Practitioners
Today, more than ever, health services providers must find smarter ways to stand apart from their competition and generate new clients. Not only do you have to become more involved in the community you serve, you must also develop an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better promote your medical or health services services online.
As well as spending money in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to compete with other web-marketing savvy medical businesses, increasingly larger amounts of their budget need to be allocated to develop and maintain a website that brings in prospective clients, engages visitors, outperforms the competition in search engines and helps you create wider marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your web pages have to load fast, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs will change in time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires implementing well-developed web and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that medical-related businesses (and most professions) face with their websites, is that your site has only around thirty seconds or less to help visitors find what they need or they will look 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 Professionals
As well as facing many new challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to businesses in the medical sector that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think outside the box about marketing their business better online.
This article will help you uncover ways and opportunities to attract more visitors and improve your business online.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your web presence, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your medical website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Customers
- The Business Owner’s Guide To Understanding WordPress
How To Improve Your Medical Site
In this section we will show you ways to improve your medical-related website and get better results. We will look at what pages a medical or health website needs, what type of content works best, useful tips for improving your navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, check out the detailed step-by-step guide we have written here: Planning A Web Site: A Money-Saving Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners
All business websites require several basic web pages. Let’s discuss these.
You need a page that lists your products or services. Depending on which area of health or medical services you specialize in, your page could include services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. pain management, orthopedics endocrinology, cancer, incontinence, renal, gastroenterology, optometry operating theaters, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, bad breath treatment, teeth whitening, braces, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac surgery, coronary care
- Prenatal & Neonatal – e.g. birth suites, maternity services, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – mammography, lung screening, x-ray, pap smears, magnetic resonance imaging, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – laboratory testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, insurance and corporate testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug counselling, couples, diet and nutrition counselling, social work services
- Alternative therapies – acupuncture, aromatherapy, holistic medicine, massage therapy, chiropractic services, hypnotherapy, etc.
- Other medical services – weight management, othopedics, lymphedema therapy, optical services, medical genetics, artificial limbs, sleep therapy, home and community care, sexual health, medical supplies, etc.
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using these services and direct them to your appointment booking page.
This page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
It’s important to also mention any health-related awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your medical services and to position yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: squaremedical.com.au)
Are you looking for quicker, simpler and cheaper ideas to sell more products online or get prospects to stay longer on your site? Then help visitors get to know your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be that well-versed in health or medical-related terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialized areas do. It can include social buttons so your visitors can follow selected team members on their social pages.
In this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline each employee’s experience, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a team profile page. Screenshot image sourced from: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to easily create and add an easy-to-update simple employee directory in your website with no coding skills required here: How To Easily Create A Simple Employee List In Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
List any job or career opportunities available within the company. This page can include training, benefits, opportunities for advancement, social aspects of working with your business, etc. You can include information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the health industry.
Include also a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, subscribe to your updates list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case studies and client reviews are a great way to attract potential clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies, you will also help to provide prospective clients with social proof.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials. Image sourced from: arrowsmiledental.com)
If you would like to learn more about using client case studies and user reviews get better results online, go here: All You Need To Know To Get Better Results Online Using Highly Effective Customer Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A clean contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide:
- Your address
- Facsimile number
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Web address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media URLs
- Interactive chat feature
If your business operates from several locations you should make that clear when displaying the address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ section, frequently-visited pages, online booking form, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
A blog can be a powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to promote your business using content like news and events, updates, educational articles, informative posts, promotional videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established website, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing site is very hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your website and blog.
Something few people know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that will help begin driving a stream of targeted visitors to your business, simply by adding new content to your website on a regular basis.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more about this:
Legal Info Pages
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is essential. This is not only important for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever you provide services.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding the following legal pages to your medical or health-related website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- 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 site. For more details: Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin publishing great content on your site, the faster you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from other competing businesses.
Provide great content with advice and tips that will get your readers to share your information and come back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and services.
For example, if your business provides weight loss services, then some of the topics you can cover as content on your site:
- Emotional causes for weight issues (possible causes, how to identify yours)
- How to identify the bad habits that need to be corrected to ensure lifetime weight loss
- How to develop an exercise plan you can enjoy and will stick with
- Apps for tracking calories and exercise
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients understand your health services, by explaining benefits, procedures, costs (including payment plans, insurance coverage, etc).
Use the same keywords and terminology in your articles that your prospective clients would search for 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 you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality 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 Experience
Improving your 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 user experience.
Use RSS Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed provides plenty of benefits for your site.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites will want to syndicate your content.
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 feeds can be shared
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides links to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find RSS feeds with useful content for your website by searching online for relevant government departments or industry bodies.
Below we have listed examples of feeds you could add to a health or medical-related website:
- 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 choose specific RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Breastfeeding, Environmental health, HIV/AIDS, Menopause, Smoking and how to quit, etc.) here: http://womenshealth.gov/news/rss/rss-feeds.html
- US National Libraries Of Medicine – For a directory of RSS feeds from leading medical journals, publications and websites (e.g. Rheumatology, BMJ Journal of Medical Genetics, CDC USA, The AAPS Journal (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists), Respiratory Research, 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 here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Find feeds on fda-related topics like criminal investigations, food allergies, pet health, 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. NSW – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/rss.aspx
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention - Find many health-related news feeds 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 RSS feeds section (e.g. Fitness & nutrition: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Nutrition.xml)
- MedicineNet.com – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also choose specific RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Medications, Asthma, Neurology, Depression, Senior Health, Thyroid, etc.)
- MedicalNewsToday.com – MNT Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also choose individual feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Hypertension, Pharmacy/Pharmacist, Pregnancy/Obstetrics, Veterinary, Heart Disease, Medical Innovation, Cancer/Oncology, etc.)
You can also search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific topics, e.g. “eczema rss feeds”, “drugs addiction rss feeds”, “dementia rss feeds”, etc.
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your health site’s user experience.)
Checklists and medical forms are a great way to increase user engagement, add value to your audience and provide something unique. They can give them useful instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. Forms and checklists are great instructional tools.
You can provide a range of checklists and forms covering topics such as:
- Booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post treatment
- Health checklists 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. caloric level of different foods, the importance of sleep at different ages, etc.)
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your users. Health-related calculators are useful tools to add to your website. Other applications can include things like diagnostic tools, and even recipes.
In the next section of this guide, we will look at a several WordPress plugins and themes you can add to your website that can also help to improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this article on ways to improve your medical-related web presence.
To continue, click here:
"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya