Medical providers face a number of challenges in the online economy, especially when it comes to growing their business presence online.
Challenges Medical & Health Professionals Face Online
Now, more than ever, businesses in the medical sector must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to participate in the community you serve, you must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having a dynamic website and learning how to better promote your practice online.
As well as spending dollars in offline marketing activities like advertising on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and tv, etc., businesses in the medical industry are also finding that they need to designate a greater part of their budget to develop and maintain a website that will bring new prospects, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and help them gain wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to load fast, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs will change over time and some areas will need to be frequently updated. This requires implementing sound web and content management strategy.
Another problem that medical-related businesses face online, as do most businesses for that matter, is that you have an average of 30 seconds or less to give users what they are looking for or they will leave 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.”
Online Opportunities For Health Services Practitioners
As well as facing many business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available for businesses in the health-related industry that are willing to adapt to meet online demands and can think strategically in terms of marketing their business services better online.
In this article, you will learn about opportunities to attract and engage more visitors and see significant improvements in your online results.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform to power your health or medical-related website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), go here:
- Learn How A Poorly Constructed website Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- Using WordPress To Grow A Successful Small Business
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
This section looks at how to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what pages you need, what content works best, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, go here: A Money-Saving Guide To website Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Basic Website Pages
All business websites require some essential pages. Let’s discuss these.
You need to include a page that describes your products and services. Depending on which area you specialize in, this page could list services like:
- Medical And Surgical – e.g. ear, nose and throat, pulmonology blood disorders, oral surgery, aged care, respiratory, weight loss surgery, ophtalmology operating theaters, etc.
- Dentistry – e.g. cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, cleaning services, teeth whitening, orthodontics, emergency dental, etc.
- Cardiology – e.g. cardiac patient rehabilitation, coronary care
- Prenatal and Neonatal – e.g. obstetrics, midwifery, etc.
- Child Health – paediatrics, child development, children services, etc.
- Diagnostic – breast screening, lung screening, radiology, gynaecology, MRI scanning, food allergy testing, etc.
- Pathology – lab testing and analysis, routine pathology testing, occupational and environmental testing, speech pathology, etc
- Counselling services – mental health services, alcohol, tobacco & other drug services, trauma counselling, wellness, social development services
- Alternative treatments – Chinese medicine, reflexology, hydrotherapy, shiatsu, chiropractic services, hypnosis, etc.
- Other medical services/therapies – weight management, podiatry, fertility services, stomal therapy, neurosciences, prosthetics, assisted living, home and community care, sexual health, medical equipment, 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 your services and why they should choose you.
Who We Are
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 list any professional awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your medical, dental, chiropractic, surgery services, etc. and set yourself above your competitors.
(List all of your awards accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Screenshot source: squaremedical.com.au)
Are you searching for quicker, easier and cost-effective ideas to sell more products online and get people to stay longer on your site? Then help prospective clients get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
You want people to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. This page should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors are probably not very well-versed in health or medical terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialized areas do. It can also include social buttons that will allow your site visitors to follow selected staff members on their social networks.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your staff member’s expertise, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a page that introduces your team members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: southperthchiro.com.au)
We have created a detailed tutorial about how to easily add an easy-to-manage simple team members directory to your site with no coding skills required here: WordPress Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory
Work For Us
This is a listing of job opportunities within the business. This page could include training, benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working for your organization, etc. You should also include case studies of graduates who have risen within your business and information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the 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, subscribe to your announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to attract prospective clients and showcase your services. By adding a page with client reviews and case studies, you are also helping to provide social proof.
(Add a page to your site with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image source: arrowsmiledental.com)
We have created a comprehensive article about using testimonials and client reviews improve your business online. Go here to learn more: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online With Highly Effective User Testimonials
A clean contact page is essential.
It should provide some or all of the following information:
- Company Name
- Your physical address
- Email address
- Website address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Links to social media networks
- Online chat (optional)
If your business operates from several locations you should make this clear when displaying the address and contact info.
Consider also including a few links point to commonly-asked questions page, useful pages, online booking request, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Most blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as the latest announcements, new releases, training information, discussions on current topics, promotional videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established website, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if your existing health or medical-related website is very hard to manage or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your website and blog.
Something not many businesses know about, is that an expertly-configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic system that will deliver web traffic to your site, simply by adding regular content to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more about this: Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Increasing Your Website Traffic Automatically
Legal Information Pages
As a professional medical or health services provider, ensuring that you have a compliant website is crucial. This is not only important for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not contravening laws or regulations wherever you provide services.
Depending on the services and products you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your health-related website will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your site. Go here to learn more about this: Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Improving Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin to publish good content on your site, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
By providing great content with useful information, advice or tips, you will get your visitors sharing it with others and coming back for more. Content marketing is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospects about using your services and products.
For example, if you provide weight management services, then some of the areas you could write about include the following:
- What to do before you start any weight loss program (e.g. consult with doctor, record measurements, set goals, etc.)
- How to calculate how many calories you consume each day
- Is using a measuring tape better than a scale when it comes to weight loss progress?
- How to modify recipes for achieving healthier results (e.g. substituting sugars, fats, etc.)
- And endless other content topics
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients understand your health or medical services, by explaining benefits, procedures, terminology, etc.
Use keywords and terminology 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 show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your presence online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and UX.
Syndicate Content With RSS Feeds
An RSS feed provides lots of benefits for your business.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- An RSS feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are various ways readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing 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 health-related government departments and respected industry bodies.
Here are a few useful RSS feeds 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 also select individual RSS feeds, like feeds on women’s health issues (e.g. Body image, Healthy aging, Heart health and stroke, Minority women’s 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. The Oncologist, Journal of Biological Chemistry, CDC USA, BMJ Archives of Disease, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, etc.) go here: http://www.healthplusplus.com/wiki/List_of_RSS_feeds_on_health
- National Institutes Of Health – Find various health-related news feeds here: http://www.nih.gov/Subscriptions.htm
- US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) – Find FDA-related news feeds (e.g. enforcement reports, FDA drug shortages, pet health, foods, etc.) and podcasts here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds
- UK Department Of Health (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 many health-related 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 feeds section (e.g. Medical research: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/Research.xml)
- MedicineNet – Weekly Health and Medical News Digest: http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/weeklyhealth.xml. You can also choose individual RSS feeds here (http://www.medicinenet.com/rss/article.htm) (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, Men’s health, Neurology, Oral Health, Exercise & Fitness, Heart, etc.)
- Medical News Today – MNT Medical News Featured Headlines: http://rss.medicalnewstoday.com/featurednews.xml
- MedicalNewsToday.com – You can also choose specific feeds here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/newsfeeds-rss (e.g. Schizophrenia, Dentistry, Compliance, Veterinary, CJD/vCJD/Mad Cow Disease, Medical Innovation, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, etc.)
You can also just search online for general RSS feeds, e.g. “medical rss feeds” or search for feeds on specific areas, e.g. “psoriasis rss feeds”, “aid rss feeds”, “personal monitoring rss feeds”, etc.
(Use RSS feeds to improve your site’s user experience.)
Checklists & Charts
Adding checklists and charts to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. They can provide users with step-by-step instructions and resources to perform a task. They can also be great educational tools.
Checklists, charts and medical forms can cover subjects such as:
- Checklists and forms for booking appointments
- Checklists for pre or post surgery
- Health checklists and charts for specific systems
- Dental checklists – e.g. first visit, oral hygiene program, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
- Weight loss and nutrition program checklists and charts
- General charts & infographics (e.g. sugar content in different foods, the importance of sleep at different stages of development, etc.)
Add Online Tools
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to users. Calculators, for example are useful tools you can add to your website. Others can include things like nutritional tools, or 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 help to improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one of this guide on ways to build your health-related business online.
Please subscribe to this blog, as we will be posting loads of great content, resources and useful tips on developing and implementing your web marketing strategy.
Need help with your WordPress site?
We help people with their WordPress problems…yes we are problem solvers!
Need help with:
- WordPress installation and setup
- WordPress management and maintenance
- WordPress custom website design and development
- SEO and traffic generation…send your site to page one of Google
- Web hosting, web security and more!!
Comments? Questions? Feel free to tell us what you think below and take a moment to share this article with others who can benefit from this information.
Disclaimer: We are not associated with WordPress or any of the WP products written about on this site. We may derive a financial benefit from sales of products advertised, reviewed or linked to from this site. All images and information on this page have been supplied from the plugin’s website and sites that provide Premium WordPress Services