Are You Making the #1 Website Mistake?

Written by on May 30, 2014 in Practice tips - No comments

TabletDocWEBHello, are you there? Is this medical practice still active or did the physicians retire?

These are not questions that you want your patients and clients to ask.

Yet, it is precisely what they are thinking when healthcare facilities, throw a website together and then expect to get traffic from it without ever adding new information.

Without continually providing fresh content, you lose the opportunity to keep your patients coming back to view your site and attract prospective patients.  Instead of attracting new clients, you become a virtual ghost and everyone “abandons ship” to go elsewhere …your competitors!

The #1 mistake of health sites and medical websites is to publish an online site and then ignore it.   

Search engines can differentiate which sites are active and reward them accordingly by ratings. Having your website on page 28 of a search for your keywords means that you might as well not be there.  People only contact the medical practices that show up on page one.

Most people are now searching for their health information online and finding their new doctors on the web.  Can you afford to squander your most valuable asset- your website and your branding?

Sure, you don’t have enough time.  There’s barely enough time for yourself with patient consultations and charting that new EHR system you installed.

But, here are some reasons why tending to your anemic website is crucial:

  • New content that is both interesting and relevant to readers will attract prospective patients, bring referrals and maintain current patients
  • Establishes yourself as an authority in your field
  • Strengthens your branding and makes you stand out head and shoulders above your colleagues
  • Raises your search engine rankings with Google, Bing, Yahoo and others
  • Opens opportunities to inform patients about new techniques, new office hours, new staff members
  • Gives you the chance to explain procedures through videos so that patients understand, increasing compliance

There is a flood of information available online nowadays, so to stand out, your content must be timely, unique and relevant.

How to Create Great Content for Your Medical Website

There are 7 steps you can implement to have a successful and effective site:

1.    Write about information that reflects your knowledge and what you represent.
Create content that you are well versed in and that reflects the specialty you are in.  As these articles build, they help your branding and establish you as an authority in your field.  Promote yourself, the practice and your services.

2.    Make your content interesting but short and easy to understand.
Captivate your readers and engage them. Relate stories that make the point that you are trying to convey (using fictitious names). Write using simple, easy to understand words.  Remember, you are communicating with the public, not your colleagues.

3.    Include links that take the viewer to videos and audio files.
Incorporating videos and audio files allows the viewer to get a better grasp on new techniques, procedures and instructions that you would like to convey. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words.  (And having them makes the search engines rank your site    higher!)

4.    Incorporate relevant long-tailed keywords.
Identify what phrases or groups of 3 words that patients or prospective clients will use to search for you or the type of healthcare that you provide.  Having them on your site will ensure that your name pops up when they do the computer search.

5.    Make your site easy to scan.
Make your website pages uncluttered so that the eyes can focus on the    areas of importance without getting lost.  Have white spaces break up the content.

Format the text into short paragraphs and short pages.  If people see a mountain of information, it is unlikely that they will try to scale it.

“Entice them without giving away the complete show”.  If you elicit interest and curiosity, the viewer is more likely to call for more information or return for another article.

6.    Check and recheck your content.
Use the spell-checker tool and proofread several times to ensure that the grammar is correct.  If there are many gross errors, it clearly reflects badly on you.  Patients will wonder what other mistakes you are making.
If writing is not your forte, seriously consider hiring a professional writer to create the content.

7.    Avoid banners and Adwords.
Besides banners becoming a distraction, you don’t want your viewers clicking on a link that takes them to a different website.  You worked hard to get your readers.  Don’t send them elsewhere!

 Keep this in mind when creating your content:

  • Your viewers are quick on the delete button.  If you make your content boring and dull, they will surely use it!
  • Write straight to the point and as short as possible to convey your ideas. If you drone on tediously, people will click out and not return to your site.
  • Have tabs on your navigation bar so that viewers know where to get the information they are seeking.
  • Have sidebars highlighting special content, events, articles or recent PR

Good luck with your website content.  If you don’t have one of your own, now is the time to create one!  Don’t rely on an insurance company to highlight you on their site.

I know that you will do well.  To start you off, send for your free copy of “15 Ways to Leverage Your Content for Successful Marketing”.  Get your gift at:

By Barbara Hales, M.D.

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