According to the Pew Research Center (Washington), 80% of Internet users search online for information about diseases and their treatments. This corresponds to 59% of all adults. This impressive reach of healthcare consumers makes hospital and clinic websites a versatile tool for customer acquisition and business development.
However, often medical websites fall short of their owners' expectations. This is because serious mistakes were made during their creation. So what should a successful clinic or hospital website look like? Let's talk about the 5 essentials.
1. Disease pages
The vast majority of people looking for a solution to their health problem type in a very specific query in the search box, for example: “Why does my knee hurt?” or "How to lower blood pressure." This is confirmed by information from the Pew Research Center 2, according to which:
- 91% of users are interested in content related to physical illness;
- only 9% of patients are looking for specific information about doctors, clinics or drugs.
Therefore, the creation of a wide tree of pages with descriptions of diseases increases the likelihood that the user will go on request to the clinic's website and decide to use its services. The page tree is an ordered structure of articles posted on the site. The wider it is, that is, the greater the number of articles (tens, sometimes more than a hundred) on various diseases, the more likely it is that a potential client will find an answer to his request on the clinic's website.
A good example of this principle is one of the top medical websites, the Mayo Clinic website.
Here are four handy search tools by name:
- diagnostic tests and medical procedures;
Thus, the clinic site covers a wide range of user queries, allowing you to maximize organic traffic. To reach more patients with organic search results.
In addition, detailed landing pages with descriptions of diseases allow you to use the paid advertising tools of the Google Ads system more effectively. So-called "low-frequency requests" can be placed on them. In contextual advertising, their cost is lower, since the content posted on such a page most closely matches a person’s request for a specific disease. Thus, website promotion is cheaper.
2. Service type pages (medicine procedures, diagnostic tests)
Why are these pages needed? Let's look at the example of a diagnostic center, which, in fact, provides 3 services - MRI, CT and ultrasound. It would seem that it is enough to describe these three diagnostic methods in order to attract customers. In practice, however, the situation is somewhat different.
When trying to solve their medical problem, Internet users want to get specific information that answers their request. Most patients are not interested in the principle of operation of the MRI machine and other general information. They rather want to know:
- how magnetic resonance imaging of a particular part of the body is performed (for example, MRI of the brain, mammary glands, joints, etc.);
- what symptoms it is prescribed for;
- what to expect from the procedure;
- what results does it show.
Therefore, in order to attract an audience, the tree of service pages should be as broad as possible with a detailed description of diagnostic tests.
This approach is well implemented on the RADI Network of Diagnostic Centers website.
The "Menu" section lists the main categories that may interest the client, nothing more. When you go to the section of one of the services (in this case, MRI), a large list of articles describing diagnostic methods is revealed, each of which responds to specific user requests.
Each page has a convenient menu that allows the user to quickly find the answer to their question. According to the research company Clutch, 50% of people leave the site forever if they do not find the information they need.3 Therefore, the correct organization of the web page allows you to keep patients and motivate them to contact the clinic.
The same principle works when creating treatment pages. For example, if we are talking about promoting a center for the treatment of cancer, then it should contain articles with all available options for the treatment of malignant tumors. That is, not just a description of radiotherapy, but pages with specific types of treatment: brachytherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, 3DCRT, IMRT, VMAT, IGRT, etc.
3. Search query targeting
An ordinary man, not connected with medicine, usually formulates his problem as simply and specifically as possible. For example, he is unlikely to use the term "vertebrogenic pain syndrome", but simply write back pain. Therefore, if the clinic wants to attract potential customers, it must adapt the content posted on the site to the user's requests. For example, how it's done here:
Back pain, lower back pain, or neck pain are not medical conditions, but these are the queries that users most frequently use. By going to the site page, a person can find out what diseases can cause pain, and what diagnostic and treatment methods the clinic offers.
Also, people often use colloquial names instead of medical ones to search. For example: thrush (candidiasis), senile sclerosis (dementia), lichen (a group of dermatological diseases of various etiologies). In addition, there are some set expressions that are medically incorrect, but actively used by users. For example, "treatment of oncology." Oncology is a branch of medicine dealing with benign and malignant tumors. However, users very often call oncological diseases that way. The careful use of such colloquial terms and phrases, which does not violate the authenticity of the content, allows you to answer queries and attract potential customers to the site.
4. Patient stories and testimonials (before / after)
«Facts speak, stories sell» ©
Today's healthcare consumers are more demanding than ever before. Simple photos of the clinic and doctors no longer impress them. However, there is a simple and effective way to interest new patients - stories and reviews about the services of the medical center. Such content simultaneously informs users about the activities of the clinic and builds trust in it. This is an effective motivational strategy. If a patient reads about how the medical center has helped someone solve their health problem, the first thing they think about is, “Then they can help me too.”
According to Software Advice review platform experts, three out of four users use patient reviews as the first step in choosing a new clinic. And almost 20% rely on reviews before making an appointment with a doctor.
The Mayo Clinic is a good example of this strategy. The administrators considered the practice of posting reviews so successful that they created a separate page for them - Sharing Mayo Clinic. It presents the stories of patients, their relatives and friends, as well as clinic staff.
5. Active blog with stories and case studies
According to a study by HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more website traffic on average than those that don't.5 After indexing, blog articles start generating views and leads (applications for diagnostics or treatment). At the same time they continue to do so weeks, months, and even years after publication. In fact, this is a free seller of clinic services that works seven days a week.
For the blog to be successful and attract customers, the information posted in it must meet certain criteria. Users can also see general information about diseases on Wikipedia. It is better to post information on the blog that contains popular requests, but at the same time reflects the specifics of the clinic's activities. It can be:
- medical news related to the specifics of the medical center;
- descriptions of the diseases treated by the clinic;
- information on modern diagnostic and therapeutic techniques;
- history of successful treatment, operations;
- interviews with doctors.
An excellent example blog is from the Duke University Medical Center website. There are a huge number of articles here. Each of them contains not only reliable medical information, but also a description of the unique approach, modern equipment and other advantages of the clinic.
A well-written blog is an effective tool that increases the rating of a medical site and its traffic.
6. Description of methods and approach
Medicine is one of the highly competitive business areas. Many medical centers offer the same list of services. Therefore, in order to stand out, it is necessary to explain to the client why he should apply to your clinic.
Many people neglect this marketing tool when creating clinic websites. Therefore, in issuance on demand, patients often face a huge number of medical resources that are no different from each other. When going to such a site, a person receives basic information, and, as a rule, does not linger on it. To stimulate him to use the services of the clinic, it is necessary to describe its key advantages, exclusive equipment, and a unique approach.
The main page of Lytvynenko Clinic immediately provides key information about the principles of work and the benefits of a dermatological medical center. Moreover, when a patient enters a section of interest to him, for example, "Dermatology", he immediately sees the key advantages that a clinic in this field of medicine can offer.
The effect of implementing best practices in the development of a website for a clinic or medical compan
The methods listed above allow you to achieve a double effect.
Firstly, they help drive organic traffic, that is, the number of visitors who land on a page not through an ad, but from organic search results. This is the highest quality of all types of traffic, as it provides:
- longer time spent by the user on the site;
- more conscious behavior;
- greater trust;
- higher conversion into calls/clinic appointments.
Secondly, the relevance of user requests and the availability of pages of diseases / treatments provide information that most closely matches the person's problem. This also increases the conversion (performing a target action by the user: calling / making an appointment), since the potential client, in fact, sees options for solving it on the site. Also, this approach allows you to increase the performance of paid Google advertising due to a higher correspondence of information on the page to user requests.
Thirdly, explaining the key advantages of the clinic instead of posting general text helps keep the user on the site and motivates him to make a call or make an appointment with a doctor.
Thus, the use of all these practices in combination makes it possible to:
- increase traffic;
- increase conversion;
- more efficient budgeting.
BRAB: creation and promotion of websites for medical business
All the principles described above and a number of other online tools to improve the marketing effectiveness of medical websites are used by the BRAB integrated online marketing agency. Here you can create a project from scratch or optimize the work of an existing site. Well-organized digital marketing brings a number of benefits to the healthcare business, including increased patient flow, increased brand awareness, and increased efficiency in spending marketing budgets.