The website is the storefront of the 21st century. It shows people right off the bat who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. But what are practical strategies to make sure your website is helping your business? In this week’s blog, let’s talk about how to make your private practice website work for you.
Why should I care about my private practice website?
Maybe you have a strong Facebook group for your practice, or thousands of Instagram followers. Maybe you’ve had lots of success with ads, TikTok, or Youtube. Maybe your practice has thrived off of word-of-mouth and referrals. If you’ve had traction with any of these avenues, you may wonder why you should even worry about your website. You’re already getting patients, right?
Think about it this way: your website is yours. TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook could go down tomorrow, and if you’re totally reliant on followers or groups, you’ve lost your audience. Chances of that might be slim, but unless you’re funneling folks to your own site, you’re at the mercy of Zuckerberg.
Another thing to consider is that wherever you put your content, you’re adding to that business. Posts to instagram add to their content web, not yours. People are reading your words on their platform, liking posts on their feed.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t post to social media, but that your posts should be strategic. They should funnel people to your website, blog, opt-in list, or landing page. They should be benefiting your business, not just adding to the content chaos.
Referral clients are great, but they can also often be unpredictable. Relying solely on your existing client network can leave you in a feast-or-famine pattern that isn’t sustainable for the long term. Investing in your own website helps assure you against slow periods, which can happen when word-of-mouth dries up.
Your website should be the backbone of your marketing.
Having a strong website to send people to gives your business independence from social media. It also should generate inbound leads so that you’re not depending on erratic word-of-mouth for business. A strong site brings people in, where they can learn more about you and sign up for your services. It showcases your knowledge, skills, and expertise.
Now that you know why its so important, let’s get into how to make your private practice website work for you.
How to Cater Your Website for Google
You probably know about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO just means that we’re trying to make Google’s algorithms work for your site. Marketers and copywriters try to guess at what will satisfy Google’s algorithms, but these algorithms are not published and change constantly.
But did you know that Google actually looks at medical websites differently than others? In March of 2021, John Mueller of Google Switzerland confirmed that medical sites with low expertise and authority were knocked down in search rankings.
With the plethora of misinformation and low-credibility medical sites out there, this is actually a good thing for real practitioners. It means that there’s less muck medical content on the first page of Google, misinforming consumers about ivermectin treating COVID-19.
Here’s my take: Medical content should be held to higher standards, because bad medical advice has real negative outcomes for the public.
It’s great that Google is trying to weed out the bad apples. But you need to be sure your website looks shiny, crisp, and fresh (AKA: a good apple).
You need to make your credibility unquestionable to show Google that you’re a good source of information.
Here’s How to Show Google That Your Private Practice is The Real Deal:
A Strong ‘About Me’ page
As a medical practitioner, you’re not just selling your services, you’re selling yourself. People should read this page and think “I want to trust them with my health”.
SEO-wise, your ‘About Me’ page is a tool for building your clout with Google. It’s the place to list your educational background, your licenses and certifications, your professional memberships and previous experience. It’s also a great spot to list your press coverage and speaking edgagements.
This is not the time to skimp, but it doesn’t have to be essay-length either. 400 words is usually more than enough to show people, and Google, that you’re an authority.
Client Reviews and Testimonials
Social proof is a huge part of how we make decisions, and your website is the time to use it. Peppering your site with glowing testimonials shows Google you’re experienced and trustworthy. This is not the time to be humble!
If you have trouble asking for patient testimonials, automate the process. In your visit paperwork, ask patients to leave a Google review after their appointment. Some practitioners even offer a small gift card as an incentive to leave reviews when they’re just starting out. These are great ways to jump-start your testimonials bank and build social proof.
Professional Social Media Engagement
Didn’t she just say that social media isn’t a good long-term lead strategy?
Yes, yes I did. But it can be a great component of your SEO game if you use it right.
Here are some practical ways to use social media as a tool for your business:
- Promote your new products and services to your existing followers by funneling them to a professional landing page on your website
- Ask questions of your followers to understand what is important to them and create content that meets their needs
- Post about your weekly blog on LinkedIn or Facebook to drive traffic and improve SEO
- Follow other medical influencers in your niche for inspiration and content ideas
If you love using social media, I am not here to burst your bubble. It can be a great tool to grow your practice and build an audience.
But just remember that ‘likes’ don’t fill your calendar up with patients. Your social media activity should serve a purpose for your business, not a platform’s.
This is a remarkably simple, yet overlooked piece of medical SEO. I can’t tell you how often I go on a provider’s website, only to find that there’s no way to get in touch with them.
Listing your contact information at the footer of every page is quick and easy. People shouldn’t have to hunt down your business email or phone number. Plus, it shows Google that you’re trustworthy.
Google Business Profiles and Local SEO
Google Business is another easy way to become visible in local searches. According to Google, local searches drive 63% of local traffic. This is especially important for medical providers because your clients tend to be local.
Plus, this gives you access to analytics so you can see what keywords people are using to find you. Use these keywords to create blogs, posts, and webpages to grow your SEO.
Including your location in your website is also key for local SEO. It’s much easier to rank for “Dietician in Charlotte” than it is for “dietician”. Showing your location helps you show up for people in your area.
Schedule Valuable Content
Creating a content schedule for your website is the first step to leveling up your practice website. By laying out a plan for blogs, videos, infographics, and more, you’re giving yourself a roadmap for growth.
These pieces should be valuable for your audience. They should be backed in science, in your experiences as a clinician. Use scholarly sources and trustworthy backlinks to reinforce your authority. Your content should also be optimized for search engines, to make it easy to find.
Sticking to a schedule shows Google that you’re trustworthy. That you’re going to show up for people again and again. That you have real value to offer for people who come to your site.
The Essential Functions of a Private Practice Website:
In the last two years we’ve gone more ‘online’ than ever. Even for important decisions, like choosing a physician, we’re going to Google. By building your website with Google in mind, you drive more leads to you and grow your business for the long-term.
At minimum, your website should:
- Show who you are, what you do, where you do it, and who you do it for
- List and promote your services
- Differentiate you from other practitioners in your area
- Build audience trust by providing value
- Show people how to contact you
But Here’s the Thing About Updating Your Website. . .
Practitioners are stretched thinner than ever these days. Expecting yourself to sit down and write a webpage after a long day of seeing patients is a lot. And it’s probably not even the best use of your time.
Being a medical entrepreneur means creating a business around your strengths. The things that light you up. Whether it’s seeing patients get their lives back after battling disease, watching families grow, or helping clients overcome mental illness. You get to create a practice that suits your strengths. And it’s okay if writing is not one of those strengths.
What could be a better use of your time than content creation? You can make your private practice website work for you without actually doing any work yourself.
Hiring a professional medical copywriter can save you time and mental bandwidth that you can give back to your patients, your family, or even yourself.
Curious about what a medial copywriter can do for your practice or medical business? Check out my blog about it.
If you have questions about my services or would like to work together to build the website of your dreams, contact me here: