One of the best ways to boost your private practice is to have an ‘amazing’ website. Here are seven things you should know and mistakes to avoid.
Seven ‘Amazing’ Medical Website Tips.
Not even having a website at all! Yikes!
Websites are really expensive, you have just started out, and you are getting a lot of referrals by word of mouth (of course, you do, you’re not there on the internet!)
You may be thinking… “It’s okay, I’m listed on one of those HCA, or Nuffield Health or Spire Health, or BMI hospital websites, my patients can find me there.”
However, you are listed along with hundreds of other Orthopaedic Surgeons there as well. These sites can only be a Yellow Pages equivalent which doesn’t give you a great deal of opportunity to put a lot of prose in about your speciality.
If you don’t have a website, it’s really hard to be found.
If you were to type into Google ‘orthopaedic knee surgeons in Suffolk’, you will see a list of hospitals, private hospitals, and very few listed orthopaedic surgeons, maybe one or two. They stand out to us because they’re listed with their own websites.
If you don’t have a website, ironically patients find you to be less credible. They think there’s something wrong about you; you’re a bit of a cheapskate. And you will be further behind your competitors the longer you wait to get a website.
A professionally made website is going to be number one on your priority list.
Getting a professionally made website.
Unless you happen to be a web designer, you are not the right person to build a website.
We see ads for homemade websites, e.g. Wix, and you think “great, I can slam one together over the weekend.” You probably can, but it’s going to look amateurish. Not only do bad websites produce a lot of shame in the medical community. Patients will spot this and will lose confidence too.
Getting a professionally made website that you can add to and update yourself, will help you to avoid your website being penalised by Google’s algorithm updates.
For example: August of 2018, Google had one of its famous algorithm updates which has been termed the ‘Medic Update’. It was all about professional credibility and making sure links were appropriate. You might find yourself unwittingly being a victim of the ‘Medic Update’ without realising, it because your website isn’t optimised.
Websites can also date, just like mobile phones and laptops, so you need to be refreshing your website every three to four years. It’s all about getting those nice things in place that you probably haven’t thought about like UX experience, SEO, and having an HTTPS certificate in place.
A good professional will take care of this and ensure that you are in control.
When you’re putting together a website, it seems natural to write it yourself.
It’s far better if you collaborate with somebody who is experienced in writing copy for medical practice websites.
Why is this?
Orthopaedic Surgeons, (as well as other medics) often make the classic mistake of writing a website for Orthopaedic Surgeons!
You might say: “Go to my website and look up hip arthroscopy” . On that page, you might list the intricate, surgical anatomical findings, including words like ‘cotyloid fossa’.
Patients don’t care! They want to know that you’re going to fix their hip so they can get back to running. They want to know that you can help them with their groin pain and getting back to playing tennis.
A patient might know the term a ‘foraminal root injection’ because they’ve had one before, but mostly they are putting into Google words like ‘sciatica’, not ‘foraminal root injection’.
Work with a good copy editor, and they can help make sure that you’re getting the right keywords in place so that patients actually find you. Whilst you should mention the terminology of your procedure, you also need to talk in the patient’s words – in language that’s layperson-friendly (i.e. using terms like sciatica or nerve pain).
Your copy style needs to be conversational and help patients to understand clunky medical terminology.
The ‘About’ page.
This is where everyone gets it wrong, and it’s rare to get it right.
Remember: the ‘About’ page isn’t about you. It’s about the patient.
We tend to list this giant smorgasbord of qualifications we’ve had and ‘stuff we have done before’. That is not what the patient wants to read.
Here’s a classic example of how NOT to do this, a real-life example of what’s out there on the internet….
‘Dr X was recently invited to be one of 24 international experts from 16 countries who were invited to consent on a naming session for hip and groin pain.’
I mean, really? Really?
Patients don’t care that you were invited to get together with a bunch of other bone geeks to talk about naming things. Similarly, they’re not going to be that bothered that you did your postgraduate training overseas with ‘Leo Pinczewski’ or that you participated in the 2015 Mark Patterson travelling Fellowship, or that you won President’s Medal of the British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK), because it’s entirely meaningless to them.
You and I know that that took some darn hard work on your side, but for patients, they simply want to know that you can help them with their knee problem.
You should write something about your amazing qualifications, and how good you are, that way people will know that you are credible. But, you need to do it in a way that first speaks to the patient’s problem first.
For example: You could be a foot and ankle surgeon, and you might say something like…
“Are you frustrated with an ankle that gets achy and swollen each time you run, or do you keep going over on that ankle and is it getting in the way of your marathon training?”
“I get it!”
“Because I’ve trained with Leo from Australia, and this bloke over here and I’ve done all this experience looking after these professional athletes, I’m in a great place to be able to help you with that problem.”
“I’m able to help you get a proper diagnosis and the right treatment to enable you to get back to the sport you love.”
By all means, list out your qualifications, (which helps Google see that you’re a credible individual), and put in links to external sites (such as the National Join Registry), which backs up who you are.
Not having great imagery.
It’s not enough to have words on your website. You need pictures, taken by a professional photographer.
A must is a recent headshot of your smiling human face. It’s important to not hide behind a pair of surgical loupes, a mask, and a cap. That’s far too impersonal.
If you have a current photograph that makes it look like you have been slapped with a big fine from the tax man, you need to change it!
Better still, if you put a video on your website, you’re far more likely to get people to book in with you. If you can be talking on camera on your ‘Home’ page and your ‘About’ page, patients get a real feel of what you’re about and begin to connect with you.
Not ‘niching down’.
So many orthopaedic surgeons that I work with come to me with a website that lists a dozen different things they can do ‘orthopaedically’ to a person.
Beware falling into the trap of listing every tiny example of surgery that you can perform, or othorpaedic problem that you solve…
Diabetic foot problems, hallux valgus problems, knee arthroscopy, total knee arthroplasty, hip impingement surgery, hip arthroplasty and revision hip arthroplasty.
Don’t do it!
While you may occasionally perform surgery in all these clinical areas, it screams ‘Jack of all Trades’. Patients will feel conflicted when they see a website with a great long list of stuff you do, because they want to know that you are the go-to person to help with their arthritic knee, and not someone who mostly does bunion surgery with a bit of knee chopping on the side.
Keep adding content to your website.
Your orthopaedic website’s not an inert thing; it is your 24/7 marketeer– not just a place where people go to look up your secretary’s phone number.
The way that you make it work for you is to add regular content to it.
This is known as ‘content marketing’, and it helps get you found. If you don’t do this, what happens is that your website gently slides down Google’s algorithm and gets lost at the bottom amongst everyone else’s websites.
A good web designer will help you with some SEO aspects of your website and teach you how to add blogs, vlogs and how to connect that up with social media in the background.
It’s up to you to add these to the website. Adding vlogs and blogs (regularly and consistently) involves planning out what you put on your website and being strategic in your marketing. There are plenty of seasonal things you can do all year round to get started.
For example: We are in marathon season, then it’s going to be tennis, and then before we know it, we’ll be back to skiing again. Think about what you see each year as an Orthopaedic Surgeon.
If you really want to nail content production, start producing video for your website, which can you also have easily transcribed and captioned, using ridiculously cheap apps and services. Gain more video strategy ideas by watching my video HERE…Using Video To Market Your Physiotherapy Or Private Practice Clinic: Strategy Video
Are you struggling to write good content for your website and need some help with website strategy?
Now it’s time for you to grow ‘your’ Private Practice.
email or call us 0207 993 6425