In the good old days of the internet (“old” being relative) many websites were just like expanded business cards on the web. Those old websites were essentially a Yellow Pages entry, but online. And like the Yellow Pages, once the listing was created, it was published and forgotten.
But today, users—and search engines—expect a lot more from your medical website. They want to see continuously updated content that answers questions web users most often ask.
If a user visits your website and finds nothing has changed since their last visit, they have little incentive to return. Plus, Google has little incentive to recommend your website to searchers.
But if a site visitor finds new, helpful information on each visit to your website, they’ve been given a reason to return. And the more they return, the more likely they are to think of you when they need to see a neurologist.
With that in mind, here are several suggestions for keeping your website fresh:
Add New Pages
Most medical websites have Home, About, and Contact pages. They may also have a page for new patients to download necessary forms. But excellent medical websites have condition pages.
Consider the main conditions you see in your practice, and add pages addressing them. Periodically add and update these pages with the latest research and advances in treatment. Also address any controversies regarding these conditions your site visitor may have seen in the news or on the web. These will become valuable resources your patients can turn to for a complete snapshot of the disease.
Start a Blog
Blogging is just an automated version of adding new pages. And these “pages” are a great way to address medical items in the news, report exciting changes or successes in your practice, share patient stories (with permission), explain new research, and report your community service and recognition.
Consider your blog an extension of the conversations you have with patients in your office. Time with your patients is limited, but the internet lets you give them just a bit more of it.
Update Your About Page
Everyone hates to write their about page. And just because you did it once when you finished residency doesn’t mean you are off the hook. You are constantly changing—you’ve gotten involved in medical organizations, community service, teaching, or research. Share that with your patients. It helps them see the many qualifications you bring to their care.
And, that picture of you from right out of residency? If it’s five years old (or more) it’s time to change it. Your patients will appreciate being able to recognize your from the picture on your website. And greying hair and crow’s feet make you look wise—really.
One final tip: make the changes substantive. Changing minor wording simply for the sake of change isn’t beneficial. Unless you are correcting an error, these small changes don’t help your site visitors or search engines learn more about your practice.
If you treat your website like a static ad, the benefits to your practice are limited. But with a little TLC, your website can become—and continue to be—a useful resource for you and for your patients.