20 Ways to Keep Your Website Fresh
Follow these simple tips to keep visitors coming to your medical website and keep them interested in you.
Are you the owner or administrator of a medical website? If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you’re trying to attract new patients to your practice. You might have heard that search engine optimization is something that you work into your code, or maybe you’ve heard of targeted keywords before. All of this is relevant to webmasters in the medical field, but if you’re still failing to attract and book new patients, there may be an angle that you’ve been missing.
There’s a saying among SEO experts: “Content is King.” That means that beside any SEO tricks that you might have heard of, it’s the stuff that reaches your users that will ultimately decide whether or not they look at, link to, or book from your website. The Google search algorithm is not omniscient, but it usually does a good job of promoting quality material.
The Google search algorithm is getting more sophisticated with every update, and that makes it harder to negotiate with. There are a lot of factors that go into its decision to promote or demote websites on the SERP, (Search Engine Results Page) and true SEO experts have to be aware of them all. Lately, the algorithm has placed more emphasis on the continuous change of web content than anything else.
So how do you keep your medical website fresh and up to date? Here are 20 tips to help you.
1. Add a Blog. Many of these tips will depend on you having one already. If you don’t, put one up right away! It’s very easy to do.
2. Write about news in your field. Discuss emerging treatments, add your thoughts, and let your patients know whether or not you’ll be providing them.
3. Take a poll. Ask your visitors what they need out of your website, then give it to them. It really is that simple.
4. Let your patients in on what’s happening within your practice. If you’re going through staff changes, that’s something that they might be interested to know.
5. Interview someone, whether it’s an expert in a field related to yours or someone who works closely with you.
6. Talk about your patients. Relate astounding or unlikely success stories that happened in your practice. Celebrate your patients who are showing progress. If there is a lesson to be learned from them, share it with the world.
7. Consider adding videos and images to your site. This stuff counts towards your freshness rating according to Google, and many users find videos more engaging than the written word.
8. Make changes to your design. They don’t have to be drastic, just big enough to demonstrate that you’re maintaining your site. Try adding an image gallery, or change the look of your banner.
9. Add testimonials. You help people all day long, so at least a few of your visitors should be willing to put in a good word.
10. Clean things up a little. If you look over your website and see that there are broken or outdated links, or if there’s news posted that’s no longer relevant, toss it out – that’s a clever way to make things seem fresh.
11. Add new links. You might not want to drive your visitors away from your site by linking to rabbit holes like YouTube, but let people in on any information that they might find valuable even if it’s elsewhere on the web.
12. Cross-link within your own site. If you have a blog established already, you can make things easier on your readers by linking to posts that you’ve already written. You can even update older posts to link to one another this way.
13. Update old blog posts. If you find news that’s relevant to something you’ve already written, all you have to do is add a short blurb to your old post. Complete overhauls aren’t necessary.
14. If you’re running out of ideas on your own, enlist someone else for a guest post. This can be a patient, one of your staff, someone in a related field, or anyone else.
15. If you can’t find someone to volunteer a whole post of their own, consider inviting them to an open discussion instead. This is like the interview option above, but you can take add a little input of your own.
16. In the same vein, consider starting a podcast and posting it on your website as often as you have the time. If you can find contributors who work well with you, all the better. Upload your discussions and ideas weekly, monthly, or whenever you feel like.
17. Post content from elsewhere on the web. Citing videos or articles from other people is a great way to update your site with a minimum of effort. Consider using infographics, images, and audio too.
18. Add a status indicator of some kind to your site. Is the office open? One idea that could help medical practitioners is to let their patients know when slots in their schedule open up. For example, if you received a cancellation and are welcoming walk-ins, you can alert people to that on your site.
19. Have a list of generic medical tips rotating on the front page of your site. Instead of writing a full-length blog post, you can easily log onto your CMS to remind people to brush their teeth, exercise daily, or anything else that you find yourself frequently repeating to patients.
20. Invite comments and correspondence. Doctors have reputations to look out for, but if you have a private stream of feedback, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble getting new ideas for updates to your site.
That’s just a few ideas for ways to keep your medical website fresh. The basic idea is to make changes of any kind on a regular basis. Having a blog in the first place is the easiest way to do it, but the options are limitless.