These tips will help you write better web copy for your practice—and land more patients!
Are you a healthcare professional with your own practice?
We turn to the internet for everything from finding the nearest pizzeria to searching for information on medical symptoms and exploring our healthcare options.
And what’s true for other industries is also true for healthcare: well-written website copy lands your clinic’s pages in front of your desired audience—potential patients!
So whether you’re about to commission a brand new website or simply researching how to improve what you’ve already got, this post on healthcare copywriting is exactly what the doctor ordered.
℞: A prescription for healthy copy
1. Diagnose what readers need
When you’re writing your clinic’s web copy, it can be difficult to distinguish information you believe readers want and what is actually useful.
For example: You might fill valuable home page real estate with a lengthy welcome message.
What you write may sound great – but do potential patients care about your warm greetings? Or are they more interested in finding out what services you offer and if you accept walk-ins?
All this to say, your clinic’s web copy has to be written with the potential patient top of mind.
- What do they want to know?
- What matters to them?
- How will you keep their attention—and gain their trust—in 20 seconds or less? (And yes, that’s all the time you have.)
2. Highlight your strengths
One focus of website copywriting for clinics is helping potential patients reach a decision about choosing your practice over other clinics in their area.
Let’s put that into perspective.
The average person may feel that a dental clinic is a dental clinic. It doesn’t matter which one he goes to.
But the reality is that some patients have specialized needs that not every dental clinic can cater to.
For example: Clinic A may focus on cosmetic dentistry while Clinic B focuses on surgical procedures. Someone going for a wisdom tooth extraction would probably feel better about going to Clinic B — that’s if he knows what your strengths are.
It’s your copy’s job to make it clear why someone should make an appointment with you.
3. Don’t forget about keywords
What’s a website without keywords or search engine optimization? The answer: one that’s not easily discoverable.
And if your pages can’t be found in user’s search results, then that’s a sizable number of lost prospects for your medical practice.
In other words, unless someone already knows you exist, walks past your clinic or hears about you from people they trust – chances are you aren’t going to attract new patients.
Here are the facts:
A 2012 Google / Compete study (which can be applied to primary care facilities / clinics) showed that 61% of patients visit at least 2 hospital websites before taking any action such as booking an appointment.
And out of those who use search:
- 21% use it to discover new hospitals
- 29% to evaluate specific features
- 57% for general information
- 28% for comparison of offerings across facilities
- 16% in consideration of hospitals they already know
That’s exactly why website copywriting for clinics is so important.
4. Make it easy for visitors to find what they need
While most website visitors aren’t in a rush, you’ll still have readers that are in immediate need of information—and quite possibly a doctor.
The website that’s easiest to navigate, logically laid out and has clear copy wins. That clinic will attract more patients.
You can make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for with (1) a well-structured menu / navigation plan and (2) descriptive headings.
5. Be deliberate about your calls-to-action
A call to action is the marketing term for a stimulus – typically a button on websites – designed to elicit a response or encourage an action of some sort.
In terms of website copywriting for clinics, what that means is your practice is a business and the website you’ve built an investment. It’s not just there for decoration but to help you achieve your goals.
Since you want readers to actually do something once they’re on your site (like schedule an appointment), don’t be afraid to ask for it. Use your web copy to convince readers to take action.
6. Keep your website’s content relevant and up-to-date
Don’t underestimate the power of healthcare content—yes, even for small medical practices. Research has shown that incorporating a blog on your website can increase both traffic and the number of leads you receive. Or put another way: content writing makes it easier to grow your business at a relatively low cost compared to other marketing campaigns.
7. Legal matters
The healthcare industry and corresponding marketing / advertising is heavily regulated to protect the interests of patients. Even in marketing: do no harm.
That’s why last, but certainly not least, you must make sure your web copy (make that ALL healthcare marketing copy) adhere to local laws and requirements.