If you run a private clinic, you will be aware of the many benefits that private healthcare can bring to your patients. Often this will even lead to repeat visits and recommendations to family and friends. But how well does your website demonstrate these benefits? Geoff Meakin of SEO healthcare company, Healthcare SEO, outlines the ways your website can showcase your clinic’s offerings.
Patients waited an average of 13.1 weeks  for NHS treatment in February 2022, 300,000 people have been waiting over a year for NHS treatment  and the waiting list backlog is a record 6.1 million people and growing.
This is a driving factor for people opting to go private and should be front and centre on your website.
With some private hospitals able to offer same day consultations and surgery within weeks, the option to go private has never seemed so appealing for patients. In fact, many patients who have never before used the services of private healthcare are now finding ways to fund it. The exceptional NHS wait times since COVID mean many feel they have no choice but to seek out private healthcare. As a result, people are scraping together life savings, loans and family assistance to free themselves or their loved ones from pain, impaired mobility and sickness .
To address this, your website’s content must demonstrate the benefits and speed of access against the costs. It’s important to demonstrate that individuals hard earned savings are in good hands with you. If you offer staged payments, discounts or credit, ensure this is made clear on your website. Try to explain the terms on which this is available e.g. ‘Interest free over X months, subject to status.’ Example below:
Transparency of prices will be appealing to many patients on a budget and will encourage them to reach out to you, as your website will seem more accessible than those clinics that do not advertise prices. You could also consider providing price bands for different treatments if you cannot provide an exact price for treatments.
Perhaps the most important aspect here is that pricing should be anchored against benefit. So, instead of simple listing prices, show the price along with how long patients are likely to wait for a consultation and treatment. Doing so gives your website visitors a clear understanding that they are choosing a short wait of days or weeks compared to months (or even years) long wait on the NHS.
As private surgery and medical procedures can be booked at a time and date that suits the patient, have your opening hours advertised clearly on your website. If you run evening or weekend surgeries, be sure to highlight this so that people working during the day will know they can see you or call you at a time that is convenient for them. If possible, include a calendar booking facility on your website such as SimplyBook.me so that patients can book an appointment with you at their convenience.
Due to the reduced wait times, some privately treated patients will be nearing the end of their recovery before they would have received even an initial consultation on the NHS. If your website content highlights the difference in waiting times and the impact this has on recovery, it will demonstrate the value of the investment – less time wasted waiting for surgery or treatment means potentially less time signed off work.
If your clinic has recently invested in top of the range facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool, rehabilitation gym or clinical labs, your website is a great place to showcase these. Include photographs of these facilities to demonstrate your offering.
Better yet, include videos which generate much more engagement than still pictures. These can repurposed on social media and in email marketing.
One often overlooked aspect is Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business). When searching for your clinic by name you’ll often see your business details listed on the right-hand side of the screen. See example below:
Notice how the images (supplied by your clinic OR members of the public) appear at the top? Remember, this is often your first opportunity to make a good impression with potential patients and relatives.
The added benefit here is that Google loves businesses that actively update their photographs or and videos and rewards them with higher rankings in the search results.
Additional features you may want to explore include using the ‘Posts’ section within your Google Business Profile. Here’s a great example of the The Private Clinic of Harley Street doing exactly this.
Access to breakthrough drugs
If your clinic offers access to breakthrough drugs, treatments and therapies not yet available on the NHS, ensure your website content is optimised so that patients searching for these therapies are able to find your clinic online.
Modern medical devices
Private clinics will usually have a healthier budget for investment in cutting edge medical devices. Make sure to mention within your website’s content if your company has recently invested in new devices, and what these can offer so that patients can feel reassured that they are accessing the best quality healthcare available.
The experience and expertise of private clinicians can be highlighted in a ‘People’ page, containing a photograph and short biography of the clinician. Include where they studied medicine, their specialism and expertise and any special awards or accolades. This will impress and reassure patients that they are accessing the most highly skilled clinicians in the UK. Adding a brief summary of hobbies or interests will add a personal touch and make staff appear as approachable and well rounded individuals that patients can trust.
This has now become an important factor for demonstrating Expertise Authority and Trust (or “E-A-T”) signals to search engines. In turn this positions you as a credible authority which, again, helps you to rank higher in search results and generate more traffic.
Many clinics provide inpatients with private rooms and en-suite bathroom facilities as standard. If this is the case for your clinic, consider including photos of a typical room and en-suite on your website.
Homely rooms and amenities
Private healthcare facilities are usually able to invest in a higher standard of fixtures and furnishings within private rooms compared to what is available on the NHS, giving a more homely feel. This can be of particular value to patients who experience anxiety in a hospital setting or when away from the comforts of home.
Beneath photographs of the private rooms, consider listing the facilities and amenities available in bullet point format in much the same way as a hotel listing. For example:
This will highlight the luxury element of the stay and remind patients of booking a holiday. If you have sourced particular brands of fixtures, furnishings or refreshments that are synonymous with quality (e.g. White Company dressing gown, Twinings tea), these can also be mentioned.
Very few people will admit to being fans of NHS hospital food. If your clinic is able to offer superior choice and quality of food, and is able to cater to a range of special diets (gluten free, organic, vegan), many patients will value this.
Consider including a ‘Dining’ page on your website showcasing a sample menu along with photographs of the food served, and the on-site restaurant, if applicable. Consider also providing a photograph of the head chef along with a short biography of countries and restaurants they have previously worked in, including their influences and passion for certain cuisines and ingredients.
If food is sourced locally or organically, consider including some content about the food’s provenance and the farmers who provide it for a more personal touch. If food and drink is available at certain times, or round the clock, include serving times on your website.
Due to severe time pressures on staff, most NHS consultations are brief and are often delayed or postponed. With more time to talk to the patients, private care can be personalised and unhurried, with plenty of time for consultants to take a thorough history and examination, whilst also giving patients more time to ask questions.
Ensure your website demonstrates to patients how comprehensive their consultation and follow-up care will be, and try to provide a rough guide on how long a patient should expect a private consultation to take. Encourage patients to consider what questions they may like to ask during the consultation and consider devising an FAQs page or series of blog posts for your clinic.
Private healthcare allows patients the freedom to choose the location and specialisation of the hospital, the specialist they will be under the care of, the time and date of their consultation and sometimes the time or date of the treatment or surgery.
Try to design your website so that options can be made clear and simple. Provide enough information so that patients can make an informed decision, but try not to make choices appear overwhelming. Allow patients to find the information they need quickly and easily, whilst facilitating comparisons so the patient can choose the right specialist for them.
If you have seen any suggestions within this article that you would like to discuss implementing on your clinic’s website we can quickly and accurately advise you. Remember you can book a free, no obligation video review of your website or feel free to book a call at a time convenient to you.
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