New health care regulations. Recruiting new patients. Filing insurance claims. Providing excellent care.
Medical practice employees, both clinical and non-clinical, have their hands full juggling the multitude of tasks required to run a successful practice. At first glance, blogging doesn’t seem like a top priority. However, if your medical practice doesn’t have a solid blogging strategy, you’re missing out on greater visibility in the search engine results. Here are a few reasons you need to start blogging now:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The prime real estate in search engine optimization is the first page of the search engine results. Google is the undisputed champion of search engine, so it’s best practice to follow Google’s guidelines for ranking well in the search engine results page (SERP).
Guess what: Google loves new content.
This can be problematic, since most of the information on medical practice web pages is static: basic health information, office policies, physician directory. Unless the practice adds new physicians or has other changes, it is unlikely the pages will rank well with Google.
That’s where a blog becomes crucial. Consistently providing new content on your website will have a positive impact on your search rankings. Most SEO experts recommend posting twice a week, but even two postings per month will yield positive results.
Riding the wave of trending topics
May is skin cancer awareness month, and families often take beach vacations or go on hiking trips during the summer months. Why should this matter? Topics such as skin cancer, sunscreen choices, vacation safety and even car sickness will be more popular in online searches during the spring and summer months. Having a blog allows you to take advantage of this timely opportunity and provide relevant content to patients and potential patients.
This also provides another opportunity for patients to find you. While searching for answers on the best sunscreen to use, a potential patient can access your blog post on how to detect skin cancer. This person is more likely to search your blog for other useful topics and consider using your services.
Reinforcing your brand
When you provide interesting, accurate, and timely information, you reinforce qualities you want patients to associate with your brand: Authority, reliability, compassion and excellence. A well-written and engaging blog can help your brand by establishing your practice as a thought leader in your industry.
While your static web page provides information about you, your blog provides insight into your philosophy. It also gives you the unique opportunity to address specific topics that will benefit your patients.
By providing referential links to other reliable, educational resources (such as the Centers for Disease Control or Skin Cancer Foundation), you also enhance your search engine results.
Opening the door for syndication
Through syndication, you may be able to have your blog content reproduced on other informational websites, increasing visibility and website traffic. If you decide to syndicate your blog copy, be sure that you are utilizing venues that will reach your target customers.
A few tips to remember when writing for a medical blog:
- Always write in “layman’s” terms. Be aware that your audience for the blog is quite different from an audience that reads a medical journal. It’s important that your writing is compelling and informative to a person who does not have a medical education.
- Consistently post new content. If you can’t post a minimum of two to four new blog posts per month, consider working with a marketing firm who can ghostwrite the articles for you.
- Avoid posts that are blatantly promotional: Readers want valuable content, and sales pitches will turn them away very quickly.
A medical blog is a useful tool for creating meaningful content, If you stick with it, your investment will pay off with an increase in new patients and higher engagement with current ones.