Healthcare blogging retains and attracts new patients
Blogging about common patient questions, treatments, health tips, insights and trends in your specialty is a great way to attract visitors to your practice’s website. Who better than doctors and medical providers to offer factual, quality information about the symptoms, conditions and treatments that people are already searching for by the millions online?
Blogging is critical to Vanguard’s MedMarketLink program. Like other types of content marketing, blogging focuses on educating patients, making doctors more relatable and accessible, and highlighting a practice’s expertise by offering helpful information to the community at large.
Why blogging works for doctors and other medical providers
- Blogging helps prospective patients distinguish you from other physicians.
- It’s not only OK to give away your knowledge for free, it’s expected.
- Healthcare blogging helps patients sort out help from hype with objective, patient-friendly educational content.
- It improves search engine optimization (SEO), which helps a practice’s website climb to the top of search results pages.
- With MedMarketLink, our medical researchers and experienced writers ghostwrite the blogs for you so you don’t have to be a professional writer to share your expertise.
- Blogging connects doctors to issues about which patients are already looking for more information.
- Blogs, and the ongoing education they provide, engender loyalty and trust among existing patients.
Doctor used blogs to build his practice
Watch a webinar by Rink Murray, MD: Why he started blogging and how his IVF practice grew.
Three tips to create a great healthcare blog
Learn three easy tools for creating a blog that spares you personal time – and time in the exam room.
Raise the physician voice through blogging
Contribute to community conversations with your scientific perspective and ease patient fears.
How healthcare blogging works within the MedMarketLink program
Blogs are a type of website content, along with iCare Health Library Pages, patient success stories and videos, that Vanguard creates on behalf of each medical practice client. The consistent online publication of original, patient-friendly, educational information helps practice websites appear highly in online searches, driving prospective patients to the website and new patient growth in the practice.
Vanguard regularly suggests and assesses blog topics with our client medical providers. Then, our seasoned team of medical writers research and ghostwrite each blog for the physician. Not only are the blogs vetted through our on-staff editor-in-chief and the provider for factual correctness, but they are optimized to include the most attractive search phrases as reported by Google and other search engines.
If doctors or other practice staff are interested in writing their own first draft of a blog, Vanguard’s MedMarketLink program process runs their written copy through our editor-in-chief for AP Style, grammar and copyright compliance. Then our digital marketers will research and optimize the article for high-ranking Google keywords before publishing the piece on the website under the provider’s byline.
Blogging with patient education in mind
One of the most important aspects of blog writing is to avoid being too clinical or scientific. Blogs should be written as if the author is having a conversation with the reader and at a middle-school reading level. This may seem to reduce the number of topics a physician or healthcare provider can write about, but it’s really more about how you address the topic.
Answer common patient questions
Some of the best topics come from common patient questions. These blogs answer frequently asked questions unique to a provider’s specialty. For instance, for an oncologist, a common question might be, How can I manage cancer pain for a better quality of life? And for an infertility specialist a blog topic might be, How does PCOS determine my fertility treatment options?
Answering these types of questions through blogging indicates to readers that the doctor knows what questions are already present in their minds and demonstrates the doctor wants to provide helpful advice to people in need, whether they are a patient or not. This sense of accessibility boosts patients’ trust in a provider and piques their interest to stay on the website.
Comment on healthcare news
Another great topic for blog posts is current healthcare news. Patients love to stay up-to-date with the next best thing that will keep them or their family healthy. Timeliness can make this challenging, but if doctors can lean on a dedicated marketing team to jump on the topic, they will clearly demonstrate that they are in touch with what’s important to patients. And such blogs often have solid SEO value (more on that below).
A few more medical blog tips
- Doctor blogs are a form of self-expression and should carry the voice and style of the provider. Our writers are keen on and capable of keeping original voice.
- Blogging is a great way to enhance the doctor-patient relationship, building loyalty and trust outside of the exam room.
- Doctors should stake out a position: blogs should be opinionated because that creates engagement, especially on social media, where we promote blogs.
Blogging for SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO is critical for medical practices wanting to find new patients because people research symptoms, conditions and treatments online 10 times more than they search for a doctor.
That’s why Vanguard optimizes every blog post so search engines like Google can find it easily. Aligning both the copy on the webpage and the back-end coding of the practice’s website ensure that the blog is visible to people who enter search terms associated with that topic.
The beauty of MedMarketLink is that our team knows how to marry SEO and a written blog, which is equally as important as fine writing or a timely topic. At Vanguard Communications, we stay up to date with Google’s copious algorithm updates and we work daily with SEO best practices.
Sharing your healthcare blog
Once a blog is published, then it’s time to share it. MedMarketLink maximizes exposure of the blog content by cross-promoting on social media platforms and in e-newsletters to drive as much traffic to the blog as possible.
Here are some ways we promote your blog post on different social media platforms.
- Share a link on Facebook and include an original, correlative comment to engage readers and invite them to comment.
- Create a corresponding infographic or visual for use on Instagram, including strategic hashtags.
- Boost the post on Facebook or Instagram to increase exposure geographically.
- Post on Twitter, if desired, to reach patients, prospects, other professionals and reporters.