How medical blogging brings in & retains patients
Why should you have a blog on your practice website? Health blogs are a great way to increase online traffic, which is a primary factor in digital medical marketing. Our clients have experienced considerable online traffic increases from blogging, which we can measure with our website analytics.
Blogging is an aspect of public relations that focuses on educating patients, making doctors more relatable and marketing a medical practice in a subtle fashion. We also know that the doctor blog needs to be a form of self-expression, one that can forge a doctor/patient connection that can be made outside the exam room.
Blogging can create a great value for your medical practice and get your name out there connected to issues patients care about and are searching for online. While medical blogs can bring in new patients, they can also engender loyalty and trust in existing patients.
Blogs can be based on data and clinical evidence, and they should also stake out a position. Blogs should be opinionated, not just have raw data – that is what keeps the reader engaged.
You write the medical blog or we write it
We are here for our clients to be the middle person between practice and patients. In that regard, we work with our physician clients on blogs. We suggest topics for blogs related to their practice and discuss what topics they know to be popular and important for their patient base.
Some doctors like to write, and do it well. Some don’t. Some PAs, nurses and other support staffers can also be excellent bloggers. Some aren’t. We offer to ghost write the blog in the doctor’s name, giving him or her full editorial review and authority.
We are also quite happy to have doctors pen their own blogs, which we will lightly edit as necessary. Most importantly, in both cases, we employ various tactics to make sure that your blog has the best chance of being seen by your audience.
Blogging is included in our MedMarketLink program.
Choosing health blog topics
Although healthcare blogs may not be as exciting as those of celebrity bloggers like the OzBlog, they can actually be useful to patients. And they should be, have to be.
One of the most important aspects of blog writing is that they should not be too clinical or scientific. Blogs should be written as if you are having a conversation with the reader, one 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.
Some of the best topics come from common patient questions. They answer questions specific to your medical field. So for a primary care physician one might be, Why do I get so many colds? And for an infertility specialist a question/blog topic might be, What advice do you have for people ready to give up treatment?
Answering these types of questions through a blog tells readers that you know what they are interested in learning and that your advice isn’t just available in an exam room visit. This sense of accessibility boosts their trust in a provider.
Another great topic for blog posts is hot 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 you can weigh in on a topic that’s still current, you’ll clearly demonstrate that you are in touch with what’s important to patients. And such blogs often have solid SEO value (more on that below).
How often should you write a doctor blog?
There is no magic number for the amount of blog posts to publish. Physicians should publish as many as they can fit into their schedule. A steady flow of blog posts can convey some sense of regular activity on the blog and attract readers to come back for more.
While medical bloggers should post as much as possible, they should also remember to have consistency. No one ever complains about too many blog posts, but they do complain if they haven’t seen a post in a few months. We help our clients find an appropriate schedule and stick to it, which will help gather a loyal audience.
Blogging SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO is so important for marketers – and for medical practices with a website. When you optimize a blog post so search engines like Google can find it, you are making it more visible to people who enter keywords associated with that post. In fact, knowing how to marry SEO and a written blog is probably more important than just writing the blog.
At Vanguard Communications, we stay up to date with Google’s copious algorithm updates so that we know today’s SEO best practices. And the SEO world follows Google’s lead.
We know how to find and organically use the best keywords, optimize the snippet head, URL, meta and execute more SEO tricks. This ensures we are giving the post the most opportunities to rank in search engines and hence to get prospective patients to visit your site.
Sharing your healthcare blog
Now that the blog is optimized, we want to share it. The more possibilities of people seeing the blog, the better. There are a few ways to cross-promote your blogs on social media platforms and in e-newsletters to drive as much traffic to your blog as possible.
Here are some ways we promote your blog post on different social media platforms.
- Share a link on Facebook. Add a personal and engaging comment in the post, maybe invite readers to comment.
- Tweet a link on Twitter. Add trending keywords as hashtags.
- Post a link on LinkedIn. Make sure the text is engaging and relates to the practice or a certain procedure or medical issue.
Blogging can add great value to not only your website, but also your practice. We know your time is limited when practicing medicine, so let us help with the blogging.
Part of the MedMarketLink program
Vanguard Communications are experts in research-backed marketing: delivering user-friendly websites and patient resources for guaranteed practice growth.
Content development, strategy, and marketing is a core component of our MedMarketLink program. We’ve worked across more than 17 provider specialties and can work with you.