When many healthcare companies get started with their online marketing strategy, they tend to undermine the importance of blogging. Blogging is certainly one of the most time-consuming aspects of digital marketing – considering the fact that it requires keyword research, time for writing, editing, optimizing for search engines, and publishing. However, it is a sure-fire way to drive more traffic to your website, build trust as a medical provider, and ultimately drive new patients into your practice. As a result, healthcare blogging is a must for any medical provider, regardless of your industry or field of expertise.
Just over a decade ago, blogs were reserved for niche content for pop culture fanatics, sports fans, political commentary, and personal stories. As the world of online real estate has become more and more important for a successful business strategy, blogging has also become mandatory for all businesses – including healthcare companies.
The Importance of Blogging
According to a 2020 study released by the Pew Internet and Americal Life Project, approximately 80% of internet users have searched for a health-related topic online. These search queries range from questions about specific diseases, health conditions, and medical treatments to general exercise and fitness information. With so many health-related searches occurring on a daily basis, there is a high demand for trusted and reliable medical information online. As a healthcare provider, blogging provides you with an opportunity to educate the public, establish yourself as a trusted resource, and generate new leads.
Establish Yourself as a Trusted Medical Resource
Every primary care physician has completed medical school. Every JACHO accredited addiction treatment facility is held to the same clinical standards for care. Since every medical provider has taken the time to earn their credentials, it’s important to have a way to show your audience what sets you apart from the others. One way to demonstrate your expert knowledge and establish yourself as a trusted provider is to provide valuable content to your readers.
Unfortunately, anyone can publish anything they want on the web – so there is a plethora of false health information surfacing each and every day. Particularly in a time of a global pandemic when COVID-19 is changing the way people view public health, providing people with accurate and trustworthy health information is more important than ever. As a healthcare provider, you are uniquely positioned in a place where you can combat misinformation by publishing informative and useful content on your website’s blog. If you publish valuable and informative content that your readers want to see, you will quickly become a trusted medical resource.
Drive More Traffic to Your Website
When you blog about different topics, you expand the number of keywords on your website. If you choose your blog topics wisely and optimize them for search engines, these keywords may begin to rank for various search queries. As a result, blogging is one of the best ways to drive more organic traffic to your website. In fact, HubSpot reports that businesses that publish regular blog posts get 55% more traffic than their competitors who don’t.
Content is at the core of most search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and blogging is one of the most effective ways to pump out a high volume of content. Google tends to favor websites that are regularly getting updated with fresh content. This encourages search engines to index your website more often, keeping it more visible on search engines. As search engine algorithms index your content and pick up on your keywords, your web pages may begin to rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs), ultimately resulting in more page views and website traffic.
Build an Email List
Email is an integral part of any healthcare marketing strategy, but compiling an email list isn’t always easy. However, your blog can be a strong asset in helping you capture user’s emails to ultimately target in a specific email campaign. If you’ve visited virtually any healthcare provider’s blog, you may have noticed a call-to-action at the bottom of the page that encourages users to subscribe to a newsletter.
If the content you provide is valuable enough that it solves some of the medical concerns or questions that your target audience has, they will gladly sign up for your newsletter. This places prospective patients in a position where they receive regular content from you in the form of articles, videos, updates, and promotions, keeping you and your practice at the forefront of their minds.
Win New Patients
Blogging is one of the most valuable marketing channels. Why? Because companies who blog, on average, produce 67% more leads each month than companies who do not. Healthcare companies no longer turn to phone books or billboard advertisements as they did in the past. Instead, they turn to the internet. Content marketing helps boost your SEO strategy, making it easier for people to find you online.
The content in your blog also has the potential to paint a picture of exactly what your services look like. Rather than making vague marking claims like, “the most trusted plastic surgeon in California,” blog posts let you articulate exactly what makes you a trusted surgeon or healthcare resource. By allowing you to rank higher on search engines and convince people of your credibility, you will be able to win over new patients.
Healthcare Blogging: Best Practices in 2020
Blogging holds a lot of potential for healthcare companies who want to generate more web traffic and new leads, but only if you do it right. There is a lot of competition online when it comes to healthcare-related blogs and blogging is more than typing up your thoughts and hitting “publish.” If you want your medical blog to improve your search rankings, build credibility around your practice, and win new patients, you need a blogging strategy that works.
Seek to Inform and Engage
Think about your patients. Who is your target audience? What questions do they ask most often? What problems are they looking to solve? Are there certain frustrations or challenges your patients deal with that you have solutions to? Come up with specific blog topics to write about. You already know that the healthcare industry is a crowded space – so spending time writing generic content may not be worth your time. Instead, think about which types of content will resonate with your target audience and write about those.
The more informative and valuable your content is as a healthcare provider, the better. If your blog provides answers or solutions to people’s medical concerns, they will be more likely to return to your site and refer to you as a trusted resource. At the same time, writing specific content will help you target long-tail healthcare keywords, which ultimately convert better than more generic or broad keywords.
Write for SEO
Writing about the right healthcare topics is important, but it is even more important that your blogs reach the right audience. This is accomplished by optimizing certain aspects of your on-page and off-page web presence in accordance with the best practices in healthcare SEO. In order for your blog to be effective at increasing your traffic, SEO is a must. Here are a few factors to consider when optimizing your blog content.
People are surfing the internet and reading your blog to find medical information quickly and easily. If your content is difficult to understand, is full of grammatical errors, or simply isn’t well written, it can hurt your rankings. Instead, break up your content using headings and subheadings, stick to short paragraphs, and use commonplace language.
As previously mentioned, keyword research is essential when it comes to blogging. While your blog needs to contain the right keywords, it also needs to contain the right number of keywords. Rather than keyword stuffing, use varying terms and long-tail keywords to get rewarded by search engines.
Images and Infographics
Images and infographics can help improve user experience by adding visual displays of information that keep readers interested in the content. As a result, using infographics in your blog posts may increase the amount of time people spend on your page, therefore, sending positive signals to search engine algorithms. Furthermore, images and infographics, when used together with in-depth content, provides for higher search engine rankings.
In-depth and high-quality blog posts can take your healthcare website a long way. As a matter of fact, according to Yoast, blog posts containing 1000 words or more tend to rank better on Google. When your content is longer, but still holds value, it gives you more room to include long-tail keywords, images, internal links, and other SEO attributes that will improve your rankings. That being said, you should avoid adding “fluff” content simply to boost your word count. Instead, make sure everything you write is actually contributing value to the topic you are writing about.
Have you ever clicked on a search engine result only to be directed to a page that takes forever to load or never loads completely? If you’re like most people, you exited out of the page and clicked on the next search result. This is one of the reasons why page speed is so important. If your website doesn’t load in less than three seconds, many users will look for their information elsewhere. In addition, the speed of your website and your blog pages will seriously impact its rankings. By running a site audit and consulting with a digital marketing agency, you can learn how to improve the page speed on your blog posts.
When it comes to healthcare blogging, the most valuable thing you have to offer is your medical expertise. Medical blogs that are peer-reviewed or written by a healthcare professional are seen as more trustworthy by search engines and web users alike. At the same time, your blog should back up any medical claims that it makes by citing other expert medical sources.
Guide Readers Using Relevant CTAs
If a reader makes it to the bottom of your blog post, that’s great! They have stayed on your page for a few minutes, sending positive signals to search engine algorithms. However, you can take your healthcare blogging strategy a step further by directing readers to other relevant articles, encouraging them to subscribe to your newsletter, or call you to schedule an appointment.
These call-to-action (CTA) methods help keep readers on your site or further engaged in your content so that they will eventually contact you to make an appointment or schedule a consultation.
Organize and Schedule Your Medical Blog
Another important aspect of blogging is maintaining an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar, or content calendar, will outline the titles, topics, keywords, and competitors that you want to focus on for your blog. It will also keep track of due dates and publishing dates so that you and your marketing team remain organized and on-target. Without proper planning and scheduling, keeping a blog can become an overwhelming task.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller ealthcare companies and medical providers should publish between 1-2 blogs a week. However, larger companies may benefit from publishing daily posts. That being said, remember that quality is always better than quantity – so it is better to publish one detailed blog post a week rather than multiple short, brief articles.
Let Stodzy Manage Your Content Creation and Marketing Needs
Managing a medical blog is more than jotting down a few thoughts and promoting the post on social media. If you deliver high-quality content, you have the opportunity to significantly increase your web traffic and demonstrate your dedication to your patients by providing them with information about your services and knowledge. Although it is highly underused in the healthcare industry, blogging is one of the most powerful ways to connect medical providers with prospective patients.
If you’re looking to get started with a content marketing strategy that will bring you real results, contact our healthcare marketing experts at Stodzy today.