When you own a private practice, you’re in charge of a lot more than practicing medicine.
You’re already an expert in your field, but now you’re also responsible for marketing, administration, human resources, and more.
The good news is that there’s a simple website feature that can take a large chunk of the marketing work off your shoulders: a healthcare blog.
Keeping a consistently-updated blog for your medical or dental practice helps attract new patient leads and establish patient loyalty while also serving as a great professional networking tool.
Check out this list of five ways your medical or dental practice can benefit from a blog.
- Establish yourself as a patient-friendly leader in your field.
It can be difficult to write about medicine in a way that the layman can fully understand.
Creating informative blog posts free of medical jargon indicates a patient-friendly practice.
Blog posts provide patients with medically sound information among the sea of misinformation on the web.
Furthermore, you are putting your name out there more and more often, which is great for professional networking. You might post your blog articles on LinkedIn or encourage your colleagues to subscribe to your blog. Position yourself as a leading advocate for patients and quality of care through your blog.
2. Boost your website to the front page of Google.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of improving your ranking on search engines. Think — when was the last time you clicked past the first page of Google for search results? The first few search results always get the most web traffic.
SEO is super important to businesses of all kinds, because the more traffic you can bring to your website, the more leads you generate. For medical practices, this means more prospective patients.
Google’s algorithms like regularly updated websites full of content. This means the more often you can crank out new pages, rich with text and images, the better your SEO score will be.
Google also likes social shares, and blogs are designed to be social. When your blog posts get shared on social media, your SEO score goes up. Not to mention, your medical practice gets more attention from potential patients through these shares.
Blog posts themselves may also incorporate SEO keywords. Say that you own a dental practice, and your blog features an article called “What Is Dental Composite, and Is it For Me?”
Experienced blog writers may include search keywords embedded throughout the article, so that when someone searches for information about dental composite, they are directed to your practice website.
If this person is local, they may then turn into a patient lead. Even if this person lives on the other side of the country, the time they spend on your website can increase your SEO ranking. They may remember your blog for future reference as a dental information source, establishing loyalty. They also may share your article on social media.
3. Explain commonly asked questions to your patients.
Patients often only retain a fraction of the information they are given in their appointments.
Having a documented reminder of basic information they were given about their procedure or diagnosis benefits both the provider and the patient.
The goal of a blog is not to scale down patient-to-provider contact, but rather, to serve as a credible resource for your patients to use hand-in-hand with their regular care.
4. Market specific services.
Especially for cosmetic-based services, blogs can serve as an excellent tool to showcase your product and procedure offerings.
A plastic surgery patient, for example, may never have known that body contouring procedures existed, but after your blog post, their interest is piqued.
They might make an appointment to learn more after reading your blog post.
Existing patients may continue to come back for additional services as they are educated on your practice’s offerings.
5. A blog is easy to outsource.
You don’t need to hire an in-house marketing team to maintain a blog.
Hiring a freelancer is easier and more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.
A freelance medical blogger can create a content schedule with you. They can find high-quality fair-use photos to use with your blog posts, or they can stylize your own content to fit the post.
As a general rule, the more often your blog is updated, the better. Ideally, you’ll want new posts 1–3 times a week.
With the occasional exception, a blog post will range from 500–1,000 words.
Bloggers will research relevant topics to create content your audience will want to engage with (views, likes, shares, etc.). A good blogger has great research skills, but of course, as the medical practitioner, you’ll always want to check off on the post before it’s published.
Some bloggers may work as ghostwriters, meaning the articles are published under your authorship. Ghostwriting generally costs more, as the blogger surrenders credit.
You can create the best plan for you and your practice with your chosen freelancer. Your plan should be highly-customized for your practice.