Blogging for Healthcare Professionals
If you work in the professional healthcare world, there is no better way to promote yourself than by blogging. We will explain the reasons for this in a while, but let’s start by explaining what a blog is and why blogging for healthcare professionals is essential.
What is a blog?
The word itself is an abbreviation of ‘web log’. That is, a kind of on-line diary or journal. However, nowadays people just use their blog as an easy way of posting up new, topical content. Whilst adding new pages to your website perhaps requires a certain amount of thought and consideration, the idea of a blog is that you just post away on a regular basis.
A blog can be a separate entity and be accessed by using its own domain name. However, it is often integrated as part of a website.
When you write a new blog post it will display at the top of the list, but all your previous blog posts remain. This means that you are constantly increasing the amount of content on your blog, and this is something that Google likes to see. If your blog actually forms part of your website, then the website as a whole appears to increase in size with each new blog post.
Benefits of Blogging
The two major benefits of blogging are:
- Improved search engine visibility
- A chance to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
Improved Search Engine Visibility
When you add a new post to your blog, you are increasing the size of your blog / website. Google generally gives better ranking results to websites that have more content, and also to websites that grow in size on a regular basis.
This means that if you are a cardiologist operating in London and looking to get found for a search like ‘cardiologist in London’, if you have a greater number of blog posts on your website than another cardiologist in the London area, this will give you a better chance of your website appearing higher for that search than your competitor.
Blogging also gives you an opportunity to post in detail about a very specific subject. It may be that your healthcare website has a page about a certain condition that you treat. Let’s say it might be ‘Type 2 Diabetes’. This generic page may do quite well in the search engines for that exact phrase, but probably not do so well with search phrases like ‘symptoms of type 2 diabetes’ and ‘causes of type 2 diabetes’.
If you write a blog specifically about ‘symptoms of type 2 diabetes’, then this blog post has an increased chance of being found on that specific search.
Doing any kind of blogging will help your website’s visibility on-line, but targeted blogging will help even more.
Chance to Demonstrate your Knowledge and Expertise
Let’s face it, you are probably not the only healthcare specialist that could treat a potential patient. There are probably several people who could offer similar treatments. However, if a person is reading your blog post and it is providing all the information they need, they are now already predisposed towards you as a specialist. Yes, of course they will make further checks on you, but you are now in the running.
Give people the information they require and present it in a way that makes them feel that they would be happy to be treated by you, and you might just have a new patient.
What to Blog About
As a healthcare professional, it would make sense to blog about the conditions that you treat. This can include very detailed, academic articles but should also include blogs specifically targeted at your potential patients. People now do their own research on-line about their condition so you should try to include the information that they are looking for. Consider what people search for on-line, and then write to satisfy that need.
People often ask me how long a blog post should be. I believe it depends on the complexity of the message you are trying to deliver. If you are giving a detailed explanation of a condition, including causes, symptoms, alternative treatments, etc, then that is going to need quite a lot of words. However, if you are simply writing a blog about a presentation you recently made at a medical conference, it might only need a couple of paragraphs.
I quite like blogs that also include information about the writer’s own hobbies. I feel I get a better understanding of the person behind the pen (or the keyboard in this case). But this is down to your own personal choice. Why not include stories about staff members as well?
Blogging for healthcare professionals is a very important strategy for gaining new patients. I urge you to give it a go. You might even enjoy it!
If you would like more information on blogging or any other digital marketing strategy, or are looking for new ways to grow your private practice, please contact Mike Busby on 020 8381 3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chits UK are a London-based digital marketing agency specialising in the professional healthcare industry – www.chitswebsite.co.uk.