Blogging is one of the most effective platforms available to health care practices to engage with their patients and potential patients. If you’re not already blogging, it’s seriously time to get started.
In the early days of planning The Diabetes Foot I didn’t even consider the concept of a blog for our website. In fact, I still have my original (and very embarrassing!) draft site map and a blog page didn’t even feature!
It wasn’t until I was speaking with our digital marketing consultant and she brought up the “B-word”. She casually dropped it into the conversation saying something like “of course our blog will be the link between our website and social media platforms”, making it sound like writing a blog was a no-brainer.
Initially I was skeptical. As far as I was concerned bloggers sat in the front row at fashion week or wrote about things such as beauty, food or parenting. I never imagined a podiatrist running a diabetes foot website would need to worry about writing a blog.
Oh, how my opinion of blogging has changed! It turns out The Diabetes Foot Blog is THE best digital marketing tool that we have. Once you get your head around how to write a blog and what to write about (that’s two topics for another day), it’s actually quite easy and fun.
If you need a bit of inspiration to get started, here are 7 reasons why you should get blogging …
1. Blogs drive traffic to your website
There are four ways for someone to land on your all-important website:
- They know your exact website address (i.e. www.livelyfeet.com.au);
- They find your practice through a search engine (i.e. Google);
- They see your practice on social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); or
- They read a blog post published by your practice.
So unless an individual knows your exact website address, you really depend on search engines, social media and blog posts to promote your practice online.
With 93% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, ensuring that your website and blog have great search engine optimisation (SEO) is especially important.
So how does blogging drive traffic to your website you say? Well I’m glad you asked! The answer revolves around your website’s search engine optimisation.
Most health care practices don’t have a ton of pages on their website. And how often do you update those pages? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Blogging solves both of these problems as it allows you to increase your content AND update your pages at the same time. Search engines LOVE this. Each time you post a blog it’s one more indexed page for your website; meaning more opportunity for your business to show up in a search engine. It’s a win-win situation!
2. Blogs establish your expertise
Blogging will increase your credibility and make you the go-to person for any expert advice in your field.
If potential patients find answer to their questions via blog posts they are much more likely to engage with your practice because you’ve already helped them.
In fact, blogs can also reflect how well you know your practice and can reassure a patient about your capabilities before he or she decides to book an appointment with you.
3. Your blog will contribute to gold-standard health care information online
How many times have you read an article about your field of expertise written by someone not involved in health care?
I must admit, as a podiatrist, I get flabbergasted reading articles (particularly in women’s publications) with titles such as “how to wear high heels without pain” or “cure plantar fasciitis fast” written by beauty and fashion experts. Aahhh!!! I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration of being a dietitian/nutritionist reading about “diets” promoted by everyone and anyone not based on any actual RESEARCH. And don’t even get me started about the anti-vaxxers!
But these are the articles our patients are reading. According to statistics 72% of internet users in America use the web to find information related to health and medical issues.
Writing a blog built around evidence-based material helps to get the right information to the consumers who read it. It’s very important for our professions to be seen and heard online.
4. Blogs are a fantastic resource to compliment your face-to-face consultation and can be used as a referral source
Do you find that you have the same conversation with the same type of patient day after day … after day? Yep, it doesn’t matter what type of practice you’re in, we’ve all been there.
If you write about a common clinical presentation and the frequent questions you are asked about this condition, you can save yourself time by referring patients to your blog.
This repository of information is not only a professional library for your own patients but also for your multi-disciplinary colleagues who might refer their patients to your website for information. Boom! Suddenly your blog is a referral source.
5. Writing a blog forces you to reflect on your clinical practice and improves patient care
The reflective capacity of blog writing cannot be underestimated. It has been suggested that writing enhances a clinician’s empathy, courage, and reflection; all important elements to ultimately enhance clinical care.
Planning, researching and writing a blog prompts you to think much more deeply about your clinical practice and how to learn from mistakes and build-up on positive behaviours. It also gives you much more more confidence to talk about clinical scenarios.
And there is an added bonus for those of us participating in continuing professional development (CPD); researching and writing blog articles (and keeping the right documentation) can contribute to attaining CDP points. Bonus!
6. Blogs give you an opportunity to learn from your patients
Your blog creates a two-way conversation with patients, potential patients as well as your colleagues. It encourages interaction, comments and feedback.
Patients provide the most important information about conditions, because they have experienced it first-hand. This makes a patients’ contribution a great source of information for other patients and health care practitioners, alike.
7. A blog is engaging content for social media
Your blog is the heart and soul of your digital marketing. It’s pure gold content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email newsletters.
Statistics reveal that 41% of businesses are winning customers using social media. With every blog that you post you’re creating content for people to share on social media, which gets your practice and your expertise in front of new audiences. Shared posts enhance your ratings, online presence and credibility even further.
Publishing a quality blog regularly helps to increase the traffic to your website, improve patient contact, save your time, improve your practices, increase your credibility and develop trust with patients.
And if that’s not enough, blogging also helps you to reach more potential customers and establishes your practice as a leader in your field.
So what’s stopping you from starting a blog today? Go get ‘em tiger!
Don't have time to blog? we can help you!
If you don’t have time to write blog posts (let’s face it, most of us already don’t have enough hours in the day) or if you don’t enjoy writing, Lively Feet is soon to launch our blogging service.
We’ll be offering quality “white label” blog posts researched and written by registered health care practitioners that you can publish under your own name. To register your interest and be notified when this service is live, please click here and fill in the expression of interest form.