5 blogging tips to turn online followers to loyal patients
Blogs have come a long way over the past decade from the perceived domain of angst-ridden teens and stay-at-home moms. These days, blogs are a vital mode of strategic communications and as a platform for sharing content, an absolutely essential tool for any practice wanting to rank in prospective patients’ search results.
Simply put, Google values and rewards high quality, unique content by making it easier to find – in other words, ranking it higher – and blogs are one type of content. In fact, they’re one of the easiest ways to create valuable content.
Blogs allow your practice to share information that spans the macro and the micro – from the latest trends or commentary regarding the profession to specific news and information about the office and its staff.
As the initial goal of every business is to gain traction with prospective customers – in this case, the patients – getting them to your website is crucial. The more quality blog posts a site has, the more opportunities exist for that site to be ranked in Google's search results, and the more likely it is for that content to be shared through social networks thereby generating increased visibility and brand awareness.
The cycle looks like this:
o Blogs are content that generate traffic
o The traffic that is generated can lead to people to share this content via social networks
o Shared content includes links back to the source content
o Links generate better rankings in Google
o Better rankings generate more traffic and business
If you previously saw blogging as unnecessary, the time has come to recognize it is not only necessary but essential to the future of your practice.
One of your concerns may be time – or lack of it. Not to worry. Regular, quality blogging need not mean the creation of an entirely new “writer” hat to wear in addition to those you already sport in running a chiropractic practice. Blogs can consist of sharing articles with brief commentary preceding the pieces, guest pieces (more on that shortly), staff submissions, photos, testimonial stories from patients, top tips and more.
So if you’re ready to take a crack at blogging, here are some key tips to keep in mind:
1) Be unique
Use your own voice and don’t be afraid to switch up the way you share information and ideas about your practice. Using the same format can get repetitive ¬– and boring – because people absorb information in different ways. Using a variety of methods will appeal to a wide array of tastes. In addition to text, consider using photos, video and audio. And don’t limit yourself to a specific template that visitors will anticipate and quickly tire of. Here’s a list of 12 mistakes to avoid when blogging.
2) Be open to guest bloggers
Guest blogs can help build your credibility and community and with it, your client base. It can alleviate the pressure of having to personally produce content regularly. It can also help build new relationships and a new audience of prospective clients. Be sure to seek out guest bloggers who are in complimentary fields and respected professionals who not only can produce high-quality content that adds value, but who will happily link to your website.
3) Be more than just business
There’s only so much anyone wants to read about your core business practice. Successful blogs offer a variety of content that speaks to the issues that their audience cares about. Ergonomics and related products, footwear, fitness, health, weight, stress, life hacks – there are many reasons people come to see you. What are they? Consider those reasons and touch on related topics, the latest news, trends, products, reviews, insights and stories.
4) Be consistent
When it comes to blogs, readers tend to be creatures of habit and expect continuity when it comes to frequency of updates. Figure out how often you can commit to updating your blog and stick to it. Aim for weekly. People will come to expect and rely on new content with regularity. If your posts are too infrequent, you will lose their interest. If they’re too frequent, readers may find it annoying.
5) Be direct and include calls-to-action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) help direct readers to other relevant information, and encourage them to act in a way that leads to more business. Be sure to include relevant CTAs in every post such as a special offer, an event for which they should RSVP, a paper available for downloading. It will allow you to see the traction and learn what leads your readers to act and what interests them.
With these tips in mind, I encourage you to begin exploring the positive impact a quality blog can play in your overall business strategy. Take some time and figure out what methods work for you and your practice.
Jeff Quipp is the founder and CEO of Search Engine People Inc. (SEP), Canada's largest digital marketing firm, which has been on the PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies for the past five consecutive years.
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