Content creation and updating is a critical part of having a visible, rewarding website – but a part far too often neglected or completely overlooked. Jason Borody of Vividus explains why a steady stream of additional website content is a necessity.
Far too often in this industry, we encounter the classic ‘set-and-forget’ approach to website management: people dump all their available content onto their website, make it all look somewhat attractive, then sit back and assume that their website is doing all it can do to boost their practice by simply existing. Unfortunately, this presents a massive loss of opportunity: set-and- forget is not the behavior that Google likes to reward.
Providing a variety of new content regularly improves the visibility of your website, and can even have a more profound effect on your leads than commissioned advertising - up to three times more leads per dollar than paid search . Your website can gain terrific positive attention when it acts as an educational hub. Adding more content may sound difficult, daunting, or potentially repetitive, but there’s nothing to worry about: there are plenty of reasons and ways to update your website with fresh content regularly, and not just to commemorate new breakthroughs in your industry or changes in staffing.
INCREASE YOUR SEO
Google uses web bots (also called Googlebots, crawlers, or spiders) to study web pages and assess their relevance to certain topics and keywords. It then uses this information to determine what keywords will trigger it to display in a search, and how high up the results page it will be. Every time new content is added to a website, Google’s web bots have to assess it again and make a judgment on how best to index it in their system. More content leads to more indexing, which means more chances to score a higher ranking on Google. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guaranteed to list higher on the search page each time you add new content, but it does significantly increase your chances.
Adding content on topics in your area of specialty or special interest has another benefit: it positions you as a subject matter expert to patients and colleagues, encourages Google to establish you as an expert in your field, and helps you to rank above other doctors when a potential client (or even a potential referrer) runs a Google search for the topic you write about. If Google compares your content to that of other doctors and finds little to no mention for a medical condition on a competitor’s site and finds a wealth of information about it on yours, it will assume that you and your site have more knowledge and expertise in the area than other doctors and rank you higher for that search query. This can increase your likelihood of attracting patients and referrals for the condition, or attract traffic which leads to more patients and referrals in general.
Regularly supplying content to your website also increases your chances of listing for long-tail keywords, which are the three and four-word search phrases that people type into Google when they’re looking for a something specific. They’re difficult to rank for due to the specificity, but they comprise up to 70% of all Google search requests and almost all voice searches. They also have very high conversion rates, and many don’t have significant competition. Fortunately, adding website content (especially blog posts and downloadable resources which address common questions) is a great way to rank in long-tail keyword searches. By providing direct answers to your most common questions (which Google loves to reward when the right keywords are searched), you can start to boost your listing and encourage your website to rank above those of competitors.
CREATE A POINT OF CONTACT
Most medical websites are highly informative, and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, two primary purposes of your website are to educate customers and promote your services. However, the trade- off for valuable information often comes at the expense of personality, which can cause readers to struggle to relate to both you and your practice. This is where off-topic content (largely blogging) steps in to provide a simple solution: it allows you to add a different kind of content which reflects your brand’s personality without harming the sincerity of your educational content. Your content may attract people, but your personality is what makes them stay: if your website is doing a great job of educating the masses but is cold and off-putting, your potential clientele will head to another doctor.
Small blog posts about community events, upcoming charity campaigns that your practice supports, and relevant seasonal conditions (such as an optician writing about the need to wear sunglasses during summer) are relatively easy to produce, and can encourage engagement form your local community. They encompass topics that are likely to be searched by your potential client base, which helps you to relate to people who are interested in you and your services.
Another great idea is publishing content that addresses common problems or concerns in your field, particularly when it’s published at the right times. A PSA about the flu vaccine over summer may not yield a huge amount of interaction, but one posted in peak flu season is much more likely to get results. This kind of seasonal content makes you more likely to relate to your target audience by sympathizing with their pain points and offering a solution, which establishes you as a trusted medical authority for the next time they’re looking for treatment.
EDUCATE AND SAVE TIME
Many professionals (especially those who treat a specialised condition) will face repetitive questions on similar topics, often which require long, repetitive, and at times tedious responses. Making content available online is a great way to inform a potential patient in a succinct manner, particularly if the information is available as a downloadable and printable PDF. This allows your patients to reference the information later on and can save you from having to recite the same script over and over.
The handy, printable format of a downloadable PDF also makes them ideal to be printed in-office and handed out to patients as needed, removing a good deal of the typical hassle of information distribution. Several of our clients have even reported that their downloadable and printable content often finds its way back into the clinic from outside sources, as some patients (particularly the elderly) are known to print downloadable resources at home and bring them in for consultations. What better way is there to see how much your content can make a difference to your patients?
BOOST YOUR SOCIALS
Unfortunately, most forms of social media aren’t designed for producing a lot of informative content. Whether it’s by limiting the character count of a post (like Twitter), capping the duration of video content to a less-than-ideal length (Instagram), or simply by prioritising some forms of content (Facebook), social media restrictions make it difficult to supply content that’s any larger than bite- sized. Luckily, your most interesting and relevant website content provides bulk of your social media content (as it is likely to annoy readers if it’s the majority of what you post), it can provide a quick fix for times you may be lacking the time or inspiration to make a better content post and eliminate the need to disturb your an easy solution.
By providing a brief summary of your content, a snippet of a longer video, or a few images (Facebook posts with images and videos get 2.3x more engagement on average ) along with a link back to your original content
on your website, you can easily and effectively repurpose an existing blog post, downloadable resource, or even an informative video into a post for use on social media, while also directing traffic back to your website. Although this shouldn’t make up the bulk of your social media content (as it is likely to annoy readers if it’s the majority of what you post), it can provide a quick fix for times you may be lacking the time or inspiration to make a better content post and eliminate the need to disturb your posting schedule.
CONTENT CREATION CAN BE EASY!
It’s a sentiment we see far too often in our clients: they believe they don’t have the skill or time to create attention-grabbing content that’s beneficial for both their website and their readers – and ultimately for their practice.
If you or your practise fall into this category, we can help. Vividus has been working with healthcare professionals for over 10 years, and our content producers are experienced at researching and writing on healthcare topics. We can also assist with creating more engaging forms of content such as videos, podcasts, infographics, surveys and ebooks. We have developed processes and systems to help our clients plan, create and publish content efficiently and with minimal stress or disruption to the practice.
The content in this article was published in The Private Practice Summer 2020 edition.