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Seven Medical Blog Content Ideas to Engage Potential and Current Patients

Digital marketing for doctors

Word of mouth referrals are not enough for medical doctors to expand their practice. For most healthcare practitioners, a website is the only method of advertising. Accordingly, the website must be developed with medical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in mind to attract clients. Venturing further, the medical content must also evolve to meet the needs and interests of potential and current patients.

Generic or “sterile” content is a deterrent to potential patients. As many potential patients have a fear of doctors, a medical website must be inviting and appealing. The trick is to keep the blog engaging and conversational, yet still maintain your identity as a medical expert.

The following are 7 blog categories that allow for countless posts to help your practice engage new and current patients as well as stand out from your competitors.

1. A Highlighted Disorder or Condition

As millions turn to WebMD and similar websites to research various disorders or ailments, your medical website should embrace this trend. Identifying and describing the medical conditions that affect your patients is both an SEO boon and a chance to promote your medical knowledge and expertise. You’ll be embracing the searches that your potential patients conduct and also help them understand what health problems they may be facing.

Though the most common disorders that are part of your medical specialty should be evergreen content—permanent page content—your blog can focus on lesser known diseases. For example, a neurologist may need evergreen content discussing migraines, but can have a blog post that identifies a rare type of migraine such as sporadic hemiplegic migraine.

2. Fast Facts and Trivia

Though the longer content in #1 is strongly encouraged, condensed medical blog posts consisting of fast facts and trivia are also highly recommended. Here, lists and bullet points of interesting and helpful health information would be presented as a quick read for mobile viewing and double screen users. Topics like “10 Symptoms of Lyme Disease” or “5 Surprising Facts Regarding Depression” are appropriate for this category of blog content. Like #1, this content is medical SEO friendly and also demonstrates your capabilities as a well-studied practitioner.

3. Health in the News

Health and science news often captures the attention of internet news scanners. It is also not uncommon for a patient to ask a doctor about whatever medical development he/she perused that seems relevant to his/her health. Blog posts can identify these new headlines and briefly discuss whether or not they are relevant to patient care.

4. Healthy Lifestyle Tips

When internet browsing isn’t centered on self-medical diagnosis, many browsers scour the internet for tips for living a healthier life. There is perhaps no greater resource for health information than a medical doctor. Accordingly, tips regarding healthy eating and exercise should frequent medical blog posts.

These posts also allow for guest posts from patients. Ask for recipe suggestions and exercise techniques and allow your patients to shine. Furthermore, when the patients submit the content, there is a greater chance they’ll share the blog post and earn your medical practice publicity, in return.

5. Health Reminders

Health reminders are ideal for social media content, however, in the absence of social media accounts, blog posts are a suitable replacement. Here, you can remind patients to schedule flu shots, take folic acid, etc. The reminders would have a brief summary as to their relevance, and are strong content for medical SEO purposes.

6. Doctor, Staff and Patient Updates

Doctor and staff updates should be a regular occurrence on your blog both for self-promotion and humanization purposes. For example, a doctor is encouraged to mention which medical conference he or she attended, but should also have follow-up posts with discussions of pets, children, hobbies, etc. Patients want their doctor to be well-rounded and not just a spout of medical knowledge.

Patient updates aren’t always appropriate depending on the specialty, but many practices should make use of the opportunity. An orthopedist can discuss an injured athlete competing again. Gynecologists can have birth announcements. Orthodontists can have “smiles of the month.” The possibilities are truly endless, and a patient who feels celebrated will provide word of mouth referrals.

7. Natural Remedies

Thought natural remedies are a point of contention for many healthcare practitioners, many specialties would benefit from blog posts discussing the pros and cons of these options. Yoga for stress relief and the lowering of blood pressures is one example. The benefits of eating dates during the third trimester of pregnancy is another. Whether the blog is used to encourage healthy habits or debunk myths, this is yet another SEO friendly topic that readers will be interested to view and share.

Though these seven categories can ease writer’s block for medical blog posts, the creation of these posts takes time that a doctor typically lacks. Furthermore, the blog post should achieve maximum SEO optimization by way of proper formatting and keyword research. Thus, a medical practice is best served by hiring a digital marketing firm.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business over 17 years and fosters strong relationships with their clients. We work with you to produce content that matches what you want to present to your potential patients as well as engage and inform your current patients. Call us today for a free consultation!

A Beginner’s Guide to Local Search Optimization for Medical and Legal Professionals

This post was written by our staff SEO writer, Nancy Rapp, who has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a web consultant.

find a local professional

Though many medical doctors and lawyers have created websites for their practices, not many of these sites adhere to enough of the major search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines. A critical component of healthcare and legal SEO techniques is attention to local search optimization. This post explains how patients and clients rely on local search and what practices need to do to stay competitive.

What is a Local Search?

Doctors and lawyers operate in what are known as “brick and mortar” businesses. The name comes from the fact that clients and patients have to physically enter these establishments in order to receive professional services. The website is merely for marketing, informational and contact purposes. Thus, SEO for doctors and lawyers needs to be structured around the businesses’ location.

Fortunately for professionals, Google’s algorithm for FIND <THINGS> NEAR ME changed the face of internet searches. As a result of this location-based search option, many searches are phrased as “need doctor near me” or “top lawyer in my city.” Accordingly, more legal and medical professionals can employ SEO practices in order to capture these potential clients and patients.

SEO techniques can be put into place to help a medical practice or a law firm rank when these searches are conducted. Rank is important as patients and clients are more likely to call for an appointment with the business that appears on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs); especially the local 3-pack near the top of the Google search results. In fact, nearly 80% of internet users never even consider the second page of the SERPs.

Local 3 pack example

The Critical First Step of Local Search Optimization

No matter how much time or money one devotes to his or her law firm’s or medical practice’s SEO, the return on investment will be limited unless the professional creates a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Essentially, the listing is a free tool that allows a business to be part of Google’s search results in Google Maps and the local 3-pack, as well as the basic SERP.

The GMB listing also feeds data to the “Knowledge Box,” which appears on the right side of the SERP and contains critical business information such as a link to the business’ website, contact information and hours of operation. Depending on the needs of the business, the GMB box can also contain items such as ratings, map directions, click to call buttons, message options, popular business times, etc. A newer feature from 2017 also allows businesses to create posts for promotions, features, services, etc.

The GMB box not only helps when searchers apply the “near me” option of Google, it also provides contact information when a search is conducted for a doctor or lawyer by name. By making all of the relevant information available with a quick search, the searcher is more likely to schedule an appointment with the easy-to-find professional.

The creation of a GMB listing is simple and only requires a Google account. The creation of listings for law firms and medical practices, however, can be a bit trickier than other businesses. Professional organizations commonly have several practitioners who operate out of various locations. Though the Google My Places tool may help, an SEO expert is the best person to create the GMB profile to make sure all of the information is properly listed. As over 30% of potential patients and clients will look elsewhere if a listing is incorrect, it is important to avoid errors.

Maintaining your Local SEO Presence

There are dozens of steps to best handle local SEO for law firms and healthcare practices. The following, however, are arguably three of the most important SEO techniques that need to be addressed.

1. Draft relevant evergreen content.

Prospective patients and clients often begin their local search by researching their health problem or legal circumstances. For example, “divorce process in Georgia” or “availability of medical marijuana in South Carolina.” Similarly, searchers may browse for “doctor who treats migraines near me” or “top immigration attorney near me.” Accordingly, content should be written to cover common questions and topics while also using location-based keywords.

2. Manage your local citations.

With local searches, many potential clients and patients will rely on location-based directories. Yelp and Angie’s List, for example, provide listings and reviews for local businesses. Many doctors and lawyers focus on national directories such as Avvo, FindLaw, Healthgrades and RateMDs, but all directories need to be checked to ensure that your name, address and phone number are correct.

3. Create a social media presence.

Social media is growing in its influence for professional organizations. With 1.4 billion logins a day with Facebook alone, it is foolish to ignore these digital marketing resources. At a minimum, law firms and medical practices should create business listings within social media sources such as Facebook, as these listings appear is search engines. Furthermore, professionals can tie their business to local events and the community in order to make themselves the appealing local choice. (For a more detailed overview of how social media can be used to promote a local business, click here for some ideas.)

The above just skims the surface of the complex process involved for maintaining the local SEO for a professional business. In order to devote the time and attention to SEO practices that will garner the most potential new clients and patients, it is best to hire a web consulting firm with trained SEO experts.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business since 2001 and has provided SEO and web consulting services to dozens of clients. Schedule a free website review with the firm that values direct communication with its clients.

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5 Content Marketing Tactics for Attorneys

This post was written by our staff SEO writer, Nancy Rapp, who has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a web consultant.

Content Marketing for Lawyers

In 2016, the Huffington Post published an article titled: “Why Legal Firms are Racing to Adopt Content Marketing.” The article was updated this past December as the trend continues to gain momentum. Though the author provided a few marketing tips, further “how-to” information is needed for lawyers to stay competitive while maintaining their law firm’s website.

Content marketing for lawyers is part of a digital marketing campaign. Though many attorneys believe website content is written solely for search queries and to offer contact information, content marketing is more nuanced than just search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Writing for purely SEO purposes won’t necessarily make your writing appealing or easy to understand, for example. This blog post identifies 5 content marketing tactics that every attorney should adhere to when writing for his or her site.

1. Understand the difference between evergreen content and blog posts.

Every law firm needs both evergreen and blog content on their website. Many lawyers are unaware of the distinctions between the two categories, and their practice’s website suffers from impractical structuring and lack of necessary content.

Evergreen content focuses on your practice area and clarifies the laws and processes for your potential clients. For example, a wills and estates attorney would have the page “Why you need a will.” A personal injury lawyer would discuss traffic accidents and slip and fall cases. The list goes on. The point of these pages is to explain to your site visitors why they need an attorney at all and why you are the one they should hire..

Blog posts are the items you share on social media. These are trendy topics that will grab your site visitors’ attention. Is there a new marijuana law? Did you win a case regarding the custody of pets in a divorce? Did you participate in a local law school event?

Lawyers often avoid blog posts as they may feel the content seems unprofessional or unnecessary. Evergreen content is certainly more important, but blog posts are also indexed by Google. These posts will show up in search results, and help gain brand recognition for your firm.

2. Maintain an editorial content calendar.

Content marketing is a digital marketing practice, and ad campaigns get stale. Content needs to be updated frequently to follow keyword research trends as well as to keep up with your competitors. For lawyers, keywords need to be researched to ensure you stay up to date with new laws, court decisions and societal trends.

In order to stay fresh, your law firm needs an editorial content calendar. Set goals for how often you will publish—though monthly is a minimum. Additionally, by creating a calendar, you can view which topics you’ve covered as well as plan ahead for the coming months.

3. Create personas of your current and ideal clients.

Though keyword research is a critical source of inspiration for law firm marketing, you probably already know what areas you need to write about. The trick is to market to your current and prospective clients.

Think of your typical client. What are some questions that are raised at every consultation? What legal issues are typically connected? Are certain procedures more complicated than others? Does your region have unique characteristics that make it a hotbed for legal matters? Attorneys near beaches or lakes may want to discuss boating laws, for example. All of these questions could provide months of content marketing topics that need discussion on your website.

Your ideal client is just as important as your typical client. Most attorneys use content marketing to expand their practice, so be sure to target the issues your potential clients may have. In order to break into a new practice area, sound keyword research and competitive analyses are necessary. As your clients take priority, hiring a digital marketing firm is likely the more efficient approach to attracting new clients.

4. Make your content relatable.

Many clients are going through a traumatic event if they are browsing for an attorney. Death, divorce, accidents and job loss are all reasons to hire an attorney. As such, content to make you sound approachable is often more important than sounding like a know-it-all. Keep evergreen content in a conversational tone that will keep you reader engaged. How-to’s and lists also keep content readable and less intimidating.

Your bio page, testimonials and blog posts can demonstrate your legal prowess. Here, you can and should brag about your awards, successes and education. Nevertheless, a line or two about your family and interests are still necessary to appeal to nervous, potential clients.

5. Have a non-lawyer preview your content.

In truth, lawyers don’t write for non-lawyers. We learn a writing style in law school that becomes our new norm. We also take our legal knowledge for granted. We can spout off a law quickly but that doesn’t mean our audience understood what we just said.

Hiring a professional content writer is the easiest solution to this issue. An experienced writer can research any topic and present the information from a marketing standpoint. If you choose to compose the content yourself, ask your spouse or anyone outside of the legal field to be sure that your explanation is detailed and easy to understand.

Paramaya Web Consulting has managed legal websites for years and has an attorney on staff to craft legal content that is informative and SEO friendly. Contact us today for a free consultation as to how we can help expand your legal practice with digital marketing techniques.