17th August 2016
How to build an award-winning clinic blog
Featuring a clinic blog on your website can be an exceptionally powerful marketing and conversion tool. Blogs are also great for search engine optimisation.
By adding high quality, high value articles to your blog at regular intervals – be it weekly, fortnightly or even monthly – you can showcase your knowledge and help to build your reputation as an authority in your field. You can talk about specific topics in depth or respond to industry trends with opinion pieces. This, in turn, will help to build trust and communicate to your potential patients that you know your stuff and keep up-to-date with what’s happening within the cosmetic medical/dental industries.
Recent stats about blogging from Tech Client show that 70% of consumers learn about a company from blog articles rather than ads, and 61% of us have bought a product or service from a company after reading a blog article by that business.
In terms of search engine optimisation, a regularly updated blog sends several important signals to the search engines. It shows that your website is constantly maintained with fresh content (which encourages regularly indexing), it increases dwell time as blogs take longer to read than most web pages, decreases bounce rates, and – with a savvy internal linking strategy – encourages visitors to read other pages on your website. According to Tech Client, websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages than websites without a blog, and 97% more inbound links.
A blog doesn’t have to be award-winning to add a significant amount of value to your business, but we do know a thing or two about how to build an award-winning clinic blog here at Cosmetic Digital. To help you do the same, here’s our advice:
1. Style and customise it
Your blog should be another way of communicating your clinic’s unique brand, both in how it’s presented and how it’s written. We recommend creating a blog that’s styled and customised to complement your website at large – this is especially important because people may enter your site via the blog once your articles are indexed on Google and shared on social media, and should be able to recognise your brand whatever page they land on.
2. Content Management System
It’s helpful to have a website and blog that are supported by a simple-to-use content management system with clear fields for meta data and heading tags (the information that goes behind the scenes to help search engines understand what your web pages are about) as well as a quick and easy way to add relevant images to your blogs. If your content management system makes updating your website stress-free, it will encourage you to blog regularly.
3. Press / PR
If your clinic is featured in the press at all, your blog is the ideal place to let your patients know so that they can check out the coverage for themselves. This will underpin the sense that you are respected within your field and that other people want to hear what you have to say.
Having a blog also gives you a source of information that you can share with press and PR professionals to attract more coverage for your clinic in print and online. You could write opinion pieces, volunteer your expert perspective, publish case studies, and more.
4. Clinic news / offers
People will turn to your blog to find out more about clinic news and any offers you may be running. We recommend sharing the latest clinic news on your blog so that you can tell existing and potential patients about:
- Your treatments
- Your latest training
- New equipment and technology
You might also want to share things like staff birthdays, team dinners, and patient journeys to show the day-to-day life in the clinic and give people a sense of the personalities within your team. This can help potential patients to get to know and like you before they even step through the door.
5. Search features
An award-winning clinic blog – or any blog for that matter – needs to be searchable, especially as your content grows. Creating a great website is all about providing a great customer experience, which means making relevant content as easy to find as possible. After all, there’s no point featuring fantastic articles if no-one can find them when they arrive on your blog.
We’d always recommend that you add a search facility into your blog. Assigning each new article to a ‘category’ and appropriate ‘tags’ can also help people access the content that interests them, or related articles, quickly. At Cosmetic Digital, we frequently add in blog features such as ‘Most popular articles’, ‘Latest articles’ or ‘You may also like…’ links to related content.
6. Email marketing
Although website visitors may bookmark your blog, it doesn’t mean that they’ll remember to come back and look for new articles. Adding a sign-up mechanism to your website will encourage visitors to sign up to receive your newsletter and get your latest blog articles sent straight to their inbox. If, in each newsletter, you include an enticing snippet or the opening paragraphs of an article with a link through to your website to read the rest, it’s a fantastic way of bringing repeat traffic to your site – better still, repeat traffic comprising people who have already expressed an interest in your clinic.
7. Social media
A study by the New York Times showed that 94% of people will share a blog article that they believe to be useful to others. Therefore, if you’re producing high quality, helpful blogs, it’s essential that they’re easily shareable. Make sure your blog has clear social sharing buttons that let people circulate an article on their favourite platforms (and definitely where your target patients are hanging out).
If your website attracts high volumes of traffic, you might want to use a plugin on your website that shows how many likes, comments, tweets or shares an article has attracted, as people tend to view brands more favourably if they feel they are popular with others.
8. Transfer it to your next website
Having built up great content on your clinic blog, remember to transfer all of the articles to your next website so that you continue to attract traffic to your new site via the content that’s already in the public domain. If you do change the URLs for your new website, you will need to redirect the old URLs properly to help people find the content they were looking for, and to make sure you don’t lose any hard-earned link juice.
9. Integrate it with other pages
A good link building strategy – whether internal or external – is still at the core of search engine optimisation. Each time you publish a new article, think about whether the content can be linked to content that’s already on your site and include a link to that related content. This will help create a good user experience. You might also want blog articles about specific treatments to appear on their related treatment pages to add an extra level of information.
Create your clinic blog with your patients in mind
The most important thing when creating a clinic blog is to keep your target patients central to everything you do. Stats show that longer articles (typically 1,500 words+) attract the most backlinks, shares, and dwell time, but each article should be as long or short as it needs to be to communicate the information you want to share on your chosen topic. Ask yourself what your patients would find useful or interesting? What questions do they often ask? What treatments are popular right now? If you let these questions steer your content, you won’t go far wrong.
Want help with your clinic blog? Whether you’re starting a blog from scratch or you need to breathe new life into an existing blog, Cosmetic Digital can help. Call us on 0115 9140 640 to start a conversation.