When somebody says the word ‘blog’, do you find yourself begin to tune out because you know you should know what a blog is and why people or businesses use them…but you don’t? And even though you’re not sure why, you probably also realize that your practice should have one…but it doesn’t. Or maybe you still need a little convincing…
Yes, blogging has been a trend that has been around for quite awhile, however, if you are someone who is a bit lost about why practices are bothering to blog and what they are blogging about, you are not alone. How about if we answer a couple of basic questions that may help you understand the reason for this trend and encourage you to jump aboard the Blog Train?
Why Would a Healthcare Practice Need a Blog?
- It’s FREE and Easy. A blog is a great way to market your practice and the best part is it’s free! And, despite what you may be thinking, you don’t actually have to be a computer genius to have and keep up with a blog. It’s actually quite simple. There are plenty of options out there for hosting your blog, and this capability could likely be built-in to your website already. If your website is hosted on WordPress, which is a very user friendly website hosting platform, you should have the option to blog there as well. If you aren’t using them to host your website, they also offer the option to just host a blog without a requirement to use them to provide your website service.
- Establish Your Practice as the Expert in Your Area and Field. Why would it matter if your practice is considered the expert practice in your local community? How do people feel about experts? They trust them, right? If you don’t trust your provider, why would you continue to be a patient of theirs? The more education and resources you can provide your patients and your community with, the more likely they are to stay your patients and tell everyone they know about how helpful your practice has been, even in between their regular and required visits! Don’t think you have to be a talented writer to post to your blog–just simply and genuinely report practice news and events or keep your patients up-to-date with current, trending and important health related issues.
- Improve Your Search Engine Optimization Presence. As patients search the web for information about their health, answers to questions, and even a provider in their area, search engines want to be able to provide them with the most reliable and resourceful sites available. The more information you are putting out online that is educational and helpful, the more likely you will be to be pulled up in their top search results. The more visibility you have, the more traffic you will drive to your website.
- Assist You With New Patient Acquisition. As you position your practice as the community expert and you are pumping your blog full of valuable health-related information, your website traffic will increase and you will begin to establish a solid online reputation. In addition, the people in your community will begin to view you as the most competent and trusted provider of choice. A strong reputation means a strong, enduring practice.
- Improve Your Patient Retention. Equally as important as growing your practice is patient retention. Patient satisfaction is key to this. Keeping your patients happy, educated and healthy will have an influence on their decision to stay loyal to you. As you are able to provide your patients with a resource that will provide them with knowledge to support optimal health, they will begin to rely on and trust you when they have questions or concerns. This trust is critical to the patient experience and influences the likelihood that they will refer others to your practice, too.
Remember, don’t get caught up so much in the logistics of your writing–just be yourself and tell it like it is. Of course, make sure you use spell-check and the basics of grammar and punctuation, and post on a fairly regular basis to support your ‘expert’ status. Also, don’t worry so much about how short or long your posts are, however, if you want a little guidance in this area, check out this Blog Writer’s Guide.
Simple enough right? Go ahead and get your feet wet with a little blogging about your practice and give your patients a new perspective of what you can offer them. It’s also a good way to remind your patients of the things that set you apart from other providers they could receive their care from. If you’re not sure what sets you apart, that may be an indication that it’s time to offer some additional distinguishing services or implement other changes that will help you establish a unique feel in your office. This is a great way to develop a strong reputation in your community. Blogging is also a good way to set up apart as well as announce new services and practice changes. Start with the suggestions mentioned in this post and then tune in next time when we talk about several ways to generate more patients with your blog. You got this!