Blogging for Alternative Healthcare
Blogging has been around for quite a while. In 1994, Justin Hall, a Swarthmore College student published the first known blog. Since that time the nature of blogging has evolved significantly from personal interests and journaling into a household term and an inbound marketing powerhouse. These days having a blog is one of the essential pieces of a strong marketing strategy, for any company. The benefits of having a high-quality blog for your practice are many, and if you don’t currently have one, you’re definitely missing out on an opportunity to promote your business and build your brand.
If you’re not sure why you should invest the time and effort into starting and maintaining a blog, this post should convince you to take the next step. It will also give you some guidelines to follow when creating your posts or thinking about your content development. It’s possible that you already have a blog but you’re struggling to get traction or create content that resonates with your users. The good news is that you can modify your strategy at any time and implement better practices for a higher quality blog.
Let’s first look at the general benefits of blogging and how they apply to you:
What are the benefits of blogging for an alternative healthcare practitioner?
SEO & Google Rankings
- Blogging helps boost SEO and improve your Google rankings. Posts that provide relevant answers to customers’ questions and relevant key words move up the rankings so they are easily accessible to users.
Establishing yourself as an expert
- Blogging provides a unique opportunity for you to opine on the topics within your area of expertise. As an alternative healthcare practitioner, you have intimate knowledge of the latest trends, products, supplements, studies and treatments. You also know what type of information people are most seeking because they’re often the questions that your patients ask you in office. Blogging allows you showcase your depth, therefore boosting your credibility and fostering trust. In the field of alternative healthcare, this is especially helpful because potential patients are becoming more savvy as the industry evolves and are keenly interested in high-quality doctors.
Great content for social media posts
- When you create a post, it’s a common practice to post it on your social media channels as well, thereby increases your exposure. Expert blog posts are often part of a solid social media strategy.
Indexed pages and links
- Blogging can results in a 434% increase in indexed page and a 97% increase in indexed links!*
- Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.*
More website visitors
- Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t.*
It’s how potential patients want to learn about you
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements.*
Your content is in demand
- Never has there been a more exciting time for the world of alternative healthcare. The last few years has seen a shift in understanding of this growing market and it is becoming widely accepted. Many potential patients see alternative healthcare as a form of healthcare that works in tandem with traditional medicine. When demand increases so does curiosity and the online world is often where people start. Having a blog is a great way to bring patients to you that are seeking the answers that you provide.
- Now you have some general background and understand the overwhelming benefits of blogging for your practice. The statistics show how incredibly impactful blogging can be and it illustrates how it acts as a form of inbound marketing, bringing users and potential patients directly to you. If you’re truly interested in increasing your patient base and growing your relationship with your existing patients, this is a great tool.
- It’s important to understand that blogging for your practice is a form of marketing and there is an art and formula to creating high-quality content. If you’re not a professional blogger, content writer or marketing professional, you need to a set of guidelines to work with.
Things to keep in mind when blogging
Long form blogging
- It’s important to be aware that the length of your posts does matter. The average blog post today has 1236 words which is 53% more than six years ago. In fact, 55% of bloggers say they see results from blog posts with 2,000 words or more. Longer articles are becoming more popular and they generate business leads for a longer timeframe. They also attract backlinks and organic traffic from Google.* So, if you have enough to say (or write about), don’t be shy about the going lengthy on that post, they may be some of the more trafficked posts However, bear in mind that it’s not a great idea to add a bunch of fluff just to reach those numbers. Not all posts need to be over 2,000 words.
- Before sitting down to write, be prepared to spend some time. The average post takes about 3.5 hours. It’s a good practice to book time in your calendar to dedicate to writing on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Having the time prescheduled makes it more likely that you’ll take the necessary time.
- When developing content and topics to write about, it is important to focus on your audience. Spend some time thinking about the types of questions that your patients ask you. Chances are, if some come up frequently, then it’s a good assumption that a fair amount of people are also googling those questions. In general, you want to have a well-rounded blog that covers an array of topics and different types of content. Industry news, opinion-based articles, product and supplement reviews, new treatments and therapies and case studies are all types of content that you can add to your calendar. You might even consider providing answers to questions that people struggle to find elsewhere.
- A blog that is not active and prolific does not inspire confidence in users and it will not see the same level of traffic as a site that frequently posts. Keep in mind that every time you add new and original content to your site, Google searches it so it can properly catalogue what you’ve added. So really, the more, the better. However, don’t be tempted to sacrifice quality for quantity.
- People are visual creatures. Design and imagery can and does impact user behavior. In fact, blog content with images receives 94% more views.* Just be sure to find imagery that is relevant to your post.
Research and reference
- It’s a good practice to research your topics from credible sources to add legitimacy to your post. Additionally, statistics provide the basis for your arguments or statements and they essentially support your ideas. It’s an easy way to provide data to your users that is easy to understand. If you do reference data and statistics, just be sure to reference your source.
You don’t have to write all your posts
- Blogging can be very time consuming but it is worth the investment. If you find that you don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with your blog, don’t skip on it. Instead, employ the help of others. Hire a marketing consultant or content writer that can assist you. They can work by collecting information from you and writing out posts for your review. Other options include working with colleagues or professionals in related fields to create guests posts and it’s a great way to strengthen your network and affiliations.
Be mindful of you voice
- It bears repeating, that blogging is a form of marketing. Therefore, it is important to consider your tone and writing style when creating content. If humor and candor is part of your brand personality, then write with humor and candor. If your practice is more serious in nature, then stick with that. You don’t want the writing style to conflict with the brand identity that you are created. If you are using a content writer or consultant, be sure that they have a good understand of you culture, messaging and personality before moving forward.
* References: DemandMetric, Hubspot