4 good reasons to enter the blogosphere
1. It gives you credibility by showing you are knowledgeable
Pour some of your expertise into a blog so your patients can become more educated on all things eye-related and feel confident they are going to the right practice.
2. It improves your website’s SEO rankings
Search Engine Optimization can be a long-term source of new leads. Fresh content that targets relevant keywords (more on this in a minute) is a good way to beat out your competition in Google search results.
3. It drives traffic to your website
If you have interesting content up on your blog, existing and prospective patients will have a reason to go to your site and click around for more information.
4. It makes patients feel more engaged
People tend to like seeing the human side behind a business. Reveal some of the personality of your practice through your blog and your patients will feel more engaged to your practice.
GETTING STARTED Before you even put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard)…
Think about your audience
What level of knowledge do your patients have? What kinds of topics would they want to hear about?
Start generating content ideas
What will you write about? What types of posts would be beneficial for your audience? See what ideas the rest of the staff has for topics.
Consider your blog’s “voice”
Accessibility and personality are important, but how informal and conversational will it be? How much humor are you going for? Is your blog’s voice in line with your brand?
Decide how often you want to post
Set a goal to post weekly or at least monthly. You’ll probably have to work ahead to accomplish this.
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT* BLOG POST (*result not guaranteed)
1. Pick your topic 2. Quickly outline what the post will look like (Intro, Body, Conclusion, etc.) 3. Write it! 4. Choose a catchy and interesting title 5. Insert necessary links (news article, your website, etc.) 6. Find a striking feature image to go at the top, as well as a couple more images for the rest of the post, if necessary 7. Select relevant categories and/or tags 8. Publish it! 9. Hang on, your job’s not done yet. Now you need to promote your post.
SEO IS YOUR FRIEND To optimize your blog’s SEO, there are a few easy things you can do
First, try to put the keyword (the search term you want to rank for) in about 1-2% of your text. So, in a 500-word article, you’d want to slip it in 5-10 times.
Linking to past content
If you have past blog posts that are related to the one you’re writing, find somewhere to link to those older posts. Your reader might be interested in those, but also Google will begin to recognize your blog has some authority on the subject.
It’s helpful to make your anchor text (the words used as the link) relevant to your keyword(s). So, if you want to rank for “LASIK eye surgery”, you’d insert a link to your site’s LASIK page in the words “LASIK” or “LASIK eye surgery” in your blog post.
SEO blog plugins
Many content management systems have SEO plugins to enhance your SEO footprint by creating focus keywords, meta descriptions, and more.
For becoming a Wordpress Warrior
Write in layman’s terms
Since this is for your patients, present your information so that it's accessible for them, not as if you’re writing for your industry peers.
Use stories or anecdotes
When appropriate, tell a story about your practice or your life. This helps readers connect more to the material and makes for a more interesting read.
Don’t fret about your writing skills
This isn’t the New York Times, so it’s OK that you didn’t go to journalism school. Still, have another set of eyes edit and proofread every post to catch spelling and grammar errors.
Be as consistent as possible
People likely won’t follow a blog or social media site that sits dormant for months on end. Have others on staff pitch in with some writing if you don’t have time.
Use eye-catching imagery
But don’t just stick to photos. Find relevant or entertaining videos or GIFs to grab attention as well.
Keep it relatively brief
Most readers aren’t going to make it too far past 500-700 words, so no need to try and write at War and Peace length here. Use headings, shorter paragraphs, and bullet/numbering to make it more readable.
Inform and entertain
Relay useful and/or interesting eye-related knowledge, but feel free to write casually or conversationally and inject some levity and humor.
Marketing your blog
You do want people to see your work, right? When you finish a post, put it up on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. Include blog posts in emails, newsletters, etc., and make sure your blog is visible on your homepage as well.
EYE PRACTICE BLOG POST IDEAS
(To get the creative juices flowing)
Example: Eye Associates of KC
FAQ, Tips, and Misconceptions
Example: Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center
Eye Care or Eye Wear News
Example: Eye Associates of KC