Content marketing is, without a doubt, the foundation of great marketing. Want to drive patients to your website and therefore your center? Want to simply find ways to engage with past, current, and future patients? It all starts with great content. As a healthcare marketer in the 21st century, one of your main jobs, if not your MAIN job, is not just to develop engaging content for your practices, hospitals or health care organizations, but also to place it where it's the most likely to drive business and engage patients. For most healthcare practitioners, that's your website.
Often times, health care professionals think their website doesn’t really matter when it comes to getting new patients. 100% of the time those health care professionals are wrong. A medical practice’s website is usually the first means of contact the modern patient has with a new physician. A patient’s first impression and experience depends solely on the content on that website, which means if your website is bogged down with irrelevant, boring, or even just poorly organized content, that first impression is going to be a bad one. On the flip side, if you can wow them with an awesome website full of meaty, informative, and entertaining content? Now you've got their attention.
Let’s discuss some of the ways that great content can help your practice, and how bad content can hurt your marketing efforts.
What is BAD content?
It's important to first distinguish the difference between "great content" and "bad content". "Bad content" doesn't necessarily have to be content that's poorly written, it can be really well written content that's simply organized in a bad way. There are a lot of different things that determine what makes up "bad content", but generally speaking bad content looks like one of the following:
- Unclear or overly clinical language
- Content that's inappropriate for the audience you're trying to reach (i.e. content written for doctors when you’re trying to target patients)
- Duplicated content on multiple pages
- Content that is clearly stuffed with keywords in an effort to improve SEO, to a point where it doesn’t even make sense
- Lack of enough content
- Content that is poorly organized or doesn't "flow" right
How BAD content can HURT you:
- If a patient can’t find what they are looking for in the first few seconds, they will bounce right off your website. We know this because we've done it.
- When they leave your website, they will find another option with a more easily navigable website and they will call them instead.
- A website with bad content could leave a patient frustrated, giving them a negative impression of you before they even walk in your doors.
- If a patient can’t find an easy way to communicate with you through your website, you could see an increase in cancellations.
- You could be seen as “old fashioned” and in healthcare, no one wants an antiquated physician who isn’t up on the most advanced technology.
What is GREAT content?
Great content is content that motivates your website’s visitors to take action, guides them through the website and provides the kind of information most of your visitors are looking for on your site. There are a lot of different things that determine what makes great content, but generally speaking it usually follows these rules:
- Content that is relevant to your customers
- Content that is easy to understand
- Content that's interesting and makes readers want to engage
- Content that's well organized and silows readers through to other areas on your website
- Content that utilizes proper spelling, grammar, capitalization/punctuation, and word choice (avoids using "big" words that confuse readers, but still sounds authoritative and intelligent)
How GREAT content can HELP you:
- The best content can help improve your organic rankings on Google so you can reach more savvy patients searching for your services online.
- Content can help you drive patients where you want them to go on your website, creating pathways for them.
- If your goal is to get more patients to schedule appointments, the right content can help you drive more patients to fill out online appointment forms.
- You can become a valuable online resource for patients, encouraging them to return to your site for more than just appointment booking, but for health tips and medical advice.
- You will appear more advanced, giving you more control and being seen as an authority in your medical community.
- Most importantly, great content makes you memorable. It keeps people wanting to come back for more. It's what determines your brand identity in the mind of your patients, and it's what makes them decide whether or not that brand is worth engaging with.
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Creating content is easy, but creating great content? That's a little more tricky. It's a pretty impressive skill, but it's not one that everyone in the healthcare industry is going to have. That's where we come in. If you're following these guidelines but are still struggling to produce great content that's engaging and relevant to your patients, don't worry. We can help with that. It's not rocket science, it's content marketing, and it's what we do.