If you look at a hundred business websites, you’ll see a lot of things that are different. However, the one feature that almost every successful website has in common is a blog. The best marketing experts know just how important content marketing assets such as blogs are to attracting new patients or clients.
Many independent healthcare providers, dental practices, and other holistic entrepreneurs fail to have even a single blog post on their website. This is a missed opportunity in many ways, and can leave visitors wondering if anyone is home.
Your website should be dynamic, meaning you are adding new content or otherwise changing something on a regular basis. Stagnant, never-changing sites make it seem like no one is minding the store or really cares about their visitors.
Blogs are an essential element of content marketing
Blog posts are your best opportunity to share valuable content with your visitors. You can demonstrate your subject matter expertise, help your site rank higher in search engine listings, and actively attract your ideal patients or clients when they’re looking for answers to their questions.
You will become known as THE expert and “go to” source for the service you provide. Blogs engage visitors and are effective at developing relationships. They are a key step in converting website visitors into patients or clients.
Content marketing assets can be created in different formats: blogs (written); vlogs (video); and podcasts (audio). Each format attracts a specific audience, often different from each other.
Use blogs as part of your overall SEO strategy
All of the major search engines love fresh, relevant content such as blogging. When you create blog posts consistently, you are providing Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the others with fresh content to index and rank your business.
As with so many things, consistency is key here. If you plan one blog per week, do it always! It’s even better to make it the same day each week. People come to expect it, like tuning into your favorite TV show each week.
Add a call to action to every blog, such as suggesting readers call you for more information on the topic or to schedule an appointment. Offer a free report (lead magnet) in exchange for their email address so you can communicate with them in the future.
Post your blog to your social media accounts and ask readers to share it, leave a comment, and somehow engage. The search engines notice when there is activity related to your website!
Keywords are king when used the right way
Using keywords effectively and appropriately gives your blog a huge SEO (search engine optimization) boost and increases your online visibility. Keyword-rich blogs help the search engines understand what your post is about and rank for those words or phrases.
Resist the temptation to overstuff your text with the same keywords for the sake of using keywords. Your word choices should be applicable to your topic and the content easy to read. You are, after all, trying to attract human eyes, too. Plus, the search engine robots have become sophisticated enough that they can spy a keyword stuffer when they see it, and they are now punishing stuffers in the rankings.
Search engine bots will see your keywords more readily if you place them in primary headings and subheads (designated as H1, H2 and H3 depending on their placement in your text).
We advise developing a strategy and always providing valuable content in your blog. A good place to start is answering your FAQs. These are the questions you answer over and over again. You know what they are.
Many of your FAQs are the same questions people are typing into search engines. Wouldn’t it be great if they found their answer on your site?
How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
There is some controversy over the ideal length for blogs. This is a choice point for you and also depends somewhat on your audience. Some experts say longer blogs are better, stretching to as much as 1,500 to 2,000 words or even more. Others maintain that about 1,000 words is the sweet spot.
As a point of reference, the blog you’re reading is about 1,600 words (and that seems plenty long to our writers!)
Longer blogs certainly provide more SEO opportunities, but how many people have the patience these days to read through a long article? If you think your audience will read a long blog, go for it. But as you know, life is busy. And unless your blog post is super engaging, your target audience probably won’t read the whole thing.
For most of us, spending the time to produce a 1,000+ word post on a weekly schedule is just not going to happen. Setting your sites on shorter, more manageable content creation makes you much more likely to create a blog posting schedule and stick to it.
Blogs should be at least 300 words for search engines to pick them up while providing valuable content for your readers. That length is much more realistic, both in terms of creating it as well as reading it.
Our opinion is to go for quality and not word quantity. How long does it take to get your point across? You can decide how long your blogs should be based on the content you are delivering and your audience’s composition.
If you have a lot to communicate but want to keep your blogs on the shorter side, you can break it up into a series of blogs to make it easier on you and your readers.
Blogs help you strengthen relationships
Nurturing your relationship with patients and clients is an immensely important element of online marketing and branding. Blogging provides an excellent opportunity for you to connect with your existing and potential clients in a different, more conversational way and typical website text.
Blogs are a good way to build trust with your target audience through high-quality content that they find relevant. You always want to be thinking about building the “know, like and trust” factor with potential patients as well as current ones.
Fostering an active comment section enables you to follow readers’ responses to your posts, and you will be able to respond directly to their comments. This is huge in building trust and strengthening relationships.
Blogs help establish you as an expert and industry leader
Providing content that will be viewed as valuable, expert information enables your potential patients to see the knowledge and experience that you have gained in your field.
In time, posting blogs that are helpful and informative on a regular basis will make you the “go to” resource in your particular niche within the industry, which subsequently will lead to more patients.
Imagine how impressive your site will look to visitors when they scroll through your blog page and see post after post on topics relevant to their needs. Subconsciously, they will think, “This person must really be an expert!”
Quality content helps establish your brand
Brand awareness is an immensely important element of marketing, and blog posts enable you to show your followers a personal side to your business. Your business is all about relationships, and the more your clients and potential clients get to know you, the stronger that relationship will be.
You can open up your brand message and engage existing and prospective customers in a way not possible through outbound marketing mechanisms and techniques.
Blogs give readers a sense of your standards, business character, voice, vision, and personality. Your clients want to feel that you’re a real person who cares about them, not just some emotionless service provider.
Blogging creates opportunities for sharing
One of the most powerful benefits of blogs is the opportunity they create for others to share the link to your blog. Don’t be afraid to ask people to share. (You’ll see we’ve done just that at the end of this blog.)
This creates the potential for viral traffic and exponential market growth. With so many different sharing platforms available, visitors can share the direct link to the blog, tweet it, or email it to a friend. This is the best form of free marketing.
Re-purpose your content to save time
Repurposing your blog content is a great way to create additional content marketing assets without the work associated with starting from scratch. You can take slices of a blog and make them into social media posts, create short videos for social sharing and posting to your YouTube channel, and include in the regular e-newsletter you send to your list.
Blogging is an investment in your business
Like anything in your marketing efforts, blog creation requires an investment. In this case, an investment in time is the biggest commitment. That, in itself, is a non-starter for many holistic practitioners and small business owners. The good news is there experts who can take this task off your hands.
One of our dentist clients likes to say, “I don’t have time to write anything myself. As long as all I have to do is approve it, that’s good by me.”
Does that sound like you?
Our team at M&B Global Solutions Inc. produces high-quality, keyword-rich content so you can spend your time doing what you do best. If you would like to know more about our boutique content creation services, just shoot me a message (website or FB), or schedule a time to chat.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end and … Please Share!