Whether you call it a blog, a newsfeed, or just a series of articles, regularly putting out fresh content on your website is a good idea. It will get you noticed by Google and other search engines, and it will show your readers that you mean business. It can turn a blah website into a place where people want to come and stick around (and make an appointment).
You may already know this. If you have looked into ways to effectively market your medical practice, it is likely you’ve come across the advice, “Start a blog.” So, let’s say you do want to give that a shot. What should you write about?
The answer is that you can write about anything you want, as long as you keep it professional and stay on the right side of HIPAA. After that you have to think about who or what your website is for. Here are some good reasons for a neurologist in private practice to have a website:
- To attract new patients
- To be a resource for current patients
- To use as a portal to communicate with patients
- To attract referrals from other practitioners
- To showcase your expertise
- All of the above
Clarifying this will help you gear your articles to the audience you are trying to attract. For example, let’s say you have just opened a new practice in child neurology and your goal is to attract new patients. You probably want your articles to be interesting to parents within a certain geographic area. Write about the conditions you know about and show your readers that you are the best person to meet their needs.
Once you have thought about all of that, you may still be thinking, “Yeah, but what should I write about?” In this post we will give you five tried and true topics to get you started. Feel free to take our ideas and run with them.
1. Patient Stories
Who doesn’t like a good story? They may be anecdotal, but stories about your patients’ experiences with you can have a big impact on people facing similar issues. When you can actually use a patient’s real name and photo their story will come alive. You might be surprised by the number of patients that would be happy to share their happy story on your website. Just make sure you consider HIPAA patient privacy laws and always get signed consents for these kinds of stories.
2. Medical News
We don’t have to tell you, there is a lot of bad health information out there. Now more than ever, people are able to search symptoms and the rarest of diseases from the comfort of their homes. Science headlines abound and the people reading them usually don’t have enough information to interpret them well. You are probably keeping up with the news anyway; when something goes viral, take note, and then put out an article about it on your own site. It is an opportunity to combat bad information with good.
3. Commonly Asked Questions
It is likely that you get asked a number of the same questions over and over again. Of course you do your best to answer them when asked, but there isn’t alway enough time to elaborate face-to-face. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an article you could point to that could supplement those conversations? It is also true that if one patient has a question, it is likely others will too, and they will also benefit from the article.
4. Local Area Concerns
Even though we are talking about online efforts here, let’s not forget you have a real practice in a real community. And every community has its own local issues and available resources. Your website is a great place to let people know about things like local health fairs or places they can drop off their unused prescriptions. It is also true that communities can have very specific health concerns like a Zika outbreak or that of some other neurovirus.
5. Practice News and Adventures
Did you just get some new piece of equipment? Have you started taking a new insurance? Or are you renovating? Maybe you have some great Halloween party pictures of you and your staff to share. When you hire a new nurse or one retires, let people know. This category is wide open and depends on the tone you set for your practice.
Give some of these ideas a try. Putting out a blog on your website is a terrific way to promote your practice while providing more resources for your patients. Besides, you might even enjoy it.