No time to blog? That can cost you new patients.
There is a fair amount of hype these days about the importance of doctor blogging. Blogs allow a physician to add quality content to the practice’s website. When done correctly – using keyword terms that patients are searching for online – blogs can increase a website’s search engine rankings, thereby bringing new patient traffic to the site.
However, skepticism runs wild when it comes to blogging. Physicians often feel that they do not have the time to put pen to paper and that the blogs wouldn’t be read anyway. Some doctors may simply not know what to write about.
According to Dr. Rink Murray, an award-winning reproductive endocrinologist and a prolific blogger at Tennessee Reproductive Medicine, physicians’ objections to blogging are often unfounded. The consequences of not blogging, he says, far outweigh the inconveniences of blogging.
What happens if a physician doesn’t blog?
You let someone else be the expert
Blogging allows a physician to be the expert in his or her field, to be a thought leader on a particular subject and to be a go-to resource for patients searching for medical information online. “Rather than seeking information from their doctor,” says Dr. Murray, “patients are relying on ‘Dr. Google.’ If you do blog, you get to be the resource.”
Worse, you let your competitor be the expert
Just as there are ample opportunities for you to become the online healthcare expert with your blog, your competitor may also have the same chance. By not blogging, you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to display your knowledge, you may be allowing another competing physician to be the online resource for patients.
The bottom line? Don’t let a missed blogging opportunity become a chance for your competitor to gain the higher ground.
You lose the chance to establish trust
The Internet has introduced a myriad of possibilities for patients when it comes to doctor selection. Patients want a way to get to know you and your practice before making an appointment. They need to understand what makes you different from the other practices whose websites appear in their Google search.
Blogs are a perfect outlet to write about yourself and your treatment process. What are your guiding values? How do you engender a sense of trust and transparency in your practice? What are your medical specialties? How are you keeping up with current medical and social issues?
Be sure to blog using topics and language that relate to your audience. Let them know that you understand what they are going through and establish a sense of trust before they even set foot in your office.
You miss the opportunity to drive web traffic
Finally, your practice’s website may suffer from a lack of new and relevant content. When crawling the web, the Google search engine not only looks for web pages with applicable information, it also ranks websites according to the amount of new, up-to-date content that is being added regularly.
Rank means the position in which your website shows up on a Google search. While being on the first page of searches is good, having your site rank in the top positions of the first page is even better.
A higher rank in Google means more visitors to your site. And if searchers find good content on your website once they land there, they are more likely to stay longer, also increasing Google’s ranking of your website. This is a cyclical, ongoing process that ultimately leads to more visibility in your industry and, therefore, more new-patient visits.
Dive into doctor blogging
Interested in hearing more about the benefits of physician blogging? Watch Dr. Rink Murray’s webinar, “Blogging: The Why & How for Physicians.”