Writing good web content for your practice website is more than just knowing how to speak to your patients. For your site to do well on Google rankings and bring new patients to your office, you’ll need to use specific strategies that capture the attention of your readers as well as search engines. Use the below basic rules to get started writing great clinical web content.
Know your topic.
With medical content, it is incredibly important to do your research and know your topic inside and out. After all, your audience may be deciding whether or not to visit your practice or seek medical help for a serious health issue based on the information provided by your website. Make sure whoever is writing your content has spent time researching your medical specialty as well as speaking with your team of doctors and staff to fully understand your practice and what makes it unique.
Engage your audience.
Offering your potential patients expert information is great, but if it drones on and on or doesn’t resonate with them enough to bring them into your office, it isn’t as good as it could be. Your content should use a friendly but authoritative tone, quickly get to the point, and have “skimability” — meaning the headlines quickly guide your reader to the information they’re looking for. Web readers have a much lower attention span than those reading print, so it is even more important that your content is clear and concise on your medical website.
Use search engine optimization (SEO).
If informative, well-written content is the peanut butter of your website, then search engine optimization is the jelly. You really can’t have high-performing web content without both of these things working together, and working together well. Great website content should be full of long-stem keywords that are highly ranked for your geographic location and are naturally woven into the content.
Aim for high-quality content rather than a certain length.
Experts debate about the ideal length for web page content. Some argue that the more you write, the more keywords you can use, and the better you will rank. While this may be somewhat true, size isn’t everything! If a web page does not have 100% original content, for example, it will be ranked lower by Google. Additionally, websites that have good keyword volume due to length and SEO efforts might get more people to come across the site; however, it will not win over the audience’s trust or lead to new patient acquisition if the content isn’t well done. Most experts agree on this, concluding that well-written, high-quality content that engages website visitors is usually successful regardless of its length. As a general rule, we suggest that web pages be 500-700 words long, but this is just a rule of thumb and will vary depending on the page topic and goals. The more important rule to follow is to write high-quality, original content.
Know your target reading level.
The average reading level of an adult in the U.S. is between 8th and 9th grade, according to a study done by Harvard University. This means that your medical writer should be shooting for content that reads at an 8th-grade level or lower. Good content informs your patients about your medical practice and the treatments you provide in words that every person who visits your website will understand. There are a number of free online readability tools, such as webpagefx.com, that can help ensure that your content matches your target reading level.