At Advice Media we’ve been building the web’s most beautiful medical websites for over 20 years. But what’s the point in having a good-looking site if no one sees it? That’s why we’ve also been at the forefront of search engine optimization from the beginning — we were helping sites rank in organic search before anyone even knew what SEO was.
One of the subtle keys to helping Google and Bing rank your site higher is having a blog on your practice site. We often have clients question the value of a blog. They assume no one is really reading the blog posts so why have a blog in the first place. But there’s more to your site’s blogs than you think.
How about we have a blog on blogs and why they’re so important?
Blogs are fresh content
There’s nothing worse than a stale website that obviously hasn’t been updated in a couple years. When potential patients hit your site, they like to see that you’re keeping up with current trends, treatments, and procedures. Otherwise, patients lose trust in your expertise.
There really isn’t a reason to continually update/change your home page, but you can do so subtly if you have a “Latest News” section or “Our Blog” section on your home page that clicks through into the blog. Every new blog will then update your home page in that area of the page.
When potential patients visit your website they will see you’re actively writing about your practice and they assume you’re engaged and interested in providing the best care for your patients. Plus, what better place to talk about treatments or procedures you want to specialize in?
Not just for your visitors
Visitors to your site love to see new content, but Google loves it just as much. A few years back Google realized search was being gamed by marketing firms that had figured out the keyword system. These firms could generate dozens of keywords to get a site to rank, even if the keywords weren’t actually what the site was about. This meant that search engine results pages (SERPSs) could return sites that weren’t what the searcher was actually looking for. This made for unhappy searchers, and that makes Google unhappy.
To combat the keyword trickery, Google decided to value content on the pages of a website over the keywords that were loaded behind the scenes of the site. In other words, Google dramatically elevated the value of what was actually on every page of a site. Google’s and Bing’s bots crawl all of the websites on the web and decide what those pages are all about. Then they match that content to the searcher looking for it.
When a site has new content the bots understand the site is active, alive, and constantly updating. Those are all factors in increasing a site’s ranking in search. Plus, new content gives search engines more reason to index your website more often, another key to ranking.
You’re not going to change all of the pages with your procedures and treatments all of the time, but blogs offer a way to continually add new content. Whether they are read by patients or not isn’t necessarily the only reason to have your blog — search engine bots are reading it too.
Blogs are good for long-tail searches
It’s difficult to be seen out there in the wilderness that is the Internet. This is especially true if your practice offers certain procedures or treatments that are quite common. Say you’re a dental practice and you specialize in implants. It will be hard to rank when a searcher types in “dental implants.”
But you may rank better for long-tail keywords. A long-tail keyword search would be “How long does the dental implant process take,” for instance. You could have a blog that specifically describes the dental implant process and its timeframe. There’s a good chance you may have that exact long-tail search in your blog. Or, the blog could be the link delivered in the SERP page. The searcher would then enter your site directly onto the blog page and once he or she reads the blog they are likely to look around a little. That makes it more likely you’ll rank higher, especially for that searcher who is really looking into the dental implant process.
Blogs keep people on your site longer
Google knows when a searcher clicks on a site from a SERP and immediately leaves the site and returns to the search page. Uh oh, unhappy searcher equals unhappy Google.
Google also knows when a searcher clicks on a result and then stays on the site for some time, as happens if the searcher reads one of your new blogs. Now Google knows your site has value and it will consider this in future search returns.
Blogs also provide opportunities for internal and external links. Links within your site and to your site from other websites play a big part in SEO. Google and Bing see your site as an authority when it is linked to from outside. This can be much easier to do through a blog. For instance, if you’re a dermatologist and you have a blog about the ABCs of spotting melanoma, there’s a better chance a Mohs surgeon or sunscreen company may link to that blog as a service to their own customers.
Blogs also provide lots of opportunities for internal links. Since your blogs will describe procedures or treatments, it’s easy to link to those actual pages from the blog that mentions them. Take that dental practice mentioned above, for example. In the blog about the dental implant process it’s easy to link to the “Dental Implants” page on the site from the blog. Google and Bing use these links to better understand what your site is all about, another big plus for search ranking.
Not just fluff
Now you know that blog on your practice website is a valuable little component of your overall site. It’s not important if the blog is read by thousands of people every month (it won’t be), but now you know the function it serves for the search engine algorithms of Google and Bing.
And you don’t have to try and write these one or two monthly blogs yourself; you’re busy running your practice. At Advice Media, we have a stable of content writers who can write your blogs, ensuring they will be high quality and they will be delivered on time every month. That will keep your content continually evolving and that’s good for your potential patients and for your search ranking.