The Secret To Creating High-Value Patient Education Articles For Your Practice

hand holding a card with WIIFM on itUltimately you are in control of and take responsibility for the content on your practice’s website; whether you write it yourself or pay someone else to do so. Creating content that patients will find valuable and interesting is quite easy if you know this secret…

You are not your patient!

Try typing “rotary cup” into Google. Some of the top results are for “rotator cuff” exercises and shoulder websites. These savvy website owners know that patients commonly use the incorrect term rotary cup when looking for shoulder information, and take advantage of that.

When starting out, make your writing and your topics all about what the patient is looking for.

This can be difficult because our tendency is to just assume everyone knows the basics about what we do.

Big mistake.

Two huge side benefits of writing articles patients want to read

First, Google is all about relevance.

If your topics match what patients are looking for, your articles will rank higher in search engines, making them (and your practice) easier to find.

Patients click on the search result featuring your article, visit your website, and ideally call for an appointment.

However, even if they don’t, they just made a powerful connection with you by finding exactly what they were looking for! Even if they’re not ready to call the office right then, you’re already positioned in their mind as the expert on the topic, making it more likely they’ll choose your practice in the future.

Second, patients who do read your articles are pre-educated on the subject matter.

This has profound implications for your practice.

Pre-educated patients:

  • are easier to talk to
  • are less likely to waste your time in the office
  • have shown they’re motivated and proactive about their health
  • already have an affinity for you
  • are more likely to listen to you and take your advice

Imagine replacing a long, drawn-out discussion of the basics of hypertension with “Oh, I read your article on hypertension – what do we do next?”

How to get started

After you come up with some popular subjects for your next article, collect three patient education articles from review articles, pre-existing brochures, and information from your own medical society or quick online research.

Then summarize the main content of the articles in your own words, injecting your personality, unique approach, and recommendations as you go.

You can add helpful images or illustrations as needed; it’s better if they come from your own practice.

Here’s a link to one of the most popular patient education articles on my website on ganglion cysts.

Tweaking articles for search engine optimization

Search engine optimization is a vast topic, but it’s worth mentioning that each article has enormous practice promotion potential once you’ve written it.

Once your articles are published, you can improve rankings in search engines by making small alterations in the title of the article or in the keywords used inside the text of the articles.

The most important thing is to get started – putting articles together that patients want to read becomes faster and easier the more you do it.

WIIFM

What’s In It For Me?

That’s what your patients are asking when they visit your website. Not, “wow, who designed this website – I hope he convinced XYZ Pizzaz Web Marketing Agency to do it!”.

They’re not even impressed with your logo, pictures of your staff, or your academic or community accomplishments.

What do you have to offer your patients and potential patients? Know what they’re looking for and give it to them.

Make it obvious.

Don’t hide the good stuff.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Good article. I have always thought that I bring my discussions into lay terms for the pateint quite well but when I do I tend to spend too much time talking with them. I want them to have a solid foundation in their conditions and the options we have to make them better. Some patients clearly appreciate it, others I think just want you to tell them what you are going to do to fix “whatever it is” that they have. I find after 24 years that they are very hard to read as to who wants what.

    • Noel says

      Kim:

      Thanks for the comments! I agree completely – so you’re saying I may not figure this out after another decade or three?

      🙂

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