How to Write Medical Content That Patients Will Understand
Medicine is a complex field no matter which specialization you work in. The terminology used among colleagues at a medical conference, or over a rousing game of golf, can be all but lost on the lay person.
Knowing how patients search online for information can make your content have healthy vital signs.
When your patients set out to self-diagnose, researching a condition they think they have, or one that has actually been identified in need of treatment, they will use general terms when searching, terms that are familiar to them for one reason or another. For example, a patient who is interested in medical weight loss efforts is not going to type “laproscopic adjustable gastric banding” into their favorite search engine. The medical term is too long. They’re going to punch in the first thing they remember which is “lap band.” Using their term in your content is a tried and true technique called making your website “user friendly.”
However, when writing content for your medical practice website it is important to remember that you are not just laying out techniques and services for your current or future patients, you’re also writing for search engines. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a marketing tool used for growing visibility in search engine results. What this means is that while you are developing your content, you need to keep in mind that you are not just grabbing the attention of readers but you also want to grab the attention of the search engines.
SEO is the simply making sure that a website can be found in search engines using words and phrases that are relevant to what the site is offering, in this instance your valuable medical practice. People want to find you. They need to find you! The right type of SEO content can boost you to the top of the Google page and bring in thousands of visitors through one simple click. The way to get Google and others to turn their heads involves using variations on keywords with grabbing power. The keywords should flow organically but be sprinkled in liberally throughout content so that they are picked up by search bots.
So what makes the content effective enough to drive someone to make an appointment with your medical practice? It’s simple really. Speak to them, don’t sell them. People want to feel as though you are offering something unique and when it comes to healthcare there can be no surprises. Your written words can be split up into different subgroups on your site including a blog, a biography, or a list of services.
Most of the time when someone types in an ailment, an injury, or even a cosmetic surgery, they have questions. One of the best things you can do is to format your services in way that anticipates these questions and lays out the answers in simple English. At the very end of the page include a call-to-action which encourages the visitor to call or email to ask questions or set up appointments. Allow them that chance to take action immediately while it is fresh on their mind. Your content should be enticing enough that it encourages people to take a proactive next step for more information.
Use these three tips to guide your content:
- Professional – No one is going to go to a doctor who is too laid back or doesn’t come off as knowledgeable in their field. There is a fine line between being friendly and being fake.
- Clear – Your average patient is going to do an Internet search for the simplest terms. Make it easy for them to find you and easy for them to navigate your content to get the answers they are looking for. That will make them stay and make them take action.
- Concise – People today are on the go, speeding through time like a runaway rollercoaster. If you bog them down with entirely too much information they will get lost in the weeds, give up, and go play video games. Your content should be short and to the point. Think outside the box and dazzle them with a story while tying in treatment options.
Effective copy really doesn’t need to be that difficult. All it takes is a straightforward approach and a plan. You want potential clients to trust you as though you know what you are talking about, you’ve experienced it all before, nothing scares you, there’s no turning back, and you are the doctor they need today! Lose the dry, complicated medical terminology and instead brandish a sword of straightforward with your content. Put the most important information in first and then work around it, filling in as you go.
I leave you with a three-tiered approach that asks:
- What is this condition?
- How do I know if I have this condition? (symptoms)
- How are you going to help me?
Good content boosts rankings and reels in clients.
Cynthia V has over 2 decades in the creation and implementation of communications; promotions; marketing and advertising in print and digital form. Successfully fosters positive relationships with clients by adapting creative voice and style to resonate with target audience.
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