No matter how busy your practice, it's important to take time every week to focus on strategies to grow your business. This can range from continuing-education courses, to taking an hour each week to call patients you haven't seen in a while, to expanding your online presence with a weekly blog post.The last of these business-growing strategies, blogging, is often overlooked as an opportunity to grow your patient base. Perhaps it is the time-commitment aspect, or maybe the importance of blogging is not clear as a marketing tactic. To help clarify the value of blogs for growing your business, let's consider three key reasons why you should be blogging.
Reason #1: Blogging Helps Establish You as the Expert
When a potential new patient searches for a chiropractor using Google, they are likely to get several pages of results. Without prior knowledge of your business, or a recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague, it's difficult to stand out from the crowd and establish trust with the prospective patient. Therefore, it's important to provide them with as much information as you can to attract their business.
A professional website that lists your services, staff and location is a great start, but it doesn't really answer the question, "Why should I choose you?" This is where a blog can add considerable value.
By keeping an active, up-to-date blog that features health care tips, explanations of modalities in terms patients can understand, and additional content regarding chiropractic, health and wellness, you can establish yourself as an expert in the field and start to win over the trust of potential patients. Just like any other business, when it comes to choosing a service provider, patients are going to choose the one who has demonstrated sufficient knowledge.
Reason #2: It's an Easy Way to Communicate Regularly With Patients
While a blog is a great way of attracting new patients, perhaps a more valuable reason to blog is maintaining regular contact with your existing patients. The No. 1 reason for repeat business is providing great service. And while you may provide excellent service during periods of time you see them (for example, during an acute-care phase), there can be large gaps of time during which you don't see them consistently. With a blog, you can fill these voids and continue to offer excellent service by sharing helpful health tips, such as different stretches that will help with certain types of pain.
By maintaining this contact and providing helpful information, not only will your patients remain satisfied and book repeat appointments; they also will tell their friends and family about your practice.
Reason #3: Google Absolutely Loves Blogs
As I discussed earlier, when a potential patient searches online for a chiropractor, they are going to be presented with a few pages of results. While it's important to have a blog to set yourself apart from everyone else, if you're not on the first page of Google, the chances of your website being seen are quite low.
Which brings us to the third reason blogging adds value to your practice – Google loves blogs. When Google sees a website that is constantly adding valuable content, it ranks that website higher than sites that aren't adding value. So, every time you blog, you are adding a page to your website that can be found on the web; a page that has a specific topic people are excited to share; a page that can potentially help your website move up the Google search ranks.
With three great reasons to start blogging, how do you start? Once you've added a blog to your site, you'll want to dedicate about one hour per week to your blog (if that's too much of a time commitment, you can even start with one hour every two weeks). Each week, choose a different topic to write about and post an article in the 250-500-word range. You can even mix it up and do a video blog every so often (displaying your personality with a video blog post is a great way to establish a connection with patients).
Each time your content is ready, you'll want to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Groups, and in your email newsletter. Keep in mind that blogging really is a long-term strategy for growing your business. In the first few months, you might have only one reader, but as you stick with it and constantly remind patients and site visitors (potential patients) that you have resources for them on your blog, you will attract more readers – and eventually, more business.
Daniel Ruscigno is the co-founder of ClinicSense (www.clinicsense.com), which offers clinic management software specific to the massage therapy profession.