No medical social media strategy would be complete without a plan for a blog. If you are a physician who wants to establish an online presence, Google has made some changes recently that should prompt you to start blogging now. Google Panda and Penguin updates are a boost for bloggers who have worked hard to provide quality content.
Google Panda and Penguin: Content and Context
Google’s latest Panda 3.5 update
is about content quality
and penalizes misuse of keywords. Physicians using SEO agencies who advise stuffing pages with keywords without real context may already see traffic dropping off. You want to achieve natural organic search results with relevant and updated content.
Google’s new Penguin update
targets unnatural links, the kind people buy in link-building strategies to link to
their websites. Now Google is rewarding you for linking out
to other credible sites. If you link to other colleagues or research institutions, you are seen as more credible.
Google’s goal with the new changes is to reward high-quality sites and combat spam.
High-quality medical websites regularly update their content, and a blog is one of most important tools. With a blog, you keep your content fresh and stay relevant with Google’s search algorithms. You also build authority which attracts Google and new business. Patients will find the physician who expresses and shares his expertise.
Why a High-Quality Medical Website Needs a Blog
use search engines to ask questions, and a blog is a great way to answer those questions. You probably answer the same questions every day in the same way--put it in a blog post
! Chances are many potential new patients have the same questions. Putting your answers down in a blog post will actually save you time, and establish you as an authority on the topic. Content authority is what Google wants to see with the new updates. This will also enable you to compete in the world of “long-tail” search
as opposed to trying to go up against the big guns in the short tail search world.
Content is the New Marketing
My post on whether or not a meniscus tear requires surgery
is the most valuable question I answer on my website and the greatest driver of traffic. Since I first posted the answer to that question in March of 2011, I have had more than 80,000 views on my website for that question alone and 235 comments! This is a great example of a long tail search success.
What is the most important question in your practice?
Another great source for blog content is current medical news
. You attend conferences in your medical specialty and read the latest research. You also hear about medical developments in the news–and so do your patients. Share the news with your patients, and add a brief opinion. Blog posts do not have to be long, 300 to 450 words is a good target for most subjects.
Here are some of my examples:
What is a High-Quality Website According to Google?
Google posted a list of questions to consider when evaluating content on your website. Some of my favorites include:
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
For the full list of questions, see “More guidance on building high-quality sites” from Google. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments below!
Disclaimer: this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.