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Writing Online Content for a Healthcare Practice

Updated: 06/22/2023|Views: 169

Writing for the web is different than writing an article for an academic journal. Here, you’ll find a few tips on how to write content that is optimized for online performance so you can produce quality online content for your healthcare practice.

Online Content Best Practices

Online content of all kinds should capture and retain a reader’s attention. It should also be optimized for search engines like Google. (See here for a detailed FAQ article on search engine optimization.)

Effective online content is:

  • Written in active voice: Always lead with the subject so your content is compelling and concise.
  • Search engine and mobile friendly: Most healthcare practice websites are found through Google and mobile devices. Content that’s not optimized for both won’t be discovered or read.
  • Professional, yet conversational: Patients are trying to get to know you, the provider. Write how you speak and avoid sounding like a textbook.
  • Concise: Don’t use five words if three will do. The best writing is clear and concise, conversational, and authentic.
  • Intended to drive readers to action: When writing a call to action (CTA) or encouraging patients to contact your practice, always include a mention of the book online feature. All Practice Growth websites include a phone number and book online feature that you should encourage visitors to use.

Effective online content is not:

  • Academic: Speak to the everyday patient who might not be familiar with medical terminology.
  • Vague: Be as specific as you can. Lead with important information.  
  • A complete treatment plan: Introduce patients to your services, but don’t feel the need to describe all aspects of the treatment. Instead, inspire them with a call to action (CTA) to seek your help.

Writing Content for a Healthcare Practice Website

The following information will help you write healthcare provider biographies and service pages, should you choose to create website content.

About Practice/Doctor Bio

Goal: Provide details on the doctor’s expertise, background, education, and experience, including any anecdotal information on their hobbies/interests.

  • Always include a provider’s name, city, state, and specialty in the first two sentences.
  • Never use bullet points in doctor bios or practice bios.
  • Write roughly 150-300 words.

Service Pages

Goal: Demonstrate the provider’s expertise in the service and drive patients to act.

  • Include a brief “soft intro” on every service webpage. The soft intro introduces the service and “About the Doctor” information.
    • Include doctor’s full name on first reference, practice name, location, and service keywords.
    • Write 50-100 words.
  • Information overview of the service/procedure organized in a Q&A format.
    • Include at least three relevant questions/sections to explain the service and the provider’s approach. (Always use sentence case for questions/subheads).
      • The question headers shouldn’t reference the doctor or practice. Use generic terms instead (e.g. “How does a chiropractor…” or “How do urgent care clinics…”). This method is more search engine friendly.
    • Always include the provider’s name (last name on second reference) when referencing their approach to a procedure or treatment. (Don’t write, “A doctor will do an evaluation…” Write, “Dr. Smith and his staff will first do an evaluation…”)
    • Aim to make service information a high-level overview of the service for patients who might be unfamiliar with the specialty.
    • Include a call to action (CTA) at the end of the page, prompting patients to make an appointment or follow up with the provider.
    • Write at least 300 words.

Writing For Search And Mobile

Goal: Help the provider get discovered on Google and keep readers on the page.

  • Make sure the doctor’s full name and the name of their practice is mentioned in the first or second sentence of the page. Relevant keywords and phrases should be peppered throughout the content afterward.
    • Keywords or phrases should be incorporated “naturally.” There is no need to start every sentence with the procedure’s name, for example.
      • Occasionally include terms that are closely related to the service being discussed. Those can be discovered via Google’s search suggestions. For example, “contact lenses online,” “contact lenses near me,” and “contact lenses price” are all closely related to “contact lenses.”
      • A single sentence containing the doctor’s name, their practice’s name, and the practice’s location is unwieldy and too wordy. Find a way to split the information between two sentences.
  • Short paragraphs and bullet points are easily skimmed and digested by mobile users, making them more likely to stay on the page.
    • Paragraphs shouldn’t be longer than three sentences. If a paragraph is four sentences long, consider breaking it up into two paragraphs. If it’s five sentences long, break it up.
    • Long paragraphs containing lists should be broken with bullet points.
    • If an entire paragraph reads like a list, break it up into bullet points. Surround those bullet points with substantial content.
    • Single-sentence “paragraphs” are OK, but if they’re the only response to a question, move that sentence to another section.
    • If a bullet-pointed list contains items that are long enough to be sentences, consider putting those items into a paragraph.

For more help writing online content for your healthcare practice, contact your Customer Success Manager.

 

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