Let’s talk about your blog.
You know that website page you’ve reserved for posting insightful, educational, and helpful information, a practice collectively referred to as content marketing.
Yes, that page.
Your blog posts can be a major player in attracting the millions of users online who are searching for products and services that you offer or those looking for information and answers that you are uniquely qualified to give.
This web traffic doesn’t happen magically, of course.
It takes savvy search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and content deemed genuinely valuable by the reader and the search engines. These qualities and persistence can help the right people find you.
Consistent blogging helps avoid significant pitfalls
Persistence means routinely posting new content.
However often you do this, it is up to you and the resources you have at your disposal; nevertheless, consistency is paramount.
Whatever timeframe you feel is most doable – once a week or once a month – stick with it.
(If you lack the time or writing ain’t your thing, I’m happy to help.)
If you decide to blog, make it a priority because it will, in the long run, contribute to your marketing success.
And if you’re thinking, “What could it hurt if I don’t blog regularly?”
Here are five ways that inconsistent blogging can hurt your veterinary business.
Suzanne Quigley is a copywriter specializing in veterinary, equine, and animal health markets. If you need a copywriter experienced in blogging, case studies, white papers, web content, SEO, and more, contact her at 508-277-4929 or email@example.com.
I quoted a potential client recently on a project and lost out…
You win some, and you lose some, right?
Following up with the marketing manager, she explained that they chose a supplier directly linked to veterinary education.
The project comprised a rewrite of the company's website focusing on SEO (search engine optimization). The company provides online and hands-on RACE-approved veterinary training.
In my initial discovery phone call, she asked if I was a veterinarian; I'm not.
She believed it was important for the copywriter to have this background due to the highly technical nature of the courses.
I explained that I was a former veterinary assistant who tackled technical veterinary and animal health topics in my prior work and didn't foresee that as a stumbling block.
More importantly, I stressed that grasping the technical aspects of the writing was critical, but equally, so was the copywriter's expertise in SEO - because the purpose of revamping the website was to gain exposure to a more global audience.
In addition, I raised the point that the revised copy would also need to address why a veterinarian would opt to pay for one of their courses versus enrolling in a free one sponsored by an animal health pharmaceutical.
She agreed that, yes, that would need to be addressed.
And this brings me to my point, which isn't to whine about losing a project.
For those of you seeking a copywriter for "technical" projects such as veterinary, medicine, finance, etc., a background in the area definitely helps.
But don't get hung up on that.
Ensure you understand your project's focus and its components. Then, select a writer who can best achieve your desired outcome. A person experienced in the field may only sometimes be the ideal choice.
That individual may have the technical know-how, but what about the copywriting chops?
Technical clarity, no doubt, is essential to the project I just described and lost out on.
Still, the other parts, knowing how to write well-optimized web pages that drive traffic and writing persuasively, are pieces to the puzzle that, if missing, can bring disappointing results.
Thanks for reading! If you know someone who might enjoy this blog post, please share it.
Are you trying to determine the purpose of your next copy/content writing project? Let me help!
Call 508-277-4929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, I completed a course in SEO Copywriting.
In case you don't know, SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Not everyone knows this, I've discovered.
And shortly after I had proudly posted on social media that I'd finished the course, somebody asked that question.
Before replying, I debated how to answer. Should I play it safe and say what the letters stood for, or should I define what search engine optimization is?
I chose the former because SEO can be tricky to explain, especially to those unfamiliar (and I didn't want to get trapped down that "SEO explanation" rabbit hole again.)
But yesterday, as I whiled away time on Facebook, I accidentally stumbled upon maybe the easiest way to define SEO.
A friend posted she'd used a new veterinary clinic to treat her horse. I'd never heard of this clinic before, so curious horse owner that I am, I clicked on her shared link, which brought me to the clinic's Facebook page.
The page was quite new, having only a handful of posts. And it included a link to the clinic's website, which I also clicked.
The website was, in a word, sparse.
It consisted of three pages total, that's it.
One of the pages had a photo of three smiling women who I assumed worked at the clinic.
But, exactly, who was who? I had no idea. And the page offered no clues.
Wanting to identify the mystery trio, I revisited the other pages.
My search yielded a generic email address, phone number, clinic services, and the answer to one FAQ.
Throughout the entire site, the three NAMES were nowhere to be found.
I sat at my desk, perplexed and wondering.
How could they forget to include their names? Such a vital detail for a veterinarian's website.
And then, it struck me.
I bet this is how Google reacts when it crawls a web page that hasn't been optimized!
Yes, search engines crawl web pages looking for keywords and phrases in page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and throughout the content.
Because they provide critical information about a website's purpose, relevant keywords and phrases, and outstanding, informative content help search engines drive web traffic.
And if keywords match a searcher's query and your content is deemed quality, voila.
In that case, your web page earns a desirable ranking.
If you fail to optimize your web pages, Google will be puzzled and surprised that such essential information is unavailable. That is precisely how I felt about the missing names.
At the most basic level, SEO gives your website an identity.
Without it, your website faces anonymity to search engines and, worse, to potential clients!
Suzanne Quigley is a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in animal health and veterinary markets.
Need help with content creation, copywriting, or SEO? Email or call 508-277-4929!
Some people would do anything for a dozen donuts.
It’s true. Back in the late seventies, I was a college sophomore working a few evenings a week at a Mister Donut coffee shop. I commuted to Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA, so I needed to earn gas money for my Mercury Comet with rusting-out floorboards.
I remember that Saturday evening like it was yesterday.
It was around 6 p.m., and the only people in the shop were me and two middle-aged ladies sitting at the bar drinking coffee.
Yeah, this was pre-drive-through days, when coffee shops had bars and swivel stools, and customers came in, sat down, ordered a coffee and donut, and consumed them there, drinking coffee from real mugs.
That Saturday night, I was behind the counter, mindlessly constructing donut boxes in preparation for the following day’s rush of donut sales. (Sunday mornings were always a goldmine for Mister Donut.)
I’d made up about 30 boxes when this kid pushed through the front door.
I stood up from behind the counter and looked at him.
“Welcome to Mister Donut. Can I help you?”
Barely glancing at me, he mumbled, “I’d like a dozen donuts.”
He was skinny, with short, dark tousled hair, and wore jeans. He kept his hands shoved in his pockets.
From under the counter, I grabbed a just-folded donut box in one hand and a piece of tissue in the other and, looking at him with raised eyebrows, signaled I was ready.
He rattled off his order. I don’t remember what he asked for because I was thinking about what donuts I’d bring home that evening. Since I was closing, I could help myself to donuts that hadn’t sold. I hoped there’d be some lemon-filled in my future.
After filling the box, I quickly closed the lid and taped it shut. I put it on the counter beside the register and rang up the sale.
The register drawer sprang open, and I said, “That’ll be $1.49, please.”
I looked at the kid, and he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking straight ahead. Both his hands were behind him like he was feeling for his wallet in his back pockets.
Then, suddenly, he grabbed the donut box from the counter, spun, and bolted through the doors and out to the sidewalk.
I was speechless!
With jaw dropped and eyes popping, I looked at the two women still seated at the bar. Their expressions were as dumbfounded as mine. After a few eternal moments, one broke the silence.
“Thank goodness he didn’t have a gun!”
So why did I tell you this story?
To illustrate the value of storytelling in your content.
It humanizes you and makes you relatable—a key ingredient to building a relationship, which content marketing aims to do.
Before you read my donut ripoff tale, you knew little about me except maybe what’s on my LinkedIn bio.
Now you know…
1. My age (yep, I gave details. You do the math.)
2. I’m partial to lemon-filled donuts; yum.
3. I drove a crappy car in college.
In the grand scheme of things, do these details matter? Who knows? But some of them you can likely relate to. (Everyone has to have a favorite donut!)
More importantly, you’ll see that I’m a person who, like you, has had a plethora of life experiences. Distinct, unique, but relatable, and that connects us.
As a practicing veterinarian or veterinary entrepreneur, the better your customers know who you are, the better the chances they’ll do business with you. Why? Because they’ll come to like and trust you.
And one other thing, those distinct, unique experiences belong to you. They can only be shared by you, not by artificially derived content.
So tell your stories and stand out from the rest.
Suzanne Quigley is a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. She works with clients in both the pharmaceutical and technology arenas.
Need help with content or copy? Email or call 508-277-4929!
In this post, I’m straying from the how-tos of veterinary content creation to the topic of veterinary stress. It’s a complex topic with no straightforward solutions.
Unfortunately, and sometimes, tragically, we hear how trying today’s veterinary industry has become, and because of this, many vets are leaving the profession in droves.
Life, in general, offers up an almost infinite number of stressors, and for veterinarians, theirs are compounded by the nature of the work they do.
Dealing daily with stressed clients (humans and animals), long hours, team dynamics, the business side of vet practice, and making the best decisions in difficult situations can rapidly lead to burnout and worse.
A common factor that contributes to stress
According to The American Institute of Stress, many of the stressors we experience in life can be directly linked to our inability to control them. And the more we seek control, the more frustrated we can become.
How we respond to a perceived stressful event is significant because it can affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally, influencing our attitudes and behaviors.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage overwhelming stress—good nutrition, exercise, meditation, prayer, and professional counseling.
But during your workday, these options may not be feasible.
So, what can you do to avoid things spinning out of control? This is where your practice management software can step in and help.
Four ways practice management software helps you maintain control
1. More and more practice management systems are cloud-based. Cloud-based software stores data online instead of saving it to a physical server or a computer’s hard drive.
Storing data ‘in the cloud’ means you can access it wherever and whenever you have an internet connection. If your internet goes down, or you’re in an area with no reception, or it’s spotty, you can work offline and synchronize your data later when you get back online.
Cloud-based computing lets you control when, where, and how you access your data. It also frees you from the costs of maintaining physical servers and space requirements for housing them.
2. Time and how you use it is an area you can control. Any practice management software worth its salt will offer a flexible and efficient appointment scheduling module. Use it to schedule patient appointments and block out chunks of time for meetings, lunches, personal appointments, and daily administrative tasks.
Starting each day with a set schedule provides a structure for you and your team. It also provides a point of reference if chaos erupts. No one must stop and think about what to do next.
3. The financial side of veterinary practice can be a significant stressor. Fortunately, getting a grip on it is possible with systems that allow you to link patient accounts to invoices for services, inventory, treatments, and prescriptions.
This feature decreases the headache of missed charges and lost revenue. More robust systems provide reporting and data analytics options and integration with payment processor partners to capture credit card payments.
4. Client communications is another area you can take control of. Practice management software allows you to reach out to clients and vice versa in multiple ways, such as texting, email, phone, and mail.
Some systems allow patient-specific emails and text messages to be organized in a designated location, avoiding cluttered generic inboxes overflowing with emails or texts that take forever to sort through.
Organized communication allows you to establish protocols for a timely response which helps improve overall efficiency and decreases the chance you’ll miss client messages.
You may never have considered your practice management software as a means to strengthen your mental health, but if it adds efficiency and order to your workday, that’s certainly a welcome result.
If you’re contemplating purchasing or changing to another one, here are several practice management software solutions. There are many on the market, and sure to be one suitable for your practice’s needs.
I'm a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. I work with clients in both the pharmaceutical and technology arenas.
Would you like some help with content or copy? Email or call me at 508-277-4929!
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter