You own a veterinary practice, and you've decided to start a blog to stay in touch with your clients.
Great idea -- because as a practicing veterinarian, you're in the business of animal health. So why not take steps to help your practice thrive and keep clients returning?
A blog can be an effective way to do this.
But before you put your fingers on the keyboard and publish your first post, here are some tips for writing an outstanding one.
Choosing topics for your veterinary blog
As you choose topics, remember that you're writing for your readers, also known as your target audience.
And most people read blogs to learn something. Especially pet parents keen on animal health because they want the best for their pets!
What you write about should be something that will help them, whether it's the benefits of a particular flea and tick product, the best way to trim nails, or answers to questions you field every day like, "Should I feed my pet a raw diet?" or "Why does my dog eat cigarette butts?"
Tone and format of your veterinary blog
Blog readers don't want to be pitched, so avoid selling your product or service outright; keep that lowkey.
Instead, be personable. Write conversationally with a story-telling approach. Tap into insights from your day-to-day experiences to tell stories that will make your posts interesting.
For instance, maybe a recent euthanasia case raised a point you'd like to share. Readers will appreciate your perspective and advice on this sensitive subject; this builds trust. And trust builds relationships.
Another thing to pay attention to is the format of your post.
Avoid long sentences and big chunks of text; they can be tiring to read. Use headings with paragraphs to break things up, making it easier for readers to skim what's written or jump from one section to another.
Depending on your topic, include statistics when possible. Verify the stats by linking to external sources, which is helpful for a few reasons.
Give readers more helpful content with external links
Linking is akin to citing a reference. It supports your writing and provides readers with additional valuable information.
Linking to quality sources inspires search engines to view your post favorably. External links to other relevant sites add credibility to your post. And that improves search engine results.
Here's an article explaining external linking best practices to learn more.
Help readers discover your blog with search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO plays a role in blogging because its practice, when done well, drives readers to your blog.
But not just any readers, the right readers.
In a nutshell, you optimize your blog and web pages to stack the deck, so to speak, so the people most interested in what you have to offer will find you.
Although many steps are involved with SEO, one of the more important ones is choosing keywords.
Essentially, the keywords you select for your blog post should be the ones your target audience is googling. And to find those keywords requires keyword research.
Keyword research takes time and effort. I could devote a lengthy blog post to this topic, but instead, here's a link to a comprehensive keyword research article.
Once you have your keywords, judiciously place them in your blog post, such as in the title and headings, and sprinkle them throughout the content.
You don't want to just slap the keywords in there or overuse them. Search engines will be suspicious of this behavior and may view your content as spam.
I like to write the post first and then go back and insert keywords. This approach lets you focus on the point of your article without worrying about where to put the keywords.
Get your blog post read with a blockbuster title
So let's imagine you've just written a gem of a blog post with content sure to please your audience.
How do you get them to read it? With a title that catches their eye and sparks their interest!
The title has to inspire, entice, or intrigue so the reader opens and reads your post. Coming up with a blockbuster title is no small feat, so don't treat your title selection as an afterthought.
Spend some time thinking one up. And don't necessarily go with the first one that comes to mind.
To create an irresistible SEO-friendly title, I use CoSchedule Headline-Analyzer.
This tool ranks your title's potency based on phrasing, word count, emotional impact, and more. The higher the score, the stronger the title.
Successful titles frequently ask a question, use numbers, and, most importantly, clearly describe the blog post's contents.
Nothing is more frustrating than reading a blog post that doesn't deliver. You don't want to burn your audience.
So, are you ready to get started blogging?
It's an effective way to stay in front of your veterinary clients and build relationships, but it requires time, effort, and patience to produce consistent blog posts that your audience will find and read.
Otherwise, why bother?
If you'd like help with blogging for your veterinary practice or business, please email or call me at 508-277-4929. I'm happy to assist!
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter