The focus of Doctor 2.0 is transforming your blog into a healthcare social media hub. As valuable as social media tools are to accomplishing that goal, it is crucial to have the right foundation to begin with. That foundation is a blog populated by solid content and properly constructed posts.
Here are some blogging basics that will ensure you have the proper launching pad for your next-generation, interactive web site.
SEO Friendly Titles
As with email, the title of your blog post is more important than anything in the body of the article. No matter how informative that post may be, people must first see a reason to read it. The title should be SEO optimized. That means it can be no longer than 60 characters, contain no special characters, and contain key words associated with the article.
Attention Grabbing Sub-Title
One of way to overcome a boring SEO friendly title is to begin your post with an attention grabbing subtitle. The title and subtitle of this post is a good example. The title contains the keywords desired (healthcare social media). With the subtitle, we were able to be a bit more creative.
Blog Basics and Healthcare Social Media
Get the basics right before going for the gold.
First Paragraph: Don’t waste time getting around to your main point. Relevance and value should be established earlier on. The call to action should appear early on in the article. Be brief, to the point, and plainly state why visitors should read more.
Relevant Image: Images should tell the story of your blog post. Take the time to find images that pull your readers into the story and hold them there.
TIP: Large images should be placed after the first paragraph. Images load after text. By placing larger images after the first part of your text, visitors are able to begin reading immediately while images continue to load. Banner graphics often bog down loads on smart phones causing visitors to lose interest before reading anything.
Main Body: As we pointed out in How Visitors Read and Plastic Surgery Web Design, your visitors don’t read blogs; they scan them. Use bullets and numbered lists as much as possible. Blog visitors don’t read web pages word by word; they extract what appear to be important phrases and key on them. Write snippets that are easily transferable to Facebook and Twitter.
Brevity: Very few blog posts should be much over 500 words. Paragraphs hold a reader’s attention when kept to 3 or 4 sentences. Avoid compound sentences as much as possible. The objective is to communicate. Your goal as a blogging plastic surgeon is to connect and start a conversation. Longer or more technical information works better on your web page. Use a brief post on your blog with a link to a more detailed article on your web site. This tactic serves two purposes: it holds the interest of your readers and serves as a gateway to your web site.
Personal Experience: Blogs need to be personal. Remember; “Websites are for facts and figures … blogs are for stories.” For your blog to tell a story, it must be personal. Anecdotes about your daily practice work well.
Questions: The last thing you want is for your blog post to become a monologue. There is no better way to make that article start a conversation than by ending it with a question. If you have good traffic to your blog but aren’t getting many comments, conversation starting questions may be all that is missing.
Internal Links: By linking to other posts in your blog, you provide opportunity for readers to create more traffic as they move from one link to another.