You’ve heard that blogging can be a great marketing tool for your private practice, but the thought of starting one seems overwhelming. How do you choose what to write about? Where do you find the time in your already-packed schedule? How do you increase your ranking in search engines like Google?
A private practice blog can help you broaden your target audience, convey relatability and expertise, and increase traffic to your website. Moreover, it doesn’t require a huge investment of time or money. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your private practice blog.
Keep a list of topics
Nothing is more intimidating than staring at a blank screen. A list of blog topics helps to provide focus and direction. Since you never know when or where inspiration will strike, it’s a good idea to use a notes app on your phone or some other easily accessible place. Jot down any themes that arise in your clinical work. Consider your “ideal” client and the questions they might search. Once you have a long enough list, you can assign topics to specific weeks and months, effectively preempting the anxiety-provoking question, “What should I write about?”
Schedule time to blog
When you book a patient, you block off time in your schedule, silence your phone, and give your undivided attention. Do the same for your blog. At first, you might need to schedule several sessions for research and/or writing, but you will get more efficient with practice. Resist the urge to edit as you go, as this will slow you down!
Create a template
One thing that will help increase your efficiency is having a template and/or outline for your blog. Most blog posts have 3-4 subheadings in addition to a title and meta description. Your first and last paragraphs should effectively summarize the content. Don’t forget to add a few eye-catching images or graphics!
Do some keyword research
A keyword or phrase effectively describes the content of your blog post. It is the search term that patients are likely to enter in Google or another search engine. You can use a website like AnswerThePublic.com to research the most often searched questions and phrases related to your topic. For example, if you want to write about anxiety related to aging, you’ll find that people also search “anxiety about aging parents,” “anxiety about death,” and “does anxiety increase with age.” Using these additional phrases in your blog post will help it to rank higher on search engines.
Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Think of the last time you Googled something. How far down the list of results did you scroll? If you are like 75 percent of people, you stopped at the first page. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how you ensure that your website appears on the first page of results. There are several things you can do to boost your SEO, such as:
- Use short paragraphs of 2-3 sentences.
- Use power words, (words that attract readers by eliciting strong emotion).
- Include internal and external links.
- Add images with alt text.
How frequently you update your blog will also determine how highly it ranks in search engines. Therefore, it’s important that you post consistently. Determine a frequency that would work with your schedule, whether that be weekly or monthly, and then stick to it.
End with a CTA (call-to-action)
The purpose of your private practice blog is to engage potential clients and assist them in accessing your services. Therefore, you should always conclude your blog posts with a “call-to-action” or CTA. A CTA could be as simple as a link to your contact form, or something more direct and eye-catching like “Book now.” And of course, anything free is likely to generate more clicks, so consider offering a free consultation or complimentary download of an ebook, guided meditation, etc.
Tap into the power of AI
AI tools can be a tremendous resource for your private practice blog. For example, chatGPT can help you find topics to write about, and can even create an outline to help you get started with your post!
Imagine your ideal patient is researching therapists on Google. One therapist lists only an address and phone number. Another has a website with a photo, bio, and description of services offered. So far, the second therapist is looking a lot less risky. But what if there is a third option, a therapist whose website includes a blog that covers various topics of interest to the patient? Used effectively, a blog can help you connect to more patients, increase trust, and establish authority. Moreover, a private practice blog does not have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. With a little planning, research, and consistency, you can make the most of your private practice blog.