I’ve worked with many business professionals including dentists, doctors, therapists and many other PhD holders. They all run into the same wall: their blog writing does not connect with site visitors. Here’s how to stop writing research papers and start connecting with your customers. Doing so will help you get local customers from your website.
If you take one thing away from this article, it should be this next section.
The best local content does all three of the following
- Relates to your audience.
- Relates to your business.
- Involves a local element.
Here’s a simple illustration showing my approach to creating content for local businesses. I like to call it the local content relationship triangle.
Include at least two points of this triangle. Here’s a little more about this concept.
Relating to your audience.
This content solves problems or provides answers to questions your audience may have. This is regardless of how they relate to your services or location.
Relating to your business.
This content explains your services, experience or business history. Could also include discounts, specials or business news.
Involving a local element.
This relates to your local community events, other businesses, organizations and resources.
Let’s dig deeper into creating better content.
Understand who you’re writing for
You’re not writing for yourself. Or your peers. You’re writing to attract and interest people who will pay you for your services. I can’t stress this enough. It’s common for medical professionals to want to reinforce their knowledge when writing. Focusing on this will often result in sterile, lengthy articles that people won’t read. If they don’t want to read it, Google and other search engines won’t show it to them.
You should reinforce your connection to the reader. For most practioners this is incredibly difficult. There is a certain safety in cold hard facts whether it be data or citing previous studies. Here’s the problem. People will assume that you’re knowledgeable and can do the job given the Dr., PhD, DDS, ND, etc. attached to your name.
You put in the time, you know your stuff, you have the degree. So do hundreds of your competitors. How will you stand out? The answer is by connecting on a human level.
Start by identifying who you want to do more business with. If you run a dental office that wants more families to come in, write things that will appeal to parents. It doesn’t have to be about your profession. Connect with them so they go “hey, they get what it’s like having kids.”
Understand why you’re writing
Before you begin typing, answer these two questions honestly:
- Why am I writing this?
- Is anyone reading this?
If the answer to either of those is “I don’t know” then you need to find out. There are analytics programs out there that will tell you how people interact with your site. If you’re writing a lot and nobody is reading it, stop writing. Get strategic about your goals, understand your audience and try again. If you don’t understand how to drive search engine traffic or social media traffic to your website, then either invest time learning or hire someone who knows.
Loosen up and delegate
If you have the time to write tons of content for your site, you’re not busy enough. It’s expected that you will approve of the content on your website. But you need to get comfortable delegating this task.
No one is going to write the way you will. At best, expect something to be 80% of the way to what you’d write. Don’t bottleneck your content writing, get out of the way. Here are ways you can do this.
- Be the content editor. Have someone provide drafts to you, then edit them to your satisifcation.
- Be the subject matter expert. Provide reference pages to a writer and have them create “spin-off” pieces.
- Hire a qualified individual with a degree in your subject matter. This is harder and more expensive but would likely need less input from you.
Given the sensitive nature of most practices, it would be wise to include a disclaimer on your site, too. I’ve found this can often ease concerns about adding content. You’ve likely seen these types of disclaimers on law firm websites.
“This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for seeking the help of or making an appointment with a qualified professional.”
Write in common terms the average person will understand
Don’t make your readers run for a dictionary. Reduce the complexity of your writing and make it easy to digest. Here’s a simple tactic I use to create more natural pieces of content.
- Write a detailed outline of your article
- Go to a quiet room
- Set your phone up in front of you and open a recording app
- Record yourself talking through your outline
- Transcribe this audio to text
- Clean up the text, re-organize, expand, remove, etc
This method of writing can be more natural and result in longer, more detailed and useful articles.