Since embarking on your inbound marketing initiative, you have most likely done some homework. You have identified your Alaska healthcare customer buyer persona, mapped out their decision making process, or buyer's journey, and hopefully leveraged your office team's knowledge to brainstorm a list of awesomely interesting blog topics as long as your arm. Now, with your tablet at the ready, your are set to hammer out a blog post that will delight your audience and woo them to be your patient. Right?
Not so fast.
If you have accomplished everything mentioned above, you are on the right track, but you haven't reached your destination just yet. Because, to be blunt, your readers are human beings. They are visual. And they are busy! There are most likely a dozen other things competing for their attention as they try to read and digest your blog.
Before your content can be effective, you must understand how important the layout of a great blog post is to its performance.
When you plan how to write a great blog post, the most dead-on topic for your buyer persona, with the most provocative title still won't move the needle if it's hard to read and difficult to digest. In these instances, the reader may click away from you, and on to the next article that shows up on their search engine list. NO!
So, take a few moments here and learn how the structure of a great blog post is really just as important as the content when it comes to connecting with your buyer and establishing trust. Let's dissect a blog post and look at the layout and structure. Then you can create an informative piece of fantastic-ness that appeals to your Alaska healthcare customers.
Five Tips On How to Write A Blog Post that Rocks
#1: Embrace the Brilliance of....Nothing
The layout of a great blog post is not only what you add, but what you don't. We are talking about white space. Long paragraphs of text with no spacing can overwhelm your audience visually and make them feel like it will take too much effort to navigate the information. A great medical blog post is different from a scholarly article or white paper, and the layout needs to reflect such.
Use white space to break up your blog. Generous and frequent spacing gives the reader a visual "breather" to digest what they have read, and to get ready for the next portion of information. Breaking up a blog this way is imperative in gaining and keeping your target buyer's attention, and getting your point across.
#2: Employ Glance-ability
Okay, so that isn't a word, but it should be. Today's buyers have the attention span of a toddler (look a bird!), so blogs need to be laid out so the reader can skim them in a few seconds. This way, when a buyer is at their zero moment of truth (ZMOT), he or she can see the main points, and understand whether or not reading it will answer their questions or solve their pain point. If your content is easy to scan, and is true to the title, the reader is more likely to read it to the end.
The structure of a great blog post requires subheadings. Break the blog out into little sections of information, and give those sections a title. Make sure they are normal, everyday words. Nothing loses a buyer like content with difficult medical jargon they don't understand.
Laying out a blog with subheadings offers up a seriously helpful way for your buyer to know whether or not your blog can help them. Paragraphs without subheadings just don't deliver.
#3: Commit to Your Keywords
Successfully understanding how to write a blog post means being able to drill down to the finer points of the topic, the elements of what it's about. These are your keywords, a handful of single words and phrases, called long-tail keywords, that support the title and show search engines the essence of your blog post.
Managing keywords gives you all sorts of benefits. First of all, Alaska healthcare customers looking for information are more likely to type relevant keywords into a search engine and find you. Second, it helps the search engines know how to rank and categorize your blog.
Keywords equal visibility.
Use keywords in the title of your post, as well as throughout the post. Avoid overusing them, though, so search engine web crawlers don't think you are spamming them. Aim to use your keywords one time for every few hundred words of the blog.
#4: Acknowledge Your Reader's Viewpoint
No, we aren't talking about the buyer persona. We mean the screen. What are most people reading your post on? Chances are it's not a big screen. Almost 70% of buyers use their mobile devices to find information. Accommodating mobile in the layout of your blog is a must, or you risk losing the majority of your audience!
Before publishing your post, test it on a mobile device. Make certain the wording isn't too small and the points you are trying to make are clear. Fix anything that doesn't render correctly on the small screen, so you can be sure to delight your readers. We love delighted readers.
And the final point is (HINT: They really are worth 1000 words)....
#5: Use Relevant Photos
From the time we were kids, we learned to look at pictures while we were reading. Would Jack and the Beanstalk had the same impact without illustrations? NO! A relevant picture conveys a message to your prospect that hits them faster and with more emotion than words.
An easy way to create a great medical blog post is to add helpful photos throughout the piece. They help break up the text, create an exciting visual contrast to the words, and assist the reader to better understand the topic you are explaining.
For those all-seeing search engines, photos, when used correctly, are another tasty bread crumb to help lead your audience to your content. Use your keywords as alt tags on all of your pictures, so the search engines relate those back one more time to your content.
Adapting these tips will make a huge difference in the way your blog is read and digested by your prospective patients. In addition to mastering the structure of a great blog post, you need to think about the blog's length. Answer these questions to decide the ideal word count for your medical blog post.
- What's the story? Are you writing a post about top tips, or explaining a procedure? Broad subjects may take fewer words, while more in-depth pieces need to be longer. Keep your buyer and what they are trying to get out of the blog in mind. Make certain you address this clearly and succinctly in both the title and the body of the post.
- What grabs the search engines' attention? Crafting a great medical blog post that never gets discovered doesn't get you far. Write a post that's long enough to attract search engine web crawlers to review the post. A longer blog, 1200-1500 words typically, gains more attention and performs better than shorter blogs. Avoid the temptation to micro-blog. Even though it takes less time to create a shorter piece of content, you won't see the return on investment (ROI) you will enjoy with a longer form piece.
Now that we have dissected the layout of a great blog post, you are armed with ammunition that will help you spark buyers' interest in your content. Knowing how to craft a blog post takes more than a pithy title and handful of paragraphs framed by an introduction and conclusion. Superstar content masterminds take the extra time to maximize the structure of a blog post, too.
Keep in mind that your Alaska healthcare customers are super busy and may be reading your content on their smartphone, so give them easy-to-scan material with subheadings, keywords, along with plenty of white space. Now, go get those new patients!