By Matt Thompson
Does your eyecare practice have a website? Of course it does. But does your website have a blog section on it? And if not, why not? Maybe you didn’t know that a well planned, well written blog has the potential to be one of the most visited pages on your site. It’s a great way to boost your digital marketing.
A good eyecare blog will be read eagerly by existing and prospective patients while broadening the appeal of your optical business. Google loves blogs because they provide regular, fresh content for your site which, in turn, will help with your website search rankings.
But before you can reap the rewards, you have to do the work. Without the commitment to post regular updates with quality content, your blog will go stale very quickly and your efforts to waste. Many businesses start a blog with the best of intentions only to find motivation lacking after the novelty has worn off. Make sure that doesn’t happen to your site.
Instead, put together an exciting plan to inform, entertain and entice your readers to keep coming back.
We’ve got five tips to get you started with a blog for your independent optometry business.
1. Share Your Expertise
As a health and business expert in the eyecare field, you have accumulated a lot of specialist knowledge and experience that you can share with people. The information you pass on to your patients during an eye inspection is only a fraction of the vast pool of knowledge that you have.
And it’s not just your existing patients that are interested in optical health either – there are thousands of other people (let’s call them potential customers) looking for medical information and advice relating to their eyesight.
Share some of your expert knowledge with the wider world and position yourself as a leading authority in the field. Use written articles, pictures and YouTube videos to put your messages across in different ways to connect with your target audience.
2. Report Industry News
Commenting on topical news from the eyecare industry is always good value. It shows that your part of the wider professional healthcare community and take an active part in it. Whether you’re reporting on new state optometry laws, promoting National Sunglasses Day or evaluating the effectiveness of blue light-blocking devices, it’s a perfect way to join in the conversation.
Don’t forget to include your own company news as part of the content mix. If you’ve recently moved to new premises, tell your customers about it. Won any business awards lately? Keep thanking your team and patients for their support. By sharing some of your own story, your independent ECP won’t be seen as a faceless business but a team of caring individuals.
3. Give Professional Advice
People search the internet for solutions to specific problems, and eye health is no exception. Why not help them find the answers they’re looking for? Choose a concern that would be of interest to many of your patients and give professional advice on questions such as: ‘I work with a computer screen all day – can this hurt my eyes?’, ‘Do I need progressive or bifocal lenses?’ or ‘What are the pros and cons of laser eye surgery?’
Not only is there no shortage of eyecare related topics you can cover in your blog, your recommendations are automatically trustworthy because you’re a professional vision care provider! Engage with your readers in an approachable way and help build public confidence in your brand.
4. Promote Products and Services
Obviously, the ultimate goal of website marketing is to increase sales but be very careful not to use your blog as a ‘hard’ sales tool. The odd ‘limited offer’ on a product promotion may be OK, but continually bombarding your readership with overt advertising is sure to backfire badly.
We recommend the ‘softly softly’ approach where the product is mentioned almost accidentally as a solution to a particular optical health issue, or to illustrate the point made. How about a post entitled ‘Is too much screen time bad for kids?’ with the conclusion that moms should book an eye test for their child, and here’s the number to call? A trivia article about designer sunglasses worn by A-list celebrities could end with a mention of the designer brands you stock and, better still, a link to the product page on your website.
5. Be Entertaining
To engage your readers’ attention span, your blog should be entertaining too. Share pictures of charity events where your team dressed up in superhero costumes to raise money for the American Foundation for the Blind, put together some fascinating facts about the human eye, or tell stories of previous patients (without mentioning their names) and their inspiring optical health stories. This is the place to show the human side of your optometry business.