Creating Healthcare Blog Content? 6 Ways To Do It Wrong (Part 1)

My son is now 4 months old, and his appetite is growing faster than I can keep up. “You’re hungry again?” I joke. The two hours between feedings flies by.

Also read: I’m Pregnant! My Experience Choosing a Doctor Online

I’ve come across healthcare marketing teams who feel the same way about their blogs.

They publish, and before they know it, it’s time to publish again. This often leads to the content scramble—that crisis-mode attempt to slap something on the blog just to say you got it done.

This usually happens because the content creation process has been marginalized to an ad-hoc afterthought, instead of a central marketing focus.

Then, teams often resort to these 6 wrong ways to create healthcare blog content:

1. Duplicating Content

Your team wrote a blog post a few months ago. Then, they reposted the same content under a different URL to fill a hole. Or all of the organizations in your health system are publishing the same content simultaneously.

I’m not going to say this is a lazy practice, because I know how hard healthcare marketing professionals work. But it looks that way to readers who notice you’re publishing repeats.

It’s also upsets Google. If search engine optimization is a goal, your team should absolutely not be duplicating content. The Google Webmaster blog gives this warning about duplicating content:

“In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”

2. Publishing Canned Content

This is duplicate content on crack. Not only are you publishing identical content on several of your own web pages, but you’re sharing it with other healthcare organizations—maybe even your competitors.

It’s fine to have a health library on your website as a resource for background research, but canned content should never be copied and pasted as a blog post. Readers can tell it’s not authentic, and the purpose of a blog is to speak to your audience. Canned content also tends to say nothing about your organization’s perspective.

And again, since others can use the same content, Google doesn’t like it.

3. Creating Content Without A Calendar

We’ve learned a big lesson that we’re implementing with all of our clients for 2015: Do not launch a blog without a calendar.

That means outlining the topics you plan to cover for each publication date. This prevents ad hoc content creation that’s disconnected from your audience and useless for your healthcare organization’s goals.

By creating a calendar, you give yourself and your content creation team the time to really develop solid, compelling ideas that match your organizations goals and your audience’s needs. Plus, you’ll avoid staring at a blank screen scratching your head when you should be hitting publish.

Then, there are other tactics for creating healthcare blog content that are obviously off-limits:

  • Using press releases as blog content

  • Posting blobs of text with no visual design or only a measly stock photo

  • Publishing content about your healthcare organization’s last award

In our next post we’ll dive into 3 other tactics you should never use to create healthcare blog content—like asking doctors to write it.