Dr. Jed Schaible thinks so, and he makes some pretty good points in his article Why veterinari
But what do you think? Is your blog bringing you business? Or do you agree that you can reach a larger audience by giving up your blog and getting published on other websites?
Edited by VeterinaryEconomics, 7 months ago
Writing about my experience
When I speak to pre-vet and veterinary
Dr. Patrick Mahaney
I may not be a veterinari
While I understand Dr. Schiable's concern with trying to wade through the mess of keywords and SEO ranking tricks, etc, I do think that a blog is a powerful means of communicating with clients and potential clients. Not only that, but successful bloggers are often looked to by local traditional media as a source of expertise...so, the question now becomes, if veterinarians aren't blogging, who is providing the media with pet health care information?
With respect to time, that is certainly a vital component for all veterinarians and staff. Thankfully, options exist to help provide professionally written content that can be edited and customized for your hospital and social media marketing. Members of the Veterinary News Network (http://www.MyVNN.com) receive access to two new stories about veterinary topics each month and these can be easily downloaded, customized and placed on your site to create dynamic blogs without spending a lot of time.
Remember also that a well-written blog or pet health information library on your website can be a huge benefit when trying to explain some of the complex information that we need to discuss daily. Have team members give "Friendly URL" links to articles of importance to clients (Like flea life cycle, importance of HWP, etc).
There are certainly veterinarians out there that can write content that is optimized for search engines and I do agree with Dr. Mahaney about the fact that it can open doors. However, a veterinarian needs to be sure that they are even set up correctly to realize search equity from their posts.
Many veterinary websites are delivered on a Software as a Service (Saas) model and are hosted as a subdomain of a provider's website. I have seen this with VetStreet and others where their site is hosted on a "practicename.providersite.com." If they were to switch providers in the future, the rankings for their landing pages and keywords would be lost.
As far as sourcing content from MyVNN.com, I think that is an excellent recommendation. I also am happy that he mentioned the fact that the articles should be customized. Many practices source their content through third party providers for a fee. Those veterinarians need to realize that licensed content or borrowed content does not provide a significant, if any, SEO benefit because it is served all over the Internet to hundreds of different veterinary practice websites. Search engines index all those sites and acknowledge that content as duplicate content and then discount its SEO value. Therefore, taking the time to customize those articles is advantageous and will help you compete with Dr. Google.
Where I think a practice should take the time to invest in an SEO professional is with their homepage and "services" pages. You need to flesh out what services you provide and you need to use SEO best practices. What are the top five services that you offer that nobody else offers? Do you offer stem cell therapy for arthritis? Are you the only game in town that offers Tibial Tuberosity Advancement? You need to create a page for each of those differentiators and you need to be sure that an SEO professional has the appropriate title tags with geographic keywords so that when a potential client types into a search engine, “[your town name, state] stem cell therapy dog”, you are the first to show up. I have even seen a practice optimize their services for "low cost spay", "low cost neuter", and "[their town] SPCA and successfully convince potential clients to use their services as an alternative to low cost options by making a compelling argument.
Thanks for commenting on the article and please check out part two - http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/vetec/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/793499
Edited by JedSchaibleVMD, 7 months ago
Armed with my iPad, I blogged my opinion about veterinary blogging a few days ago, in response to a colleague’s statement thatveterinarians shouldn’t be allowed to blog. I saw a wide variety of veterinary professionals chime in to share their experiences and offer great advice. Between the dvm360 community boards, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the comments on this blog, I saw the coming together of like-minded individuals who all had an interest in veterinarians and blogging—–that’s an engaged community! Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for when we use social media tools and write blog posts? Do veterinarians really need to think bigger than blogging? Read full story...
I started blogging in 2005. No one read me (with the exception of my mother) for perhaps 18 months. Yet it was the most valuable time in my veterinary career.
Everyone gets bored or burns out at some point in their professional lives and at that time, blogging gave my career purpose again. The act of writing restored my sanity and moored me to a profession I might've otherwise abandoned.
Nonetheless, I totally agree with Jed that, as a marketing too, blogging's power is quickly diminishing. Other forms of social media are more amenable to rapid dissemination of our profession's messages.
Which is the primary reason I've opted for a hybrid website on which I offer a limited, once or twice a week blog post and send out a weekly newsletter to my registrants aggregating all the writing I've done for other publications and online outlets. My newsletter's only a few weeks old but it's been well received. (Especially by my best critic, my mother.) Shameles plug: www.drpattykhuly.com.
In any case, I'll always stick up for blogging: It remains a viable outlet for those who really do love to write. It's a great place to start if you're looking for a writing career and even if you never make a dime or reach a million readers, it's still a glorious way to give back to your profession if you're so creatively inclined.