Who hasn’t used an Internet search to look something up? It’s quick, it’s accessible, and it’s usually decently reliable.
But what happens when the Internet is used as a medical information resource? It’s painfully easy to find bad information on the Internet, which can cause issues for pet owners and veterinarians. Pet owners need answers to their pet health questions, and they want to hear from their veterinarians – but the information needs to be available first.
How can you provide the educational information that pet owners are searching for?
Hosting a blog on your veterinary website can be a great way to get the message across. By providing information on your blog (and sharing it out on your social media), you can give your clients a positive alternative to trusting the depths of the Internet with their pet’s health. It’s a great channel for sharing out your knowledge – plus, by letting pet owners know that you’re updating your blog, they’ll associate your website with a helpful and valuable resource.
So how can you use your blog to win the war against bad information?
1. Write about timely subjects
There’s a reason why tabloids do so well. Because they pick subjects that everyone is already aware of, it’s much easier to stir interest. Writing about a current issue or event in pet health can be beneficial for two reasons:
- It gives you the opportunity to discuss a larger issue without having to do an in-depth introduction first.
- It helps ensure that pet owners will find and remember the information.
For example, let’s look at the spring season, the well-known harbinger of ticks. A blog post about tick prevention gives you the opportunity to discuss the issue with pet owners – and by doing so when it’s relevant, it can help them remember to bring their pets in for preventive treatment.
2. Don’t be afraid to rehash your seasonal posts
Let’s say you wrote about all the reasons real pine trees are dangerous for cats last December. It’s a great resource piece, but the trouble is that by the time the next season rolls around, that blog post is likely so far back in your archive (and in Google’s search database) that pet owners might not see it unless they’re actively looking for a refresher.
By revisiting seasonal posts each year, you can refresh your clients’ memories of things that come up every year, but don’t necessarily sit in their memory banks all year long.
How can you rehash seasonal posts?
- Updating or reposting helps keep good content on the front page of your blog. Just be sure that when you update or repost, you’re changing the publication date to make sure it shows as recent. This doesn’t affect your SEO scores – in fact, by updating, you can actually improve your scores by showing Google that your page is being taken care of.
- Writing a new post gives you the opportunity to link back to previous ones. For example, these types of inbound links fit in very well in opening sections; you could try mentioning offhand that you’ve written about seasonal concerns in the past, but this time you’re going to focus on this particular issue. See what I did there?
3. Write up an FAQ
Do you find you get a lot of the same questions at your practice on a regular basis? If pet owners are asking those questions in your practice, they’re probably also searching for the answers to those questions online.
You can reach those online searchers by responding to their common questions on your blog. Many of your readers will find your FAQs personally relevant, and as an added bonus, it will be a great format to help your website’s SEO!
4. Discuss common diseases and conditions
People are generally interested in topics that they think will affect them and their lives – so by using your blog as a platform to talk about diseases and conditions that could very well affect them and their pets, you can help stir interest and spread the word. After all, chances are there are plenty of pet owners who were interested in learning about those diseases and conditions anyway!
Just be careful that though you’re talking about potentially complex medical concepts, the content should be easily digestible for your readers. Avoid the four-dollar words, and try to make it relatable and understandable for your clients. Break up your writing with headings to highlight sections like symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
Need a hand with informative, pet owner–friendly content? ClientEd has just the thing, with over 1,800 articles written by pet health experts and designed for client education.
5. Highlight your point with real-life stories.
What’s more interesting than an informative article about a pet health condition? How about an informative article with a true story included?
One of the best ways to catch pet owners’ attention and help highlight the symptoms and prevalence of certain diseases is to include real-life case studies from your practice. Real stories help connect with readers and make the information personally relevant.
To help make the story even more meaningful, you could request permission from the pet owner to share the name and photos of the pet in a gallery on your post. Your blog is a valuable platform for providing good information to pet owners, and can be a great way to turn pet owners off of Internet searches – which is good news for client education and pet health alike!