So you have a website and there is a blog section and you’re not sure why it’s relevant or why you’d need to bother with such a thing. Sound familiar? It turns out there are many good reasons to give your pharmacy a voice online through your blog. Here are my top recommendations for why you should blog and what you should talk about.
- Increase traffic to your website
The ultimate goal with blogging is to increase the overall traffic to your website. How does this happen? Google loves fresh content on a website, it’s not always easy to constantly update static pages of information on your site – how often can you really update your about us page? The ideal place for new information is on your blog. Blog post topics are unlimited in scope and size and allow a less formal tone and more discursive prose as well as showcasing you and your team’s skills and expertise.
- Be discovered on social media
Every time you blog, you are creating content that both you and others can share on social media. By linking posts together in a series or repository of information for example – Children’s health or mother and baby, you are creating a catalogue that people will be drawn back into reading. Social channels give you a away to reach people who were previously unaware of your business as well as those who want to read your posts. Social channels encourage people to share good information if you are active socially, sharing your own articles will lead to others linking in and sharing theirs.
- Show knowledge
You know in your head that you are a good pharmacists/beautician/OTC sales person. But for your customers you are just one of many people that can offer this service. By proving your knowledge through your blog, you are offering trust that makes a far more productive sales conversation. Chances are very few people are doing this well in your area so this is a time to stand out from the crowd. Many websites use the tactic of buying in content for their site – health information etc, this is generic and expensive use of your budget. By investing some time in putting your knowledge on your own blog will prove you stand out from the crowd and have something to say to your customers rather than trusting what others write for you.
- Web MD who?
We all “Google” our symptoms. There is a reason WebMD is one of the busiest sites out there but by having information on your blog you stand a good chance of being found by people who need you.
Remember it’s not just your pharmacist that has good information. Other members of your staff have their own unique skill sets. Encourage them to use their voice – you may have just sent a staff member on a Vichy course. Ask that member to discuss the benefits of the Vichy brand on your blog. Everyone in your organisation has information on their specialised area of the pharmacy so use that information. This strategy also divides the workload and ensures a good variation of information on your site.
- Don’t give up!
Good Google results can take a while. It’s not unusual for a site to be live 6-8 months before they see a good result on Google. Especially when the name is a popular one. Blogging will both help this process and also make you stand out from the competition.
Where do I start?
Here is a non exhaustive list of blog topics you can discuss on your blog. Each blog posts does not need to be long winded, a paragraph or two is enough to get the point across at times. It’s about working a blog strategy into your organisation.
- New products or services in the pharmacy – Shows innovation and proves you are investing in your shop. Don’t assume people notice new items or services in the shop. Even if you have page already in your website about, say, the flu vaccination, putting a reminder in your blog every October will help attract people to that page.
- Special Offers – a picture and a price is all that’s needed. Pharmacy customers will research online and purchase offline – by putting that information out there you are encouraging people into your store to make a purchase.
- New staff members – introduce him or her with a photo and a list of their skills.
- Local News – do you sponsor the local GAA team or support a particular club? Give your readers local news. Most small towns don’t make use of web or social media very well. By doing this for them you will come up in search results when they don’t!
- Seasonal items- it might be different opening hours over Christmas or Easter, offers specific to that period or simply announcing a Christmas Shopping club. Anything that is topical to the season should go in your blog.
- Health Advice – show your knowledge with some health advice articles. Make sure you are found as a source of information!
- State the obvious. Don’t assume people know what’s going on in your town. We recently proved that locals in a town did not know the parking rules in that area. Despite there being 30mins free parking nobody knew this was the case and were paying anyway. By blogging and feeding this message out through Facebook we reached over 5,000 very appreciative people through the blog and Facebook– most of which did not know this free parking term was in place. (a subsequent knock on effect was that the pharmacy now comes up third when parking in the town is searched for – ranking is improving each week for this term)
- Relevant medical updates – Post information about changes to HSE schemes, use this as a platform to explain how some schemes work, the recent over 70s GP card scheme is a good example. Give people link or pdf form to download to save them going elsewhere for this information.
- Good news! Competition winners, staff members getting married/having babies, staff raise money for charity – any good news stories are perfect for your blog, couple them with a photograph and bring the stories to life.
This list is not exhaustive of topics and the sky is the limit to what you could discuss. The most important thing is to be consistent with your message, post frequently and schedule posts so you don’t forget. Always cross post with other social media channels to get the best exposure.
For more advice on Blogging, web optimisation, Social media use or general marketing strategy call Rebecca on 025 32098 or email Rebecca@pharmaweb.ie