Medical copywriter skills are highly specialised skills. You may think that, in order to get good copy for your medical website, you need someone who has a strong medical background. Some doctors believe that only doctors can write the content for their website.
These 4 basic copywriting guidelines for the private practice, might change the way you look at your medical copywriter profile:
Guideline 1: Write about the person, not about the symptom
As a doctor it’s tempting to isolate the symptom or the condition from the person. At Medical School, you were trained to focus on the problem and to see how you can solve it. In communication though, you are not talking to the symptom, you are talking to a human being. And as people we want to know this is about us. By focusing your content on what your patient feels, observes and experiences, you’re making it about them. You also help them connect with their own body, and understand what is going on.
Guideline 2: Avoid ‘doctorspeak’
Given the authority that comes with being a medical specialist, you may have fallen into the habit of always speaking about your profession at the highest possible level: with full attention to detail, using the proper Latin words for every condition and aiming for scientific accuracy.
With a patient though, this may lead to a serious disconnect. If I’m your patient, then I’m not your peer or a colleague. So for the message to get through to the receiver, it will need some “translation”. The Australian consumer legislation also states that any business has an interest in using plain English, especially if there is a chance that you are serving patients from a non-English speaking background.
Guideline 3: Be aware of Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is not some hocus focus under the hood of your website. It simply means you use one essential keyword per page, and you use it in a very specific way, across the copy, titles, in that page’s URL and the meta description. So your medical copywriter calls the shots when it’s about defining how successful your page on a specific condition is going to be.
To give you an example: if this page about endometriosis wasn’t written with the end goal in mind, it would mean that this doctor wouldn’t get a good performance (or business results) for the treatment of Endometriosis:
In simple terms: SEO happens in the process of choosing and writing your web copy. So your medical copywriter and your SEO expert are either one and the same person, or sitting next to each other when building your website.
Guideline 4: Use good-old story-telling techniques
Ever since the ancient Romans, we have been conditioned by story-telling. There’s a hook or an introduction, a middle section, and a conclusion. Songs, books, plays and movies follow that structure. Good web pages follow it too. So if you want people to stay, read and act, remind your medical copywriter of this essential guideline.
You may be writing your own copy, or you may engage someone to do it for you. Whatever your process is, make sure you use this simple guidelines and you will see your “session durations” and “page visits” go up in no time. And that’s what we call creating results!