July 22, 2022 | Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

5 min read

Blogging: A Brief How-To Guide for Outpatient Rehab Therapists

Adding and regularly contributing to a blog on your rehab therapy website is a smart idea.

Why?

Because blog content can play a significant role in helping search engines and by extension, patients find your website. An active and well-written blog can also help improve your search rankings without the need to pay for costly ads.

That said, to get the results you want, it’s important you pay a certain amount of consideration toward best practices when contributing to your blog. Here are some basics that can help you establish and maintain a successful rehab therapy blog on your website.

How Many Words?

Yes, it’s true that over the years, Google’s algorithms have grown to love longer posts. But let’s be real for a second. If you knew going in that you would have to write blog posts in the 1,500- to 2,000-word range, this would be a dealbreaker for most.

The good news is that you’re not likely competing with physical therapy practices across the world; you’re competing with those in your community. And, even contributing shorter (but consistent) content to your blog can help your site show up in local searches.

Plus, shorter posts tend to be more engaging than longer articles. How short? Shoot for the 300- to 600-word range.

Choose a Topic

It may go without saying, but before you even touch that keyboard, it helps to know what you’re going to write about.

When brainstorming topics, consider your audience. What’s likely going on in the lives of the people you serve? What’s most meaningful to them, and how do these priorities mesh with the benefits of physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech-language pathology?

Once you feel like you have a topic – let’s say it’s knee pain – strive to narrow it down even more to a single experience or challenge as it relates to your potential patients. If you’re a PT, perhaps you talk about runner’s knee. If you’re an OT, maybe it’s post-surgical rehab or differences between outpatient and inpatient rehab therapy.

It always helps to choose a concise topic, then provide at least three different facts, pillars, considerations and/or solutions about the topic. This may take a little research.

Write A Catchy Headline

You want a headline that makes someone want to read your blog post, but also one that attracts the attention of Google.

To accomplish this, write a headline that’s concise yet informative. Tease the topic with a statement or a question, and use active (not passive) words and phrasing.

Think of your headline as your invitation to the article. If you were the audience, would it grab your attention? Why would someone want to read it? Is your blog post going to help them solve a problem? Save them money?

Complete Your First Draft

Ideally, set aside enough time to write your first draft in one sitting. Get it all out before you allow yourself to start the editing process.

Don’t worry about perfection or length; just get your ideas down through a free flow of typing. If you edit line by line to make each line perfect, chances are you won’t ever finish your blog!

Be enthusiastic about your topic. And, always keep your audience in mind – laypeople who aren’t as impressed with medical jargon as they are with engagement, solutions and trust. Let your personality show in your writing.

While the post may be providing important medical information, it can and should be engaging to the reader. Boring is out.

Include Search Terms

Remember, part of the reason you’re writing a rehab therapy blog post is to help with SEO, or search engine optimization. So, include words and phrases within your post that people are most likely to search for.

Words and phrases like “physical therapy in Cleveland,” “speech therapy for children,” “knee pain relief,” “what is occupational therapy,” etc., can help ensure you start showing up when people Google local services related to your clinic.

Again, don’t worry about search terms when writing your first draft. Find opportunities to add them during the editing process.

And, if there’s a particular search term or phrase you find most important, also include it in your headline, the first paragraph of your post, and a couple of more times within the article.

Add Links to Your Blog Post

Along with search terms, also look for opportunities to include links that could redirect readers to other pages on your website. (You don’t want to redirect them off your site, if possible.)

For example, if you mention a particular ailment or service for which you also have a page on your website, create a text link over to that page. If they’re interested in your post, chances are they will be interested in related services that you provide.

A call-to-action (CTA) link within the copy and at the end of the post can also be a helpful way to encourage people to contact you through a form, via email or over the phone.

Including internal links, as these are called, is yet another way to get Google’s attention, telling them that you are a serious and credible website that deserves a higher ranking.

Time to Edit Your Blog Post

Once you feel happy with the message and tone of your post, it’s time to go through it with a finer-tooth comb to clean up errors and make improvements. This is your final editing phase.

Make sure all the statements you make are backed up by research or facts. Run the post through spell check and Grammarly. Ask someone you respect to review it. Give yourself enough time to think about it overnight.

While the actual writing of the post may often feel like the steeper climb, editing is really the most important step in the process.

Include Images With Your Blog Post

Images can enhance your rehab therapy blog post and help draw attention and engagement when the post is shared via social media.

Embedded images can also improve the flow of your post (especially if it’s longer), add humor, and make it easier to explain complex topics.

When posting photos, include alt text with your most important keywords to improve SEO. And, always follow best practice guidelines regarding photo size as posting large files can make your page slow to load.

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