medical writing

Modern medical writing explained

In this article, we discuss how you write for your patients. Copy on your website, LinkedIn articles and posts, and other platforms. How do you get information across, avoiding overwhelm and with a clear focus on conversions?

medical writing

Modern medical writing explained

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

July 21, 2022

Why this is about applying medical journalism

medical journalism

Medical journalism probably makes you think about news journalists covering medical topics, or specialised journalists covering the latest in medicine. 

There is another definition.

Journalism can be described in many ways, but what all definitions have in common is this: It’s about organising information for an audience so a message is conveyed.

Medical writing for the purpose of online communication is best compared to medical journalism. Your medical writer researches the topic and organises your information so it is conveyed to your audience in the most effective way.

The importance of story

medical storytelling

Story is the biggest missing element on most medical websites. Medical writing often starts with the doctor who organises scientific and factual information in a document. 

The designer of a medical website then simply copies this content onto the website.

This workflow has no attention for storytelling whatsoever and carries two major risks:

  1. The patient never finds this page. Content that is not optimised for Google will rarely rank in the Google Search results and the page will attract few or no visitors, nor will it create any additional patient enquiries or leads.
  2. When a patient reads the page, they will often feel it’s too complicated and go elsewhere. But since the discussed type of dry, scientific/academic content will rarely be found on Google, this doesn’t even matter that much.

We have a whole range of articles in our Grow! Magazine about SEO and content marketing for doctors.

Storytelling is what we are all used to without consciously paying attention. It’s in the commercial that makes you remember it. It’s on the billboard at the airport that makes you smile. It’s in the magazine article you forward to a friend. It’s in the song you hear on the radio and in the news bulletin that follows.

Storytelling is how we interact as humans and what you apply at the dinner table.

So why assume that your patient doesn’t need it as they look for health-related information online?

Why most doctors use poor content

content strategy

In the absence of a strategic vision, your private practice might be driving with the brakes on. The lack of a content strategy won’t hurt you as long as your colleagues in town don’t have one either. In this case, you might be tempted to think that a private practice can rely on GP referrals only. 

This is a quick checklist to look at your own content strategy and check if it’s actually supporting your private practice.

  • Editorial strategy: Is someone asking you quality questions about the main target audiences you serve, your income earners, your consultation style, the conditions you treat and the treatment pathways? Is there a structured process to collect input and make sure your content agency truly understands your practice as a business?
  • Storytelling strategy: Is there a range of story elements that can be used across your website pages, social media, videos and articles or blogs? Is there a clear vision on what you want prospective patients and referring GPs to remember about you?
  • Ongoing growth mindset: Is there an update strategy to continuously add new content to your website, in line with the initial goals? Is there a program to perform monthly or weekly marketing work as well as evaluate the performance of your online presence?

As a doctor, like many colleagues, you will probably think of your practice as a five-star service.

I’d hate to think that you are happy with only a one-star first impression when patients land on your digital profile.

medical writing

The first step most doctors forget

keyword research

You will find that when traditional marketing experts build medical websites, the quintessential first step is often forgotten. To please the customer – doctors know what they want – the agency will focus on design and ask about style preferences. 

We believe the first step should be keyword research. What are your patients after?

With that information, decisions can be made about how to organise and present the information. Maybe the info needs ordinary paragraphs, maybe it needs a short video, an infographic, or a different layout that allows the patient to quickly grasp the story of that particular topic on a web page.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Keyword research means that we meticulously map and analyse the monthly local traffic volumes for Google Search entries submitted by patients in your area. You can’t get any more relevant market research done because that tells you exactly what type of information your ideal patients expect on your medical website.’"

Medical writing in the context of content that converts is not a one-off activity when you prepare to launch your new practice website. Ideally, it becomes a routine activity between yourself as the surgeon or specialist, your practice management team and your medical marketing agency. 

Ideally, there is monthly content that boosts your visibility because it makes you more up-to-date and relevant in the eyes of Google’s artificial intelligence…and in your patient’s eyes as well as the perception of your local GPs.

The method that has tripled turnovers before

best agency for doctors

In your quest for a marketing partner, you may think that the best agency for doctors is the one that builds cheap medical websites. 

Stripping the process from the essential skill sets that we have now unpacked, it is possible to just outsource any medical website project overseas and get it done on the cheap.

But we don’t do that.

The method we use does integrate these highest standards for medical journalism, storytelling and ongoing growth SEO work.

We are known to have tripled some surgeons’ turnovers or allowed them to take on more staff. Leveraging the power of their online reputation so they could launch a new brand, or a group clinic.

The best agency for doctors is one that looks after your reputation. When you browse through our projects, knowing that we have been finalists in the Australian Web Industry Awards in 2021 and again in 2022, you will understand that we take this work seriously.

And we look forward to hearing about your work and your growth ambitions.

Let's meet

Start writing a different story

medical content writers

If you want to hear about a whole different new type of medical content writers, with a passion for media-style storytelling and branding, get in touch and let’s plan a free 1:1 Strategy Session. You can book it straight away so we can discuss your content strategy in person. 

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