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Why every Community Pharmacy should be Blogging

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Changing the Landscape of Google and Healthcare

I firmly believe that if Community Pharmacies become more proactive online, we’d cause a shift in healthcare. We could change the behaviour of potential consumers which would then lead to the use of more pharmacy services. We live in a digital world where more and more people look for information online before conducting their activities. Imagine if a person searched for a term on Google and the first thing that popped up was linked to your Pharmacy…we may just be able to influence that person’s decision to use our services. I believe one way in which we could achieve this is through blogging.

A powerful form of Content Marketing

Blogging is a powerful form of content marketing that anybody can do, but there seems to be a huge deficiency in its application in Community Pharmacy. Time and time again have I come across a pharmacy website that has a blog or news section on there that looks like the image below.

 

An empty blog on a pharmacy website

 

It’s a real shame because 1) It looks unprofessional, and 2) It’s a place where you may be able to impact the people in your catchment area, improving their access to healthcare, while winning more business in the process. Let me explain how.

Independents currently don’t exist on Google

Let’s say you’re an Independent Community Pharmacy in Southampton that offers a flu vaccination service. If a consumer would like to get a flu vaccine, they may well log onto Google and type in the search term “flu vaccination Southampton” or “flu jab Southampton”. As it stands, both of these search terms result in a variety of options for the consumer, but I don’t see a single Independent Contractor for at least the first 4 pages. And we all know that it’s extremely rare that anyone visits even the 2nd page of Google. Even though most Independent Pharmacies now offer a flu vaccination service, to that consumer, we simply do not exist.

 

Currently, Independents don’t exist for search terms specific to their pharmacy business

 

The story could be different through Blogging

However, if you created a solid blog post that was optimised specifically for those keywords and which led to your services, the story could be different. Having a look at the content that currently exists out there, I believe it to be highly probable that an Independent could position themselves somewhere close to the top of the rankings, increasing the likeliness of consumers using their flu jab service.

This is exactly what I’ve started doing with one of the chemist’s I’m working with. Like most pharmacies, they offer an emergency contraceptive service and so a few weeks ago I began experimenting with some keywords on Google to see what kind of landscape I was dealing with. I found that a search term that people are looking for on Google is “morning after pill Sheffield”. At that time, as I expected, there was not a single service or article that directly led the consumer to an Independent Community Pharmacy for at least the first 3 pages. All I could see on there were surgeries, hospitals and of course some paid google ads from the big corps, Boots and Lloyds.

So, what did I do? I created a simple blog post on the topic of Emergency contraception, focusing on the keywords “morning after pill Sheffield”. Right now, only three weeks down the line, this blog post sits on the first page of Google at position 3 and as I continue to promote the post across their social platforms every now and then, it’s quite likely that it will top Google for that search term. Hopefully, this blog post may just influence more consumers to go and see a pharmacist to get the morning after pill.

 

In less than 3 weeks, this simple yet optimised blog post has reached position 3 on Google

One blog post a month, per pharmacy

Can you imagine if every single independent contractor started blogging for search terms associated with their business in their locality? We’d end up dominating the Google rankings and that really is no exaggeration. I’ve just shown you how easy it can be done. All it would take is one optimised blog post a month, per pharmacy, and we might be able to direct 100’s, if not 1000’s more people towards pharmacy services.

More examples of blog articles I’ve created for Independents that have reached Page 1 on Google, significantly improved the visibility of their service and are generating leads are:

If you want to start blogging or you’d like me to take a look at the blog post you’ve already created to see how it might be improved, then please get in touch and I’ll help you. Together, we can make Community Pharmacy stronger.

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam