Medical Professionals, Some of You Are Failing at Online Content Marketing

Melissa Fach


April 3, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

As a consultant and SEO I work with a variety of industries.  One industry I see that is failing at content marketing the most is the medical profession. Obviously there are medical groups and surgeons that are making an effort and there are some that are doing a great job, but as a whole this profession needs to step it up.

Granted, this profession has to be careful and not open themselves up to any potential lawsuits, but there are plenty of ways to avoid giving “medical advice” and there should always be a disclaimer that you are not giving “medical advice”, but “general information.” To stay competitive, online medical professionals need to start jumping into content marketing in a bigger way. If you don’t have the staff or the time to do so I suggest investing in a service that can provide you with the content you need.

I am going to give the medical profession some ideas on how to get started with content marketing.

Begin By Knowing That the Content You Create Can Be Used in Multiple Ways

Most businesses want to know how much things will cost and compare that cost to potential benefits. In regards to content marketing, if you do it right, you can use the information created in a multitude of ways. Here are some examples where you can use articles in more than one place:

  • Blog posts
  • Ebooks
  • Brochures
  • Pamphlets given to patients and their parents
  • Reading material in waiting rooms
  • Email marketing
  • Private educational areas for clients on your website

As you are planning what you will write about, always keep in mind where this information can be used; the goal would be in multiple places.

Give Me Needed Information (Not About You)

Many medical professionals are great at writing about themselves and their practices. This might be thrilling for you, but it has little value for the reader and this type of content will not bring in a lot of traffic to your website. Let’s look at some ideas.

Examples for Surgeons:

If you are an surgeon, what types of information would your current and potential patients need? What type of information would drive in traffic to your website? Here is a topic example:

How to Prepare for Surgery

For each type of surgery think about what each patient should do before surgery. Get down to the nitty-gritty details and create checklists! Many surgeons already have these, but they haven’t thought about using them online. I say go for it and if you haven’t created checklists yet use the information you have, and the complaints of patients, to create a list that will help your other patient

Also include what the patient will need after surgery. If they won’t be able to lift things for awhile you could have some suggestions related to that as well. Here are some ideas (yours would obviously be better):

  • Have drivers scheduled to take you home from surgery and bring you in for your two-day follow-up.
  • Have Motrin, Tylenol etc. ready at home in an easy to reach place before the day of surgery.
  • Have all prescriptions filled and ready at home.
  • Water bottles make life easier.
  • Items to have to help with side effects of medications include…
  • Have clean sheets on the bed and a spare set ready.
  • You will be resting in bed for 2-3 days. Items to have by your bed…
  • Your balance may be off, have a bathmat in the tub or shower.
  • Have a laundry basket of clothing you can put on easily ready in a location that you can reach. Reaching for hangers is a no-no!
  • Make sure all walkways and hallways are free of any items that can cause you to trip.
  • Items to have in the fridge…

Those are some examples that you could obviously improve and add to. People have surgery everyday and they use the Internet to get suggestions so they can be prepared. Why not create a great online library of information for these people and your patients? The traffic is needed for SEO purposes and your patients could use the information as well.

When you create your checklist you can choose items that deserve a complete article and create them. What are some common side effects of certain antibiotics or painkillers? What foods or other items could patients get ahead of time to deal with those side effects? Many checklist items will deserve full articles.

When a patient comes in before surgery you can just print out your checklists and related articles and the information will be very useful.


Pediatricians are some of the busiest medical professionals I have ever seen. They have tons of patients and panicky parents with a lot of questions. Why not create a blog full of information? Break the categories down so parents can easily find what they need:

  • Newborns
  • Toddlers
  • Teens
  • Vaccinations
  • Chicken Pox
  • Broken Bones
  • Food
  • Allergies
  • Local Children’s Activities

Here are some potential articles that don’t put your practice at risk:

  • 10 Things Parents Forget to Buy for Newborns
  • A Checklist of Vaccinations: When Your Child Will Need Each One
  • 5 Ways to Mimimize Scarring with the Chicken Pox
  • Your Child Broke Their Arm: When to Call the Doctor
  • 10 Great Places to Get Your Toddler Exercise During the Winter (with a disclaimer that parents need to watch out for their children, sad but true)

Pediatricians can do very well with content marketing by just taking the advice they and their nurses (who usually have the best information) give every day to patients/parents and creating content with the information. Many pediatricians have information sheets they give to the parents after yearly check-ups. Take that information and modify it; use it online, in email marketing, combine it with other articles for pamphlets or create an ebook.


Dermatologists often have the best medical blogs out there. In all my research dermatologists have far surpassed the other medical specialties I have looked at. I chose to mention them because I wanted to give you some great examples of fantastic articles from their blogs or newsletters. Perhaps it will give you an idea or two.

  • When You Know Your Bug Bite is Infected
  • 5 Ways to Protect Your Children’s Skin
  • How to Choose the Right Sun Screen
  • 6 Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
  • Moles, When Do You See a Doctor?
  • 10 Ways Women Can Keep Their Skin Beautiful
  • 5 Ways to Minimize Scarring

All of these topics are basic, but they answer questions people are asking about.

You Can Do It and You Can Create Trust!

It is really hard today to choose the right medical professional. Often it is hard to find good recommendations or in fact any medical recommendations online, but you can begin to create trust by showing readers and potential patients that you have the knowledge and experience they need.

Give the reader some information that they could need or didn’t know they needed. Write down all the questions you get and answer the ones that won’t cause a malpractice situation. With your content, suggestions and ideas you let the reader get a sense of who you are and this is where trust begins.

Content marketing is important for reputation management, SEO and creating trust with new patients. So get started today!

Author Image - Melissa Fach
Melissa Fach

Melissa Fach has been in the SEO industry since 2007. She created her own agency, was the Managing Editor at SEJ, worked as an editor for Moz with their community team, she worked at Pubcon as the Community Manager for 5 years, and is an editor for SEMrush US Blog.

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