Health content writing mistakes reduce credibility and impact.
Actually, they defeat the entire purpose of health content marketing, which is to increase your patient and customer reach, engagement and sales with content that benefits them while building trust.
As a result, I’ve created a health content test to help you determine whether your content needs serious help. Ultimately, it will help ensure your health content is optimized for search engines and maximum engagement.
Which mistakes are reducing the effectiveness of your content? Stay tuned to find out.
Biggest Health Content Marketing Mistakes
The following is a list of common mistakes made by healthcare brands who publish health content for consumers. Believe it or not, the process of creating unique, effective content that actually helps your brand grow and reach more people is an intricate one.
Hence why health businesses may want to leave the content creation and/or optimization to health content marketing experts. Here are 10 common content writing mistakes health brands make every day.
1. You Have No Content Strategy
If you’re posting content without a strategy, that’s your first mistake. As much as you want to randomly post content you think is relevant whenever you feel like it, that shit simply doesn’t work (sorry)!
And honestly, if that’s what you’re doing, you’re wasting precious time and energy, maybe even money. Bottom line: every brand needs a strategy, especially credible health brands.
For example, one study from the Journal of Health Communication shows that reading content framed with a positive outcome as opposed to a negative outcome increases behavior intention levels.
In other words, even the way we frame content impacts how our audience perceives it.
In the end, your target audience wants to know you put real research and effort into publishing consistent, high-quality content for them. That’s what’ll get them and keep them engaged and interested in your healthy products and services.
2. Content Not Tailored to Target Audiences or Customers
If you don’t decide who you’re targeting and thus talking to before you start writing your content, you have another problem. Think about it.
Would you speak to a teenager the same way you would speak to a doctor (if you were a doctor?) Probably not.
And guess what? If you did, that teenager would likely have no idea what you were talking about.
The same goes for content writing. If readers have to research jargon as they read to understand what’s going on, most people just won’t.
Hence why it’s your job to make things easy for them. Your content should help your target audience understand how your health product or service can help them, specifically. And it should be tailored to them.
Basically, if you put in the work to show consumers you really care about them, you’ll see reciprocation.
This may mean doing some research on specific cultures and backgrounds to find out how your product or service may help different types of people, for example. You may also want to do some health communication research to get a better idea of what your audience wants to hear and how they want to hear it.
Not to mention, you should make sure you don’t perpetuate stereotypes about different demographics in your content.
When it comes down to it, if you don’t tailor content to a target audience, your content will fail. Check out this guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to learn more about health communication strategies.
3. Bad SEO or No SEO
Next, if you’re trying to market a healthcare business without SEO knowledge, you’re in trouble. Well, not in trouble, but you’ve likely noticed you haven’t been getting any results from the content you post. And that’s troublesome.
Content marketing is supposed to help your health brand grow by boosting reach, engagement and sales, isn’t it?!
But without SEO, your content is much less likely to be seen by your target audiences. For example, it’s likely not even ranked on the first page of Google for its keyword search phrase, if it has a keyword search phrase. And thus, people searching your phrase aren’t seeing your content.
You can also use the free WordPress plugin Yoast SEO if you have a WordPress site; it works wonders.
4. Visuals Not Reflective of Target Audience or Customers (or no visuals at all)
It’s also important to target the right people with the right visuals. Do the pictures throughout your website and posts reflect your target audience? Do you even have pictures? Seriously, this is one of the biggest mistakes healthcare businesses can make when it comes to marketing.
Pictures should always be present, relevant and representative of potential customers or patients if possible. This means they should include people of different races, genders, sexes and backgrounds. Otherwise, how will everyone know your product or service is really for them?
For example, if you’re marketing a health product or service with pictures of exclusively skinny, blonde, white women, who do you think will want to buy it? Ding ding ding! The answer is skinny, blonde white women.
And not only is it kind of sexist and racist to use pictures of exclusively skinny, blonde white women; it’s plain old bad marketing.
Instead, I urge you to mix it up and include people of all different colors, shapes, sizes and cultures. It’ll help show everyone your product or service can work for them.
Need help? I also do photo research and custom designs. Check out my custom digital graphics page.
And please check out this research on the importance of media representation for different racial and ethnic groups to learn more.
5. Bad Grammar, Spelling and/or Syntax
I know this seems like a given, but you’d be surprised how often healthcare businesses go wrong with grammar, spelling and syntax throughout their content.
Let me ask you a question. How do you feel when you read through an article and notice various words are misspelled, grammar is off and the sentences don’t flow together smoothly?
Since I can’t actually talk to you through this computer screen, I’ll just answer with how I would feel: I wouldn’t trust that publication. Right?
But unfortunately, many health businesses fail to realize the importance of hiring a professional content writer to ensure seamless grammar, spelling and syntax within their content.
In the end, no consumer wants to become loyal to a publication when it’s clear it doesn’t put enough time and effort into their content, especially a health publication.
Don’t believe me? Check out these results from a Grammarly study on whether bad grammar is linked to less success.
6. Content Too Complex
Have you ever began reading something and then realized you were in way over your head? Did you keep reading?
I’m guessing not. And that’s because no one wants to read something that makes them feel less intelligent than they are. Make sense?
Furthermore, a study originally published by Biopsychosocial Medicine concluded that,
“sound health decisions require comprehensible health information that is accessible and appropriate to the needs and cultural and social backgrounds of individuals.”
So as you can see, whoever writes your health content should be fantastic at researching and converting complex information into comprehensible content that won’t scare your potential customers or patients away.
“One of the best ways to share health information and reduce health disparities, and to empower people, especially underserved populations, is through “messages” that allow health advocates, including community health workers and other public health professionals, to tailor health information in an easy to understand and user-friendly manner.”Journal of Health Communication
7. Lack of Credible Internal and External Links Throughout Content
Internal and external links are vital for SEO, reach, click-through rates and bounce rates in health communication. However, they have to be done right.
I’ll make another post on this in the future. But linking “right” means using relevant anchor text and quality, credible internal and external links that actually help your readers out by guiding them to more relevant health information. Not to mention, the relevant information should be supported by facts.
8. Not Targeting Common Keyword Search Phrases Related to Your Business
If you don’t use keywords, you likely don’t know what it’s like to have a post ranking number one on Google for its keyword phrase.
Keyword research is the act of searching for popular words and phrases that are relevant to your content. The idea is to sprinkle keywords and phrases throughout your content, this way the content shows up on the first page when people search for it on Google and other search engines.
If you’re using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to set your keyword phrase. It also helps you tweak your post for Search Engine Optimization as I mentioned earlier.
In the end, this will all help build credibility for your health brand while increasing engagement. And if you don’t feel like dealing with it, I can help.
9. Untrustworthy Sources
In the age of information, it’s become increasingly difficult to differentiate credible content from untrustworthy content. However, one solid way many people know of to check their sources is to check your sources.
As a result, if you’re not linking to and referencing credible sources, you’re going to run into a problem. This goes especially for healthcare brands.
If your audience catches you citing random sources with no validity, they’re going to catch on and leave your content behind. And when consumers leave your content behind, so does Google.
So do yourself a favor and make sure to always include links and references to credible sources when possible. This may include scientific sources like PubMed, Scholarly Journals, .org articles with references and .gov websites.
10. Unoriginal Content
Last but certainly not least, unoriginal content is a complete content buzzkill. When you publish content that simply regurgitates the same old information in the same old tone and style, you won’t get very far for one main reason.
Unoriginal content gets really boring after a while.
And it’s already been a while since content marketing came to town. So yes, there is already a ton of information out there. As such, you have to figure out how to put an original spin on it at least.
I mean really, who wants to read about something they already know unless you’re providing a new angle or new information? No one, that’s who.
So get creative, do some brainstorming and figure out how to differentiate your content from whatever else is out there.
In the end, quality health content is not easy to create. And it takes time to master, especially if you’re just getting started.
But trust me, your content will start to convert if you use the right strategies. And if you need help along the way, please don’t hesitate to send me a message for any of your expert health writing needs.
You’ve got this!