Blogs remain a hugely popular way to catch up on the latest online news and views from an organisation or an individual. After all, you’re reading one right now! They are normally written in an informal, conversational style and are designed to keep everyone updated and informed about issues relating to the relevant industry or interests under discussion.
Why do you need a blog?
So, why should you consider starting a blog for your care home, and what should you write in it? There are no set answers to these two questions. The beauty of writing a blog is that you have total control over its contents, how long each entry is and how often you post a new one online. You can use your Care Vision scheduling tools to plan when you are going to write and upload new blogs, as well as find ideas for content and share drafts for other people’s input and opinions.
Most people use their blogs to write about topics that their audience cares about. They are a great way to keep people returning to your website regularly to read new content and to find out what you are talking about. Once you build up a regular following, they will know to come back to visit your site every week, month, or however often you post to read your latest offering. This really helps to build engagement and increase general awareness of your care home and the scope of activities and services it provides.
A blog is also a great general marketing tool. You can direct people to it who want to learn more about your care home, or add the address to your brochures, flyers – and even business cards. Plus, you can use it to shine a spotlight on anything unique to your setting or to showcase the expertise amongst your staff and network of visiting professionals.
What should you put in a care home blog?
Content can range from ‘top tips’ and advice to news and updates; opinion pieces about current issues to links to awareness days, events and national celebrations. You can interview staff or residents about their typical day, or make a fuss of them on their birthday. Don’t forget to include images too – people are drawn to pictures as they are scrolling through websites and will, more often than not, be more likely to stop and read an article that includes photographs or illustrations with it. You could even create some vlogs, or video content to go with your written pieces to help ring the changes and add variety.
It is a good idea to spend some time putting together a blog topic plan. That way, you won’t be scrabbling round for ideas when the time comes to write your next instalment. If you can, plan a few months, or even a year at once. You can always change things round later on if anything new crops up in the meantime. Try and link topics to the plans you already have for events, activities and important projects going on. These will help give you inspiration – and hopefully some great pictures to go with the written content.
What about SEO?
You may have heard about search engine optimisation, or SEO. This is the process of improving your website, blog or other online content to make it more visible to Googler’s analytics. The more visible it is, the higher up your website or blog will appear in Google and other search engine rankings. As most people normally only look through the first couple of pages of results, this is an important part of writing a blog.
Identifying some suitable keywords is an easy way to get started with SEO. These are the words or phrases that people type into search engines when they are looking for websites like yours. So, for example, if you want to attract new residents and their families, your blogs could contain phrases like ‘care homes for older people,’ or ‘residential dementia care.’ Then, when people type those phrases into Google, it is more likely that they will find your blog and so navigate their way to the rest of your website – and those all-important ‘contact us’ details.
Don’t forget, however, that your blog must be accessible and interesting to human readers or they will soon click away again. So, don’t spam your keywords too much or create content that doesn’t make sense. Insights into how Google’s analytics work are constantly being revised and more advice on choosing keywords and using SEO techniques is readily available online.