A health content writer spills the truth about website sins

Zia Sherrell Gravatar image

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Candid advice on all things health copywriting and marketing.
website mistakes

Make sure your website works as hard as a health content writer! 

Everybody makes mistakes. ​”To err is human,” after all.

​But have you ever looked at a website and been surprised at some of the errors you see?

I’ve seen some terrible website failures, even on top-level company sites.

​If you open a page and see spelling mistakes, a bad layout, broken links, and a clunky old design that looks older than you are, you immediately form a negative picture of the business.

Don’t let a lousy website spoil your image

I’ll level with you. Although I can hold my own in a conversation about web design, as a freelance medical writer, my area of expertise lies in content. And in, my opinion, your content says more about you than any other part of your website.
I’m going to run through the seven deadly website content sins and what you can do to avoid them:

1. You don’t appreciate the value of quality website content

I can’t possibly highlight the importance of your web content enough. Great content is essential to your success.

Google bots need to be fed carefully crafted and informative content to shuttle your site to the top of the search results.

If you’re trying to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), your strategy and content should be priorities. Not only does great content keep Google happy, but it also helps you build a solid reputation as an expert in your field.

So how do you avoid content sins? Find SEO content writing services to help! To get you started, these are absolute no-no’s:

  • Trying to save money by hiring someone that has no experience writing web content that shines.
  • Using a generic content mill to churn out monotonous, characterless posts that can double as sleep aids.
  • Updating your blog once in a blue moon and never consider what would bring value to your readers.

Your website and your clients deserve better.

When your site boasts phenomenal content, it impresses your readers so that they want more. They want to work with you, try your services, and buy your products.

health content writer - website content dont be afraid

2. You play it safe

Not only is it in human nature to make mistakes, but we also feel safer when we follow the crowd.

Are you afraid of being different?

Think about how many healthcare companies there are that do exactly the same thing as you do.

How many doctors are competing for your patients? How many health services can people choose from? How many nutritional supplements are on the market? 

The global healthcare market is expected to reach almost $7.7 billion by 2027. So you need to see the bigger picture. You need to think about what it is that makes you different.

Sure, you might be taking a risk by standing out, but by following the well-trodden path of those who went before you, you’re not likely to get the outstanding results you want.

Take a look at even some of the most well-known healthcare provider websites. I can tell you now that no matter which ones you choose, they all look pretty similar. Yes, that’s safe, and you might think it’s a formula that’s working, but it’s also rather run-of-the-mill.

You need to be memorable. To win loyal clientele, you need to be distinctive. Your brand needs to stick in people’s minds so they think of you first.

What makes you special? Bring your personality to the table. Why do people want to choose you? You tell me! And make it clear on your site.


3. You don’t think about your clients first

As a freelance medical writer, I’ve worked with some incredible doctors and specialists over the years. They are indisputable experts in their field. This is, of course, fantastic news for their patients. However, it can be all too easy for people who are incredibly well-versed in a subject to forget that not everyone else is.

Think about your target audience and who your readers are. When creating a website, always keep them in mind. After all, they are the ones who need your services.

Try to avoid industry jargon and complicated medical terms unless you’re confident that your average reader can understand them.

medical writer einstein quote

Use “the grandma test.” As Albert Einstein said – “if you can’t explain it simple enough for your grandmother to understand it, you don’t understand it well enough.”

I’m confident that as healthcare professionals, you know the subject matter but aim for clarity and simplicity when you write.

Talk to your readers on their level.

If in doubt, think of different terminology. You need to speak your clients’ language. You might feel that it is impressive and displays your expertise, but complicated jargon can confuse and bore clients or even turn them off.

4. You forget to offer value

When you know your audience, you also know their needs and what they’re looking for.

What’s valuable to them?

One of the number-one rules of marketing copywriters is to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service, not the features.

Most people don’t want to know crazy in-depth details about your services or be bored senseless listening to how great you think they are.

website optimization offer value

Another facet of human nature is that most of us want to know just one thing.

“What’s in it for me”?

Of course, people want to know that you stand behind your offerings. What people really need to comprehend is how it benefits them.

For example, how do you feel if I tell you that

“I’m a healthcare content writer, and I provide writing services for my clients”?

Okay, you think. That’s interesting enough. And that’s probably the sum total of your thoughts as your mind drifts off elsewhere.

Now. What about:

“Do you want to save time and work less? I’m a healthcare content writer. With my website copywriting services, you can increase your revenue, gain your readers’ trust, and help you excel as an expert in your field.”

Which of the above sparked your interest more?

Everyone likes to save time and earn more money, although not everyone thinks they need writing support.

Always highlight what’s in it for your readers.

Avoid “I’m Doctor Jones. I’m a highly qualified physician. I offer healthcare services for patients in the Greenbury area”.

It’s okay, but that’s about it. Unless you live somewhere pretty remote, there are a ton of other doc’s that can do the same thing.

Instead, use medical copywriting know-how and think something along the lines of:

“Are you finding it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings? Is arthritis pain stopping you from living your best life? With my tailored supplement plan, I can help you put the pain behind you. I’m Doctor Jones, your highly qualified physician. I offer specialized healthcare solutions to people struggling with pain”.

The overarching message I want to get across to you is that when you highlight benefits, people can see HOW you can help them. And THIS is what building relationships is all about. When you make what you do about solving the clients’ problems and helping them, it makes them feel that they are important to you and they would genuinely benefit from your services.


5. You don’t sound like a human being

People love to connect with others and feel they are understood. You need to think about making a connection as you create your web content.

An impersonal “About Us” page that drones on about company history or simply reiterates your four-page resume is not forming a connection in your readers’ minds.

Of course, people need to know about your accomplishments and what makes you the professional you are, but you also want them to like you.

Have a conversation. Let people see the real you.

web optimization sound human

Let your readers know that you love dogs or enjoy sailing. Be careful with too much information, though. Remember that clarity is still key. Maybe skip the part about enjoying long moonlit walks on the beach.

A great way to inject some of your personality is to outline an appropriate (note the word appropriate!) anecdote about your life that also combines information about your relevant qualifications.

For example, “My love of rock climbing began during my time at Oxford University, gaining my Ph.D.” Or “My passion for Indian food developed during my year of voluntary work with Doctors without Borders.”

Tell a good story. Humans are hardwired to listen to them, so it’s true that facts tell, stories sell. Combine the two and sell yourself to your readers with clever medical copywriting.

website mistakes tell your story

6. You overuse keywords

One of my first freelance medical writing clients was an agency in Florida that catered to cosmetic surgeons. This was a long time ago, so I didn’t know any better. And at the time, it was fairly standard protocol.

For each assignment, they gave me a crib sheet to work from that contained a list of keywords. As part of the assignment brief, I had to fit every keyword in the required article at the density required.

Now, in case you don’t know, in basic terms, a keyword phrase or keyword is the words that people are typing into search engines to find what they are looking for.

Aim to use keywords naturally and avoid what’s called “keyword stuffing.” This is one tactic that people used to employ before it became a major no-no.

I can remember spending hours struggling to fit the words “Tampa plastic surgeon” 20 times into a 600-word article and still make it sound natural.

Let me tell you. It just isn’t possible! 

Your content won’t sound natural. As soon as you notice the first rather awkwardly fitting keyword, the rest become blatantly obvious.

At best, this makes you look unprofessional, and at worse, this outdated practice can damage your hard-earned SEO efforts. You may need SEO content writing services to help you because Google penalizes keyword stuffing, so rather than helping your website, it pushes you further down the results.

web optimization keywords

Google is incredibly intelligent. It values high-quality, original content that contains one or two choice keywords far above a jerky, unnatural keyword stuffed disaster of an article.

If you are unsure how to find out what keywords you should use and how many, I suggest checking out Neil Patel. This guy is an SEO genius and has some amazing resources that can help even the most terrified beginner looking for SEO content writing services. Yep, take it from a healthcare content writer.


7. You don’t have a call to action

Your strategy and content should build a connection with your readers. If people are impressed with it and feel a rapport, you’ll soon find that they want to take the next step. They’ll want to get in touch.

There are so many healthcare businesses that forget this part of the process. They become bogged down in extolling their virtues and forget the all-important call to action or CTA.

You need to make it easy for your readers to engage with you. Every piece of medical copywriting on your website is an opportunity to connect.

Although you might not be fully engaged in social media (pssst, a freelance health writer can help), you should still ensure there are multiple ways for prospective clients to reach you easily.

A call to action is simply that. It’s where you ask the client to act by contacting you.

web optimization contact

There are many ways that you can do this, including:

  • Buttons: Buttons are great because they can be labelled as you prefer and link to your contact page. For example, you could use “make an appointment,” which links to your automatic appointment system. Tailor them to suit your brand.
  • Links: Internal links in your website help people to navigate around your content easily. For example, if you have a blog post that briefly touches on a subject area, you can link to a second post that dives into the material in more depth.
  • Contact forms: A useful alternative to email that keeps the reader on your site. They don’t have to navigate away but can still contact you with their questions.
  • Social sharing links: Have you got a Facebook page and an Instagram account? If not, why not? Sorry! That’s a topic for another post. If you have social media accounts, share the links on your website.
  • Phone or Whatsapp numbers: There are still clients who prefer to hear a human voice. Especially if your clients are in the older age groups, space you may find that their interaction with social media is limited.

The most important thing is that when your clients want to reach you, they can!


The take-home message is this.

Make sure your website is the best reflection of you. You’re a professional, but you’re also a real person that cares about the readers.

Make a connection, bring value, and don’t be afraid to outshine the competition. And if you need help, get in touch with a health content writer who offers SEO content writing services. A healthcare content writer could be your ticket to marketing success!

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