How to Interview Healthcare Experts to Write Exceptional Website Content

How to Interview Healthcare Experts to Write Exceptional Website Content

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Interviewing medical experts is a tried-and-true way to produce original website content.

Without that first-hand, unique, and accurate medical knowledge, your content can unintentionally mislead consumers, damage your reputation, and lose search engine rankings.

But what if the experts your organization needs are busy doctors? Or you need help building a content strategy? Add to the mix too many fingers in the pie, and a simple interview process can turn into a big waste of time and money.

In today’s blog post, I share an effective editorial workflow you can implement today between your healthcare marketing agency and medical experts. Then, I share the type of content needed to enhance this information and increase traffic and conversions on your website.

Spotlight on the Health Information on Your Website

Today’s top healthcare organizations know their mission and values (i.e., oftentimes to promote health) can be shared through the health information featured on their websites.

Fertility clinic websites, for example, often contain more than just service pages. They often share health information about fertility to help people make informed decisions about their fertility journey.

The most common website health content includes:

  • Conditions and diseases
  • Treatments and surgeries
  • Symptoms
  • Medications and supplements

While your organization or marketing agency may have experienced editorial staff (i.e., writers with relevant healthcare experience), medical experts must review and edit this health-specific content to ensure its accuracy.

Having medical professionals involved in the creation of health information helps ensure the information is:

  • Accurate: Medical professionals have the knowledge and training to ensure that the information is up-to-date and based on scientific evidence.
  • Evidence-based: Medical information should be based on research and studies—not opinions or anecdotes.
  • Reliable: People trust healthcare organizations to provide accurate and reliable information about health.
  • Relevant: The content should be appropriate to the audience's needs.
  • Objective: The health information should be presented in a fair and unbiased way.

So, how can you help your physicians and scientists work closely with your agency’s editorial or marketing staff?

Step 1: Find Your Medical Review Editorial Team

Select physicians or clinical staff interested in marketing. This is crucial. Your designated experts must be willing participants excited to engage with healthcare content marketing. Otherwise, they could become a significant bottleneck to progress.

Establish a good rapport and build a strong working relationship with your medical experts. Keep them informed about your healthcare content marketing strategy and how their expertise and input directly impact the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns to encourage and maintain their motivation and engagement.

Acknowledge and appreciate their contributions regularly. Recognizing their expertise and effort reinforces their commitment to supporting your marketing initiatives and builds upon your working relationship.

Once you’ve identified and engaged your medical experts, you and your marketing agency can incorporate them into your editorial workflow.

Step 2: Determine the Editorial Workflow

An editorial workflow is a roadmap that guides content from conception to publication. It outlines the specific steps involved in creating and polishing your content, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.

An editorial workflow can be beneficial for various reasons. It helps to:

  • Maintain Consistent Quality: Ensures your content meets a pre-determined standard.
  • Meet Deadlines: Keeps everyone on track and accountable for their part.
  • Facilitate Collaboration: Streamlines communication between agency writers, editors, and other internal stakeholders.
  • Boost Efficiency: Saves time and avoids rework by having a clear process.

Before you begin, establish best practices for communicating with your medical experts to ensure a seamless workflow between you, your marketing agency, and your medical experts.

Are you using Microsoft Word or Google Docs? Are reviewers and editors using Track Changes or making changes directly on the copy? Is there an editorial calendar with dates that everyone needs to be aware of?

Once you’ve established the tools and review process, it’s time to lock down the content creation process.

Here is a classic workflow example for creating medically accurate content for a web page:

  • Writer (editorial staff) interviews the medical expert (if needed).
  • Writer researches and writes copy.
  • An SEO specialist reviews for page intent, internal linking, and other magic!
  • Medical professional reviews for accuracy.
  • Editor proofreads for spelling, grammar, and typos. Editors also meticulously review the content for accuracy, clarity, and adherence to style guides.

Now that you’ve identified an effective content creation process, it’s time to identify which pages require creation, refinement, or reimagining to ensure your roadmap leads your organization to its goals.

Step 3: Have a Content Strategy

Anytime we take on a new client, one of the first things we do is audit their existing content and create a list of pages that need additional support from our internal teams and external medical experts.

This might be part of a larger SEO strategy or a stand-alone content audit. However, once the need for new content arises, it’s important to distinguish the pages that will need unique information.

For example, we’ve had clients in the same medical specialty treating the same condition with different treatment protocols. It is this unique information, first-hand medical expertise, and (perhaps) a quote from a doctor or other medical professional about why they chose one treatment over another that helps differentiate the business. It also promotes provider expertise in leading-edge treatments.

This same process applies to pages your organization might want to update or refresh.

Your content strategy should also include:

  • The purpose and topic of the new page
  • SEO keyword targets and user intent for each page

Once you have your content strategy, it’s time to begin the writing process. The first step is prepping for your expert interview.

Step 4: Interview Appropriate Medical Experts for Unique Information

When writing new content or revisiting older content pages, drafting expert interview questions is crucial.

We often work directly with our clients to draft interview questions to leverage their first-hand knowledge and unique perspectives. This information can be highly valuable during the expert interview, as we blend marketing objectives with medically-accurate content.

Sample Interview Questions

Here is a list of sample interview questions for a service page about Thyroid Disease & Pregnancy that will yield the most unique information, as they allow medical experts to showcase their thought leadership and expertise in their field:

  • How do you approach some of the most challenging aspects of thyroid disease in pregnant women?
  • What is different, unique, or better about how you treat or handle these cases?
  • While maintaining patient privacy, can you share a particularly memorable case or patient experience that highlights the importance of proactive management of thyroid disease before and during pregnancy?
  • In your opinion, what are some potential areas for future research or innovation
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

Once you and your marketing agency have identified a list of interview questions, set up a phone call and get started.

We also recommend emailing your list of questions ahead of time to maximize everyone’s time.

Be sure to end your calls or emails by asking if there is anything else they’d like to include and thanking them for their time. This is a terrific opportunity for medical experts to share commentary on the topic or their practice, which can then be translated into original content or an insightful quote.

Once you’ve built and implemented a medical expert review team, editorial workflow, content strategy, and interview questions, your organization will benefit from exceptional healthcare content marked by increased website traffic and conversions.

Position Your Healthcare Business as a Thought Leader With Medically Reviewed Marketing Content

Every healthcare website needs a medical review team, the people responsible for ensuring the information on your site is accurate, relevant, and supported by evidence.

Whether your organization manages addiction centers, high-risk pregnancy centers, or emergency rooms, medical experts are essential for ensuring the website content is not only accurate but also reflects the organization’s perspective.

All these factors play a role in improving your organization’s online presence, especially regarding Google’s E-E-A-T and quality scores, which indirectly impact page rank, patient acquisition, trust, and revenue.

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