W Plastic Surgery is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire–based surgery center that turned to Hawthorn Creative to help them improve their overall website visibility, user experience, and conversion rate. We were happy to partner with them, because high-quality, well-written, informative, and purposeful blog content is like going fishing with the best bait imaginable. Not only are you going to attract more fish to your line (yes, an analogy for visitors to your website), but they’re going to stick around, do some exploring, and try a few nibbles until you eventually hook ’em (read: convert).
Since the start of our partnership in 2020, our work with this boutique practice has included restructuring their website to make it more user-friendly (also improving their path to conversion), search marketing (including on-page SEO and ongoing SEO to bring more traffic in), and organic social media management. In this post, we’re going to look at their blog performance in particular – and how realigning their strategy vastly improved the number of “contact us now” clicks they saw.
Does Blog Content Still Matter in 2023?
In a word, yes! We’ve been tracking the metrics for AW Plastics for several years now and the trends are clear – having a great company website is good, but it’s not enough for a well-rounded marketing campaign. Think of it like this: Your beautiful landing page is the final destination, but your SEO-optimized blog posts are the path that gets visitors there. Not many people can pull a URL out of their head and go directly to a site, but if they google “Is plastic surgery right for me?” and reach your blog post, it’s the gateway to your site.
The more blog content you have and continually add, the more opportunity for your company to show up in search engine results that drive traffic to your website in organic search – and that, in turn, means more visibility. (Not to mention, Google recognizes the frequent posting of quality content and rewards it with higher search rankings.)
So How Do You Create Blog Content That Converts Traffic into Leads?
In the case of AW Plastic Surgery, they had a previous blog managed by another agency that was producing regular posts – and they were actually seeing a good amount of traffic. But when it came to conversion, the issue wasn’t solely tied to traffic; it was the bounce rates, time spent on page, pages per session, and average time per session. They were too low, a sign of low engagement that was a result of dry copy, lack of CTAs, or links to additional relevant blog posts.
After taking over the management of AW’s blog content (where an on-staff content writer with a background in journalism and years of writing for the web began cranking out new monthly blog posts for the brand), we were able to see a vast improvement in our new content over the content created by the previous agency in just four months. Here’s a look at the latest numbers:
Higher Overall Session Time – On average, a session duration of 2:51 versus the previous agency’s 0:29.
Users Exploring More Pages Per Session – On average, 1.69 pages per session versus the previous agency’s 1.13.
This means that, after entering the site via our blog posts, users are engaging and exploring more of our client’s site over longer periods of time more often than they were through the posts produced by the former agency. It also showed that, in that same span of time (July through November), our content was producing more conversions – which, in this case, was someone eventually filling out the “contact us” form after initially landing on the website from one of our blog posts.
So How Did We Do It?
To be honest, the previous agency had good subject potential and keyword research (which is why their posts saw a good amount of traffic), but it lacked the following four critical elements that make for good content that engages a user for a longer period of time and encourages them to spend more time exploring the overall site:
1. COPY THAT SETS UP AW AS THE AUTHORITY
While the past agency worked with AW to develop the blog’s content angles, they didn’t actually interview anyone at the practice before writing. They simply researched the subject and wrote it, sending the content to Dr. Anthony Wilson to review and edit prior to posting.
“I used to have to do a lot of rewriting,” says Dr. Wilson. “I don’t do that with Hawthorn. Their writers and editors are skilled, taking the time to personally communicate with either me or the appropriate member of my team to truly understand the treatment we’re talking about – from surgery to skincare – and the target audience. The result is carefully crafted, purposeful material that’s well worth the investment.”
For example, on-staff experts are always quoted directly in the content, like in this “Your Essential Fall Skincare Checklist” post that features insight from Tracy Thaden, a clinical aesthetician and medical assistant at the practice. Not only does this put a face to the very staff members that potential patients would be interacting with at AW, but it builds the entire practice as a trusted interpreter to digest and distill the latest trends for them – and that’s key to keeping them coming back.
2. WELL-WRITTEN, ENGAGING COPY
Since AW is a practice offering cosmetic surgeries as well as non-invasive treatments, to some degree, you can expect the copy to read a little “medical.” And while that’s certainly okay, it doesn’t mean you can’t add some flavor to the content, particularly to the headlines, excerpt, and intro.
See an example of one of our posts, “How to Get Rid of Jowls: 4 Treatments for 4 Stages of Sagging” versus an older post like “Why Are Women Electing Smaller Breast Implants?” We’re selecting these two posts because, from September (when our post first went live) to the end of October, both of these posts saw roughly the same number of sessions. However, our post saw an average bounce rate of 59%, with 2.48 pages per session, and session duration of 1:27, while the other saw an average bounce rate of 86%, 1.23 pages per session, and session duration of 0:16. Our post also earned AW three conversions in this time frame, while the other saw 0.
3. BLOG CTAs (CALL TO ACTION)
Within all of our posts, we design and include a “button” that uses snappy copy to instruct a user to take a certain desired action – i.e., read more about Dr. Anthony Wilson on the About page like in this post, or book a consult related to the topic like in this post. The previous content did not do this, and therefore missed out on a vital opportunity to encourage users to engage with other parts of the website.
4. IN-TEXT LINKS AND CONCLUDING “ADDITIONAL READING” SECTION
Similar to the concept above, if you want users to stay on your website and look around, you’ve got to give them the means to do so. Therefore, we always include text links to other sections on the website wherever it makes sense (for example, if we mention a skincare product or a service, we link to where you can find more info about it under the skincare store page or services pages). Lastly, at the end of each article, we always provide a list of “related reading,” essentially three additional articles on related topics to encourage visitors to keep reading.
Next Up: We Refresh Their Older Content
When it comes to the posts created by the previous agency, we’re not about to throw the baby out with the bathwater. After all, many of these posts had good angles and subject potential that were clearly drawing readers in through organic traffic. So in addition to continuing to generate new blog content, we are also revising and refreshing AW’s older pieces of blog content that have higher traffic and pageviews, but lower engagement. That way, we can ensure that readers are truly getting the informative read they want, while AW – a leading medical aesthetics practice on the New Hampshire Seacoast – continues to get the leads they deserve.