Category Archives: blogging

Why you should write a dental blog?

Many dental practices are now catching on to the idea that writing a blog post is good for their practice, but why is this? Why should a dental practice bother writing a blog?

There are two primary reasons for setting up and writing a blog:

  • It is the perfect way to demonstrate to the local people that you genuinely care about their dental health when you hand out useful, free and the relevant dental health advice on your blog.
  • Google loves blogs!

Let’s take each of these in turn.

Writing a blog for dental health.

With so many dental practices having a website you need to do something different to stand out from the crowd. Writing a good quality dental health blog, and having it easily visible on your website, demonstrates to your website visitors that your practice is actively helping the local people with the dental health… Something that everybody wants.

A blog helps your website to look lived in, it helps it to look fresh and keeps you up-to-date with relevant information for your visitors.

Here are a few examples of typical blogs which would make good reading:

  • How to spot oral cancer.
  • When to take your child to the dentist.
  • What to do if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.
  • How to prevent halitosis.
  • How to clean your teeth properly.
  • How to floss.
  • How to prevent the buildup of plaque and why this is important.
  • Why bother going to the dental hygienist?
  • How to replace missing teeth.
  • The ways to straighten crooked teeth.
  • Why are crooked teeth healthy teeth?

As a dentist, you will be answering patients questions all day long, these kind of questions make excellent blog posts and demonstrate that you genuinely care about the local people… Because you do, don’t you?

Writing a blog to rank higher on Google.

This is where things get really interesting. Think about it, Google has its customers that visit its website, Google’s customers want high-quality websites – so what would denote a high-quality website?

  • A website with lots of activity on it demonstrates that it is an active part of the business.
  • A website that has people interacting with it demonstrates that people like it and that the content is relevant.

A blog fulfils both of these requirements perfectly. It is the perfect way to show Google that your website is active and up-to-date, Google wants to send people to websites that are up-to-date and blogs by their very nature fulfil this requirement. If you add sharing functionality to your blog, then people will share it which Google will also see as a vote. The more votes you have, the higher up the search results you will be.

Here’s an example of exactly what I’m talking about.

In October 2012. Facebook launched their emoticons, I wrote a simple blog post about Facebook emoticons and look what happened to my website traffic.

After I wrote this blog post. It took approximately 2 weeks for Google to begin to rank it. At the beginning of November, web traffic started to rise from a typical month of approximately 600 hits and by the end of December I was getting over 6000 hits per month to the website.

This was 6000 hits to a single blog post, and all because it was a hot topic at the time.

How to write a blog post that gets found.

I recommend that you keep your eyes and ears open for hot dental news, things like a recent systematic review which informed WHO guidelines, The Journal of Dental Research talked about the effects of restricting sugar intakes in various age groups – This kind of material makes an excellent blog post as people will be searching online for the amount of sugar in food.

Watch out for celebrities having dental treatment. As soon as it hits the headlines that someone from X factor has had teeth whitening, then people will be online and searching. When you see this happening, write a blog post about it.

Why would you want random people on your website?

Many dental practices get hung up about the keywords that people used to type into Google to get people to their website. They get obsessed with ranking number one for things like ‘dentist in <<location>>’ – Now I’m not saying that ranking for this isn’t important, it absolutely is. But focusing on this phrase alone misses out on many longtail keywords which can equally end up in searches and then result in patients coming into the practice.

If you have a local person searching for “Why do my teeth bleed when I brush them” and they find your excellent dental blog then you have managed to expose your brand to this person at a point where they are actively interested in their dental health.

If your website converts well, you will be able to get this person to engage with your site, possibly by connecting with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Google plus or perhaps by suggesting that they download a free guide and therefore give you their e-mail address. Think about adding sharing functionality with tools such as share this or addthis, both of these tools are free to use and so on no-brainers!

You could also consider using Google remarketing, Here is what Google say about remarketing (I’ve changed the words to be dentally related):

Remarketing lets you show ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the Web.

When you use remarketing, you’ll tag pages of your site that correspond to certain categories you want to promote. For example, you could add a “dental implants” tag on all of the pages where you talk about implants. You can then create an AdWords campaign to show highly relevant messages (such as ads displaying a special offer on implants) to people who’ve visted these pages as they browse sites across the Google Display Network.

Here’s a little video which explains more remarketing.

Summary.

So you see, is not just about having a blog and writing useless blog posts which talk about what you did at the weekend. It is about using a structured approach, to write blog posts which are relevant to what people want to know and then have systems in place to ensure that the capture details as much as possible, which will then work to convert this website visitor into a patient over the long-term.

Have you used a blog successfully? Let me know in your comments, perhaps post a link to it so we can discuss it…

Top Tips for Writing a Dental Blog

I’m often asked to take a peek at dental practices’ blogs to review them, here’s a summary of the most common suggestions I make to enhance your blog.

  1. Add links back to your main website where the visitor can find out more, link to specific treatment pages
  2. Include links in the body text of each blog post to specific pages of your website
  3. Give people a free giveaway (help guide, ‘how to’ sheet, info pack) in return for their email address – they can then automatically be sent your blog and you add them to an email marketing campaign. I use Aweber for this.
  4. Use plenty of ‘key words’ in the blog title – such as ‘teeth whitening’ etc – this will get your blog found on Google. Use your geographical location as well if at all possible
  5. Add Twitter and Facebook to your blog (insert them in widgets in the side bar). Widgets are freely available from Twitter and Facebook
  6. Use the categories feature in blogger to allow people to find blog posts via category
  7. Ensure your blog is sent directly to Facebook and Twitter. I use Social Media Borg to ensure this happens automatically.
A blog is the MOST important part of your online marketing as it’s your opportunity to PROVE that you are the most helpful and knowledgeable dentist in the local area – plus it’s a great way to populate Twitter and Facebook with great content.

What other suggestions would you make to enhance a blog?

Generate content in order to engage

It’s all about content.

On the internet content is king, so when you decide to market you dental practice online the same principle applies… content is king. Here’s why.

Google loves content. The more content your produce, the more you are likely to be found by optimising, it really is as simple as that. Using a variety of ways to say things means you are more likely to ‘hit’ upon a ‘phrase’ that people are typing in to Google and searching for. The more phrases you are using, the more you are likely to be found.

However, THE most important reason for generating content is to help other people with the problems that your business solves.

It’s about the percentage game; if you generate content that only 10% of people like or see, and you only do this once per month, then you only stand a 10% chance (at most) per month of people engaging with your content – because either they don’t like it, or don’t see it because they aren’t active where you have posted it.

But if you generate 10 pieces of content per month using different mediums and different topics then that same 10% will still see it, but you stand a much better chance of engaging with that final 90%.

Different people like different things and like to engage in a variety of ways, Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, emails and websites are all ways of engaging – but people won’t follow you everywhere… it’s too much.

Now I’m not saying you need to generate content to appeal to the masses, you need to focus around your niche, stay focused but find different things to talk about, then share that content in as many ways as possible to allow people the option of engaging with you in the way they prefer.

The easiest way I have found of doing this is via a change of mindset – producing great content is a mind set more than anything else. What would a great playwrite, poet  or musician do? They’d carry a note pad and always have their task in the back of their mind.

What ever I do, during any day, I always have content in the back of my mind. Is what is happening right now Tweetable, is it Facebookable, or is it bloggable – will it enhance the lives of my ‘followers’ if I share it with them? If so , share it.

The great thing about generating dental content is that as a dentist you are in front of your potential readers all day long – so tomorrow when you are seeing your patients, do the following:

 

  1. Listen. No, I mean really LISTEN. What is the the conversation about? What dental advice did you hand out?
  2. Write down the snippet of dental advice you handed out to that patient
  3. Think about the best format for sharing that advice – would it make a blog post, or could you make the point in 140 characters (Twitter) or could it be linked to a photo and shared on your Facebook group?
  4. Store this up for 1 week  – at the end of the week look back at all the great content you have generated, simply by having a process and changing your mindset

I also use content management software to find content to share making the process just that little bit easier.

So how do you find content? Or perhaps you found it hard to find content in the past, what will you do differently now?

 

The power of blogging for business

I read loads of blogs on a variety of subjects from Social Media, to SEO to customer service, and 2 that stand out when it comes to improving customer service are the blogs of Chris Barrow and Kevin Rose.

You see, each time I go in to a restaurant or hotel or shop I am now hyper aware of customer service… I’m always thinking ‘what would Chris or Kevin have to say about this?’… and then the thought comes to me ‘Am I having a bloggable experience now?’

Now this is the real question, do you provide a bloggable experience? 

I bet that many of your patients write blogs, I bet that the reach of your marketing potential is enormous if you could get those people writing about you, and how much does that kind of marketing cost? £0, a big fat £0… all it needs is for you to provide a ‘bloggable experience’ and for you to encourage your patients and customers to blog about you.

Here are some suggestions:

 

  1. On your next customer questionnaire ask ‘Do you write a blog?’, then ask these people ‘What would it take for you to blog about us?’
  2. Openly promote your blog in your practice, if your patients know that you blog then any bloggers will have a natural affinity towards you, kind of like a bloggers club
  3. Ask patients that blog if they would like to do a guest post on your blog (so long as it is relevant to your patient/customer base)
  4. Have a subscribe facility at the practice, perhaps on an i-pad (no there’s a great excuse to buy one) and encourage patients to subscribe – Aweber provide a very neat function for allowing people to subscribe to blogs, as do Feedburner

And last but most important of all, ask yourself… ‘Do we provide a bloggable experience in our business?’

What is a blog for?

What is a blog for?

This is a question I get asked quite a bit so it seems like a good idea to investigate it a bit- of course this in my opinion as to what a blog is for, not necessarily everyone’s opinion!

Let me start by telling you what I think a blog is NOT, a blog is not:

  1. A means to tell everyone what you did on your holiday
  2. An excuse to write information that only YOU are interested in
  3. An excuse to self promote
I believe the purpose of a business blog is to build relationships by handing out useful, free and relevant advice. It should provide a way for prospects to ‘suss you out’ without making any commitment to you (other than time, which still has a cost!). It allows YOU to tell the world how good YOU are at solving THEIR problems!
So in order to write a great blog you need to understand who your customers are, then you need to ask ‘what problem are they trying to solve?’ then you simply write a blog that solves those problems! Nothing more, nothing less… just solve those problems!
Great blogs allow your prospects to try you out and will place you in the forefront of their mind when they find the problem they have that needs solving is too great and needs to be solved now… who can they turn to? The expert of course, and you’ve shown them that this is you.
Now in some businesses this is more difficult, so for a dentist marketing with a blog you are the solution often,  but there is still loads and loads of great advice that you can hand out for free, such as:
  1. How can I keep my teeth fit & healthy
  2. How can I ensure my teeth look white, what foods and activities to avoid
  3. What to look to out for that would indicate my teeth and gums are not healthy
  4. Should I be watch my diet to try to keep healthy teeth? If so what should I eat?
  5. What can I do at home to treat any unhealthiest
  6. Are there any food stuffs I should avoid that might damage my teeth
  7. Do ‘shop bought’ whitening products work? If not why not?
  8. How can I keep my kids teeth healthy?
  9. How should I teach my kids to brush their teeth?
  10. What to look out for in my kids mouths to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy?
  11. At what age should I bring my kids to the dentist?
  12. What are the treatment options if i have crooked teeth
  13. What are the treatment options if I have dark teeth
As your blog is there to build relationships and hand out great useful information avoid the temptation to put special offers in  blog posts, this doesn’t set you up as the expert and may annoy your loyal readers.
At all times the reader should get something from your blog post, they should come away richer than when they started… so don’t tell me about your holidays, or send me your special offers all the time, or tell me how great you are… prove it and write a great blog that I look forward to reading.
Here is a great blog that I totally recommend, Jim writes a brilliant marketing blog and employs all the principles I have discussed. By the way blogs are also great for search engine optimisation as Google loves them!
What problems do you have writing a blog? Comment here and I’ll do what I can to help…

I got to number one in google in 42 minutes

This is a ‘proof’ post.

People often say to me ‘I want proof that what you’re saying works’.

If a new client employs me to work on their dental practice online marketing, I will insist on them writing a blog, the number one reason is it is a great way to build relationships with patients, but here is the second reason…

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION…GOOGLE LOVES BLOGS.

So guys, here’s the proof.

Time 16:41 this afternoon I write a blog post for the lab on ‘Functional Bite Blocks’


Time: 17:13 I get my daily email from Google Alerts for my name (yes, I have an alert for my own name so I can monitor my internet presence), guess what, Google has seen my blog post already.


So I go straight to Google and do a search for “Functional Bite Blocks”


Number one in Google in 42 minutes.

Proof?

You got it…

Now go write your blog.

If you’d like help setting up a blog then call me on 07769 898798 or email info@markoborn.com or visit www.markoborn.com for further details of my online marketing services.

“Build Relationships NOT Transactions”

Look at the world today, we are a connected group of people organised in to a series of tribes…

Tribes that are young and want the film star Hollywood look.

Tribes that are older, have some money to spare and want to look younger but want it with a faultless service.

Tribes that have old amalgams and are concerned about their health and well-being.

The list goes on and on…

My question for you to answer now is ‘what is the best way to reach these tribes?’

Do you simply SHOUT THE LOUDEST and pay for the biggest ads in the local press, do you offer unrelenting SPECIAL OFFERS that are outlined in a fancy star to grab their attention or do you perhaps use lumpy mail, post it notes on flyers, stamps instead of franked mail and every other trick in the book to get your prospect to buy from you and enter into a transaction?

You know what, the answer is yes…. do those things because they work, BUT NOT for a transaction, do it to build a relationship. These are not prospects you are dealing with, they are patients… patients want relationships with their dentist… in fact the world as a whole want relationships, this is why Facebook is one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

When you do your special offers and use all the tricks to get that flyer opened make sure you build in a mechanism that helps you to develop a relationship with that person. If all you want is a single transaction (e.g. 2 for 1 whitening) then that is what you will get, some people will respond but many won’t, the ones that don’t out way the ones that do and it is often these that want the relationship not the transaction.

Relationship marketing is great for long term growth, building your brand and here’s the killer… getting patients to buy FROM you rather than being SOLD TO.

Transactional marketing is ‘selling to’, relationship marketing is ‘buying from’. Can you see the difference? Which would YOU prefer?

There are many ways we can use technology and the internet to help us build a relationship, so make sure you encourage your ‘prospects’ to join YOUR tribe on your:

  1. Facebook Fan Page
  2. Twitter stream
  3. Blog
  4. Friendfeed
  5. Linked in profile
  6. Website discussion forum

Tribes love the sound of the jungle drums, so get your jungle drums beating a catchy rhythm, get them to join in with YOUR rhythm and interact with them…. they’ll love you so much more than if you just try to sell them the latest special offer.

I haven’t got time to write a blog!

I haven’t got time to write a blog!

wow, how may times have I heard this? Too many times unfortunately.

If you haven’t got time to write a blog, what you are REALLY saying is “I haven’t got time to talk to my customers and people that might become my customers”…

… so let me start by sharing what I believe a blog can do in your practice or business. A blog can:

  1. Be linked to Facebook to automatically update your practice FB Page
  2. Be linked to Twitter to automatically tweet helpful guidance for your patients
  3. Sit on its own website and merrily create links to your own website and increase your websites search ranks on Google – OR
  4. Sit within your website and merrily assist with on site SEO and increase your website’s search ranks on Google
  5. Be emailed automatically to your patients and prospective patients to provide useful advice on looking after their teeth, therefor providing a valuable educational resource
  6. Send prospective patients to ‘lead capture’ websites where you can gather their details for future marketing
  7. Be found within Google searches for dental blogs
  8. Be listed in Blog Indexes to be found by prospective patients
  9. Inform patients and prospective patients of special offers at the practice
  10. Build relationships with patients and prospective patients
  11. Ensure your main website looks ‘lived in’ and informative
  12. Allow patients and prospective patients to engage with you by adding their own comments – vertical marketing
  13. Allow patients and prospective patients to engage with one another by adding their own comments – horizontal marketing
  14. Become a rich resource of ‘what’s going on’ at your practice
  15. Take the part of an online patient newsletter
  16. Provide a way for prospective patients to listen to what you have to say on their terms
  17. Generate revenue for your practice by leveraging the above

This blog post took me 5 minutes to think about, then 15 minutes to write and is written once every 2 weeks… so are you still going to tell me you don’t have time talk to your patients?

Get blogging today with these resources:

Create your blog
Blogger
WordPress

Allow email subscriptions to your blog
Feedburner

Build a database PLUS send your blog to twitter
Aweber

If you currently write a blog why not comment on this blog post and let us know your blog URL, we can then all subscribe – there are currently 202 readers of this blog so you should get a few more readers to yours!

More details are on my dental marketing website.

Stay sharp,

Mark

Dental Business Cards, SEO & Writing A Dental Blog!!

Dental Business Cards, SEO & Writing A Dental Blog… seems an odd mix, so what do they all have in common?

I’ll take (Search Engine Optimisation) SEO first.

SEO
Optimising a website to appear top of a Google search, or even to occupy every search result for a chosen key word, is the holy grail of most websites… getting to the top of a search means you get found and once your site is found you can work your marketing magic and close a sale (Yeh I know that’s bit of a summary, but closing a sale from a website is a topic for another blog post perhaps).

But have you heard of ‘long tail key words’? Long tail key words are long searches or phrases that people type in to search engines to find answers to their problems or stuff they are looking for. Examples could be:

implant dental laboratory in london
dental surgery specialising in veneers
marketing consultant for dentists
cosmetic veneers for short teeth

Now the thing is, many websites are search engine optimised (SEOd) for searches based on short key words, such as

london dentist
veneers harlow
implants northampton

This isn’t a problem, but research has shown that if a person types a very specific phrase – a long tail key word – the conversion rate is VERY high, a high conversion rate means a high ROI, and we all like that don’t we! The conversion rates are higher as it looks as though your site has been tailored exclusively for them and their search criteria.

So optimising your site for Long Tail Keywords is a great way to get good response rates.

So how do find out what long tail key words are good?

Just do a search on Google and you will find loads of clever (and probably very good) software to buy. I prefer not to buy anything I don’t have to, so I use a website called statcounter. This is a free bit of software that sits on your website gathering data about what was typed in to the search engines to get to your site, it’s not the most sophisticated software by any means, but it provides the beginner with just enough data to get going.

Now here comes the link for this blog with Dental Business Cards… look at the results for the past week or so for my blog…

11.36% of visitors ended up at the blog by typing Dental Business Cards, a complete accident on my part. I didn’t plan it this way, I just wrote an article on Dental Business Cards because it seemed like a good idea… but it got picked up by the search engines and is a great example of a long tail key word/phrase.

And now this is where the Dental Blog part comes in…. I suggest you:

  1. Write a blog, write lots of articles and get that blog networked around the internet (A whole other blog post I fear)
  2. Instal Statcounter or similar
  3. Once you know the phrases that draw people to your blog… USE THESE PHRASES AS BLOG TITLES!

Wow, yeah, do you get it? This is a MEGA way to get people to read your blog and get it found… write blogs that contain your long tail key words/phrases, you’ll inevitably write more engaging content as people WANT to read it, and when they get to your blog after typing such a specific phrase only to find YOU have written a blog about THEIR specific problem… guess what, so long as you have good mechanisms in place, you’ll get higher conversion rates.

If you do this, you know your blog will be found and you know what search terms people will type to get there AND you know that once they get there conversion rates will be higher because you have been so specific

Of course you need to write the blog and get it networked a bit to increase the chance of search engines finding it, if you need help with this… just call (07769 898798), email, Tweet or Facebook

Until next time,

Stay sharp,

Mark

How to use a dental blog and squeeze pages in your marketing

In this blog post I will show you (via the medium of video) how to set up a dental blog to be used for dental practice marketing. I will talk specifically about how the blog should be managed and how it can be incorporated in to your marketing strategy to drive patients through your door.

When used well a blog is THE single most important tool in your eMarketing tool kit… so don’t spanner about and use it properly.

I will then talk you through the use of squeeze pages which are an excellent way of ethically marketing to prospective patients. Squeeze pages allow you to build data warehouses of people interested in your practice… powerful stuff!

The video is about 10 minutes… but take some time out to watch it to the end as this could be the best 10 minutes of time you could invest in your practice.

If you can’t see this video, then click to watch it on YouTube.


The link to my simple guide on setting up a dental blog and squeeze page is here. In the guide I will show you:

  • The best way to structure a squeeze page
  • How to word it for the absolute best results
  • The importance of social proof
  • Some simple cheap and effective software to manage you prospective patient database

So make sure you download your guide and make your dental marketing more effective.

TTFN

Mark