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.
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…