By Whiteboard Marketing
Every dental practice website needs a blog. Blogging helps improve the overall quality of your website and increases opportunities to rank or show up on search engines when a patient is searching for a dentist in your area. Outlined below are the five most important reasons why your practice website needs a blog and some tips to get started writing a blog of your own.
1. Blogs improve your overall website content by focusing on key search terms for your practice.
The goal of your overall website content is to attract new patients and make it easier for them to discover you when searching on Google. Good website content strategically incorporates important keywords while covering who you are, why you’re different from other dentists, services and procedures, and how to contact you.
Adding a dental blog to your content strategy provides an opportunity to:
- Continue adding new and original content to your website.
- Target specific keywords or terms that you want to show up for on Google during a patient search.
For example, a Florida periodontist who wants to attract All-on-4® patients may want to write a blog on the difference between All-on-4® dental implants and traditional dental implants. Or, a general dentist who wants to attract more hygiene patients may want to write a blog about the five reasons why you should schedule regular dental cleanings. Blogs are an opportunity to increase the number of keywords that you appear for in search results. More impressions lead to more clicks onto your website, more clicks lead to more conversions, and more conversions lead to more patients scheduled.
2. Blogs are a great way to add internal links to your practice website.
Internal linking is an on-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that links one page on your website to another. The goal is to create a structure where Google can easily understand the relationship between different pages and the content. Blogs help highlight the most relevant content by linking certain words to pages. For example, if you write a blog about the most commonly asked questions about teeth whitening, you would link your first mention of teeth whitening to the practice whitening page. High quality blog posts demonstrate authority through topic recency, inbound external links and user traffic. “Link equity” is then passed to key pages through an internal linking strategy, meaning that links are able to pass authority to the pages they link to.
3. Blogs help generate important external links to your website.
An important part of building a website that ranks well in Google is “off-page optimization.” The goal of this strategy is to build links from other websites that link to your site. Links from other sites, such as the Florida Dental Association, American Dental Association, or even your local chamber of commerce or high school boosters website, convey to Google that other websites see your website as important or valuable. If your practice donates custom mouthguards to your high school football team, write a blog about the importance of wearing mouthguards for contact sports. Ask the school to post a news article on its website and link back to your practice website.
Writing guest blogs also is a great tactic to acquire external links. Write a blog for a local pediatrician’s office about the best age for a baby’s first visit to the dental office and ask the pediatrician to link to your practice website in the post. External links are still one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
4. Blogs highlight your expertise and credibility.
You are a dentist who stays on top of trends, you attend continuing education and you are considered an authority in the industry. Google’s uses E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, Trust) to display high quality search results. By communicating your expert opinion throughout your blogs, you can elevate your authority to Google and your patients. Consider adding a quote from yourself or an associate dentist in your blogs, and explain your expertise.
5. Blogs are perfect to post on social media and in patient emails.
Blogs establish you as a knowledgeable leader in the dental industry. Where better to highlight your experience and expertise than on social media and via regular patient emails? Reposting your blog on social media allows you to create consistency across digital media platforms. As you build your practice’s brand, this allows you and your practice to build trust and brand advocates among your most loyal patients.
Social media also is a great place to repost charts, images and videos contained in your blogs. Social media is a visual medium, even more so than your website. Charts and images can be real attention grabbers.
How to Get Started Blogging
Getting started is always the hardest part of blogging. We’ve outlined some steps below to help you along the way.
1. Decide how frequently you will blog.
Ideally, we recommend posting twice a month if possible, but start with a goal of one blog a month. Then, if you think you can post more consistently, go for it.
2. Identify the services, procedures or treatments you want to show up when a patient searches for a dentist.
Before you start writing, determine what procedures will increase your practice revenue. If you want to focus on attracting more fee-for-service patients and you have a dental membership plan, then you will want to write blogs on dental membership plans and cosmetic dentistry procedures. Developing this initial treatment list will help keep you focused on the end-game of your blog strategy — to rank during a search and acquire new patients
3. Create your blog topic list.
- Start a list of most commonly asked questions by your patients.
This is a great way to get your staff involved. Post a sheet in your break room and ask staff to add the most frequently asked questions. What are some ways that you can cross sell or upsell services, such as teeth whitening? These questions translate into the best blog topics because it is information potential patients are most interested in.
- Use Google auto-complete.
You don’t need Search Engine Optimization software to come up with great topics. Simply start typing your services into the Google search bar. Google will auto-complete words and information that other people are searching for. Give Google what it wants and use this as material to write blogs.
4. Write your blog.
Take the time to sit down and write your blog. Plan to spend one to two hours writing, so block this time out on your calendar to write.
- Record yourself speaking and get it transcribed.
If you are a natural orator, record yourself as the basis for your content. Transcription software exists to help minimize the time it takes to transfer a digital file to text. This is one of our favorite ways to generate blog content for our dental clients, because it allows us to use accurate content in the dentist’s actual voice and tone.
- Consider hiring a third-party partner to write blogs.
Find a subject matter expert and let them do the heavy lifting. Life gets in the way of writing, but there are great writers out there that can keep you on schedule with a regular blog cadence.
Overall, adding a blog to your practice website will boost your online presence and build trust among current and potential patients. The effects are seen, not just on your own website, but in other media across the web. Take advantage of the opportunity to share your knowledge and improve the visibility of your practice. Read more about how to add a blog page and blog to your WordPress website.
Written by Whiteboard Marketing team members Jon Cahen, Director of SEO, with input from Sara Wehrle, Local SEO Specialist, and Kristi Simone, CMO. Whiteboard Marketing is a dental practice marketing firm that partners with 200+ dentists nationwide to develop and implement practice marketing strategies that increase new patient acquisition and build brand awareness.