Why A Dentist Needs A Blog

We’ve discussed the importance of content before [Read more about how Content is KING here].  For most new patients, the internet is the first place they look for a dentist.  Referrals are important.  Having a family or friend refer a medical professional carries a LOT of weight.  However, choosing a dentist usually comes down to two factors.  Location and insurance acceptance.  From there, it’s up to YOU to differentiate yourself and your dental practice from the rest of the dental crowd.

If you have a website, you’ve created a landing page where searchers can find your business and read about your practice.  If you have a blog, you take a giant step forward in establishing value and building credibility, as well as extending your reach beyond Google searches.

Why Sharing Your Expertise Matters

A known and trusted commodity is a preferred choice.  If you demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, that patient care is most important and that you genuinely want to connect and help the community you practice in, clients will choose you over a dentist they know nothing about.  When you solve your reader’s problems by answering questions or providing information, you become a resource they return to, talk about, link to, forward and share.  Blogging serves the dual purpose of gaining client trust and increasing web traffic to the contact page of your website.

How Blogs Extend Your Reach

Increased website traffic translates to more new patients, and blogs can help facilitate this.  Each post that you publish remains online as an additional searchable web page that links to your homepage and continues to drive traffic there.  The more blog posts you have, the more content readers can link to and share across other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Blog posts increase the scope of your web presence, improving your chances of being noticed.  You need to be posting at least 6 times per month and no more than 8 times per month.  Any less than 6 and you’re getting lost in the crowd or forgotten.  Any more than 8 can be considered self-serving or even annoying.  Plus, the ROI on posting more than 8 times per month isn’t there.  Web traffic doesn’t change much when posting 12 or 15 times versus just 6.  Make your information valuable and effective.  Quality over quantity is a definite virtue in effective blogging.

What You Should Blog About

Your content should give your readers answers they seek regarding dental issues, as well as relevant information they may not have searched for but find interesting.  Avoid posts that are advertisements for your practice or overtly self-promotional.  A share-worthy post is something informative, such as the benefits of using dental floss, but is not one that is promotional and tries to convince the reader to come to your location.  Provide information to parents with regard to their children’s health.  Explain, as simple as you can, some of the procedures that usually strike fear to the heart of your average patient.  What is a root canal?  What do I do if I lose a crown or chip a tooth?  These can be educational and extremely helpful to a potential patient who is using Google before, during, and after a dental emergency.

How to Post Effectively

How you post makes a difference.  Be concise: Use short sentences and paragraphs with white space in between to make your content easy to scan. Post regularly, at least six times each month, so your readers return in anticipation of new content.  Learn about keywords, search engine optimization and metadata.  If time is an issue for you, hire someone to create dental marketing content on your behalf.  Be prepared to wait for a return on your investment as increasing your online influence can take time.  An online presence is vital in business today, and your website is your foundation.  Extend your internet influence even further by entering the world of dental blogging, and watch your practice reap HUGE benefits.

 

Curating Dental Content Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Today we discuss content curation. CURATION folks, different from content CREATION. Content curation is the process of finding, reading and pushing out information that is relevant to your audience–complementing and supplementing the content that you are creating on your own. Sounds like a lot of work, eh? Stay with me…
The good news!
Content curation is a great way to expand your offering and provide information that may not be your area of expertise–but is certainly relevant—to your customers. It may even provide that extra layer of credibility for a service you are providing!
Think about it this way: Suppose you follow a bank on social media. They create lots of great custom content, which is fantastic. Creative (and way cute) checklists, detailed service overviews, and snazzy mortgage calculators. But at the end of the day, it is all from that bank. Created, developed, and paid for by that bank. If mixed into that custom content flow were also third-party articles that were helpful to you, as a bank customer, but not promotional or biased, perhaps even offering ideas/services outside of what the bank offers, wouldn’t that establish some serious street cred for that bank?
I am always impressed when I walk into a store, and the manager tells me that they can’t help me with exactly what I need, but they know the store on the other side of town that can! What!? They are seriously more interested in my benefit then theirs as a store!? They may lose the sale today, but I am definitely going to remember that and 1) come back and 2) tell that story to my friends and get them to that store! Same thing is true for your patients. I am not saying send them to other dental practices. I am simply suggesting that giving them the resources necessary to make the right decision for themselves can work wonders! It proves you truly care about them and are out for their best interest. Often curated content can help you show that.
Now the bad news…
The bad thing about content curation? It’s quite time consuming. Although it is super interesting—because trust me, you can learn a lot—it also means you gotta read it all and ensure what you are posting is something that 1) resonates with your patients and 2) you are alright with reflecting as your opinion. So, as easy as that sounds, it does take some serious time on your part. But….
 
BACK TO GOOD NEWS! There are tools to help!
Here are a few tools to help you find exactly the content you need, and quickly. Plus a bonus tip…
  • REVENUEWELL: For all you dentists out there that area already using this patient communication portal…dude! RevenueWell makes content curation soooo easy. It synchs right up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and you can select various posts by category–oral health, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, insurance, orthodontics…even dental humor! Not only that, it also has all kinds of practice-specific announcements and appointment reminders. A few clicks and you can line up a series of social posts for weeks in minutes! We are big fans of the RevenueWell.
  • TWITTER: This is my all time fave, because I am already on it every day! Twitter is full of influencers pushing out awesome content ALL THE TIME! But you have to know how to quickly find it and sort through the chatter. Twitter searches and Twitter lists are your best bet to find exactly what you need! (Then you can use another favorite tool, BUFFER, and queue it up to be posted!)
  • POCKET: This is somewhat like a nifty bookmarking tool. You like? It is fantastic for content curation. When you find something you like, simply put it in your pocket. Then when you are ready to load up some curated stuff into your social media stream, just go to your ongoing list and, VOILA! Posts galore!
  • FEEDLY: Basically a fancy RSS feed, Feedly allows you to narrow down subject and source lists to pull together all relevant content for you in one nice spot. You can also SAVE FOR LATER, which is a great thing when you find stuff you like on the fly but aren’t wearing your content-loading hat at the moment.
BONUS SNIPLY: 
Nowhere is your bonus tip, for those still with me. Sniply! Sniply allows you to create a small banner ad that will layover any third-party site you send folks too. This is A-MAZ-ING! It is like free advertising. Sending your patients to the ADA’s website to learn about a root canal? At the bottom of that page, you can have a call-to-action with your logo that says “SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW!”, and it links right back to your page. BOOM! No more lost patients.
You’ve got this!
So, content curation. Beneficial–yes. A little time consuming–yes. But with the right tools, you can maximize your time and reap the benefits! It is important to remember that content curation does not work on its own. It is a value-add to establish credibility and resourcefulness to your own content and service offering. You don’t want to only push out other people’s stuff all day long; then you lose your street cred since you aren’t offering an opinion or value of your own. Creation and curation. Milk and cookies. Peanut butter and jelly…ok, you get it.

6 Reasons Dentists Need Video Marketing

Video is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing plan.  The plan for your dental practice needs to include a blog full of rich, original content and a video library.  This influential form of media has the ability to deliver your message in a way that other types of marketing simply cannot.  With the advancement of smart phones, tablets and social media, your business stands to lose valuable market share to your competitors if you fail to add a video component to your marketing mix.  Here are five reasons why your dental digital marketing plan absolutely must include video:

Video Packs a Punch

Studies show that one minute of video can be just as powerful as 1.8 million written words.  Because video content engages the viewer both visually and audibly, it builds a faster connection with the viewer and elicits a stronger response.

Video Can Increase Conversion Rates.
Video can significantly improve landing page conversion rates.  For every dental practice client we have, the ones who use video in their marketing have the best conversion rates.  Check out this case study by EyeView Digital, and if you’d like to talk with us about how to increase your new patient conversion rates schedule an appointment with your account manager:

Video Can Increase Search Engine Rankings

Kissmetrics reports that video appears in 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings.  By optimizing your video for search engine traffic, you stand to boost your rankings and achieve a higher SERP (search engine results page).

Video Helps Build Your Brand

Video can be a very effective way to express your practice’s values and build brand awareness.  Videos are versatile and can be easily shared on social media sites, blogs and other online channels.  As your videos circulate around the web, awareness of your brand will only grow stronger.

Video Creates Familiarity

Being a dentist, you’re a specialty service provider.  A service provider that many people are scared of.  Let’s be frank, going to the dentist is a scary and anxiety riddled situation for a huge chunk of the population.  If you use video content to create familiarity with patients before ever meeting face to face, you can help to eliminate the fear.  People generally trust someone they know more than a complete stranger, so it helps to become a familiar, trustworthy face to your future clients through video marketing.  Also, by allowing a new patient the ability to see your office, the staff they’re going to meet when they arrive, etc., you can make even the most anxious of patients feel a bit more at ease in your chair.

Video Drives Sales

Consumers are 85 percent more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it, according to Invodo.  Do you want better case acceptance for Invisalign, CEREC, etc.?  Make videos about these solutions!  Tell patients you have them and why they need them!  Eventually, you’ll have patients calling your office requesting these products and solutions simply because they know what they are, how they work… and that YOU have them!

The message is clear: Video content needs to be a primary component of your dental practice’s digital marketing mix if you hope to stay relevant and competitive with today’s online consumers.  Are you not happy with your new patient numbers?  Interested in getting real practice growth through effective use of your marketing budget?  Contact us today for a FREE Practice Marketing Audit with a dental marketing expert from GrowPracticeGrow!

How To Create & Curate Dental Content

Once upon a time, there was a dental practice, and it was very successful.  This dental practice knew that the secret to winning more business and growing their brand was to produce quality content for their patient base and their families — content with the power to engage, persuade and gain trust.  The dental practice thrived, and they all lived happily ever after.  The end.

If only it really was like that in the real world.  Unfortunately, when it comes to content, so many marketing agencies and dental professionals focus on metrics, measurements and monthly results rather than quality.  It’s true that clicks, likes, follows and traffic referrals are important, but if you really want to experience optimal conversion rates, quality is where it is at.  That’s right.  Content is king!

The Hallmarks and Benefits of Good Quality Content

Search engines are getting better and better at sniffing out poor quality content.  Algorithm updates, such as Google Penguin, are designed to give users a better search experience.  If your content isn’t up to snuff, you may drop off of Google’s radar completely.  It’s difficult to curate and generate your own content.  You may not be a proficient writer, you may not understand where to start, you may be blogging but not effectively using keyword structure, etc.  Truth be told… creating content is hard.  Creating consistent dental content is harder.  Creating dental content to engage, inform and inspire current and future patients is hardest.  Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep Google and your target audience happy. Here are some ways to deliver consistently good quality content across your marketing platforms:

Keywords Are Important, but Use Them Only When Necessary

Not only will too many keywords make your content seem like spam, but you could get penalized by the search engines or even removed from search engine rankings altogether. Use keywords when relevant, and research the most effective keywords so that you get the best returns from your content.  Also, try to develop content that isn’t self-serving.  Bring value to your end user.  Give them something that enriches and improves their life.  This develops trust and begins to solidify you and your dental practice as an “authority” to not only the Google algorithms, but to the public.

Write Social Content

By creating content that is attractive to social media users, you create a buzz and have a better chance of your content getting shared far and wide.  Make your dental content fun.  Don’t make a blog post that reads like a textbooks and delves into every scientific, multi-syllable word you can remember from dental school.  Keep it short, simple and easy to read.  Throw in a sense of humor and give the reader some insight into your personality.  There may be thousands of dentists out there, but there is only one dentist like you.  Find out what about you, your practice, your treatment options, etc. makes you different.  Better.  What gives you an edge?  Once you find it… BLAST IT!  Start building your dental marketing strategy and content strategy around your uniqueness.  People want something that resonates instead of repeats.

Create Useful Content

By creating content that is of great use and interest to your target audience, you generate trust and give your visitors a reason to return. Content that solves a problem or gives away useful information for free will make your website irresistible to search engines and visitors alike.  Quality dental content doesn’t have to be boring.  Make it fun!  Everyone needs a dentist in their life.  Thanks to technology, you have the opportunity to engage and interact with your patient base all-day, every-day.  Keep your patients informed and making healthy dental choices.  Show them you care.  That you want to provide them quality care from a genuine motivation of concern for their health.  People want that connection and care.  Give them that.  Use your content to convey that and watch what happens in your practice.

Write Engaging Content on Other Websites

Writing guest blogs on good quality websites is a great way to generate interest in your website and also get traffic by way of back links.  Just make sure you choose relevant and reputable websites so that you target the right audience and protect your reputation.  Look into what dental publications are out there and offer to write a feature for their site.  Contact local publications and ask if they’d like an oral health feature.  Put your content on LinkedIn or Pinterest.  Whatever you can think of, GO FOR IT!  Put yourself out there!

Create Search Optimized Content For Your Dental Practice

SEO draws out of many areas, from keyword saturation earning backlinks to internal linking, all the way to basing an entire page around ranking your site for a single keyword. There are tons of methods for deploying effective SEO and getting ranked on those all important search engine results pages.

Here are simple, yet often not attended, techniques you should start implementing to see definitive results in your dental practice marketing.

Make It Organic, Not Processed

If you’re riddling your pages with tons of different keywords, it starts to look like it was slammed together haphazardly.  To reach organic form, you want to lay down rules and be smart about each individual case. The following are good rules to follow when writing articles for anything and everything:

  • Each page focuses on one (preferably long-tail) keyword. This is the focus and what you base your rules on. Other keywords should pop up naturally, and should only be leveraged if it reads completely organically.
  • Mention your keyword one time in the introductory paragraph.
  • Mention your keyword at least once, no more than twice, in each body paragraph.
  • Mention you keyword one time in the closing statement.

This ensures readability, but still gets that page optimized.

Title Your Territory

Your targeted keywords should be in your permalinks as well as any H1 titles. If you can’t get it in one or both of these, mention it at least a couple of times in your H2 section headers. But don’t title just for the sake of titling—make sure your titles fit. If your keyword can’t sensibly fit into your titles or permalinks for any reason, you need to restructure your page so they can.

Newer Is Better

If your website offers any kind of content, you want to schedule regular content releases. It doesn’t matter in what frequency but instead that you stick with that schedule. If you can only do one content update per week, go with that. If you can manage once per day, that’s awesome.

You could even post on weekends, or on three set days in the week, or anything at all. Just don’t overwhelm yourself and get burned out—that’ll make sticking to the schedule very hard.

Remember that if you can easily implement a simple technique into your SEO, that’s worth more than you might think. Every bit counts, and despite the simple nature of these tips, you’ll be surprised how much they help.