Many dental websites have blogs on them but few dentists understand why and sometimes they can feel like a liability. Dentists rarely have the time to read everything that is posted to their website, much less to write posts themselves. And if a plan for writing, editing, and posting new content to the blog is not put in place and executed correctly, then the blog can become a wasteland of outdated text. Conversely, if the blog strategy is outdated rather than the content, the text posted on the website can actually begin to derail the search engine rankings and hurt the overall marketing effort.
How does a dentist know if their blog is helping them or hurting them? Is it better to not have a blog at all? Dentists shouldn’t have to figure this out on their own.
Here are some simple tips to know if your blog is potentially hurting your marketing results:
- Your last blog post was months or even years ago.
- Your blog posts are word-for-word identical to blog posts created by your web company for other clients.
- Your website traffic to blog posts is rarely, if ever, from your local area.
- You are uncomfortable sharing your blog posts on your social media profiles.
If that sounds like your website, schedule a marketing consultation with us here. We can help you turn it around.
Here are some signs that your blog is helping you:
- Your blog posts are sources of traffic to your website.
- Your blog posts are created with your priorities in mind.
- Your blog posts are posted to your social media profiles and occasionally receive comments from your followers (chiefly existing patients).
- You receive emails from people who are interested in the services that your blog posts promote.
With access to Google Analytics, you can see how many times people are arriving at your blog posts from Google searches and other sources. Go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages:
From there, you can click on a popular blog post to see if people from your region are visiting your posts. Click on Secondary Dimension, then type in ‘region’, then select ‘region’ from the list that appears:
From there, you can look at the top states and/or countries that send traffic to your website.
It is normal to have visitors from all over the world, and certainly other areas of your country, in this list, but you want to see your state in the Top 10 of most of your blog posts. Optimizing your blog posts with local dental SEO will help with this. You can also choose to search for Metro instead of Region:
Note that these numbers cannot be taken as a definitive count since there are always a number of visitors whose location information is unavailable to Google. Those users without location information will appear as (not set) in the results. The smaller the area you look at (such as Metro areas) will have a larger number of their users in the (not set) category, so often the Region data is more usable. You should also take care to consider how long certain posts have been live on the website and that a larger time frame set for the graph will give you more visitor numbers to study.
Pro Tip: Keep it Dental and Relevant to the Patient
It’s a mistake to post content that is too technical or obscure. If you don’t think that the new patients you are seeing on any given day might be helped by reading your blog content, it probably doesn’t belong on your website. Here are some general areas that make for good dental blog content:
- Common causes of dental problems (and how you solve them)
- Questions frequently asked by your patients
- Stories about patients before, during, and after their treatment (case studies)
You want to use headlines that speak to the patient like
Bleeding Gums? Here’s How to Stop It
Our New Periodontal Laser
People do not care about you, your building, your technology, or your team. Being unique doesn’t get you anywhere. All people have time for on the internet is content that helps them in some way or that entertains them.
Informational is Better than Entertainment
For a while, we used a strategy of creating blog content that was more broadly interesting and entertaining. We found topics that were tangentially related to dentistry that might have a larger audience than dental patients. The content was fun to write and fun to read. There was just one problem: it worked a little too well and seemed to confuse Google.
Content about movie stars, dinosaurs, and even bleeding edge dental medicine got a lot of attention. Google loved these posts and our clients saw a lot of traffic. Over time, while doing an analysis of traffic and rankings, we began to see a pattern: the wrong people were seeing our posts. They were reading them, spending lots of time on the website, but they weren’t in the dentists’ geographic areas, and usually weren’t converting. When they were converting, they often wasted the dentist’s time.
For example, we had to remove a blog post from a client’s website about how to get permanent vampire teeth because too many people were asking the dentist about actually getting those porcelain teeth—this despite a disclaimer that warned people that the office didn’t actually offer the procedure.
We had another blog post about whether or not patients could get their teeth cleaned during Ramadan. It was hugely popular but the dentist received email after email from people asking clarifying questions. That was a telltale sign that Google was not seeing the point of our content: we wanted to attract people seeking dental CARE—not just information.
We wrote a killer 😆 blog post about Ted Bundy’s teeth that we posted to our own Pro Impressions website because we knew that it wouldn’t be appropriate for our dentists’ websites but thought it was amazing information. We ended up taking it down because it wasn’t truly relevant to our own website.
A good idea for a blog post doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for YOUR blog post. Your blog post content should be relevant to your target audience which is prospective dental patients in your area. If your content isn’t relevant to that audience, it will be nearly impossible to optimize for your area’s local keywords. Google will have an equally difficult time understanding that you are a local dentist reaching out to patients in need if all of your content is about movies, art, or other concepts.
Should I Even Have a Dental Blog??
Yes. You should still have a dental blog. Content is still important in a successful marketing strategy and good copywriting matters. It’s one of the reasons that our dental SEO has staying power and our clients continue to get great results year after year.
Your dental marketing company should understand the importance of blogging as part of their strategy for your practice. If your dental blog has some of the problems above, call us at (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation online now.