Sometimes dentists look at their content, and they see certain aspects of the text that they don’t like or just don’t understand. Content written for dentistry should always be written in a way that communicates authority and empathy, but depending on the intended use and audience of the content, it may be written differently. The nature of the content has to achieve certain goals and address specific challenges in order to be effective. The problem is that if the dentist is feeling confused or unhappy, they can inadvertently sabotage their own success by requesting their dental marketing company change the content to suit their liking. This doesn’t help anyone, including the dentist and the prospective patient.

man working on laptop with co-worker

Landing Places for Content

In this article, the word ‘content’ refers to text written to communicate an idea. As visual as the Web has become, text is still a critical component in effective communication online. Just consider how common it is for videos on social media to have closed captions. Major brands spend a lot of money shooting video or creating motion graphics and then slap words on top of it because they can’t risk the user missing out on the message by playing the video muted.

If the piece of content is for a dentist’s website, then the copywriter has to factor in dental SEO (search engine optimization) when writing the content. The goal of SEO is to ensure that the appropriate words are present in the content, so when Google ingests the text, it can tell that the content is related to the ideas that a prospective patient might enter when using Google’s search engine.

For example, in the above paragraph, you read the phrase “dental SEO”. There is no such thing as dental SEO. We are a dental marketing company and we perform SEO services for dentists, but we don’t do it with PVS or crowns, and we don’t optimize people’s mouths. I used the phrase ‘dental SEO’ because I want Google to know that this article is relevant to anyone who searches Google for that phrase. I also wanted to link to our SEO service page using those specific keywords. That’s how a copywriter factors in SEO as part of their process.

Content Should Sound Natural

When SEO is important for a piece of text, that shouldn’t mean that it sounds super awkward. But be warned, occasionally the use of a word or phrase may not be the way that you would write it.

Awkward copywriting driven by SEO sounds repetitive and can even be confusing. It’s not user-friendly and will hurt sales. Your blogs, web pages, and social media posts should all have content that flows and is emotionally motivating. A clumsily placed [dental marketing] keyword phrase can totally interrupt that. [See what I mean?]

woman's hands typing on a small keyboard

But Google…

In 2019, we shared that Google added a natural language processor element to its algorithm called BERT. Natural language processing helps Google better understand the searches that people type or speak on their Google-enabled devices. They can better respond to the context of the user’s search query and not just the specific words within the query.

Unfortunately, despite the reasoning behind this welcome addition to Google’s algorithm, it seems content leaning too heavily on the artificial intelligence of Google’s algorithm is still harder to find in Google results, when competitors have content that has been optimized for search. SEO still works. So we optimize blog posts, pages for websites, etc. We add in keywords where you, the dentist, might not feel like they are needed or natural.

It’s Also Not About You

The best dentists invest time and money in building dental skills, adding technology, training their team, and even creating a chic atmosphere in their physical office. Naturally, they want the world to know that they are different, so they start to promote these differences in their marketing. They want to showcase the differences on their website’s home page, and if content feels too ‘generic’ because it doesn’t exude their own style, some offices with more marketing training will say that it is ‘off-brand’.

They might be right. It’s their brand, after all. But I have to question the value of a dental office brand if it is more effective at stroking a dental office’s ego than driving business to the practice. What good is it if only certain individuals know about it because the brand mandates marketing and advertising tactics that are contrary to the best practices of the mediums that carry the brand’s message?

Imagine a designer fragrance brand insisting that it advertise on the radio but that its only commercial is 29 seconds of silence followed by their brand name whispered in a foreign language. The marketing team might pat themselves on the back for the radio spot’s unique nature and how it underscores the pure and understated beauty of the product. I would be willing to bet that radio stations and streaming services would refuse to air it. It wouldn’t serve the goal of their services, which is to keep their audiences engaged. It doesn’t matter if the advertiser is willing to pay for the spot if it breaks their service.

Google feels this way about websites that are difficult to use or that don’t solve the Google user’s problem. At its core, Google is still a search engine. If your website is only truly relevant to one keyword phrase, that being the name of your dentist or dental practice, then it won’t rank well for the non-branded search phrases that Google’s users enter to find the answers and services they need to solve their dental problems.

Why? Google doesn’t want to give its users the internet search result equivalent of radio silence. Radio stations don’t like dead air because people will change the channel. Streaming services would rather play the next song without a commercial than to risk a user believing that their app is broken and launching the competitor’s app. Google doesn’t want to showcase a website that makes a user frustrated or just unimpressed because they don’t know if you can help them. If that happens, Google is afraid that next time, you’ll try Bing or Duck Duck Go instead of Google.

So, Is Branding Worthless?

Absolutely not. You need a strong, highly visible brand! The differences between you and your competitors should be part of your branding, but they should be presented as part of the solution to your patients’ problems. Effective marketing and advertising highlights the user’s needs, then follows up with who your practice is and how you solve their problems. Dental offices and dental marketing companies that don’t understand this will struggle to market their dentists on Google. You’ll almost always rank #1 for your dental practice’s name without special effort. The same can’t be said about other search phrases. That’s why your content is written “like that” with SEO in place.

Call (970) 672-1212 or schedule an appointment if you think that your content needs help balancing the identity of your practice with the search visibility that gets your office in front of prospective dental prospects. That’s what we do and we’ve been doing it for more than a decade.