Blogs about dental hygiene are probably not the first thing you think of when brainstorming ways to grow your practice. Many dentists neglect this vital piece of a robust dental marketing, but it’s an important tool for improving website performance and boosting overall SEO.
Blogging is a lot like flossing—the more you do it, the better the results. Just like flossing is essential for great teeth, blogging is essential for great dental SEO results. Maintaining a consistent dental blog is one of the greatest determining factors of how your practice will rank on search engines such as Google or Bing. Getting to the top of search results drives valuable traffic to your website and results in more phone calls, more inquiries, and continued growth. Overall, blogs are traffic-attracting, reputation-building marketing machines.
What makes a quality dental blog?
Once you get the hang of it, writing a great blog is not as difficult as it sounds. Make sure your blog posts follow these basic guidelines:
Unique content: A standard dental blog should contain at least 750 words of original content. It may be tempting to copy and paste from other sources (even those that might be your own) or to use AI-generated content, but search engines can detect low-quality or duplicate content. Consider AI a jumping-off point for new ideas, but never directly copy that content into your blogs.
Strategic links: Your blog should use both internal and external links to connect your content to other sources. Internal links connect a blog post to other pages in your practice’s website, while external links connect to reputable outside sources. Strategically implementing links on your blog posts will improve SEO ranking and build your website’s credibility. Check out this dental SEO guide for more tips on link building.
High-quality visuals: The way you use images and graphics will also affect your blog’s performance. Use correct tags, titles, alt descriptions, and format (WebP) to ensure your images load quickly and don’t bog down your website. Learn how to optimize dental images so they can add more value to your blogs. Your blog should be part of a modern dental website design that is sleek and sophisticated.
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5 reasons dentists don’t blog
You’re not dreaming … there was no blogging for SEO course during dental school. For most dentists, composing original, easy-to-read blog content feels worse than getting a tooth pulled. But if you’re one of those dentists who loves to write and has ample time to, you can just skip ahead to the next section.
1. It's harder than it looks: Yes, blogging can be easy, but it still requires a significant amount of time to understand the jargon and processes that go with it. From formatting to keyword research, you could spend every lunch break for a month learning the ins and outs of blogging before you start feeling confident.
2. You must love to write: Having an interest in writing isn’t required for dental blogging, but it does make the process easier. Most of the time, you’ll write content for patients, so you need to be able to present topics in an easily digestible format. Unless you’re writing for a dental publication or university, no one wants to read technical dental descriptions. Adding color and fun will vastly improve your blog quality, and that comes easily to those who love to write.
3. You need (uninterrupted) free time: Free time? What’s that? If your sights are set on growing your practice, odds are your calendar is jam-packed with appointments and obligations. Take it from a writer: nothing derails a great thought faster than being interrupted by something like a needy pet or a loving spouse. A strategic blogging strategy is a time investment.
4. It distracts you from your focus: While practice growth is important, patient care always comes first. Worrying about researching keywords and stressing about blog deadlines can tear your focus away from providing for your patients.
5. You’ll still need an editor: Even if you want to write blogs, you still need the support of a professional editor, or at the very least, a second set of eyes. Editors can catch not only spelling and grammatical errors, but also check for clarity and formatting that translates well for your intended audience. Save yourself the time and hire a professional copywriter who can manage both writing and editing your blog content.
Dentists should say “yes” to blogging, but outsource it
Learning how to optimize a blog for search engines is not in your job description, but it’s still one of the most valuable tools you can leverage to drive organic traffic to your website over and over again. Blogging is more cost-effective than paid advertising, and as a bonus, it provides an indispensable wealth of information for your patients and your other marketing efforts. (Think of all the easy social media post ideas one blog post can generate!)
A professional copywriter or dental marketing company can speed up your blog production exponentially. You’ll never miss a deadline and start seeing results rapidly. You can trust that each blog is well-researched and formatted for SEO. What does it cost to have a creative copywriter at your disposal? Copywriters are typically paid in a few different ways:
- Pay per word—The current competitive market rate is 20 cents to 30 cents per word.
- Pay per post—Pay a copywriter a flat rate per post to produce as many blog posts as you need. This can be a great agreement if you need to bulk up a new website or want a library of articles to post throughout the year.
- Hire on contract—Hire a copywriter under a contract term of your choosing and pay them an hourly rate.
Copywriters are plentiful and usually work as 1099 employees. If you choose a dental marketing company, you can to tap into their network of copywriters. Otherwise, you may have to do a little research to find a copywriter who is a good fit for you. Start with a local Google search for a copywriter. While they don’t have to be local, this could help if they need to understand your area or if you’d like to meet them in person.
Try an area college or university to connect with students with a writing background or who are working toward a writing degree. You can post on the college’s online job board if they have one. Use freelance websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, or contentwriters.com to connect with freelance writers. You can filter for those who are interested in or have experience writing for medical professionals. Reach out to a content writing agency that specializes in high-quality content for businesses. They often offer package deals and help you meet deadlines efficiently.
Ask the right questions to help you find the right copywriter for your dental practice. Choose someone you’re comfortable with, who shows experience and enthusiasm for the project, and who’s dedicated to meeting deadlines. Here are some questions to ask:
- Can you provide examples of your work?
- Do you have client testimonials or references?
- Do you have experience writing about anything in the medical industry?
- How do you approach a new topic you haven’t written about before?
- Do you use AI for your content creation?
- How do you handle meeting deadlines? What happens if you miss one?
- What would your approach be to our blog strategy?
- What is your understanding of the importance of SEO?
- What sets you apart from other copywriters?
This is just a starting point for the conversation you should have with potential copywriters. Ultimately you should choose a strong writer who is responsible and responsive. Brush up with this ultimate guide to dental SEO to deepen your understanding of the importance of SEO before you meet with someone.
Outsourcing your dental blogging with a dental marketing agency will give you the flexibility to boost your content strategy quickly and efficiently while you focus on your practice. This is the best thing you can do to turn your website into a consistent patient acquisition tool.