Where to start? What subjects to cover?
It is widely accepted that blogging for dentists is well worthwhile and it’s easy to demonstrate a number of benefits as we’ve discussed in detail elsewhere in our marketing blog. I won’t cover the same ground here but suffice to say that blogging has big benefits for Google ranking (SEO) as well as providing useful information for patients to help engagement and encourage connection.
But what about the content needed to make blogging work? Who should generate it and what form should it take?
Sharing the responsibility
We can discuss sharing in two senses here; how the responsibility should be shared across the dental team and also the role of the external marketing agency. Let’s start with the local team.
Blogging and the role of the dental team – generating high-quality content for a blog is not trivial but neither should it be too onerous. Ideally, writing dental blogs should be shared across the team, obviously recognising who has the aptitude to do it and making time accordingly. However, there should be some management impetus behind the initiative and where responsibility has been allocated, results should be monitored. This doesn’t mean simply lumping it all on the practice manager or the nurse who has an English ‘A’ level. It is sensible to include the clinicians too, particularly when generating content regarding different types of treatment and the benefits they can bring.
Blogging and the role of the external marketer – I mentioned earlier how blogging can be an excellent tool to assist with SEO, and this is where your marketing guy comes into play. The blogs which tend to work best of all have a good balance of technical SEO content, typically completed by a marketer; working in conjunction with practice-focused content generated by the local team. Your marketing guy can concentrate on the SEO aspects whilst the more “empathetic” content will be contributed locally.
What type of content should be used for a dental blog?
Encouragingly, there are lots of subjects to investigate and you shouldn’t ever be stuck with nothing to write. Typically your marketing guy will be writing content which covers the various types of treatment and then configuring these articles for best effect in Google. Other than holding a watching brief on what they are doing and making sure that what is written isn’t spammy and unprofessional, you can usually let them get on with this as part of their overall dentist’s marketing strategy.
For the content to be generated by the team, there’s lots to go at. Try some of these topics as examples:
- introducing members of the dental team, what they do at the practice and also what they do outside of work – this can be a great supplement to the main website “team” section
- patient success stories – you will be adding these to the main website but you can also add detailed information to your blog, including before/after photographs, testimonials and more. You can even add short video snippets where appropriate. Of course make sure you have patient consent!
- information to announce special offers
- information announcing any new training undertaken by team members and how new skills can be used to benefit patients
- announcing open days
- more detailed information about specific types of treatments – this is a good topic area for the treatment staff. Remember that as well as detailing what the procedure is for and how it’s performed, it’s also important to stress the benefits from having the work done.
- staff events, birthdays, charity work, “in the press” – anything which will be of interest to the public
These are just a few of the topic areas to explore and expand upon.
How long should each article be?
There is no hard and fast rule here but there are some guidelines. Lots of short articles could easily be viewed by Google as “thin” content and so should be avoided. Equally readers are not going to be impressed with a few short lines about teeth whitening etc – so try to make sure the content is appropriate and worth reading. However, it’s fine to post a couple of photographs once in a while accompanied by a couple of short paragraphs; for example how the team attended an awards dinner or how one of the staff did something for charity. Typically, high quality lengthier content tends to work better for search engines but that isn’t always practical.
A practice blog is very worthwhile for a variety of reasons but like any other technique designed to attract more patients or improve your position in Google, needs planning and a little time and effort. However, if you allocate responsibility and time to do it, it is not an onerous task and the benefits are clear.
If you keep in mind the type of topics noted above, you should never be stuck for something worthwhile to write, but if you do need guidance on setting up your blog and starting to generate content, the team here at Dental Media will be pleased to help. Our writers can even write your blog content for you! You can reach us on 01332 672548 or please use the website contact form.Google+