You’ll only acquire new dental patients from your website if your website can be found. A new patient will only find your website online if:
- He has been given the exact domain (website address)
- OR your site shows up in search. Note that most people only look at the top of page one, and by page three, few people are still interested.
So, your first goal for your dental website should be to get found when potential patients are looking for a dentist in your area.
A website that meets Google’s criteria for being “well optimized” and “an authority” will rank high in search, for targeted keyword terms. How to create such a website is no mystery. Inevitably, everyone has their own opinion as to “best practices” for SEO, but a few standards are invariable.
Not only do you need a website that’s coded properly, but it must contain information that Google finds valuable.
Pretty pictures and fonts are great for conversion – persuading a website visitor to call your office – but no one will find your website if Google does not find the content valuable.
What is Valuable Content?
Google’s experts tell us that original content that’s informative and unique, that answers questions presented by searchers, will rank high. Quality and quantity both count.
Quality, to Google, means:
- Text cannot be found elsewhere on the Internet (original).
- Information is requested by searchers (relevant).
- Text presents new information, not rehashing of facts found all over the web. Or, text presents old facts in a new way (fresh).
- Text is properly written for human consumption, not stuffed with keywords (genuine).
Content Creation for Dental Websites
For dentist websites, selecting keywords used by potential new patients is not difficult. By listening to your current patients, staying alert to the media’s vocabulary regarding dentistry, and conducting a Google Adwords search for popular terms, you can develop a solid list of phrases that people search for on Google.
The keywords must be sprinkled into content that’s fresh and genuine. So, unless you’re one of the few American dentists who has time to compose your own website content, articles, and blogs on a strict production schedule, you need a writer who understands dentistry, your potential patients’ minds, and SEO. You need a writer who can lead new dental patients to your website.
How to Find A Good Dental Copywriter
An experienced dental copywriter will want to talk to you about your practice and learn about your philosophy for treating patients. He or she will want to discuss your ideal patient and identify your target market. Local demographics will come into play, and you will likely be asked about the income and education level, and types of employment that best describe your target patients. This information is not to weed out potential patients that don’t fit a profile, but to make sure that you get a good number of cases that you’ll find enjoyable and profitable.
Quantity of Quality Text on a Website
You will need approximately 20 pages on your website, to start. That is, if you want to get more new dental patients.
That seems like a high number to some dentists, but consider the competition – all the other dentists in your area who have websites. If your primary goal is to get new patients, and the first step is building a website that patients can find online, and Google says you need content of quality and quantity, then 20 pages is just a start.
From that point, you’ll need to blog weekly, at a minimum. Some dentists in highly competitive areas blog daily. Also, a content management strategy should be developed to ensure that for the first year or two, your site is growing consistently.
A Note On Microsites
Perhaps five years ago, microsites were popular. At that point, having multiple websites for various “specialty services” was a good strategy for getting found in search.
Today, microsites are no longer the way to go. In fact, they’re a total waste of time.
Design Corruption is Unacceptable
Many of my client dentists worry that a 20 or 100 pages will clutter their website and confuse visitors. That’s a valid concern. If your website frustrates a visitor, you may have just lost a new patient.
Rest assured, it is possible to maintain uncluttered, brief, and organized navigation on a website that has tens or even hundreds of pages. The content manager for your website should coordinate with the developer/webmaster to make sure that your site’s design does not become compromised as the quantity of content increases.
Any content manager who is unwilling to work with your designer is not worth your time – and certainly not worth your money.
The Dentist’s Checklist for Website Content
Once you find the right copywriter and content manager, proceed with this checklist:
- Main site needs 20+ pages of valuable content to start. (original, relevant, fresh, genuine)
- Content management plan needs to add multiple pages each month, for 12-24 months.
- Content management plan needs to add one blog per week, or more depending upon the competition for your targeted keyword phrases (and how many new patients you want to get each month).
I’m Shauna Duty, owner of Identiwrite, a copywriting firm that helps dentist offices secure more new dental patients. If you’re ready to revamp your website so that it ranks high in Google Search results, you’ll need the services I provide – or someone on your staff who can perform the duties. Content management for a dental practice in a highly competitive area can be a 20+ hour per week job.
My copywriters are trained in clinical dentistry, SEO, and writing for dental patients. All of my writers are native to the United States and currently reside here. English is their native language, and the language they studied in college. If you need a dental copywriter, marketing help with your website, or have questions about online marketing for dentists, I welcome your call. You can reach me any time at 940-395-5115.