Search engine optimization was born about 20 years ago – yes, that is very hard to believe, but it’s true. With a zoo of Google animals in its wake and more changes than Imelda Marcos had shoes, SEO is still alive and well. Today, however, SEO is very different from what it was in 1995, and even 2005. Content has always been a major factor in SEO, but now, high-quality, original, informative content is more important than ever to ranking high and wide on Google. We now have a whole subgroup of Internet marketing dedicated to text: content marketing.
I saw the birth of the Internet, SEO, and content marketing, and I’ve built my career around dental copywriting. I want to share with you three secrets to succesful blogging for dentists. Success, as I define it, is measured in new patient calls.
The Purpose Driven Blog
In brief, a good content marketing strategy includes original, informative text on a business’ website, coupled with multiple blogs per week, posted to the company’s website. Blogging can be quite baffling. Why would anyone want to read about dentistry? Why would anyone follow a dentist’s blog? That’s what a blog is, right? It’s like a publication, like a magazine or newsletter, but it’s published in small pieces online. The success of a blog is based on followers, right?
If you read no further, please take this statement with you:
A Blog’s Purpose Is to Improve SEO.
All the Blog Ducks in a Row
So, if a blog’s purpose is SEO, and SEO can be quite technical, it makes sense that organization is a key element in a solid blogging strategy. Whether you’ve had a dental blog for years or you’re considering adding one to your website; whether you blog daily or haven’t published a blog since 2012, you can implement organization and strategy now, then start reaping new patient calls tomorrow.
All dental website blogs should be based on a keyword strategy, supported by an editorial calendar and periodic ranking and traffic checkups. If you have no plan, you’re running blind. Here are three rather time-consuming steps that your dental blog needs right now. You can conduct these tasks yourself, or you can hire me to build your strategy, write and publish your blogs, and manage the SEO tracking data.
- Create a list of 20 keyword phrases (not single words) based on the main tabs of your website, as well as your services, cities served, and symptoms that you treat. Check your keyword phrases against Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine if you’re using the most popular forms of the phrases. Adjust as necessary.
- Go to Google and open an Incognito Window. Search for your keyword phrases and in a spreadsheet, note the page and position that your website, blog, microsites, social profiles, map, or reviews show up on the first three pages. This tells you how your keywords are ranking today. Be sure to date your search results. Every 30 days, conduct the same search. Also, look at your Google Analytics traffic and Google Webmaster Tools notifications. Simply set aside 3 hours, or so, every month to manage your website’s SEO in this way.
- Determine how often you’ll post new blogs. I suggest a minimum of 3 times a week, if you want to see fast results. Many dentists blog once a week. At that rate, however, results will be slow coming. Remember, all blog content must be original. It should have H-tags and metadata, as well as links embedded on keywords, leading to related content on your website. Create a calendar of topics – we call this an editorial calendar in the world of writing. Topics should include keyword phrases for which you do not rank on pages 1-3 of Google search engine results.
- Write your blog posts according to best practices for SEO. Remember to include keyword phrases, but also keep the text at an 8th grade reading level. Integrate current news, trends, and seasonal ideas into your copy so that it appeals to humans, as well as search engines. If you hire a copywriter to compose your posts, make certain the writer understands ADA and state board advertising guidelines. Every blog should include a photo, rented from a stock photo website or taken by you. Videos embedded from YouTube can be used in place of a photo.
- Every 30 days, conduct an SEO keyword ranking report as described above, and check your traffic and indexing data on Google’s free tools. At this time, based on the results of your keyword report, create the next month’s editorial calendar.
Share Your Blogs Locally
I stand by my theory that social media won’t bring dentists a ton of new patients. However, if you’re posting blogs, there is no reason NOT to share them across your social profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn. Incoming links to your content can help with SEO credit. In addition, your name in the minds of your current patients will help with retention in ways that you can’t really measure. It is also possible that someone who sees your social post will share your information with a friend or colleague who needs your services.
Call the Experts
If you need help with dental website text (sometimes called a website script), blogging, or SEO, I’d like to help you. Call Identiwrite Creative today at 940-395-5115 or email [email protected]. I’ll take time to review your website, talk with you about your goals and past marketing efforts, then create a strategy that will bring you new patients.