When dentists hear marketing professionals tell them that they need a dental blog for their website, they usually sigh and say, “Sure, I’ll find the time to write and maintain a blog right between my 10 minute lunch break and my 1pm patient appointment.” Typically, they don’t have the time to write a blog and they know it. But the act of writing a blog about dental procedures and then simply posting it to their practice website is just a small portion of the work behind a successful blog – one that appeals to your patients and to the powers that be at Google.
You see, the Internet is a very large, LARGE place and content marketing (ie-blog and article writing) is a very important piece of it. In fact, there are very large marketing firms devoted solely to content marketing. Simply writing an article and posting it alone is a sure-fire way to make sure your blog articles are never seen, read or given SEO credit. Also, the rules, norms and preferred ways to optimize your blog for Google and other search engines is consistently being changed, updated and flat out overhauled. It takes a full time marketing professional keeping up with trends to make sure each blog is optimized the right way. So, how do you ensure that your blog articles don’t fall into a proverbial Internet “black hole?” Here are five essential ingredients that the best dental blogs have:
An Intriguing Title
Seems like a no-brainer, right? It is – and it’s important for two reasons:
1 – The Google algorithm “spiders” crawl titles of blog articles to adequately categorize or “index” the article. They also crawl the sub-headers and anchor text (the highlighted keywords that are internally linked to other pages on your website. If you don’t have any of these elements in your blog, the Google spiders have nothing to crawl and index and your blog is essentially given no SEO credit. TIP: With Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update, we expect to see blog articles with question-based titles being favored.
2 – An intriguing blog title is essential for good readership. Here are a few examples:
- Can I eat the foods I love with dental implants? vs. Dental Implants Benefits
- Are sugar-free treats harmful to children’s teeth? vs. Your Child’s Dental Health
See the difference? Here’s a great rule of thumb, the more specific the blog title, the better. It’s more intriguing to the reader and helps Google know exactly how to categorize your article.
320 – 370 Words
Believe it or not, length matters in a good dental blog post – mostly for your reader. When your patients or potential patients are reading your blog, they are usually trying to find a specific answer to something or just trying to do their research before they choose to make an appointment. If your blog post is too long, they may lose interest before they get to the important part – the call to action (ie- how they book an appointment.) We’ve found that between 320-370 words is ideal.
Keywords You Want to Rank For
Keywords are another important way both Google and your patients find your articles. A blog article that is optimized with the appropriate keywords will help Google know how to index your article AND it will categorize content on your website for easy searching by your patients. Here are a couple of places to include keywords in your blog article:
- The blog category
- The title tag of your blog (as close to the beginning as possible)
- As anchor text for internal links within the blog article
- Alt text in your image tag
Some say that the title tag of a blog post has the most capability to increase your website’s search engine rankings. Here is what dentists should know and do:
- Make sure it has 70 or less characters – Google only reads the first 70
- Make sure it contains your article’s target keyword as close to the beginning as possible
- When it makes sense, include the city and state you are targeting
- Make sure it accurately represents what the blog article is about and doesn’t sound “spammy.” It should sound as close to the actual title of the article as possible
Sound a bit complicated? Well yes, it can be. We spend a good amount of time crafting title tags for dental blog articles to make sure they are just right. Here is an example:
- Article Title: Are sugar-free treats harmful to children’s teeth?
- Title Tag: Dallas Dentist Discusses How Sugar-Free Treats Affect Children’s Teeth
Call to Action
Many dentists assume that potential patients just “know” how to contact their office and make an appointment. While yes, it is pretty intuitive to most people, don’t pass up the opportunity to remind them as much as you can. At the end of each blog article, either include our phone number, your practice name or your name (the dentist.) We’ve found that alternating between those three seems to work best.
Our online dental marketing team specializes in dental blogs and all of our writers have dental backgrounds. If your website is lacking a dental blog, contact our experienced team today.