Dental practice blogs can be great vehicles for keeping your name in front of the patient population, for keeping your patients informed, and for increasing your search engine page ranking.
Not to mention hopefully leading to new patient conversions.
That’s when dental practice blogs are done right. However, there are a number of mistakes that dentists can make on their dental practice blogs that can turn off and turn away prospective patients.
Let’s take a look at six pitfalls that can snare the new blogger and, over time, even the savviest marketing dental blogger.
- Writing over your audience. The writers at SmartBox Web Marketing keep the reading comprehension level of their posts to about a middle school level. Research shows that is the reading level of the average online surfer. If you’re writing for college grads and above, you’ll turn off a large chunk of your audience in a heartbeat.
- Taking a technical approach. Sure, that new scanner is the niftiest thing since composite fillings replaced amalgams. But the average person doesn’t care about what makes it the greatest; they care about what makes it the greatest for them. Is it quick? Is it painless? Does it let the dentist more precisely see the problem to devise the best solution? Can it detect problems that other scanners can’t so patients can avoid future problems?
Save the technical aspects for your next journal article.
- Wrong frequency of updates. To be effective, blogs need to be updated regularly. But regularly doesn’t mean every day, nor does it mean once every three months. In the first case, few patients will have the time or inclination to wade through your writings (unless, of course, you’re unfailingly hysterically funny). Blogs that post too seldom lose readership; attention spans are shorter than ever, and there are more blogs, videos, and websites competing for their attention.
For many practices, new blog posts one to two times a week works well.
- Not posting relevant and/or useful content. Not only is this a major turn-off for your readers, it’s also the kiss of death as far as Google is concerned. Make sure that you have something original to say that provides a benefit to your readers – inform, entertain, refer, offer a solution.
- Pushing too hard for new patients. Blogs are an excellent way to increase your online presence and burnish your image and reputation. But readers don’t turn to blogs to find the right dentist for them. Think of your blog as a potential patient attractor and not as a means of converting them. If your blog, and your other marketing, are doing what they should, conversions will follow.
- Bad writing. You’d think this would be obvious, but it’s anything but. You may love what you’ve written, or hate it. Either way, you’re probably too close to it to objectively gauge how it’ll be received. Even professional writers benefit from having other eyes on the page before the writing goes public. Find someone, or several someones, to give you feedback.
Discouraged? Don’t be. Writing a blog can be fun and can connect you with prospective patients, particularly if you allow comments on your blog.
On the other hand, keeping your blog current can also be a huge time suck, especially if that kind of informal writing doesn’t come easily to you. Consider delegating that task to a staff member or letting a professional do it for you. I’ve posted previously about what to watch out for when hiring a freelance writer, so be careful before entrusting someone else with a large part of your online image.