The correlation between attracting new patients to your practice and having a blog that gets regularly updated isn’t totally obvious. At face value, coming up with ideas for relevant blog posts and writing them is a time-intensive process. The rewards aren’t immediately apparent, either.
Yet, I’m writing to tell you that maintaining a blog IS a great marketing tool for your practice. Having a blog with compelling content provides a great way for your practice to gain visibility in search results AND give useful content to new and existing patients, helping to develop their long-term loyalty to your practice.
In this post, I’ll cover why your practice needs to have a blog if you don’t have one already. If you do have a blog, my reasoning is intended to keep you motivated to continue to launch new posts!
A Blog Helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The homepage, about us, and service pages on a practice’s website generally contain very narrow and specific content. These pages usually feature content focused on the types of services a given practice offers.
But, in reality, there are many different terms prospective patients use to find a new ortho, dental, or specialty provider. Not even a fraction of these search terms can be captured on a practice’s homepage or primary site pages.
That’s where a blog comes in. By having a blog and regularly posting content to said blog a practice can increase the number of terms for which it has relevant content in the eyes of the search engines.
Search Engine Indexation
So, what does “relevant content in the eyes of the search engines” mean? When a new blog post is launched it gets indexed by search engines like Google and Bing. The search engines must find terms used within the blog post to be particularly relevant for related search queries people perform. Posts containing relevant terms are more likely to be listed prominently in search results.
Prominent placement means good visibility for a site’s listing in results when someone performs a search query. That translates to clicks that go directly to the blog post and drive traffic to the website.
Let’s consider an example. Say a practice launches a post with the theme and title “The Top 3 Benefits of Sedation Dentistry.” We can also assume the practice doesn’t have any existing content around “sedation dentistry.” Once the post is launched if the search engines find the content to be relevant for that term they are likely to place a link to the post high within their results for terms related to “benefits of sedation dentistry.”
More Site Visitors for no Direct Added Cost
In turn, people searching for “benefits of sedation dentistry” and similar phrases can land on that practice’s website whereas if no blog post existed people stemming from such search queries would never land on that site.
The overall effect of posting fresh and relevant content on a blog is an increase in good-quality traffic to a practice’s site for free. Only the time needed to create and launch a post can be deemed an indirect cost of sorts.
Tell the Story of Your Practice
Normal website content is informative but often leaves little room for expression. It’s difficult to adequately portray the unique personality of a practice on its primary website pages and it’s also challenging to prove out the expertise of doctors and the staff in the main website content as well.
When choosing a new practice for dental care, prospective patients want to know what their experience will be like. They want to know if the practice has a fun, laid-back, atmosphere or if it has more of an all-business get-you-out-the-door mentality.
Plenty of other initial questions are certain to exist. Questions like “Do they have incentives for kids?” or “Are they easy to work with when scheduling?” are also possible. All of these types of questions and many others need answers.
A practice’s blog is a great place to help answer many such questions before the 1st in-person visit. For example, post themes like “What to Expect During Your 1st Visit” or “4 Things Patients Love About Our Practice” can answer questions about what the patient experience is like and also why people decide to stick with that practice long term.
People ultimately select a practice because they believe it is going to be the best option for their individual needs. By selecting a given practice a new patient is taking a leap of faith until their first appointment and, really, until they’ve had a number of appointments.
Having blog posts that indirectly support the qualifications and abilities of a practice’s staff can really help put a prospective patient’s mind at ease before the first in-person visit.
For example, a post on “the best method for brushing your teeth” provides useful information anyone reading the post can utilize and it indirectly proves a practice’s expertise on an important topic related to the services they offer.
In short, the effort of blogging is worthwhile! By having a blog to which your practice regularly posts new content you can help attract free and relevant clicks to your site while also providing useful content to prospective and existing patients.
If you have any blog-related questions or needs please feel free to reach out to us!
—Michael Fitterer, Sr. Marketing Manager II, Sesame Communications