Get Your Blog On! The Important Role Blogging Plays for Your Practice

Social media is great (well, most of the time). It is almost like a giant party or a never-ending conference in which we get to meet countless awesome people in specific areas of interest. Through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites you can meet new patients and even referring doctors. However, what adds to that social media management is blogging. Here is why blogging can be beneficial to your practice:

The Importance of Blogging

By sharing helpful advice through blog posts, you will position yourself and your office as experts in your industry as well as a trustworthy source for someone in your field. Blogging also helps to market your dental practice because blog posts can be shared across multiple social networks, as well as through emails. If others find your blog post to be helpful, it might get a lot more attention than you had initially imagined it would bring.

The use of blogging also helps to boost search engine optimization (SEO) for your website. I’m sure you’ve heard those three letters before and often wonder what you can do to help improve your ranking: Blog! Blog! Blog! The more blog posts you have out there, the more traffic is going to be generated and the more leads for new patients you will receive. A blog is an extension of your website, which means regularly posting once a week or more will help to keep your website up-to-date.

Blogging and SEO Tips

We all visit Google on a regular basis to search for a certain topic. If you are blogging, those posts can be optimized for SEO search terms, which, in turn, can help bring presence to your website and blog.

For starters, once you have a blog, it is important to write organic content that is tailored for the reader, not Google. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT keyword stuff your blog posts. By stuffing your blog with keywords you are not only making it harder to read for your patients, but you are also creating a warning to Google that this is spam. So, just go with the flow and write that educational content you know your patients are looking for.

Choosing Blog Topics

This can be an easy idea or not. Look to your patients for help–what are some of their common questions they seem to ask frequently in your office? Take those questions and turn them into blog posts, so they can easily have their questions answered when not in your office.

Do you have a new service or new employee? Blog about it! Share information on the new service and the new employee. By doing this you can educate your patients on an area they might never have known about before, such as sleep apnea!

Take your marketing and practice into your own hands by creating a blog. But don’t forget to update it frequently. If you don’t have time to write a blog every week, I highly recommend hiring a freelance writer–I did and it was the best decision I have made for my marketing, research and writing needs.

Let’s Talk About Press Releases and Blog Posts

“Like ‘content farms’ and ‘comment spam’ (which both worked for a while), Google has made adjustments to limit the value of ‘press release SEO’. These types of actions help limit the junk (although some people never learn) and steers press releases back towards the direction of newsworthy items versus keyword-optimized spam – although it’s clear that the value of a press release will never again be as high as it was in the pre-Google era.” – Meltwater 

What happened to press releases and articles? When you want to get your name out there, send a press release, right? Wrong. While press releases can be extremely beneficial for awareness and announcements, it is important that you do not overdo it. It is time to evolve with up-to-date press release requirements and that means limiting the number of releases you send out each year.

Where Blogs Come In

With the issue of not having enough newsworthy topics for press releases, it is important to shift your focus onto blogs as a primary source of content for not only search ranking efforts, but for the education of your patients. Here are a number of blog benefits:

  • Easy to manage and edit
  • Generates unique content for the site
  • Creates a link worthy entity
  • Interactive tone of voice
  • More unique posts will improve visibility
  • Easier to answer users’ queries

Research shows that 71% of consumers will make a purchase after hearing a review from a trusted source via social media. Bloggers rank as highly trusted sources that have reached influential status because their followers deem them as such[1].

As blogs and social media sites continue to expand, it is making it easier than ever before to share and submit information online. With that being said, we shouldn’t disregard the benefit of press releases. When used correctly with the release of newsworthy information, readers and Google will see it as a trusted source, not just spam. And that is what we want. You never want to spam the system or your patients–you want to educate them. Forcing keywords and generic content will ultimately hurt the program and what you are trying to convey to your patients. The question is—what does it mean to be newsworthy?

Aiming for Newsworthy

What does it mean to be newsworthy? You can’t just say that your office treats sleep apnea—that’s not newsworthy. It needs to be specific, and the readers need to know why it’s an important source of information. Thus, we need to stress what a press release has always stood for—an announcement. For example, newsworthy content includes:

  • Community involvement
  • New staff
  • New procedures
  • New technology
  • Continuing education
  • Lecturing
  • Anniversary
  • New office location

We have seen a decrease in interest for press releases, which is why it is important to take a second look at the number you might be releasing. While press releases are still useful for SEO, it’s not the dominating trend—blogging is.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start blogging now!

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.business2community.com/blogging/importance-bloggers-2014

Create a Working Partnership with a Content Writer

I’ve mentioned it previously, but it is time to revisit the partnership between a dentist and a content writer. With such a vast understanding of everything, a writer can significantly improve your practice’s marketing efforts and all without breaking your budget. A writer is a multifaceted job, which means he or she can help out in a variety of areas. From in-office educational materials to repeat blog posts and social media management, a content writer is your go-to person for all of your marketing needs. Let’s take a look at some of the services a content writer/creator can provide you and your office:

An Educational Blog

From day one in the dental field to a more advanced position within dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain, you will be busy seeing patients. So where do you find time to blog? You don’t have to! When you create a working partnership with a content writer you are taking that extra work off of your plate. I have been working with my writer, Sara Berg, for more than 3 years now and it takes a lot of work off of my plate when it comes to my marketing and website. Plus, if I need a new topic or something new written, she’s right there ready to help—it’s such a relief.

Make sure you work with a write you can trust and create topics that interest your office and patients. Start with the services you offer and then branch out and expand on those topics—there are endless opportunities to write about. Weekly blogs can help you reach your patients and develop a trusting relationship because it shows you are an expert in your field. And, if you need a writer you can trust, I highly recommend Sara—I can share her writing skills to help out!

An Active Social Network

It’s one thing to have a personal Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram, but what about for your practice? And, if you already have one for your practice, are you utilizing it to your best ability? When you have a profile for your practice on each social channel you can let your content writer take the reigns. A writer will help share important articles, updates on your practice, photos, and blog posts so your patients are constantly in-the-know with important information. If you want to, you can even have your content writer respond to patients as needed—that saves even more time. But remember to always share important information with the writer as it comes up, so they can always be up-to-date with your office since they are not in it.

An Effective Marketing Strategy

From website content creation to newsletters, blogs and emails, a content writer can help you create each document. Send monthly newsletters to keep your patients up-to-date because, with a writer, you can more effectively create shareable information. Talk to your writer about information that should be included in a newsletter and you can get to sharing!

However, what is even more important for your marketing strategy is your website. The availability of a website will allow your practice to be searchable on the Internet. Remember to include accurate educational information about each of the services you have to offer at your practice. This is also where you will find your blog. Working with a writer will help you to create professional and educational content that your patients, and even other doctors, will want to read.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and hire a writer to help you tackle your marketing strategy—I’ll even share my writer’s information for you. A working partnership with a content writer will help you to reach your patients and other doctors while taking the stress off of you and allowing you to have creative, up-to-date content for instant and easy access for your patients.

For further information on marketing services, please contact Sara Berg at SaraAnneBerg@gmail.com or (630) 272-0423 and tell her Dr. Patel sent you!

Join Us for Study Club and Increased Understanding

If you have not done so already, I highly recommend joining me for study clubs and groups. It is important to always be up-to-date with various topics for dental sleep medicine and TMD areas, which is where study club comes into play. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from these groups.

What is Study Club?

Good question. Study club is a way for me to visit your office to further discuss various areas of your dental office that include you and your team. I welcome invitations to your study club and group or as a guest speaker at your office meetings to share some fun learning experiences on an array of topics. It is almost like book club, but without the books. But don’t let that limit you. If you have a book you read or are interested in, then bring it. We can touch base on it and see what it is all about and how it can help with your office.

After all, I recently wrote a book that would be great for you and your office to read together for an enhanced understanding of dental sleep medicine and your patients. The book can be purchased on lulu.com or amazon.com, whichever is your preference. “Freedom from CPAP: Sleep Apnea Hurts, the Cure Doesn’t Have To” is a joint effort by myself and Dr. David Dillard to help improve the understanding of obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Some topics we can discuss in study club might include, but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacology in Treating Orofacial Pain/TMD
  • Identifying Patients with Suspected Sleep Breathing Disorders
  • Fundamentals of Temporomandibular Disorders
  • Oral Appliance Therapy in the Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Understanding Various Common Facial Pain in a General Dentistry Practice
  • What is TMD?
  • Link between TMD, Sleep Bruxism & Sleep Disordered Breathing
  • Understanding Bruxism

And, if you have a topic in mind and you do not see it listed above, please contact me and we can further discuss your needs! I look forward to potentially working with you and your staff on these topics!