A dental blog post is designed to be a free-flowing fountain of useful information.
It allows the reader to learn about treatments, seek hints and tips on dental care and to find out more about the practice and the team.
Perhaps more importantly, while any well-established blog should generate a certain amount of footfall, did you know that a good blog has the power to convert insane amounts of traffic?
Now here’s the thing…
Even when a practice owner understands the potential of a dental blog post and wants to use it as a way of bringing in large amounts of footfall, it’s often a pointless exercise.
Because usually, there’s a real disconnect between the blog’s potential to convert readers and its practical ability to achieve those conversions.
The bottom line is this…
Most dental blogs simply aren’t long enough to add real value to the reader.
As an example, here at Dental Writers, we write blogs for a variety of dental-related clients. While some posts are 1000 or so words in length, most fall somewhere between 400-550 words.
Now here’s my point…
The bulk of the content we’re asked to write provides solid, helpful information to those who find and read them. For many dental practices, this is sufficient enough, and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.
Because in 2017, solid, informative content is the rule rather than the exception. This means that producing well-written, informative content is the absolute minimum you should be aiming for.
Instead, if you’re looking to make a statement of intent with every dental blog post, the question you should be asking is…..
How can you better every other piece of information that is already out there?
You should be looking to produce an article or post that goes way beyond the realm of good informative content. In other words, it needs to be 10 times better than anything else that’s available.
As a direct result, you need a dental blog post that’s long enough to carry the means and the method to really persuade readers to take action.
Whether that’s to
- Book a consultation
- Make an appointment or
- Find out further details about a particular treatment.
it needs to (over) deliver on what it says on the tin.
You can find out more about it by reading this post from SEO experts – Moz
The truth is that even with the most persuasive copywriting skills in the world, I would suggest that a dental blog post of this nature can’t be written in 450-550 words.
Sure it takes time to write a long-form article or blog post, and if you’re paying someone else to write it, it probably won’t be cheap.
So is it really worth all the hassle?
Let’s take a look…..
This graph shows the average content length of the top ten results on Google.
As you can see, the top-rated content found on Google just so happens to be what we call long-form content. In this case, the content is over 2000 words in length.
This is no coincidence and is part of Google’s grand master plan to continually provide the very best and most relevant information for the searcher.
As a result, it isn’t good to simply bang out 5000 words of crap. Not only will it destroy your integrity as the ‘go-to‘ dentist in your area, but it could also have a serious impact on your SEO rankings too.
Instead, the key here is to think about quality rather than the word length. In other words, you should aim to make it the very best it can be – however many words that takes!
In order to do so, it needs to be several things…Your dental blog post should be…..
- interesting, and to all intent and purpose…
Perhaps more importantly…..
It needs to be decidedly different in scope and detail from any other dental blog post or article that serves the same purpose or user intent.
If you can achieve this, then congratulations – give yourself a high five because you’ve got yourself a great piece of dental content 🙂
“That’s all well and good” I hear you say… “but how exactly do I go about writing one?” Well, sit back and relax, because I’m going to tell you!
Step 1 – Gaining a deep insight
Let’s say you want to create an article based on dental implants. The first thing you need to do is to gain a deep insight into why people are interested in this particular subject. In doing so, you’re already tapping into the psyche of the type of reader who is likely to take action.
It could be that people are fed up with their dentures and are looking for a hassle-free alternative.
It might be that they have missing teeth and feel embarrassed about how they look.
Alternatively, they may have experienced a facial injury and need a permanent long-term solution to their problem.
Ultimately there are many reasons people opt for dental implants, but perhaps the key here is to develop a good understanding of the ‘WHY‘. If you can do this and write with that particular reader in mind, then you’re definitely on to a winner.
Top Tip – Forums are great places to gain a deep understanding of how and why people take the actions that they do and offer the ideal platform to get into the mindset of those seeking help. In this instance, try Googling ‘dental implants + forums’ and see what it throws up.
Step 2 – Getting unique
Now you know the reasons why someone might consider dental implants, you have to think about uniqueness. In other words, ask yourself this….
“What different angle can I come from which will address the core problem in a way that hasn’t been covered before?”
What about the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants? Nope – that’s been done to death!
How about an in-depth guide detailing dental implant procedures? Not really, because that’s been covered too!
What about how dental implants can benefit long-term denture wearers? Hang on a minute -We could be on to something!
We know that many denture wearers suffer from a whole host of denture-related problems, so how about an article that addresses all of those issues individually while offering a long-term solution – dental implants?
Now you have your angle!
Step 3 – Providing the cold hard facts
Okay, so you’re on a roll, but guess what? It still isn’t enough. In addition, you should be looking to provide sufficient evidence to back up what you’re saying. Doing so will give your dental blog post the real kudos it deserves. In other words, you’re not just stating facts. Instead, what you’re actually saying is, “Here are the facts, and here’s the evidence to back it up”
The good news is that as a dentist, you probably have a ton of case files and success stories you could tap into, but what if you’re not a dentist and are ghostwriting for a practice? Where do you find fact-based evidence?
The answer? Online trade magazines and clinical papers.
Okay, so you may need to get down and dirty with the technical jargon, but if you know what you’re looking for, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the relevant info you need. Many contain published surveys or evidence-based testing to help you back up your article.
So as an example, rather than state that “evidence suggests long-term denture wearers are better suited to dental implants,” it’s far better to give a link to such evidence as I’ve done here.
While having to find proof to back up your post may seem like a real pain in the butt, it also has another very important benefit.
It provides the article with an outgoing link to relevant content.
Without going into the inner workings of SEO (that’s a whole different dental blog post) let’s just say that this is a good thing!
So that’s the mechanics behind how to write great long-form content. I guess the next logical question is why?
The main reason is that despite all the strong evidence to suggest that long-form articles perform decidedly better than short-form articles, the fact is that hardly anyone else is doing it!
It’s true, and it isn’t just in the dental world either…
In a massive survey carried out by Buzzsumo in partnership with SEO Moz, they surveyed 1 million articles. Yep! that’s a 1 with 6 zero’s. They found that over 85% of those articles were only 1000 words or less. What’s more, just 3% were 2000 words or more.
If that isn’t proof that in order to distance yourself from your competition, you need to make the switch to long-form articles, then I don’t know what is!
But wait… there’s more…
There’s also the social sharing aspect.
According to leading content insight specialists Buzzsumo, the longer your content, the more social shares you’ll earn.
It seems that content between 3000 and 10000 words is more likely to be shared. Logic dictates that the more social shares your dental blog post receive, the more eyes will be reading your post. By this nature, and provided it’s well-written, it should (in theory) facilitate higher conversion rates.
Speaking of conversion rates… Check out these conversion metrics…..
We already know that Google favours longer-form posts over shorter articles and will often rank posts accordingly. So….
- When your dental blog post is higher in the search engines (as it would be if it’s in-depth and relevant), you receive more search traffic.
- When you get more search traffic, then you should (in theory) gain more conversions.
Time for some maths….
Don’t worry, I’ll make it quick 🙂
We know a standard dental blog post conversion with a well-written and optimised post is normally around 2%. In fact, according to PPC Software Company Word Stream, that figure sits at 2.35%.
But to make this easy, let’s just say that out of every100 visits, 2 readers will take action.
According to data, it’s been proven that a well-written long-form article receives more traffic than a shorter blog article. So using Buzzsumo’s share metrics as a benchmark, we can safely assume that longer content gets100% more traffic than its shorter cousin.
But in addition, long-form content converts up to 100% higher than short-form content. Now, you get 200 visitors (twice as many) and twice as many visitors taking action.
This begs a very important question…Is there an ideal length for long-form content, and if so, what is it?
As cheesy as it sounds, the real answer is “No” and “As long as it needs to be!”
I guess you were looking for a specific figure, right? 🙁
The fact is that it’s more about the quality of the content than the quantity, and as previously mentioned, this is highly important.
However, as a general rule of thumb, I would suggest aiming for 2000-3500 words. All the analysis points to the fact that this tends to be the sweet spot.
So there you have it!
We’ve looked at the fact that most blogs on the internet (85% of them) are 1000 words or less. This means that the vast majority of blogs aren’t long enough to add any real or significant value for the reader.
We’ve also looked at the fact that Google is leaning towards (and even favours) well-written long-form content over shorter articles. I’ve also included the stats to back it up.
We’ve also seen how longer articles get the biggest chunk of social shares, and finally, I’ve given a step-by-step approach on how to write them for the dental industry, complete with handy hints and tips.
Sure writing a long-form dental blog post that people want to read isn’t easy, but let’s look at it this way. Once it’s written, it’s out there for the world to see for many years to come. As such, it’ll keep on bringing in traffic long after your PPC, Adword, or Facebook campaigns have long since dried up.
That’s the power of having a blog that converts!
I guess the rest is down to you as to whether you want to stand out from the crowd or whether you want to keep on doing what everyone else is doing. Remember, if you can add value and give people what they really want – then you’re onto a winner as you sit and watch your patient footfall rise.
For further information on long-form content or if you feel the need to kickstart or rekindle your dental blog, contact me at email@example.com and let’s talk strategy!