I believe that successful dental blogging is a bit like moving house!
A strange statement to make I know, but before you say I’ve lost the plot, let me tell you a quick story….
So back in June, we were within 2 days of moving house…virtually everything had been packed up, removals booked…. the works.
My partner Julie and I were getting excited because since moving to Spain in 2005, we’ve been residing in rented accommodation after selling our home in the UK. Now, after 12 years, we’d finally taken the plunge and bought a property.
So yeah…everything was set…except it wasn’t.
Just 2 days prior to moving, all the paperwork was at the notary ready to sign, only now – the notary spotted a problem with the deeds of the house.
You see, we’d bought an old 90-year-old townhouse set over 3 floors. It also had a basement and came with several outbuildings. These buildings were originally used for animal storage.
It turned out that these outbuildings had never been registered on the original title deeds of the house. So now we need to go through some crazy retrospective planning laws to enable correct registration, and this process takes 3-4 months.
Here’s the real sucker punch…. These are the exact same outbuildings we want to (hopefully) knock down in order to create some much-needed outside space. Yep – crazy but true!
Oh, and don’t think for one minute that the powers that be will entertain the idea of ignoring the outbuildings because we’ve already tried that approach. This is despite telling them that they’re soon to become a pile of rubble anyway 🙁
So, to cut a long story short, we are, as we speak – playing a waiting game amidst all the bureaucracy and red tape that goes with the territory of buying a house in Spain.
That said, at the end of it, we know we’ll be back on the property ladder in the not-too-distant future and (IMHO) the rewards of having our own property far outway those of renting.
So, as the old saying goes…’Good things come to those who wait‘, and the same thing goes for successful dental blogging.
I’ll let you into a secret…
When I first started blogging for this site, I wasn’t sure what I was really doing. I wasn’t overly enamoured with the idea of expending all that effort into writing blog posts when nobody would be reading them.
So rather than make it an integral part of my marketing strategy, I used to make every excuse under the sun not to write one – This is despite my advertising my services as a dental writer. How dumb is that?
Anyway, one day, I decided it was time that I had a word with myself in a “you’ve really gotta practice what you preach” kind of way, and from that point on, I made a commitment to write one blog per week.
So for the first 3-4 months or so, nothing much happened. Then gradually, as more posts were created, I noticed that they began to appear on Google when I did a particular search.
It wasn’t long after that point that I started to get a trickle of enquiries requesting information about our services, and from that, it didn’t take long to build up several clients. Time to this point? About 6-7 months.
Now, I’m around 55 blog posts in, and I get roughly 1-2 targeted leads per week coming through this website. That’s 1-2 leads a week that I don’t have to find because the website – or rather my successful dental blogging exploits – had done all the hard work for me.
The exact same goes for dental practice websites.
As you build up a portfolio of informative, patient-friendly blogs, potential patients who are looking for dental services online will come across your well-written posts and get in touch. Before you know it, your patient base has grown.
Sounds easy, right? Well, yes…. but only if you know how successful dental blogging really works.
Let me explain…
The purpose behind effective blogging is to drive traffic to your website by getting people to take action. Whether that’s to book a consultation, make an appointment, or check out your website, it’s used as one part of the process to turn inquisitive parties into bona-fide patients.
But that’s not all…..
Think of a blog post as another page on your site. Every time a post is published, it’s out there in the blogosphere for the world to see.
Now when someone types in a particular key phrase, Google’s aim is always to return the most relevant and helpful content to the user’s needs. Hopefully, that’s your content!
Here’s an example…
Let’s say, for instance, that someone is searching for information on dental implants because they’re curious about the best way to replace a missing tooth. So they type in something like “advantages of dental implants“.
When they do, Google returns your informative article/post-guide on “Everything you wanted to know about dental implants but was afraid to ask”
Google returns it for two reasons.
Firstly it’s deemed the most informative option, and secondly…it’s very relevant to the search that the person has initiated.
Now, from the reader’s perspective, your post gives them all the necessary information they need to solve their dilemma and….
by placing a simple call to action at the bottom of the post, it gives them a solution on how to solve it by booking a no-obligation consultation with you!
But wait, there’s more…
The more pages you build over time (remember we said that each post was, in effect, a separate web page), the more your website has clout.
Because as your website builds, Google sees it as an authority! As such, it will start to climb the organic search engine rankings. Now you have multiple posts containing helpful hints and tips for anyone looking for a dentist in your area.
What’s more, every time someone types in a particular keyphrase, Google will return your site above that of your competitors.
That’s the power that successful dental blogging can bring! It really is a win-win situation all around…..
Well, almost…. except there’s a fundamental flaw in the plan. The trouble is that successful dental blogging doesn’t take into account the human ability for impatience.
Dental Blogging – Time well spent
We live in a world where everything is available on tap. If you want to book a holiday, buy a gift, or order some food at 3 am, no problem… modern-day technology allows you to do that. When you take action, like ordering a pizza online or visiting Amazon, you can see the fruits of that action in a quick time.
While many other forms of marketing pander to our attitudes toward speedy results, blogging differs. It takes time to build up a quantity of well-written, informative blogs and just like our current housing problem, there really is no quick-fix solution.
So to the million-dollar question (cue drumroll) …..
How long before your exploits can be considered successful dental blogging?
The answer to this is that it boils down to two factors, they are
You could, for example, bang out a whole stream of generic 400-word blog posts daily, but if it’s simply rehashed content that’s been done to death, Google is unlikely to recognise those posts and your website as an authority. Therefore, you aren’t going to rank any time soon.
On the contrary,
You could write just 5-10 highly detailed informative posts of, say, 2000 words in length coupled with backlinks to other related authoritative sites, and you hit the ground running.
You see, Google has always been about creating the very best experiences for their readers, and this means returning informative, relevant content. This is why it always pays to write content that goes into greater detail and that stands out from anything else that’s out there. That really is the key to successful dental blogging.
Successful Dental Blogging and the six-month rule
As a general rule of thumb, traction from the search engine picks up around the six-month point, so this is the time that a detailed post you wrote six months back will start to drive traffic.
Also, around this time, you should start to see more blog comments, blog subscriptions, and, most importantly, an increase in dental blogging morale. Here’s a great post explaining the process in more detail.
The issue with the six-month rule is that many practice owners don’t really understand the processes, and to be honest…why should they? After all, they’ve got patients to care for, agreed?
Nevertheless, many lose faith long before this point and give up before it’s even a month or two down the line 🙁
At this stage, it’s easy to say that dental blogging doesn’t work; however, you and I both know that it really does….but only if you’re prepared to take the long-haul approach.
Put it this way…Once you’ve built up 50, 100, and 200 blog posts, it’s like having your own personal marketing army working for you 24/7. And in this respect, effective and, therefore, successful dental blogging will reward your business for many years to come.
So now you know the answers to the myths surrounding dental blogging, the question I want to know is…..are you in it for the long haul?
If you’re looking to get your practice blog off the ground and are struggling with time, knowledge, enthusiasm or all of the above, then I know a team of dental writers who can help 🙂 Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s talk.