Dental Blogs: Why and How

In a webinar that I did yesterday, I mentioned the increasing importance of blogging for a dental practice.  For those of you who don’t know much about blogs (you’re reading one now, so you have some idea!) the word is short for “weblogs”, which were created as a form of online journal, essentially with articles that are written, usually by one person, and archived and searchable for anyone who wants to read them.

You can also subscribe to blogs, which means you could get them sent to your email whenever they are published.  If you wanted to do this with my blog, you would click on the button to the upper right that says, appropriately enough, “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”, and then fill in your email address.  Now, onto your blogging career.

First, the “Why”.  Most dentists would say to me, “Who the heck is going to read a dentist’s blog?”  The answer is, no one. Your patients most likely won’t ever read it. On rare occasions a potential new patient might read it. But this is who will always read it:  Google, Yahoo and Bing.  In other words, the search engines.   So what you are doing is providing relevant content for Google, etc., to associate with your website.  Google is out there on the internet all day long looking at everything, and inter-relating it so that when someone does a Google search they can present what they deem is the best possible result, based on hundreds of criteria that they use (but won’t tell us about.)  So your blog is one element in what I call “The Google Matrix”.

This consists of your website, your Facebook Page, your Twitter posts, your LinkedIn profile, your videos, and, perhaps most important, reviews that are written about your practice on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List or other review sites.  See my previous blog about these.

Assuming you have good content across this matrix, your website will then have strong SEO, or search engine optimization, which should make it appear on the first or second page of Google search results (or Yahoo or Bing).

This is why you want steady content going onto your blog on a regular basis.

Now, the How.

Creating a blog is remarkably easy.  Go to either Wordpress.org, or Blogger.com and download the software.  It is free to run a blog through these sites.  And they will also host the blog, so you don’t even have to deal with that.  Follow these simple steps:

1. Pick a design. (They call it a theme.) Doesn’t really matter what you pick, so choose what you like.

2. Come up with a name for your blog.  Something with “dental” or “dentistry” in it.

3. Fill in all the relevant information, especially your website. This is how the search engines are going to associate your blog with your website. Create settings that will allow you to automatically publish to Twitter and LinkedIn. This gives you fresh content on those sites.

4. Write your first blog and publish it.  Be sure to preview it to see how it looks.  And spell check it, I beg you.

5. Categorize and tag the blogs.  ALWAYS do this.  Google is looking for this to know what the blog is about.  It should always have “dentistry” and “dental” as categories and tags. The rest you can create and add based on what’s in the blog.

Your blogs should be short and sweet. Two paragraphs, two sentences apiece is plenty.  This is where you write about dentistry (as opposed to your Facebook page, which is where you personalize your practice.)  Write about procedures, technology, cases (no patient names), or whatever else you want.  Add a picture occasionally.  And a video.  Remember, you’re not trying to create a beautiful, comprehensive blog like the ones people read all the time, so don’t get perfectionist about it.  You are just feeding the matrix.

If you want to increase the relevance of your blog, figure out how to use hyperlinks (the words that appear in blue and allow you to click to go to another website.)  Also, list your favorite websites and blogs on your page.  But don’t expect blogging to magically jack up your SEO overnight.  It takes months.  And you need to be feeding the matrix at the other points as well to get the optimum result.

How Often?

I recommend blogging once a week.  Ideally this should be someone else’s job in the office, not the dentist’s.  And you can write a dozen blogs all in one sitting, and then schedule them to publish on specific dates. On WordPress, for example, as you draft the blog, you’ll see on the right where it says, “Publish immediately” and “Edit” next to it. When you click on edit you can choose the exact date and time you want each blog to publish.

Welcome to the blogosphere!

About Fred Joyal

I am the Co-Founder of 1-800-DENTIST, and author of the book Everything Is Marketing: the Ultimate Strategy for Dental Practice Growth. I have worked in the dental industry for 26 years, and have helped thousands of practices grow with new patients and with marketing guidance. I speak all over the country on dental marketing, social media and practice management. Find me on Google Plus.

Posted on July 26, 2012, in Advertising, Dental Marketing, Dentistry, Online Reviews, Social Media, Uncategorized, Websites and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Thank you. I love your stuff.

  2. Reblogged this on Seasons of Smiles Dental and commented:
    Hey Fred, I’m a fan of all you stuff. Thanks for all you do.

  3. I love to blogging and doing since 2 years but still learning more about it. After reading this blog, I know more techniques or things which I don’t know before this or may be this are new update. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, this blog is very interesting and elegant; I love to read this every day, thanks for sharing this to us, I definitely shared this to my friends.

  5. Nice post, Thanks for the Great Information.

  6. Excellent & very informative site. hope you can post also about Washington DC Endodontists ,thanks.

  7. Your blog is very informative, thanks for sharing it.

  8. I have been working in this field for a long time.But still learning more about that.Thanks for this informative article.

  9. Just getting started blogging. Thanks for the information, I look forward to reading more of your insights. I am doing my blog a little different. I am also using it as a journal of my personal journey as a dentist including humor and stories that I have told for years. I will mix in technical blogs as well. I am finding this somewhat therapeutic by putting down in writing on the internet some of my legacy. I am trying to find the right mix of helpful keywords and phrases in each one to make my musings helpful as well when I can.

  10. That’s a great point. We just started writing a blog as well. Our site is already in WordPress, so that makes it very convenient.

  11. Hi Fred,

    Thanks for sharing such great ideas. I shall follow it while making blogs on dentistry,
    for example of Dr Joseph Stan.

  12. We have started blogging at http://www.progressivedental-ellenlimdds.com/. We try to keep the content to where a patient can read and understand what we are saying. We do this once a week.

  13. It is very useful information for the dentist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: