“How will my blog work?”

A few months ago, a dentist called us, and we set up a blog to complement his existing website. Now that the blog is up and rolling, he wants to know how people will get to his information. Are blog posts emailed to his patients? Can visitors subscribe? What does a blog do for his dental practice? Many dentists ask these questions, so I decided I’d share the answer with you.

The purpose of a dental practice blog is to attract patients who may not find your website. Because of the diversity of content in the individually written blogs we post for a dental practice, Google sees more information related to your practice that it would if you had only a website.

Google holds 65% of the market share for search engines, with many others battling it out for the remaining 35%. Because of this, at MDPM, we pay close attention to how Google indexes websites and blogs. Google’s algorithms for indexing websites changes frequently. Unfortunately, Google does not publish a book on how to rank high on their search engine results pages. We have to read their webmaster blogs, keep on top of news, and continually read research and data to determine how to make our clients’ websites and blogs rank high.

Some of Google’s criteria remains consistent, such as Google loves original text. That’s why we write new blogs for our clients weekly or daily. Google also likes backlinks — links to other related information. So we link your blog to your website through hyperlinks on targeted keywords. Without getting into too much more detail, Google also likes that you have multiple domains — or websites. You see, Google places great value on websites with expert information. If your main website, blogsite, and microsites provide original text, rich with information, your sites will rank high.

The other thing you must know is, because we link keywords in your blog posts to your website, your website traffic should jump. Google will rank your website higher because of the expert information that’s linking to it (from your blog).

Your blog is not automatically sent to a patient list. Visitors can subscribe to receive email alerts each time a blog posts, but few actually do that. We offer a program that emails your top blog of the month (based on traffic) to all of your patients’ email addresses. You just have to provide us the emails. In addition, all of your blogs are posted on your Facebook business page, which we can create for you if you don’t already have one. We can also link your blog to LinkedIn and/or Twitter, if you like, though we don’t place as much value on these as ways to get new patients. The only exception for Twitter is dentists who are engaged in Twitter and post their own tweets regularly. The exception for LinkedIn is for dentists who want to be found by other dentists, either to find a partner or associate, to connect with friends from CEs and seminars, or to gain influence as an educator, author, consultant, or speaker.

Now, regarding your blog, we track the number of visitors each month through WordPress AND Google Analytics. These visitors find your blog through searching. We know which state they live in, what they searched for, and how they found your site — through direct link (usually means Facebook, word of mouth, or a mailer) or through various search engines.

The more original, link-rich dental text we create and post on your blog, the higher it will rank on Google for your targeted keywords, and the more potential patients will see it, click it, and cal your office.

Do you know if you have gained any new patients as a direct result of web marketing? We can help you come up with a system to determine where new patients come from, if you don’t already have one in place. We can also help you with ideas for getting more website traffic and improving your Facebook fans. All of this consultation is part of our monthly package , so feel free to ask as many questions as  you like!
There are two other marketing reasons for a dentist to have a blog…

If your primary purpose is not getting new patients, but educating the general public (not locally) and gaining a reputation as an expert or educator, then we can amend your strategy accordingly. Getting published in health magazines and websites is more the route you should go. This track is good for dentists who want to transition from private practice into consulting. If you’d like consulting or speaking offers, we should connect your blog posts to LinkedIn and send out articles to submission sites.

If you are fresh out of your residency and want to establish and online reputation while working as an associate, we can help. Dentists who choose this path plan to strike out in private practice at some point in their career — and they want a jumpstart with their online reputation. A blogsite. along with social media, is a wonderful and affordable way to get started.

If you would like clarification on this or anything else, feel free to email me or call Jill at 972-781-8861.