So you’ve been tasked with writing dental blog posts, either by your SEO company or by your boss, the dentist. Whether you’re a dentist who wants to improve your website rankings or the assignee of the blog writing task, I want to help you get off to a good start. I’m Shauna Duty, and I’ve been a dental copywriter for about 15 years. My company, Identiwrite Creative, composes and publishes search engine optimized blog posts for dentists, dental consultants, and medical doctors, but I strongly believe that the best blogs come from a dentist/owner. Most dentists and physicians rarely have time to write blogs, at least not on a consistent basis, so we can step in to fill in the holes.
Select Your Blog Topic and Keywords
Before you begin to write, you need to select a topic. Your SEO company may have provided a list of dental keywords to choose from, or perhaps you have a topic in mind. If not, think about the service you offer that: A) are most enjoyable, and B) provide the greatest profit for your practice. Once you’ve selected the topic, think of the words and phrases a potential patient would search for to find a dentist who offers this service. The top one or two will be your keywords. For dental implants, these may be cost of dental implants and dental implant surgery.
Compose a Strong Title
Next comes a title. What about your topic do you want to convey? The most popular titles usually answer a question, solve a problem, or provide a tip list. You need to insert your main keyword phrase, the subject of your blog post, into the title. Here are some examples, for the topic of dental implants.
- What do dental implants cost?
- What to Expect in Dental Implant Surgery
- 5 Important Facts About Dental Implants
- Comparison of Dental Implants and Dentures
Make an Outline
I have found that this step saves a significant amount of time by providing direction. If I am interrupted during the composition of a blog post, I can get right back to work because my outline helps me focus quickly. Furthermore, an outline allows you to create a beginning, middle, and end to your composition, which is integral to any written work, whether fiction or non-fiction, long or short.
For the article you’re reading, the outline went something like this:
- Steps to composing blog post (topic, title, outline, paragraphs, edit, revise, edit, add links, publish)
The outline is simple, because the blog post is short. There’s no need for anything fancy. Just create a quick guide to lead your writing. I literally type up the outline, then compose paragraphs of content below each subtitle. On a side note, subtitles and bullet points in a blog are great ways to create what we call scannable text – words that can be quickly read and digested, without having to read entire blocks of text to understand the gist of the blog post.
Remember what you learned in elementary school and junior high – not necessarily in college and grad school. Most of your readers may be college graduates (or not), but in general, people do not like big words and a scholarly voice in blogs. A casual voice and common vocabulary will make your blog post easier to read and understand, which in turn will lead to more likes and shares in social media.
Your blog post should be at least 550-750 words, though that may seem lengthy. Yes, it’s more than a person may read in a blog post, but that’s why using a scannable layout with subheadings and bullet points is important. Photos, graphs, videos, and other visual elements also enhance a blog post’s appeal to humans. Google favors posts that are over 550 words long. One recent study found that informative, casual posts of 1200+ words are the most often shared on social media.
Perhaps the most important factor in writing a dental blog post is that the text must be original. Taking text, or even inadvertently plagiarizing another website’s words, will lead to negative results with Google. Matt Cutts of Google, a well-known SEO expert, stated that any duplicate content can cause a negative impact on a webpage’s rankings. Duplicate content is defined as text found elsewhere online. To ensure that your text is original, you can filter it through a plagiarism tool like Copyscape for less than a dollar.
Edit, Revise, Edit
Now you can pull from what you learned in college and grad school: edit, revise, edit again. I recommend you write and edit. Sleep. Then edit again. If you are lucky enough to have an English teacher or grammarian in your circle of close friends or family, ask for a second set of eyes to proofread the blog post. Use Spell Check and Grammar Check in MS Word, as well.
Add Links, Images
One of the best SEO benefits of blog posts is that you can insert hyperlinks on phrases that relate to pages on your website, linking to those pages. For instance, when you mention dental implants for the first time in your post, link the phrase to your website’s dental implant page. If you mention sedation dentistry and have such a page on your website, link it, as well. Also link your name to your about us page or bio, and be sure to link the city/state in your closing paragraph to the contact page of your website. This internal linking helps Google understand your website and improves the overall SEO value of your site.
Note: Do not link the same word/phrase to different pages, and do not link the same word/phrase twice to the same page. Do not link twice to the same page, even from different words/phrases. The rule is to use a link only once on a page. Link a word/phrase only once in a page.
If you have a photo that you own, or you purchased a stock photo from Shutterstock or DepositPhoto, or you’ll be inserting a video into your blog post, do so now. Be sure to complete the back-end fields for alt-image tag, title, and description so that Google knows what your image represents. If you complete the caption area, the caption will show beneath your image. Videos are usually best hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, then inserted with a link from that remote location. Hosting on your web server can slow down your site’s page load time, which is bad for SEO and frustrating to visitors.
Publish That Post!
If you’ve edited, optimized, drafted, reviewed, and checked your links to make sure they work, then it’s time to publish. Go ahead. If you see an error after you publish, you can go right back in and fix it.
Keep Up the Good Work
Good job! If you followed the advice in this blog and you wrote and published a well optimized blog, kudos. You’ve done more than most of your peers. But that’s just the beginning. Now you need to plan to do this every week. Can you commit to that? Mark your calendar now – set an alert in your phone – do whatever you must to make certain that you don’t lose momentum. The consistency of blogging is what yields results. One or two, or even ten posts, will not be of lasting value. It’s the weekly posting, year after year, that really helps your site rank high and maintain that level of success in Google Search.
If you cannot commit to weekly blogging, let me help. Identiwrite Creative has a staff of US-based dental copywriters who’ve studied dental procedures, as well as writing and SEO. We know your market, your audience, and we have the resources to ensure consistency in your content marketing strategy. Call me, Shauna Duty, today at 940-395-5115, or email me at [email protected], to discuss your dental blog and SEO project.