There’s more to having a great online presence than just having a great looking website. How’s your website’s user experience? Think that your web visitors really know your practice, what you’re great at and exactly what you can do for them?
Plus, you also have the search engines to feed. Don’t let anyone simply tell you that fresh content will give you higher search rankings. That is not necessarily the case. But, the more frequently you update your website with articles, blog posts and new web pages, the more frequently the search engines will stop by and visit (index) your website. When a search engine looks at your site more often, your website has the ability to realize higher rankings based on the relevancy and quality of content you provide.
Great dental websites should never become stagnant. A site that goes untouched is just that: untouchable for your patients that are online. Here are a few ins and outs to help you keep your website fresh:
1) Think About Your Web Content From Your Patient’s Perspective
Last week, we published a blog article titled “5 Things Your Patients and Future Patients Want From You Online“. This article would be a great place to start when updating your web content to address the web visitor’s interests.
Every page, every paragraph, every image should satisfy a specific user need and stimulate the desired action. There’s always a place for detailed, relevant information, but if you want your visitors to quickly engage with you, a 1000-word article might not do it.
2) Plan Your Content Updates, It’s Smart and Makes Things Easier
Take the time and map out exactly what sort of information you will be providing your patients online. Prepare a 3-6 month Blog Editorial Calendar consisting of a series of articles, announcements, events all relatable to your practice and their interests. By doing this you will stay organized, you’ll be able to see what you’ll be writing about in the near future if you’ll need to contract some of this writing out. This will help you stay consistent in your messaging and focus your communications on what is important.
3) Try and Mix Thing Up a Bit
Content variety moves web visitors through the browsing process by giving them the information they need, when they need it. There are four content components that satisfy an interest or lead to action.
Awareness: A patient learns about your practice brand through a web search for a specialist in their area. Their interest in to be introduced to your practice, your staff and you as their potential doctor.
Interest: The patient may be familiar with you or has encountered your page on social media and check out a few of the blog posts on your website.
Decision: The patient visits your service pages and compares them to your local competition.
Action: The patient contacts your office to set an appointment. If your website is up to today’s standards, they’ll connect via a contact form, chat messaging or an old-fashioned phone call to your front desk.
Write your content to attract your visitors, lead them through these four stages and entice them to contact you.
4) Invent Some New News
Your website blog and other content sections are the ideal media for New News. Here are just a few ideas you may consider as ‘news’.
The new office, new doctor on staff, new team members, new equipment.
- Meet the Team
Your patients want to know and become familiar with your staff.
- Step-By-Step Tutorials
How to properly brush your teeth, how to care for your gums, etc.
- Success Stories and Testimonials
Patient reviews, before and after stories with photos.
- Surveys & Polls
Your patients love these, you’ll get some great ideas from their submissions.
- Video Content
85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. Videos keep your patients on your website longer and engage them with your content.
- Top 10 Lists
You are reading our blog right now. We just Top 10 lists all the time, they are a great resource and often rank quite well with the search engines.
- Community Events
Chances are that you’re active in the community, sponsoring youth athletics, contributing resources to parks and events. Let the public know all the good things you’re doing!
5) Link to Your Social Media Pages
We often see that dentists and other medical professionals post to and update their Facebook and Twitter pages more often than their own website. Let’s work on connecting your website with your social pages and vice versa.
Facebook and Twitter make it very easy to publish links to websites and provide a link preview to any post that you create. All you need to do is grab the URL of your blog post or webpage, post it into a status update box, and let the link preview generate. Be sure to check the link before you hit the “Tweet” or “Post” buttons because sometimes the link preview will show up incorrectly. Facebook allows you to edit the info on your link preview, but for Twitter, you may want to upload an image with your Tweet in order to prevent the preview from publishing incorrectly.
6) If You Get Stuck – Seek Help
Having a quality web content strategy, and keeping it fresh, is critical in today’s digital landscape where search engine rankings and being discovered by prospective patients is driven by relevant, quality content. Not only will your content help patients find your website, but the quality and relevance of your content will make visitors stay and move through your website. By following these steps, you’ll be on a path to creating successful web content that will increase traffic and generate new patient inquiries for your practice.
That said, writing good website content is not always easy. It can be downright difficult and better left for journalism majors. Do your best, make it as authentic as you are. But don’t struggle or get frustrated, we are here if you need assistance.