Not only will having an orthodontic blog help people land on your website organically (thanks, SEO), but it will also help you establish your authority as an expert and build relationships with your patients.
By Ella Wilson
“Inbound marketing! Sharable content! SEO!” you hear Hubspot scream. And honestly, they’re not wrong. You’re right to wonder “Should we start a blog? What would we write? Who will write it? Will it pay off?” All legit questions.
“Everybody has a blog!” you hear your teenage daughter wail. She’s talking about people you’ve never heard of, and she’s begging you to let HER start one. (Online evidence of all her teenage angst? Please don’t.) but it gets you wondering: Should I have one? How do I start an orthodontic blog?
She’s right. Everyone is blogging. Here’s why.
Blogging is one of those tricks that small businesses use for triple threat marketing power. Not only will having a blog help people land on your website organically (thanks, SEO), but it will also help you establish your authority as an expert AND build relationships with your clients. Oh, it also gives you great content to post on social media. Make that a quadruple threat!
Yes, the time and effort it takes to produce a blog is worth it. Take a look at this case study about a pool company that was hit hard by the recession but then literally took over the internet after they started a blog.
Even if you’re insanely busy, you can start an orthodontic blog
Once you have your website set up to include a blog, the actual writing only takes as long as you want to invest. I write blogs for a living, and I’ve written blogs that take 1 hour and blogs that take 6 hours. In my case, a lot of my time is spent researching when I’m not already well-versed on a subject. You’ve got a head start already because you’re an expert on orthodontics. So, your research time won’t be too bad.
What should I write about in my blog?
There are two main ways to answer this question.
- Write for SEO. Pick topics that include “good keywords” to boost your site’s SEO, which means “search engine optimization.” When the SEO on your site is well done, your website will show up on Google search results when someone types in a keyword, bringing more people to your site.
- Write for your audience. You spend all day with patients. What questions do they ask? What are their concerns? Write blogs that answer those questions. Patient success stories and tips like “How to get the most from your teeth whitening” make great, engaging content that people will want to read.
And of course, the best of the best is when you can do both at the same time! We’ll show you more ideas about what to write about in your blog here.
But I’m not a writer, and/or I don’t have time
This should by no means stop you. Most people aren’t writers. (But do you really know until you try? Never know what kinds of hidden talents you may have.) The pool company guy mentioned earlier in this article was, and is, a pool guy. If he can write, there’s a good chance you can, too.
There are countless professional blog writers out there to help you out if you don’t want to write your own blog. Yes, this costs extra money (price varies wildly depending on what you want and the experience level of the writer. Here are some stats you can check out for more info.) But an investment in your orthodontic marketing plan is an investment in your business.
Want to know how to find the right bloggers? Click here.
Finding your voice
Every “big name” you know—from Pablo Picasso to Coca-Cola to The Rolling Stones—has a recognizable style. Your blog should, too. In the world of writing, that’s called a “voice.”
Coming up with your voice is a combination of two things—your personality and your audience. Would you like to come off as stoic and professional, or funny and warm? Are your patients children or adults? Keep these things in mind when deciding what “voice” to use in your blogs. Don’t worry if it takes a couple tries to get it right.
As a professional blog writer myself, my advice is this: Since you are writing to regular people, write like a regular person. You can’t lose with a conversational tone that doesn’t go over readers’ heads but still shows your expertise. You’re not writing a college research paper. You’re basically writing a one-sided conversation with a patient.
Basic blog formatting
In general, each blog should cover one topic. If you find yourself writing and writing and covering too much ground, stop and cut it into two blogs. Boom—two for the price of one.
Start by outlining the problem the article talks about (the intro), then explain the answer to the problem (body), wrap it all up quickly in your conclusion, and include a CTA, or call to action, asking your reader to schedule an appointment, or something like that.
When writing or hiring out your blog, there are some details you need to know to get the best ROI.
- Shoot for at least 300 words. Google needs at least that much to “crawl” your page for SEO.
- Post every blog on your social media. It will increase traffic to your site and get more readership than if people can only access it by going to your website on their own.
- Use your keywords in your orthodontic marketing blog as well as the title, subheads, and captions for better SEO. OP
Ella Wilson is a veteran word wrangler at Thrilling Results, a marketing agency that helps orthodontists book more qualified starts. In her 15-year career, she’s written captivating copy for travel guides, newspapers, magazines, superstars and thousands of small businesses across the globe. To grow your business, subscribe to Thrilling Results’ That’s a Great Idea! Newsletter where we share our latest marketing experiments.