Today’s dental landscape is hugely competitive. More and more dentists are using every means at their disposal to get and keep their name in front of their prospects. Content marketing is one very popular way to maintain name recognition and influence new dental prospects.
Dentists are assumed to competent these days and are therefore considered to be largely interchangeable. Patients have no reason to choose one dentist over another except for price, insurance, and/or availability.
Content marketing, done well, takes the dentist out of the “herd” and establishes him or her as an expert in the minds of dental prospects. However, Sturgeon’s Law, named after science fiction writer Ted Sturgeon, says, “90 percent of everything is crap.” That rule, unfortunately, applies to online dental content.
How Dental Content Goes Bad
- Writing Over Their Heads
Far too much content about dental conditions and treatments is written though it was for other dentists. Technical terms and jargon have no place in online dental content unless they’re explained in simple terms.
Content that is written with a complete disregard for the reading level of the audience is an immediate turnoff.
- Producing Content That Reeks
Stale, dated, poorly researched, and poorly written content does more harm than good. Your patients and prospects deserve the most accurate, up-to-date, engaging, and trustworthy content you can provide. There are no shortcuts to producing good content, but trying to rush the process results in bad content.
- Furnishing Non-Original Content
One of the ways that dentists try to rush the process of producing content is to buy it. If you’ve paid a firm for dental content, you should know that what you’ve been told is content uniquely produced for you almost certainly isn’t. That sort of content is sold, and resold, over and over.
Google is death on identical content that appears on more than one name domain. Only the site on which the content was first indexed gets the SEO credit while the other may actually draw a penalty.
That’s the “90 percent” of dental content… crap. Here are 4 tips to keep your dental content firmly in the top 10 percent.
- Keep your audience in mind
Writing at a middle-school reading level, about 9th grade, is optimal for the internet. That kind of writing can be difficult. Keep your words small, your sentences short, and use a lot of white space by breaking up paragraphs. There are a number on online readability checkers you can use to determine if your writing will go over your audience’s head.
- Plan out your article or post
Relatively few people have a talent for writing well. Good writing takes times, focus, concentration, and a plan. Outline, if that’s comfortable for you, and don’t be afraid to revise the outline before you begin. In fact, revise the outline as you write if you discover that something’s not working for you.
- Make your content enjoyable
Good writing makes good reading, and good writing includes engaging your audience. Even dental topics can be treated with a light hand without minimizing the importance of what you’re writing about. Don’t trust your own reaction to your writing; have it read by someone you trust.
- State the problem, emphasize the solution
Your readers aren’t looking for “doom and gloom” in your articles; they’re looking for hope. You need to be sure to emphasize that the dental condition you’re writing about is treatable. Patient and prospects need to know that they can smile without embarrassment, eat without pain, and enjoy life again.
Bad content is everywhere on the internet, but by following these 4 tips, you can be the exception to Sturgeon’s Law.