I REALLY LIKE AND ADMIRE FRED JOYAL. And if you’re a dentist, orthodontist, or dental marketer, you probably like him too. Fred has a ton of dental marketing experience and advice that he shares through his blog, Go Ask Fred.
A couple of weeks ago Fred wrote a great post entitled, Prioritizing Your Social Media Activities in which he outlines his thoughts about the order in which dental practices should spend their social media marketing time.
The idea behind the post is that practices have a limited amount of time to market online, so they should be spending it in the most effective ways. I wholeheartedly agree. The post is well written and I enjoyed reading his ranked list, beginning with Facebook (which I agree probably should be #1 for most practices). However, there was one conspicuous omission on Fred’s list—a blog.
What About Blogging For Dentists?
It was interesting to me that I wasn’t the only one who noticed that a blog was not on the list. The first comment under Fred’s post was from Dr. Alan Mead—a smart dental marketer who understands the power of blogging and who has been doing a great job for many years on his own dental blog. Dr. Mead asked Fred about blogs (see below) and a great discussion followed:
Blogging For Dentists Is The Foundation For Effective Social Media Marketing
Your blog is the hub of your dental social media marketing platform. The very best, most effective blogging for a dental practice takes place when a practice puts in the time and effort to create all of their own original content. The reason that’s best is because it serves BOTH of the objectives for a blog—to provide great value to patients, and to enhance search. The problem is that most dental practices just don’t have the time to do that.
Your Patients And Prospective Patients Appreciate Thoughtful Blog Content
We encourage our clients to participate with us in creating their blog posts. Don’t write content specifically for search engines at the expense of your audience. Don’t focus on the clinical aspects of dentistry—they’re boring to most people. Talk about dentistry (and non dental topics) in very human ways. Time and time again we see patients expressing thanks to their dentist for useful, relevant, and engaging content:
Misunderstandings About Duplicate Content
Some suggest that search engines “penalize” blogs with duplicate content. This is a myth, as evidenced by the following quote from Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google: “A lot of people think that if they have duplicate content that they’ll be penalized. In most cases, Google does not penalize sites for accidental duplication. Many, many, many sites have duplicate content. Google may penalize sites for deliberate or manipulative duplication. For example: auto generated content, link networks or similar tactics designed to be manipulative. Don’t be afraid of duplicate content, be informed.”
When Susan refers to “auto generated content, link networks or similar tactics designed to be manipulative” she is referring to black hat techniques. “Black hat SEO” is a very specific term used to describe specific unethical SEO techniques—techniques used to cheat search engines into thinking you’re the authority on a given topic when you’re not. Techniques that will get you penalized. Black hat techniques include things like keyword stuffing, hidden text, and cloaking.
Black hat SEO is shady stuff. Don’t waste time or resources with black hat techniques. Also, you’ll notice at the beginning of the article linked above that the concerns over duplicate content are set within the context of one’s own site, not within the internet as a whole. Susan also explains that you shouldn’t worry about duplicate content if you believe that the benefit outweighs potential ranking concerns. You must consider the cost—both in terms of time and resources—of all original content. For some practices it can happen, but for many others the benefits may not outweigh the cost.
Always Keep Your Blog’s Objectives In Mind
It doesn’t matter to your patients if the same content is being published to another dentist’s blog halfway around the world. If the content is interesting, engaging, thoughtful, relevant and useful it has great value to your readers. Our goal is to provide the highest quality writing for our clients at an affordable price. So, in answer to the question, “Wouldn’t all original content be better?” Absolutely yes! Original content will always get you more search engine love—a worthy second objective for your blog. If you can find the time and/or resources, go for it!
Is Your Dental Or Ortho Practice Ready To Get Serious About Social Media Marketing?
My Social Practice is the only dental-exclusive social media company providing affordable, highly creative ideas, content, strategy, and support that ensures your practice’s social media marketing success in 10 minutes a day. We’d love to visit with you about how we can help your practice.