11.19.10 Issue #454 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Carol Tekavec, RDH
Hygiene Consultant
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Got Content?
By Carol Tekavec RDH

Marketing a dental practice can take many forms. Social media and the use of the internet are becoming more important every day. Dentists know that they need a website, but deciding what that website should contain can be tricky. Should it be personal or simply professional? Should it show photos of staff or just the dentist?  What should be placed on the site once the name, address, dentist degrees, board certifications, and services offered are listed?  What might make a potential patient look through the site long enough to make the decision to contact the dentist?

The answer is “content.” It is essential that your website provide something of interest for your readers to see when they click through. If your site is more like a yellow-pages listing than a source of education and information, readers will quickly lose interest and go elsewhere. So what can you do? Coming up with a website can be accomplished on your own, or professional designers can be enlisted. However, even with a professional designer, many decisions concerning what will be shown on your site will likely be yours alone. Designers can help you set up and teach you how to maintain your site, but you will probably have to provide the information that will be included within. It is known that “content” can be key to capturing and retaining the attention of readers, and this attention can translate into new patients for the practice.

Getting “Content”
Content can be considered information that provides readers with facts, details, or simply entertainment, that stimulates their interest and encourages them to learn more.  It can make the difference between a “run-of-the-mill” site that readers click through, and one that attracts and retains them. Content can also provide a source of “key words” that web designers can build on to drive readers to your site. Having a variety of interesting articles on your website can provide the basis for a search engine result that includes your practice.

There are two important rules when putting together a website full of good “content”
1. Know how to create interesting content yourself - or where to go to find it
2. Commit to updating your information on a regular basis

If you are creating content yourself, put yourself in your patient’s shoes. What kinds of questions do your existing patients frequently ask you? What do people in your community talk about when you see them at the football game or the grocery store? When a new patient meets you for the first time, what does he say is the reason he chose you? The answers to these questions can help you focus on what types of articles might be of interest to your readers.  

Your experiences can also make compelling reading. Are you involved in providing special services to the community? A story about what you’ve done makes for great “content.” Have you worked with special needs patients or provided care at a recent free dental care event? Write about what happened at the event. Would you like your readers to know more about certain procedures that you perform? Write about veneers, implants, non-surgical perio treatment or other services you provide. Do your patients often ask you about commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes? Write an article discussing what is in most toothpastes and mouthwashes and how the ingredients work. Do your patients wonder why you take x-rays? Write an article about the purpose and need for radiographs and why you take them when treating your patients.

Keep in mind that writing for a website is different than writing for a print publication. It is suggested that you use short sentences, simple words, and bullet points or numbering to set off sections or paragraphs. Articles should also get to the point and not be too long. Spelling and grammar are important. While mistakes can always slip through the most meticulous proof-reading, these mistakes must be few in order for your site to maintain credibility. 

If you are creating content yourself, you also must put in the time to actually write the articles. Writing can be very time consuming, and since updated information is a must, it will be an on-going activity. Remember, readers lose interest quickly and are looking to your site to keep them informed. “Stale” information on your site can make you look out-of-touch.

If you decide that you are too busy or not inclined to write your own content, then you have a few choices:

  1. Freelance authors can be contracted to provide web articles; typically on a pay-per-word basis. If you choose this option, you must consider the cost and the fact that you will need to work closely and put in the time with your freelancer to be sure that his writing represents your views.
  1. Writers can be retained to provide articles on a regular basis for a retainer or salary.
  1. Content can be licensed and paid for from copyrighted sources-typically for a specific time period. (Locating the copyright holder and obtaining permission can take time.)
  1. If you see an interesting article written by someone else, you may contact them for permission to reprint that article. (It is against the law to reprint an article that is copyrighted without the express permission of the author or copyright holder.)
  1. Website patient information can be purchased outright and printed “as is” or changed to reflect aspects of the article that you want to highlight. This can be a fast, inexpensive and effective choice.

A website can be a true practice builder, but if it is not kept up, it can make a practice look dated and behind the times. Content can be the key to making your website attractive and informative, and it can be the reason a patient decides to make an appointment with you rather than the dentist down the street.

Carol has authored 10 “ready to use” articles for your web-site.  For more information GO HERE.

Carol Tekavec CDA RDH is the Director of Hygiene for McKenzie Management. Carol can improve your hygiene department in just one day of training “in your office.” Interested in knowing more about how to improve your hygiene department? Email hygiene@mckenziemgmt.com

Carol is also a speaker on dental records, insurance coding and billing, patient communication and hygiene efficiency for McKenzie Management.  Interested in having Carol speak to your dental society or study club?  Click here

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