The vast majority of dental websites have content that is provided, in its entirety, by the website designer. Most dentists hire someone to build their websites. That’s OK! It’s even SMART! But, they also delegate ALL the content to the website developer. And, that’s not only not OK, it’s a really bad idea. Turns out, I’ve written about this before. My apologies for being repetitive. But, a new patient from last week reminded me how important this is.
First, you must know that if a website developer is providing the content (both copy and images), that it’s the SAME as they’ve provided for the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of their clients. They can’t possibly create unique content for each of their clients.
Canned content should be banned content.
So, what do you get? Canned content that reads like a dental encyclopedia. It says nothing about your practice’s unique qualities. It doesn’t make a connection with the visitor. It’s not compelling. It doesn’t RESONATE.
You like me? You really, really like me!
When a patient tells me that he found me through a web search, I often ask, “Did you look at other websites?” And, if so, “Why did you choose us over the others?”
I’m genuinely interested. You should be, too.
Last week, I got a new patient in the practice. I asked him those same questions. He lives 45 minutes away. He needs and wants extensive dental treatment. There are over 1,000 dentists in my county. He picked me. How? He found my website. OK, so what? Well… plenty of those 1,000+ dentists also have websites. He probably drove by a hundred dental offices on his way to mine. Would you like the opportunity to help patients like this? Requisite photos below!
He told me that my site made him feel comfortable. He said, “It was in a language that I understood. I felt like I already knew you.“ Read that again. He felt like he already knew me. ME.
Your website isn’t selling dentistry. It’s selling YOU.
Read THAT one again, too.
The dentist-meister… makin’ copy…
I wrote every single word on my site. I also took all the photos. I’ve posted plenty about photography. But, this blog post is about your website’s copy (the technical term for the text in any marketing piece).
I’ve long contended that “Content Is King.” And, I’m here to tell you that COPY is the King’s Crown. The copy on your site is absolutely critical. But, that doesn’t mean it has to be fancy or a literary masterpiece. Rather, I recommend a casual conversational style for writing copy. Remember that your website is intended to be read by normal people.
Write like you talk.
Don’t write for other dentists (or even yourself). Consider how you might answer a dental question at a cocktail party. We all get questions about dentistry in social situations. I hope that you have the ability to speak to people in non-technical terms. Save the “dentalese” for conversations with other dentists. This applies to chairside conversations as well as marketing. Also, remember that adage, while nearly everyone likes sausage, they don’t want to see how it’s made. They also don’t want to read how it’s made. Refrain from the detailed descriptions and definitions of dental procedures. Focus on benefits not features.
Who better than you?
YOU are the best qualified person to write the copy for your website. Anything written by anyone else, especially a person who has never set foot in your practice, cannot possibly reflect your practice’s unique qualities, nor can it resonate with visitors and prospective new patients. PERIOD. If you didn’t write it, it sucks. That’s right!
Sure… hire someone to put your website together. It’s worth paying someone to do all the technical stuff. And, to get the ball rolling, use their stock content. But, you should make a focused effort to REPLACE that content with your own. Do one page at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get help and input from your team and even your spouse or other trusted non-dental people. Have someone proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. It can be casual and still follow the rules of good grammar and spelling.
Google like (good) copy.
The bonus: Google likes good copy! Good, compelling copy is naturally chock-full of keywords. And, Google likes unique copy. Duplicate content is downgraded by Google. So, if hundreds (or more) websites have the exact same content as yours, that is not a good thing when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization). But, ultimately, the real reason for good copy is to CONVERT visitors into patients. It doesn’t matter how well your site ranks, if the visitors aren’t making that call for an appointment.
Don’t wait! Pick a page from your website and start re-writing! Don’t get caught up in writing “perfect” copy. Just whip it up and get it out there. Write like you talk. Short paragraphs. Keep it simple. Keep it conversational. Benefits! No sausage-making details!