Make it personal! Your website, that is. I’ve long preached that dentists MUST be involved in the content creation for their website. But, that DOESN’T mean you have to create your own website. I get that objection a lot from dentists. They know I built my own, so they assume I’m suggesting they do the same. I’m not! Pay someone else to build your website. But, YOU must have a hand in the content. I’m talking about both copy (written text) and images. Today I’m focusing on copy writing (text).
The proof is in the chair!
I have a new patient in the chair as I’m typing this. He found me with a Google search. He had been to other dental offices. “But, I felt like they were car salesmen. I had to get out of there. So, I did a Google search, and I could tell by your website, you weren’t like them.” BOOYA! He’s right! I’m not (like the others)! Neither are you. But, how will they know, if you don’t tell them?
Make me a website!
Most dentists just want to write a check and “be done with it.” “Here (take my money)… make me a website… and it better be good!”
I contend this is a tremendous mistake, a missed opportunity, and a waste of money. You cannot delegate the job of your website 100%. To be precise, your job will be to help write the copy.
The problem when you delegate the entire project is that you will inevitably get “canned copy.” Any one website company cannot possibly create unique and original copy for hundreds or thousands of websites. So, they come up with some canned, generic, encyclopedic copy and “insert your name here.” By “encyclopedic,” I’m referring to copy that amounts to little more than a dental dictionary: “This is how we make veneers.” “This is how implants work.” And, so on.
Which one is not like the others?
Besides the fact that you’ve now paid to have the exact same website as all their other clients, Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Your website will not rank well in the search engines with duplicate content. Furthermore, if someone does happen to find your website, the copy will read like an encyclopedia or dictionary. Dental web searchers aren’t really looking for information on how implants osseointegrate. They ARE looking for a DENTIST. They want to get to know YOU.
The only way they can get to know you is if you express yourself through your website. Write your copy just like you speak to your patients. Of course, that’s assuming you do speak and communicate effectively with patients! Don’t get fancy. Don’t break out the thesaurus and try to impress readers with long sentences chock-full of polysyllabic words (that you’d never use in conversation). Boil it down to its essence. If you have a lot to say, break it down into small paragraphs. Think bite-size pieces of information. ENGLISH, not Dental-ese.
Everyone wants benefits.
Dentists are the kind of people who, when you ask them for the time, they will tell you how to build a clock. But, not just any clock! They’ll go into mind-numbing detail about the intricacies of an atomic clock, driven by a Cesium crystal that oscillates at 64,000 Hertz. Aaaagh! Those are what you call FEATURES. And, nobody cares!
Talk about BENEFITS. How will they look and feel? What issues can they avoid? People will do more to avoid pain than they will do to gain pleasure. That’s human nature. But, I still focus on the positive and pleasurable gains that dentistry has to offer. But, yes… good preventive dental care will help folks avoid pain, too. Ultimately, people want to look good, feel good, and last a long time.
Rocking the video.
A quick shout-out for another very effective way to convey your personality: Video.
Again, people are looking for a dentist… a human dentist. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and who you are. You can be sure you won’t appeal to everyone. But, you will attract those who resonate with your message and style. Those are the best patients! They already know you (and are sold on you) before they step foot in the office. The same is true for your website copy.
Website video can be as simple as a home-made YouTube production that is embedded on your site. (Great for testimonials!) Or you can get professionally produced videos. My videos were produced by New Patients Inc., who did a fantastic job.
Do it write now!
Start writing. Do it with a pen and paper. Do it in a word processor on your computer. Pick just ONE of your services, and start writing about it. Give that to your webmaster and tell him / her to put it in there (and dump the “dental dictionary” crap). Preferably, give each service its own page (click here for the reasons why). Then do another one. And, another. Be prepared to write another check! It’s worth it.
Don’t try to take on the entire project and overwhelm yourself (even just thinking about it). Peck away at it, piece by piece. It took me YEARS to accumulate the copy that spans nearly 60 pages on my website. It will pay off for Dental Warriors who wield the pen as a mighty website sword! 🙂