To grow your practice revenues and new patient numbers, you must have a digital marketing strategy to bring visitors to your dental website. The dental industry is a little behind when it comes to marketing, and for you to survive and thrive, you must embrace it and realize it is a must.
Dentistry is bombarded with sales and marketing companies promising the world and not producing the results, lending to massive disappointment by the hopeful dentist. Having spoken to hundreds of dentist the past six years, I feel your pain. It is a tough pill to swallow to invest in marketing (and advertising) to not see the outcome (ROI) you had been told or hoped for.
People Use Google
One of the biggest, most cost-effective marketing methods you should strongly consider is SEO (search engine optimization). More than 70 percent of people looking for a local business use the Internet, and more commonly Google.
That is why Google has become a massive company via their online advertising platform referred to as “Google AdWords”. Unfortunately, advertising using Google AdWords can be quite expensive and take a lot of nurturing, testing and tweaking.
Because Google makes much of their revenue from advertising, they are constantly changing how the search results pages look. And the common theme is more and more ads.
The choice for you as the business owner is to play their game and invest in AdWords or invest in SEO. Statistics have shown that AdWords drives 10 percent of web traffic to a local business. That leaves up to 90 percent for the organic section of the SERPs (search engine results page).
This is a massive opportunity for your dental practice to grab that 90 percent of visitors who ignore the ads and go down to the first few organic results. If you get your practice in those spots for dental keywords, you have a good chance of getting the call over your competitors (if you have a website that has been designed for conversions).
Old Dental SEO Isn’t as Effective Anymore
I’ve had more conversations than I care to count with dentists who have been misled and even deceived by SEO companies that have not produced any results (rankings and phone calls) for their practice.
The standard approach to dental SEO is to go after search phrases like “city dentist”, “city Invisalign”, “city dental implants” and so on.
The flaw in this approach is several issues:
1. Every dentist in your city is also going after those phrases, making them very competitive.
2. Depending on your current rankings in Google, it could take six months to a year to see any results, and we’ve seen many that didn’t get the results even after a year.
3. We’ve determined these general dental terms don’t necessarily bring a warm visitor to your website who is ready to call your practice.
4. When you add them up there are only around 20 of these terms, when you add up all your services, then add dentist, then maybe cosmetic dentist.
The conversation each month with your SEO company can be excruciating, as the explanation is something like, “We are seeing progress, and are very encouraged that we can get you to the top of the organic rankings.” Does this sound familiar?
A More Cost-Effective New SEO Method
We’ve done exhaustive research into how people use Google to search for their specific dental need.
What we found was quite interesting and very exciting.
Through our research using Google Tools, we have determined over 400 “buyer intent” dental keywords. And this just scratches the service. This is our Phase 1 SEO program for dentists just coming aboard with our agency.
We have also tirelessly pushed to come up with procedure-specific buyer intent phrases, and here is where it gets kind of crazy.
We have created what we call “keyword clusters”. For example, Invisalign is a cluster. Orthodontics is a cluster. Sleep Apnea, Sedation, Wisdom Teeth, Cosmetic, Dental Implants and more.
The total number we’ve come up with is over 5,000 buyer intent keyword phrases. These clusters are what we call “add-ons” to our Phase 1.
How Consumers Use Google
I want you to think for a minute when you go to Google and search for something. Do you type in two words or have you learned that if you get more specific (three or more words), you get a better search result, which saves you time, one of your most valuable commodities.
For example, when I have a dentist on the phone, I’ll share my computer screen with them and analyze their online presence and website for improved conversions. But I’ll also do some searches as examples.
So let’s say you are looking for a plumber. You’ve got a clogged bathroom sink. Would you just type in your “city plumber”? Or, would you add your specific need like “clogged bathroom sink”?
Really think about how you search. You’ll soon realize you are adding words to your search to refine your results. Many times, the end phrase you use doesn’t even make grammatical sense. You just adding words as they came to you.
Ranking for Your City And Surrounding Areas
One thing I hear a lot is, “We draw patients from outside our main city.” And this is where the opportunity gets even more exciting. It is more realistic, with the right approach, to rank for those keyword phrases for surrounding areas, as many of your competitors will not have the knowledge to go after them, making them less competitive.
It is also feasible to get rankings faster due to the lesser competition of these phrases. We are seeing results in three to four weeks, so much different than the standard three to four months, if not longer.
Landing Bigger Cases
Another thing I want you to understand and get excited about is the opportunity to land big cases and bring in much great revenues each month. When people are typing in these buyer intent specific phrases, they have a need. And they just want to find a dentist that can fulfill that need.
Is This Long-Tail SEO?
So many SEO companies reading this will tell their dentists that this is just long-tail SEO and the search volume is extremely low, as most people will not be typing these phrases in Google search.
As mentioned earlier, we have determined buyer intent phrases that we would not consider long tail phrases. But … we cover the entire sum aggregate, which when added up, can be a greater search volume number for your practice than just ranking for the very difficult (and often impossible) general keyword phrases.
Look at the image early on in this article to see the graph. It’s an eye-opener.
I hope if anything, you are more informed, when you hear about dental SEO.
Author: Mike Pedersen is the founder of The Dental Boost. A digital marketing agency specializing in helping attract more higher value cases for dentists and orthodontists by implementing cutting-edge dental SEO and custom, high-converting dental websites. Fill out their questionnaire to see if you are a fit.