Online marketing is increasingly becoming a necessity — more so for local businesses such as dental clinics. This trend is unlikely to reverse. The bulk of new patients would indeed come from mailers, insurance companies, and patient referrals. But any dental marketing would be incomplete if inbound digital channels like PPC (Pay Per Click) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are not incorporated in the strategy. Your marketing goals and budget would determine if SEO, PPC, or both are necessary for a comprehensive marketing plan for your dental clinic.
What can SEO do ?
SEO is the abbreviated form of Search Engine Optimization, a passive variant of online marketing that aims to generate organic traffic to a website by improving and promoting it. Websites that are more optimized for search rankings generate more organic traffic and consequently, more number of these visitors can convert to appointments.
Your objective may be to have exhaustive information about the dental services and practices that you offer to be readily available both to potential and returning patients throughout the buying process.
How good is your SEO?
There can’t be a definitive answer to this question as optimization is a process that does not have a real boundary. A more relevant question would be: to what extent is your SEO doing its job?
If you are keeping track of how patients are coming to you and you find that a majority of them are coming to you because they found you in online search results and the online information provided by you was sufficient and encouraging, you know your SEO is doing a good job, at least for now.
But you should remember that SEO is a long-term engagement that needs to be sustained through continuous maintenance and improvement of the website. Otherwise, the site will stagnate and develop errors. This would affect your website’s prospects in local search results. On the Internet, sites are always on the move, either they are moving forward or falling behind. As a dental clinic out to increase your business, you can’t afford to fall behind others.
This brings us to a more relevant topic: Dental SEO vs PPC.
Internet advertising Pay-per-click is employed to drive visitors to websites. In this model, an advertiser pays the hosting websites every time the ad is clicked. This is a paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. This is different from SEO which is essentially a continuous process of improvement and enhancement of the website so that it ranks higher in search engine results such as on Google.
Factors that make for good SEO
There are hundreds of factors that determine what good SEO is. But we can narrow down the best SEO practices to a few more notable ones which include the following:
A dental office to become successful needs to match its objectives with the target audience. Its services should align with the needs of the community. It requires strong branding both in appearance and marketing communications.
High-quality relevant content assures your website will figure at the top of the search results. Low intent keywords make the website more functional and useful ? why people will like to visit this site. A monthly blog post can make the site look updated and relevant.
If your dental website is more than 3 years old, it’s time for a new-look website. You should also consider securing it with an SSL certificate. Try to make it error-free and mobile-friendly.
You should ensure that your contact details are consistent and uniform across your online presence, especially on Google My Business listing. This helps your patients find you more easily.
Link building or backlinking is another important SEO tool that makes your website feature in the top slot in search results. Backlinks are the links of your website on other’s website. So, your website is referred to even when a visitor is on somebody else’s website.
A customer review is trusted more than an advertisement. So when a patient who has got treatment at your dental clinic makes a recommendation for your services, his family and friends as well as stray visitors find it a more trustworthy recommendation. You should collect all these customer reviews and post them under the testimonial section on your website. However, a critical online review can damage your reputation. You can seek professional help to build your online reputation including customer review management.
Apart from patient reviews, other customer behaviors can also have a bearing on the SEO of your website. Prominent among these behaviors are social media behaviors that include ‘like’ and ‘shares’.
While most of these SEO components can be fixed and optimized by your SEO team, certain other things have a significant bearing on the practice of your dental clinic but your SEO team may not have control over them. For example, the physical location of your dental clinic could be an issue that is outside the realm of your SEO team.
Dental SEO vs PPC
You don’t need to be a digital marketing geek to understand and guide the digital campaign of your dental clinic.
The most significant objective of your dental clinic’s digital marketing campaign is to generate data and information that you can easily understand and use. If your agency is providing information that is not clear enough, it means that your campaign has some under-executed or underperforming heads. You should ask your digital marketing agency to make those heads work more sensibly and provide you clear and transparent data and information that you can readily employ in real-time marketing.
There are ways you can examine and judge whether your digital marketing strategies are efficiently improving the SEO of your dental practices.In a debate over Dental SEO vs PPC, the dental SEO offers better and more lasting results, which can be examined under the following heads. Here are some KPIs (key performance indicators):
If there is an increase of visitors from search engines to your site, the SEO of your website is seeing more traction.
If there is a significant improvement in phone calls or contact form submissions from visitors to your site, it indicates the SEO of your website is doing better.
When your site ranks higher in search results for navigational or informational reasons, it’s a sign that the SEO is attracting more visitors to your site and it’s good.