When it comes to lead gen, many dentists and dental practices find their new clients coming from referrals, or word-of-mouth. However, there comes a time when you realize that more needs to be done. You’ve heard of SEO, PPC, and other forms of marketing. Which one is best for you?
There are two major levels of marketing:
- Outbound marketing, where you push your marketing message out to a large audience
- Inbound marketing, where you attract your best prospects
Most people are familiar with outbound marketing. If you have ever ran campaigns in a local magazine or newsletter, sent direct mail or leaflets to your surrounding community, or advertised on radio, you have done outbound marketing.
On the other hand, inbound marketing would include email capture, generating leads search engine optimization, and social media campaigns (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Paid ads on Google also falls under this category as you can laser target keyword channels that have relevant traffic for your need.
Benefits of SEO for Dentists
There are a lot of benefits to SEO, which we will dive into in just a moment. However, the biggest drawback to SEO has to do with the time it takes to demonstrate results. The reason is that search engines need to prevent abuse, so slowing down the shifting around of search results is one of the many ways they prevent manipulation tactics from working before their algorithms notice. We wrote a blog post on how long SEO can take that might be of interest for further reading.
Aside from this drawback, search engine can yield a significant number of benefits. A large of it has to do with the comprehensive nature of SEO around growing your digital presence and the strength of your site.
1. Potential patients search for new dentists on Google
When someone needs a dentist and doesn’t have anyone to recommend one, their first step is to search online. Either by Google Organic Search or via Google Maps. The days of looking up a YellowPage catalogue for dentistry services is over. The immediacy of finding what they need at the tap of a few keystrokes on their smartphone gets them a list of top recommendations.
2. Skepticism for ads, trust in organic results
Although Google Ads will appear first, paid advertisements tend to bring a degree of cynicism to consumers. Some people enjoy buying, but no one likes to be sold. With SEO, your business and brand can come off as legitimate, proven by Google to be both relevant and clearly not trying to sell something. A degree of trust (and authority!) comes with appearing in the organic search results. You can learn more about SEO vs. PPC marketing (pay-per-click) at our blog post here.
3. Growing your digital presence in more ways than one
Part of SEO involves growing your digital presence by way of improving your site performance. Link building gets your site out to the world for others to find, while content production builds invaluable assets that will last for as long as they are up. The combination of the two can help acquire a variety of keyword channels along the different steps of the sales funnel that potential clients can look up.
4. Build a digital reputation across the web
Reputation is invaluable. Being visible online allows others learn more about your business while the additional content built for SEO demonstrates your authority in the space. For example, orthodontists do well to tackle topics such as braces, teeth alignment, and jaw health. As a result, they generate relevant traffic for people searching for more information, maybe compare different types of braces, prior to finding the best care in their area.
5. Think long-term and potentially support multiple locations
The long-term return on investment on SEO can be significant not so much at the level you need today, but when you begin expanding your practice to multiple locations. The “domain authority” that is built through SEO allows you to leverage the strength of your site to rank for visibility in other locations. This can generate immediate organic search leads for your new office locations.
Do SEO services work? Absolutely. One of the reasons to choose an agency is for many reasons. First, it’s cheaper than hiring a full-time marketing specialist. Second, they have the resources to take care of your marketing needs (writers, link builders, teams of SEO specialists, tools, platforms, etc.). Third, they have a great view of the SEO landscape with multiple clients. Fourth, they know how to focus their resources and work effectively to bring you results sooner than later. Lastly, they can act as your business partner to bounce marketing campaign ideas with you.
As for getting started with SEO, we understand not everyone has the means to do so. Our post on whether you need an SEO agency can guide you in your decision process. It also contains beginner resources so you can do SEO for your dental site on your own, if needed.
If you prefer to have someone who understands SEO and the nuances of it take over, we can help you get started with a free audit report. After which, we can walk you through the “what” and “how” to SEO, and maybe introduce you to a first month of service.