Internet marketing is a key strategy for increasing website traffic and customer inquiries online. This usually applies to all businesses, especially those businesses that provide a service to local customers (or patients, in this case). The printed yellow pages are a thing of the past and most of us use a search engine to find the services we need, including a local dentist. That means it is necessary for your dental office to stay current with its online marketing strategies and look seriously at the tools needed to be found in organic search (SEO), paid search (AdWords), and, most importantly, mobile search. New patients needing your dental services are using their desktop computers and mobile devices to find a dentist. It is imperative that your dentist office appears in those searches.
Big Oak (read about us) can help and has a history of providing small businesses with increased traffic and customers since 2004; when we first started our local business as a search engine marketing company. We work with businesses across the country and throughout Virginia. Big Oak was listed as a Top 5 Local SEO Company by TopSEOs.
You may be new to the world of internet marketing, so let’s take a moment and provide some details to help you understand what we are talking about.
Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page for a Dentist Search
The image below shows a sample search for Richmond Dentists. The information at the top is an advertisement (and is labeled with a small yellow box with the word “AD”) – with a Google search this will always be the case. This type of advertisement within a Google search is referred to by several names: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, AdWords, paid placement, paid search, and a Google Ad are the most common. They all mean the same thing: this is an advertisement and you are paying Google for placement. This is extremely helpful for a dentist’s website that is not showing in the organic or local results (more on those two further down this page) and this type of advertising provides instant placement in Google that is easy to track with a call tracking service. Each time a user clicks your advertisement, you are charged by Google for this potential patient lead. If the ad campaign is done correctly, this is an excellent way to gain new patients and increase your revenue. The tool that is used to run this ad campaign is called Google AdWords.
The next section (under the AdWords advertising) is seen for local searches only and that is the map of the area you are searching within. Google knows your location and will show results near you or Google will show a map based on the location (Richmond) you type in your search request. Directly under this map are the local dentist offices nearby. There will usually be three listings. I have limited it to one dentist to make the graphic smaller for this example. This local list result is based on many factors such as relative distance, trustworthiness of the site, reviews and citations from other sites verifying your Business Name, Address and Phone number (NAP), among other things.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
Using a standard NAP across all the places your business is mentioned online is critical for businesses wanting to rank well in local, organic search results. Google and other search engines use NAP information when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.
The next section is the organic search results. These results aren’t paid for and are listings a website receives for free. Many factors play a role in ranking highly in the organic search results such as the number and quality of links pointing to the website, the content on the webpage, etc. Focused content is necessary in order to notify Google what that page is about, in this case being a Dentist in Richmond, VA. The goal of Big Oak is to have your site displayed in this area as you aren’t paying Google for clicks or visits from this link. Of course, showing in the local results is also a free click, so both spots are advantageous.
Organic Search (SEO) for Dentists
Free, long-term traffic from search engines is always the goal of any qualified SEO company. Quality content and trusted backlinks are the two main factors in contributing to high rankings and steady traffic from the search engines. There is a process Big Oak follows (see image below). All Organic Search campaigns have the following strategic components:
- Website (and Competitor) Research and Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Website & individual Page Optimization
- Link Building through website submission to directories, local sites and NAP coordination.
- Analysis and Review of Results with Clients
- Implementation of Changes Based on Results and Client Feedback
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Any SEO company that tells you overnight rankings are possible is selling something they can’t back up. Optimizing your site, adding new content through a blogging platform, and creating backlinks takes time. And most likely you are trailing other dentist sites that have been optimized and building backlinks for years. Big Oak provides the means to catch up and eventually pass the competition, but it will take time. How long? That depends on many factors and when Big Oak reviews your site, we will take a look at your competitors to see what your website is up against. Over time you will see an increase in traffic, visits, and new patients inquiries for your dentist practice; and you will have the confidence of seeing your analytic reports and meeting with your member of the Big Oak team every month to know exactly where your business stands.
Paid Search (AdWords) for Dentist Websites
As noted above, having your website show in the Google organic results can be challenging. It can take months before your dentist office achieves the higher rankings you hope for and, based on your location, sometimes ranking highly for a search in an area outside of your office location can be impossible. In other words, strong competition, your office’s geography and possible other reasons may require the use of paid search so your website gets visibility in Google’s results. There is some great benefits to using paid search:
- You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
- Big Oak can target only the areas you wish to advertise. We can do this by zip code, miles radius and/or metro area. In other words, you can be focused with your Internet marketing efforts.
- Your dentist office can track calls and online form submissions. You can track your leads from phone calls and form fillouts to see if users became patients. Your ROI is easy to track and this helps decide many important factors such as should you modify your budget, change a keywords, focus on a certain location, etc.
Big Oak was ranked as a top 10 PPC company by Clutch and one of our PPC experts on staff was selected as a Google Ambassador. What does that mean? Google talks to us and takes our calls. We are privy to new roll-outs ahead of time and visit Google at their offices twice a year to speak with the AdWords team.
What do we do?
- Keyword selection
- Negative keyword selection
- Campaign and Ad Group creation
- Bid determination
- Ad writing and testing
- Landing page optimization
- Continuous monitoring and tracking of activity and bid pricing
Mobile Search Results for Dentists
Don’t discount how many of your potential patients will be searching for you on a mobile device, most likely their mobile phone. Here is a visual that shows how a typical Google search might look on a mobile device. This highlights the importance of advertising with AdWords.
Even if you are ranking #1 in your location for the keyword dentists, you are still below the advertisements (and there may be up to three of those advertisements for other dentists at the top) and Google puts a convenient Call button right there to click. So searchers are likely to click on any of those ads or call buttons. This means your top dentist site, ranking highly in Google, was never even seen. The convenience of clicking a call button can’t be ignored and you can only get that through Google’s Paid Search platform, AdWords. Big Oak can make sure your dental office is the top result by managing this for you.
While we can help with your rankings and advertising on a mobile site, it helps greatly when your site is built to look good and function properly on a mobile device such as a tablet or mobile phone. And that leads me to this final point for marketing your dentist site on the Internet…
Do You Need a (Better) Website for Your Dental Practice?
Sometimes you need a new website because your current website is out of date with old information and employees no longer there or it doesn’t have all of your dental services and current location information. Very often we have found that many dentist sites are not mobile friendly and don’t display well on a mobile phone or tablet. While this can look cosmetically bad to the user, it can also hurt your rankings. Google is on record, stating, “Google Search will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in Google Search results.” For this reason alone it would behoove you to update your site with a responsive, mobile-friendly design. Big Oak provides a web building service as a very low-cost option.
In addition, moving your site would include us using WordPress as the content management system so future updates and edits can be done by you or your staff. Big Oak will train you on how to update your site or do minor updates for you at no additional cost. This allows your site to have all your services and the dental procedures you specialize in clearly displayed on your site. A clean and professional design can entice potential patients to call for an appointment while a map, with driving directions, will get them to your office.
Partner with Big Oak for More Customers for Your Dental Practice
Big Oak has been providing online marketing strategies to small and local businesses like yours since 2004. We understand the changing SEO landscape and PPC strategies whether it is for a local dentist or a national company. You will have a Big Oak team member that you can call or email directly. Our employees have all been here at least 3 years. We have low turnover because our employees love their jobs and their clients.
We are a trusted Google Partner.
Why should you use Big Oak to optimize your dentist website?
- Better search engine placement in Google
- More patients for your dental practice
- Traffic Analytics & Monthly Reports – get a comprehensive understanding of your site traffic
- You have a SEO/AdWords consultant you can contact. (Call me if you ever have a problem – Shell Harris 804-741-6776 x-100)
- Higher ROI that is trackable
- Call Tracking (know what advertisements are working in AdWords – quit guessing)
- A better advertising solution that yellow pages, radio, or print ads.
Please give us a call and let’s discuss your goals for your dental office and how your website can be better utilized to meet those goals. Don’t let your 24-hour salesperson (your website) let you down – we make sure your site is always providing you with potential patients. Call Big Oak at 804-741-6776 ext. 100.