Local SEO for dentists matters.
When your potential new patients are searching for a new dentist in their area, how easily can they find your dental practice? Do they have to rely on outdated Yellow Pages and word of mouth referrals, or do you show up as a reputable and trustworthy option after a quick Google search?
If your situation looks more like the first scenario, it’s past time to start focusing on your local SEO efforts. According to research, four out of five consumers use the internet to find information about local businesses. Improving your website trust, authority and relevance with the search engines (mainly Google) through SEO will help your ideal patients find your dental practice instead of a competitor’s when they turn to Google for help.
Dental offices aren’t an online service or retail establishment, but they can still benefit from a boost in SERP rankings. If you’re still wondering why local search engine optimization is important and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for dentists, you’re in the right place.
Read on to learn about 7 of the most common misconceptions regarding local SEO for dentists and why your dental practice should avoid suffering from these mindset issues as they will surely be impeding your growth.
1. Local SEO for Dentists Does Not Work
What is local SEO used for in the world of dentistry? In short, it helps your most ideal patients find your dental practice when they do a “near me” type of search online on Google. They might be directed to your Google My Business map listing or straight to your dental website.
Alternatively, your ideal new patients could be conducting due diligence regarding your dental services on Google and asking questions like “how much does Invisalign cost in NYC” or “what is full mouth reconstruction“. The power of your local SEO matches these keyword queries with the relevant answers supplied in your dental website (if your medical website design is properly executed with the foundation of inbound principles).
Dentists who claim it doesn’t work likely don’t know how to do local SEO and gave up before they saw the fruits of their labor. If you stick with a sophisticated inbound medical marketing strategy, however, you could see a 95% improvement in SERP rankings and over 100+ new patient leads every month.
All of which translates to a minimum of an extra 20+ qualified new patients a month through your dental website.
2. A Well-Designed Dental Website Doesn’t Matter
If the goal of local SEO for dentists is to get more qualified prospects visiting your dental website, then it’s crucial to make sure they find what they’re looking for once they get there.
You have to shift your mindset to really understand the true value of investing in a data-driven, lightning fast and beautifully designed dental website that is optimized for conversions.
Your dental website is your rockstar marketing and sales employee that is working for you 24 / 7 even while you sleep. It can cater to the questions of thousands of your ideal prospects at the same time, while educating, prepping and qualifying them for your most important conversion goal: scheduling an appointment with you.
Your dental website should be more than just a portfolio and do more than tell patients how to contact you. If you want your potential prospects to consistently turn into a steady stream of scheduled appointments, your dental website should then function like a well-oiled sales machine.
As such, take time to optimize your dental website, ensure that your content is not fluffy, include noticeable CTAs on every page, pay attention to your analytics and constantly tweak and adjust accordingly to improve your conversions.
3. You Can Get Away With Fluffy Content on Your Dental Website
This is incredibly important and quite probably the most overlooked.
Ask yourself these questions: as a high-level expert in dentistry, is your knowledge, education and expertise shining through via your dental website content? Or is it cookie-cutter fluffy content written by someone who has no expertise in dentistry?
Will you read your own dental website content and then be convinced to schedule an appointment with you?
While creating local SEO content for a dental website, dental practices often assume they can post whatever they want as long as it has the right keywords. While it’s true that keywords are an important part of local SEO for dentists, fluffy content can do more harm than good.
Even if you do game systems through keyword-stuffing, fluffy content and manage to drive traffic to your website, do you think your ideal patients are going to convert reading your fluffy content? Especially the most qualified ones who actually have the money to afford your high-end dental services.
Your ideal patients who are reading the content on dental websites are often looking for specific answers. If they visit your articles and find that they’re lacking in subject-matter expertise, trust and depth of expert insight, they will leave and head to another dental provider within seconds. This also signals to Google that your dental website brand isn’t high-authority enough and, as such, shouldn’t rank highly in search results.
If your dental website is curated with unique, rich-media content that accurately and effective communicates your knowledge, expertise and critical depth of insight such that it educates and informs in an honest and transparent manner, the your ideal patients will stay to read it, your rankings will climb and you will notice tangible conversions in the form of new appointment requests.
4. Dental SEO Is a One-Time Effort
Most business owners unfamiliar with local SEO sometimes assume it’s a one-and-done type of endeavor. Once you start seeing the results from your local SEO efforts, you stop focusing on SEO and fall back on outdated marketing strategies.
If you want to get a positive ROI from local SEO that stands the test of time, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Short-term SEO is often a wasted investment.
The internet is a dynamic landscape. Search engine algorithms, your competitors’ marketing strategies, and consumer searches are always in flux. Most importantly, local SEO results compound exponentially over time. And a 3 – 6 month period of lull is enough to lose your hard-earned momentum, which is really the hardest thing to build back up with Google as it takes a lot of time.
As such, you have to constantly adapt your local SEO to stay relevant and maintain the results you worked so hard to achieve. If you don’t, you can quickly fall in rank and slip to the second page in Google as the competition is fierce.
5. You Can Get Results From Your Local SEO for Dentists Paying $500 a Month
Google has made it increasingly more and more difficult to enjoy the perks of free organic traffic through your SEO. The internet is flux with “SEO experts” selling local SEO services for $500 a month. But only those who really know what they are doing will truly harness the power of organic search.
Given all the various individual ingredients you have to master through your inbound marketing to truly yield you tangible business results, it is simply impossible to execute at a high level with a paltry monthly SEO budget of $500 (or even double that).
A successful inbound marketing strategy involves:
- A well-designed, mobile-first, data-driven website
- A well-researched competitor and relevant keyword strategy
- Monthly technical SEO audits and fixes
- An in-depth high-authority content strategy with a minimum of 100 well-written, rich-media blog posts
- A high-quality digital PR and editorially curated backlink strategy
- Setting up, monitoring and measuring high-level data and analytics
- Tweaking and refining conversion rate optimization
Only once these entire gamut of inbound marketing services are executed in the correct sequential order and with a formula fully customized to your ideal patients will your dental practice see a steady stream of 100+ new patient leads every single month.
This should trickle down to minimum 15+ new patients every month.
Could you get something very cheap, cookie-cutter and diluted for $500 a month? Sure. But that approach will also get you cookie-cutter, diluted results that will do nothing to really move the needle for your dental practice business.
Local SEO for dentists is quite possible one of the most competitive in the US market. In fact, any and all medical and legal markets are insanely competitive. As such, good SEO is not going to be cheap.
If you are interested in generating an extra $30,000 – $50,000+ in new patients every single month, you need to be prepared to invest a minimum of $5,500 a month with our local SEO for dentists.
6. Local SEO for Dentists Gives Overnight Results
Local SEO for dentists requires patience to win patients.
In fact, Google has slowed things down even more. If you are engaging in inbound marketing, be prepared to wait between 9 – 12 months before you start seeing tangible business results with your dental marketing efforts.
As such, if you are a new dental business or a young dentist fresh out of dental college with a dental start-up, investing in a sophisticated inbound marketing strategy will be difficult to financially sustain. Local SEO for dentists works best for dental practices that have been in business for a while and have a cash-flow healthy business already generating $1M or more in annual revenues.
While it would be nice to see a return on your marketing investment within a few days or even try pushing to set up a cost-per-conversion pricing, local SEO for dentists is a long-term strategy.
However, if you have the marketing budget and are able to be patient with it, the results can be stunning.
Take a look at the screenshot below of the kind of results we got for Kate Brayman, DDS.
We started working with Kate Brayman, DDS in April, 2018. In about 2 years, we positioned her dental practice to be one of the leading dental websites in Manhattan (if not all of USA). As of May 2020, she is getting over 35,000 monthly organic visitors. And this is laser-targeted PPC-qualified traffic that she is attracting organically. Meaning: if you had to secure this same traffic through paid ads, you will have to spend $103,800 a month through Google’s PPC. Which is very, very expensive.
In comparison, we helped Kate Brayman, DDS take ownership of her prime digital real estate and develop this evergreen organic traffic asset. This is what makes your dental inbound marketing an investment.
Our standard dental local SEO monthly marketing retainer is $5,500 a month. It took us 12 months to get the website to a level of sustainable traffic that Dr. Brayman recouped her entire annual marketing cost of $66,000 within 3 months.
Patience is essential. You may not see big results until 9 – 12 months down the line, but when you do see how much your local SEO can benefit your dental practice, it will start to blow your mind.
7. Dental SEO Agencies Are a Scam
Local SEO is a big investment that can have even bigger payoffs. Even so, some people are wary of getting scammed by unscrupulous service providers. And we truly empathize with anyone who had a negative experience with an SEO provider.
Local SEO and inbound marketing are not easy and require a tremendous level of attention to detail, quality, analysis, measurements, execution and constant optimizations for conversions.
Steer clear of dental marketing agencies that are more focused on how to sell SEO services to local businesses than they are on helping you get real results. If they promise overnight results for a tiny fee, they will most likely fail to deliver results.
While it’s easy to blame marketing agencies as scam, as a leader and a business owner, you have to assume direct responsibility in all failures related to your business. This includes your marketing. As such, it really is your job to educate yourself as much as possible regarding digital while ensuring you are crystal clear in your own business growth vision.
Are You Ready to Invest in Local SEO for Dental Practices?
No matter how well your dental practice is doing already, new patient acquisition should be one of your top priorities. If prospective patients can’t find you online, they will never call to make an appointment. As such, finding a reputable local SEO agency to manage your dental practice’s online presence could be the most worthwhile investment you make this year.
If you’re ready to take advantage of the revenue boost that local SEO for dentists can bring, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a strategy session, and we’ll show you how to grow your sales by $30K – 100K+ per month.