You’re a committed dentist with 5-star skills. Your community trusts your practice, and patients frequently recommend you to friends and family.
Shouldn’t this be enough to attract more patients?
Despite your experience and patient loyalty, you need more than just referrals to stay afloat in the 21st-century. Word-of-mouth referrals are only one piece of a broader dental marketing strategy.
One of the most important pieces to focus on is SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization.”
More than 77% of all prospective patients use search engines to find treatment services. 70% of those searches result in a phone call. That’s why you need an SEO strategy that can capture and covert dental leads quickly.
You don’t have to be an optimization expert yourself to reap the benefits of SEO, but you do need a dental SEO company that delivers results.
Follow these essential tips to find the right SEO team for your dental practice.
1. How Does SEO Work?
Knowledge is power, and one of the best ways to avoid being taken advantage of is to educate yourself on the basics of SEO.
Search engine optimization represents a wide range of organic and paid methods that help websites rank on the first page of search engines. Organic methods are techniques that help rank your website in natural search results. Paid methods are techniques like pay-per-click search ads that appear above organic search results.
You don’t have to be an expert, of course, but it helps to know how it works, so shady companies don’t pull the wool over your eyes. People have lost thousands of dollars for simply not knowing the difference between black-hat methods and white-hat techniques.
White-hat tactics are legitimate SEO methods that don’t torpedo your rankings, unlike black-hat techniques.
White-hat methods include:
- High-quality content creation
- Relevant, authoritative link-building
- Authentic blogger outreach
- Quality search ad copy
- Proper keyword research
- Appropriate keyword density (no stuffing!)
- Correctly optimized on-page elements
- Stellar user experience design
- Mobile responsiveness
Relevancy is essential for dental SEO. Look for dental SEO companies that reach out to authoritative dental websites to build high-quality backlinks to your website. This type of white-hat link building drives traffic to your dental website, adds legitimacy to your site, and improves rankings.
A reputable dental SEO firm will craft high-quality dental content with relevant keywords. Most importantly, quality dental SEO content should add value to readers’ lives. Topics should cover everything from preventative dental care to root canals.
SEO is more than just keywords, content optimization, and link-building. Site speed and website navigation also play critical roles in your dental SEO strategy. Web visitors will only give your site a few seconds to load until they give up and move on to the competition.
These legitimate white-hat methods work together to push your website up the ranks and onto the first page of Google. They also help deliver excellent visitor experiences that result in more engagement, which also improves your rankings.
Experienced SEO professionals should be able to explain these strategies and more optimization techniques without hesitation.
2. Work with Legitimate Companies Only
SEO companies must also practice current and legitimate SEO techniques, but that doesn’t mean they all do. This means no keyword stuffing, black-hat link building, cloaking, shady redirects, and spam comments.
Another red flag to watch out for is low-quality content, spun articles, and duplicate content. Avoid companies that don’t develop content in-house, as this is a cornerstone of top SEO campaigns.
Don’t hesitate to ask prospective SEO companies if they engage in these harmful practices. These methods are proven to lower your rankings or deindex your website altogether! That’s literal money down the drain.
Asking how SEO works is one of many questions you should ask. Your marketing budget is on the line. You want to get what you paid for!
Dental marketing firms should have no problem answering any questions you may have. If an agency isn’t willing to answer your questions, or dismisses your concerns, that’s an immediate red flag.
Here are the most critical questions to ask:
3. Does the SEO Company Understand the Business of Dentistry?
As you know, dental practices are different from retail, manufacturing, veterinary practices, and lawn care services. You want an SEO company that caters to dental practices and specializes in dental SEO.
Ask which dentists and clients an SEO company has worked with. Often, dental SEO agencies will feature past clients on their website. If not, make sure to ask right away.
SEO companies that work with dentists should understand the marketing needs of your practice. They should understand your target patient, content needs, niche keywords, and dental industry trends.
4. Does the SEO Company Have a Blog That Shows Its Expertise in Dental Marketing?
Another way to learn if an SEO company has experience with the dental niche is to check their blog.
An experienced agency will have a blog packed with essential dental SEO tips and tricks. SEO is collaborative, and reputable SEO agencies should want to educate clients on dental SEO.
5. Does the SEO Company Offer Exclusivity or Does It Work with Multiple Dentists in the Same City?
Here’s something you may not have considered: if a dental SEO company works with a lot of dental practices, they may be working with your competition as well.
Instead, consider agencies that only work with one dental practice per city. Do you want to work with a company that’s helping the competition to outrank your practice?
6. Does the Company Use One Size Fits All Strategies, or Are They Able to Prepare Custom Strategies to Fulfill Your Needs?
Your next point of concern should be customization.
Specializing in the dental industry is one thing, but that doesn’t mean that dental SEO strategies are one size fits all. Work with an agency that crafts custom SEO campaigns for clients.
You need a custom strategy that’s built around your specific goals and benchmarks.
7. What Results Has the SEO Company Achieved in the Past?
Choosing an SEO company that specializes in dental practices speaks to the broader issue of experience.
Do you want to work with a company that’s too green behind the ears? While you don’t want to write off new SEO companies, experience matters.
Your goal should be to work with a dental seo expert, who has proven experience in the field. Ideally, the person, who will be in charge of your SEO campaign, should have worked in a dental practice so that they truly understand the needs and overall nuances of a dental practice.
Ask companies about their top dental SEO campaigns. What was the return on investment? How high were the conversion rates? Which SEO strategies did they use?
Ask as many questions as you can to gauge the experience of prospective SEO companies.
8. What Can I Expect?
Leave the surprises for your birthday. The last thing you want is costly surprises from your SEO company.
Ask an agency what you can expect from its SEO process and services before signing on the dotted line.
Charts and performance metrics are great, but you want results for your money. Ask SEO agencies about the type of results you can expect. Watch out for agencies that make too many promises, like guaranteeing specific ranking positions.
However, it’s okay to ask how long you can expect to see your results. An agency should provide an approximate timetable of its process from beginning to end.
Your SEO team should never keep you in the dark. They should provide a transparent performance estimate based on real search and conversion data from your niche.
Be wary of agencies that depend too much on vanity KPI charts, especially if your results don’t add up. Your SEO team should communicate results on revenue, website traffic, cost per patient, leads, and patient growth, as well. It’s critical to find a company that’s transparent about its process and results.
Transparency must also extend to pricing. Agencies should provide cost estimates for SEO services beforehand. Avoid companies that offer cheap fixed monthly plans too, as these are often too good to be true and may not provide the custom strategies you need to rank.
9. Communication is Key
Transparency is a hallmark of stellar communication, and communication is an essential part of any successful SEO company and campaign.
Staying updated is vital, but providing a detailed timetable is just one aspect of communication.
Transparent SEO companies will also discuss how you can stay involved with the campaign. After all, it is your dental practice. You should be the first to know when the campaign has hit a milestone or a snag.
Avoid unresponsive agencies at all costs. If an agency doesn’t respond to your inquiries on time, move onto the next candidate. You don’t want to work with an SEO agency that runs and hides from its clients when there’s an issue.
Don’t hesitate to ask prospective SEO specialists about their communication methods, either.
Are they easy to reach by phone? Do they use prefer email or Slack? Will they send SMS messages to keep you updated? Will there be video conferencing? These are important questions to consider before moving forward.
10. Customer Service Matters
Excellent communication is essential for top-notch customer service, which is another hallmark to look for.
Don’t forget that your voice matters as a client. Top SEO companies understand the importance and value of stellar customer service.
An agency should provide multiple channels of communication for potential clients, like open phone hours, contact forms, and appointment hours if there’s a brick-and-mortar location.
One sign that an agency or SEO expert truly cares about customers is the ability to talk to a senior person instead of an account manager or sales manager.
The owner or senior level staff member should be happy to answer questions about all services offered and get back to you as quickly as possible with estimates or recommendations.
11. Look For Helpful Additional Services
Custom SEO strategies leverage a variety of methods to achieve the best results. Look for SEO companies that offer additional services that could improve your traffic and search rankings.
The best supplemental services for organic SEO services are paid-per-click methods like Google ads. Google is the king of search engines, and thus, Google ads are the most powerful paid search advertising method on the web.
Google’s search ad program is called Google Ads or formely AdWords. Google Ads is a multifaceted process that requires expertise in keyword research, ad copy, keyword bidding, budget management, ad targeting, and analytics.
Since search engines are the highest converting marketing avenue for dentists, Google Ads enhance SEO strategies for optimal results. To achieve higher conversion rates with a good ROI, you’ll need an experienced Google Ads agency to manage your campaign.
Look for agencies that specialize in both SEO and Google advertising for the dental industry. This is an excellent way to get the most bang for your buck.
12. What Are Other Clients Saying?
Are you still unsure of which SEO company to go with? Asking questions only goes so far. Discover what other clients are saying about agencies you’re considering.
Top dental SEO companies should feature authentic testimonials from real dentists on their websites. Dentists won’t rave about an SEO company unless they saw positive results with their campaigns.
Analyze client testimonials for customer service experiences, communication abilities, honesty, long client relationships, revenue increases, and consultation satisfaction.
13. Take Advantage of Free Consultations
If a dental SEO company offers free consultations, take them up on it! This free offer is one of the best ways to find services that meet your needs.
It’s also a fantastic way to gauge an agency’s communication, experience, success rate, and commitment to customer service.
To make the most of your free consultation, use this guide to prepare questions before your appointment. If you like what you heard, you can get the ball rolling right away. Planning is essential for good SEO results.
Don’t Wait to Grow Your Visibility
You need an online presence that’s just as stellar as your dentistry practice. Don’t let valuable dental leads slip away because you lack SEO. Start thinking seriously about what a dental SEO company can do for your local practice.
Learn more about the potential of SEO by booking a free 30-minute consultation. Check out the blog to stay updated on the latest SEO trends and best practices.
Are you ready to launch a dental SEO strategy now? Don’t wait to contact us to get started on your campaign!