How to grow your dental practice using dental SEO and PPC
Operating a dental practice can be simultaneously rewarding and stressful. Helping patients with oral care feels good, but finding new patients can be worrisome.
There was a time when dentists could simply send out direct mailers or run local radio ads when they needed to attract new patients. However, dentists must change their approach as more people seek information online.
To remain competitive and grow your dental practice, embracing digital marketing as part of your marketing strategy is critical. But there’s so much to know, and it’s easy to get information overload with terms such as SEO, PPC, SERPs and more. Where do you even start?
The first step is understanding how to show up in a Google or Bing search result when prospective patients look for a dentist online.
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What are SEO and PPC?
Dental SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) are marketing tactics that are important to understand because they help your dental practice get found on the internet.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for dentists
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in Google or Bing when someone does an organic search for dental services.
This ranking is your website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs), and the higher you rank, the greater the chance of someone clicking on your website or landing page. SEO is essentially free (organic) traffic from your dental website and blog, making it cost-effective.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for dentists
PPC advertising is the exact opposite of SEO. It is a way to increase traffic to your website using paid advertising. The pay-per-click means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
With PPC advertising, you can pay to show up on page one of Google’s search engine results pages. And you can set the cost per click so your budget doesn’t spiral out of control.
How can SEO help grow your dental practice?
There are currently over 1.5 billion websites on the Internet. While not all of them are dental websites, it clearly shows how busy the Internet is.
And it means if you want your dental practice website to be found, it will require a bit of work. Considering 92% of internet searchers never go to the second page of a Google search, it’s vital to do everything you can to show up on page one.
Implementing an SEO strategy is one of the best things you can do to help improve your organic search results ranking.
The following are a few ways to improve SEO and increase website traffic.
Keyword optimization is part of on-page SEO. It refers to adding keywords throughout your website that prospective patients might type into a Google search.
For example, someone might search “how often should I get my teeth cleaned” or “what’s the best teeth whitening product.” If you know this is a phrase people use often, you can include it on your website or write a blog about it.
Link building is an SEO strategy that focuses on building backlinks. Backlinks are created when other reputable websites link to your website. This helps build authority in the eyes of Google and increases the number of keywords you rank for.
One way to accomplish this is by networking with other local healthcare providers and asking them to link to your website from their website. Alternatively, you can write guest blogs for complementary businesses, like the local dermatologist.
Technical SEO involves improving the backend of your website. This comprises how your pages are coded and structured affects website loading speed. Search engines favor responsive and fast websites.
Partnering with a digital marketing agency like Broadly to build a dental website can help relieve any anxiety about learning the technical aspects of a website.
Google business profile
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free online business listing on the most visited website in the world, Google.com. Creating a free profile can help improve your local SEO visibility on Google Search and Google Maps.
Begin by claiming your business name and building out your profile. Your profile will be more complete and attractive to prospective clients when you have a bunch of happy patient reviews. Once your Google Business Profile is set up, Google will show your dental office as an option when people search for a dentist in your local area.
Putting effort into your SEO will pay dividends when new patients find your dental office online. You’ll show up in more local searches, click-through rates will increase (clicks from the Google search page to your website), and conversion rates will improve as more people inquire about your dental services.
How can PPC help grow your dental practice?
PPC ads are cost-effective paid ads that can help you find new dental patients quickly.
Pay-per-click advertising sends traffic to your website every time someone clicks on one of your dental ads. There are several places to run PPC ads, but the two most popular platforms are Facebook and Google.
To create a PPC campaign for your dental practice on Google Ads, you first need to set up your Google Search Ads account. Once complete, you bid on keywords or phrases prospective patients might use to search for a dentist.
In dentistry, these might include words or phrases like:
- Dentist near me
- Best local teeth whitening
- Local dentist reviews
- Emergency dentist in [your city]
- Best dentist near me for root canal
- Dentist near me that accepts Medicaid
The great thing about Google Ads is that you can also make your dental ads visible on YouTube, which currently has 2 billion users.
Pay-per-click advertising offers dentists excellent return on investment (ROI) as you only spend money when your ad is working. You can get precise to target a niche audience, ensuring your ads are only shown to people actively searching for dental services.
The other benefit of dental PPC ad campaigns is immediate results. SEO is a long-term dental marketing strategy that improves rankings over time, whereas PPC advertising can bring in new patients in the short term.
Can SEO and PPC work together?
Beating the search engine algorithm is the never-ending battle of every small to medium-sized business. Getting your dental PPC ads and landing pages to rank at the top of page one is the ultimate marker of a successful online marketing plan.
However, knowing where to invest your marketing budget can feel overwhelming. Dental SEO and PPC each have pros and cons, but most marketing experts will confirm that SERP results are best when SEO and PPC are used together.
When search engine optimization and pay-per-click are part of your dental marketing strategy, you can take up more real estate in search engine results, rising above the competition.
How can you use search marketing to target potential patients?
You’ll experience the most online success when your organic content and pay-per-click ads get in front of potential patients.
To ensure you reach your target audience and get the most significant return on investment, you need to know which keywords and phrases your patients are using. Once you know these keywords and phrases, you can design a content strategy around them and bid on keywords in your PPC ads on Google.
One of the many benefits of Google is that it offers this information for free. Once your Google Ads account is set up, it will send you insights so you can see what people are clicking on and which words and phrases they use to find businesses like you.
This information is invaluable to guide the text on your dental website, blogs and pay-per-click dental advertising campaigns.
Manage your SEO and PPC strategies with Broadly
Running a dental practice is hard work. Pile on learning a whole new set of marketing strategies, and it’s easy to burn yourself out.
The good news is Broadly offers easy-to-use dental SEO and PPC strategies to maximize your marketing efforts.
Ready to partner with marketing experts who know what it takes to get found online?
See what Broadly can do for your business in just 30 days