Finding the sweet spot in your dental web marketing program and being able to double your new patient traffic in 60 days in overwhelming task for most dentists and dental marketing experts. When you consider that there are literally hundreds of dental web marketing strategies and tactics that you can follow (and thousands of articles and blog posts explaining them) it can make dental web marketing and dentist SEO seem rather daunting. If you had all of the money in the world and the best dentist SEO experts working on your dental web marketing program, the desire to double your new patient traffic in 60 days wouldn’t be an issue, but the reality is, you don’t.
So how do you double your new patient traffic in 60 days? Luckily for you, we have created a step-by-step plan for you to follow over the next 60 days. For each day you are going to be given one dental web marketing and dentist SEO task, as well as a homework assignment. If you follow it step by step, you should be able to double your new patient traffic in 60 days.
Before we get started there are a few important "foundational" components to your dental web marketing program that we'll need to address first. We'll begin by choosing keywords that are going to help you... versus ones that will drive unqualified new patient traffic to your website but never calls your office for an appointment.
None of the new patient traffic-boosting strategies we're giving you are going to do you any good unless you have the proper keyword research foundation that your dental web marketing program can grow from.
The fact is, most dental web marketing companies go to the Google Keyword Suggestion tool, pop in a few keywords possibilities for your practice, see that you're right in the middle of high competition / high search value, and still decide to tough it out with your hard-earned money — putting your dental web marketing plan in the same league as competitors of yours who oftentimes are more established and have more money to throw at campaigns.
Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they try to dig through mountains of competitive keywords, looking for the lucrative low-competition phrases, only to find that they simply aren’t searched enough by the patient niches you want to target to use as a viable business-building tool.
To help you get a better understanding of the intrinsic value of keywords, think of the diamonds under the exacting scope of an appraiser. To properly value a keyword’s potential for your dental practice, you must first ask yourself how relevant your pages would be to the new patient prospect searching for that keyword(s).
Generic words like “dentist” and “cosmetic dentist” are extremely competitive (read: costly) and, even though you are a dentist and likely do offer cosmetic dentistry... those keywords options aren’t exactly the best choices if you want to double your new patient traffic in 60 days.
Instead, search for keywords that your prospective new patients would type in that would make them delighted and thankful to find your site. Examples might include “dental veneers under $1500” or “1-visit crowns".
This delicate balance between generic versus specific is the sweet spot for keyword research, and one that many dentists and dental web marketers continue to strive for through adjusting their dental web marketing campaigns, dentist SEO, targeting and other aspects.
Once you have your ideal keywords chosen, it’s time to see if your visitors feel the same way. Type in your keywords in Google and notice both the top and sidebar paid ads:
Now, there are plenty of sidebar and top cosmetic dentist ads here competing for top real estate (and clicks), which means that this could very well be a lucrative search phrase. But only a select few of these dentist websites are truly making the most of Google pay-per-click ads using Rich snippets (which we’ll get to in a future lesson).
If you were a visitor looking for a "cosmetic dentist in Las Vegas", your eye would naturally be attracted to the the top listing (at least at first!) which is being offered by Hale and Downey, or the highest number of user reviews, which belong to Lasting Smiles at 36 Google reviews.
The pay-per-click (PPC) ads above the organic results (the three in the slightly-shaded box) tend to point to a phrase that converts well, while lots of ads in the sidebar denote that this is a keyword or phrase with a high search value as well.
But I Don’t Even Rank for the Keywords I’m Targeting!
Granted, your dental web marketing budget might be nowhere near Hale and Downey or Lasting Smiles, but that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to the bottom of the pile. It just means that to have success in your dental web marketing program and double your new patient traffic in 60 days you'll have to play (and spend) smarter, not harder.
The next step in building a solid foundation for your dental web marketing program is to test out the performance of your chosen keywords through a campaign on Google AdWords or Bing AdCenter. At this point we’re not looking to gain the top position, but to determine whether or not this keyword converts well. Set up a sample campaign and use “exact match” targeting.
Point the keywords you want to use for your dentist SEO campaign to the relevant page on your website and let the ad accumulate around 100-150 clicks. Check your analytics to determine the number of impressions (number of times your ad was displayed) and conversions (number of times visitors took an action, such as booking an appointment or requesting information from you (such as a report or patient testimonial DVD).
Let’s assume your results showed that within 24 hours, your ad had 100 impressions (an impression means that your PPC ad was displayed in a Google search), of which a very conservative 20 prospects clicked through to your dentist website and/or landing page and an even more conservative 3 prospects ultimately requested an appointment. Assuming you made an average of $300.00 for these new patients, you’d have earned $900 in one day.
Not bad, right?
That also means that each prospect your PPC ad drives to your site (you had 20, remember?) is worth approximately $45.00 using that specific keyword. Multiply that by 365 days a year, and you can see how lucrative keyword research can be — and that’s just ONE example!
Obviously, you don’t have to test out every single keyword in your collection, but it’s a good idea to try out the most promising ones, since getting your research right is just the first step. Do this, and everything else falls into place.
You'll be able to beef up your dental web marketing and dentist SEO (substantially) by using the proper keyword tools... and the good news for you is that there are a few free and paid keyword tools that can help make the research process pay big dividends for you. Each of these keyword research tools goes beyond the typical Google Keyword Suggestion tool and offers varying amounts of data (based on what you pay) and do some more intelligent digging in terms of tracking trends, related keywords that may refer to brand names or product names instead of the actual item itself.
NOTE: The link above refers to Base Camp, the 37Signals product to help with keyword research.
These tools can also help you determine the dynamic, ever-changing value of specific keywords whether due to shifts in the economy or on social networks, and still others let you spy on the terms your dentist competitors are using.
Now before we get started with first days lesson, make a list the keywords you think are most promising and set up a few test runs for them on your preferred PPC search engine. Point them to the best possible page on your dentist website for that keyword search (Do Not simply point theses tests to your homepage! You need to have a page that is specifically setup for a given keyword - such as "dental veneers under $1,500") and gauge your results. Try out a keyword tool mentioned above to see what your competitors are doing, or what words and phrases are trending related to your industry.
Once you are done with that, lets get started by jumping into our first day of the double your new patient traffic in 60 days program.
Because unless you hold yourself accountable to that schedule, you’ll become the victim of either two possible downfalls: staring at a blank screen for hours, the pressure building... or coming up with something that NONE of your new patient prospects will consider to be "valuable content" (such as the typical "copy from an office brochure and paste into your dental practice blog" method.
Spending more time making up reasons why you (or your dental marketing assistant) can’t possibly commit to writing today — and one day turns into the next… into the next… and so on.
To help with this, some savvy WordPress programmers have created an Editorial Calendar plugin that lets you create a schedule of blog posts based on your schedule, not what the calendar says. So if you’re particularly inspired one day, and manage to crank out a longer than average article, you can cut it and turn it into two or three great posts. With the Editorial Calendar plugin all you have to do is drag and drop these extra posts into place, reorganize and edit titles and metadata voila, they're in the Que and will be automatically uploaded and posted into your dental practice blog!
If you have associates and/or a dental marketing assistant who also write and you’re managing a multi-author dentist blog, being able to schedule posts around each other becomes even more crucial, and a plugin like this becomes even more necessary.
To create content that magnetically attracts those high-quality new patients you want to see in your office I want you to focus on quality content... not quantity of content. If you can only write two posts a week and that’s a schedule you can reasonably stick to — then do it. The point is to sit down and start writing. A great strategy for learning how to write great content is to first find someone who is already producing it. They can be writing about your topic or one that's close enough to copy and rewrite it (in your own words). The hardest part of writing quality content that produces the results you're looking for is to get started... and finding great copy you can copy and rewrite in your own words is a great way to train your brain to write well.
As with anything, the more you practice, the better you’ll be. The point is to get started.
If you’re feeling stumped for inspiration, here are a few blog post ideas that should get the creative gears turning:
This is the million-dollar-question. For all the talk in Dentist SEO circles about keyword density, content dental marketing and social sharing — Google still relies heavily on relevancy based on backlinks, user reviews and the quality of information itself. A few informal case studies have been done that show content that’s around 1,010-1501 (no kidding!) words tends to perform better than your typical 501-801 word article.
Wow Ken, is that number set in stone? Not necessarily. And with Google constantly updating its algorithms that could change tomorrow. But the key point to remember is that quick, poorly-cobbled-together content and/or content that is simply copied from a brochure and slightly altered (if at all) will never outperform detailed, truly helpful and thorough content. Just remember... Google looks at word count as just one aspect of many in identifying which article will rank at the top of a given page. So why not make it a point to add a little more substance to your posts and make sure that top ranking article is yours?
Many times, people just started or improving their site will think that all the “good” topics have been done to death, and struggle to think of a unique angle or idea that will get noticed. But "you're trying to hard."
The following “blog post matrix” from Hubspot will help you not only come up with a link and share-worthy topic, but do so for the right level that your customers need, and in the way they learn best. The idea is that once you’ve come up with a “general” topic, you can then make it your own by writing for the appropriate level of experience, as well as structure and presentation. This will give you multiple paths to reach the same result — think of it as a cheat sheet for your next blog posts.