One of the most common questions I get from dentists that recognize the importance of having an on-going SEO campaign is how should they go about selecting an SEO vendor that will actually produce an ROI. This is a fair question because these days it seems that there are very few local digital marketing agencies that are more concerned about getting results than they are about making a profit from their clients.
I’m not suggesting that most agencies out there only have profits as their primary focus, but business owners both inside and outside of the field of dentistry seem to have the same complaint. At the end of the day, it’s starting to become more and more apparent that search engine optimization is an excellent way to bring new clients into a dental practice. Unlike other forms of digital marketing that advertise dental services to potential customers in a geographical area, even if they don’t want or need these services, SEO allows dentists to connect with people wanting and needing dental work.
With that said, here are a few ways to select a vendor that can provide dental SEO services for your dental office. Keep in mind that these suggestions apply to working with a freelancer, an SEO company, and even an individual that you hire as an employee on a part-time or full-time basis.
1) Demand A Campaign Timeline For The Dental SEO Strategy
One of the mistakes that many businesses make when hiring an SEO vendor is agreeing to a scope of work that doesn’t clearly define how much time is needed before the SEO efforts start producing results.
The problem with this is that some vendors will intentionally not provide this information so they can move as slow as possible to get their clients to pay for services while doing as little work as possible. Logic would tell us that it’s probably a better idea for a search engine optimization company to get results and soon as possible to ensure that their clients are happy and continue to be a customer for an extended period; but far too often this thought process is gnored and even avoided.
However, a common practice with some SEO’s is that they go through the motions and do the bare minimum until they really have to start producing results. To avoid this entirely, it’s important that you have the vendor document how long they expect it will take to get your website ranking on page 1 of the search engines for the keywords your potential new customers are using when they’re ready for dental services.
2) Only Hire An SEO Vendor That Will Provide A Money Back Guarantee
Many “SEO gurus” cringe at the idea of having to provide guarantees, especially when there is a chance that they have to offer a refund. However, anyone that has been succeeding with this area of digital marketing can tell you that there is definitely a way to implement a search engine marketing strategy without having to worry about being banned or penalized by the search engines.
Sure, an algorithm update can happen that impacts how websites rank in the search engines, but in the last 15+ years… almost all updates that have been made pretty much target spammy blackhat tactics. So if you ever ask a vendor for some form of a guarantee, and they try to make excuses… they either:
A) use spammy/blackhat tactics.
B) don’t have the experience and confidence needed to implement an SEO strategy that search engines will never penalize.
C) are more interested in their profits than they are your success.
It’s not a common practice, at this time, that a SEO agency offers a money back guarantee… but if they are really confident in their services and their ability to ensure your website can bring in new dental clients using SEO… then they should have no reason committing to this type of agreement. It’s no different than their interest and requirement that their customers commit to 6-12+ month contracts to pay them… just saying.
3) Trust “SEO Experts” That Have A Website Currently Succeeding With SEO
There are a lot of reasons that an SEO expert might provide for not having a business website currently ranking well in the search engines for keywords related to their services. But no matter what their reasons are, do your best to clearly undesrstand why that’s the case.
Is it because they focus on other areas of marketing, or they’re a new business, or they’re too busy taking care of their client’s digital marketing campaigns? Whatever the reason, tread with caution.
Would you recommend a new teenage driver take driving lessons from someone that doesn’t have a drivers license, doesn’t own a car, but has been giving lessons for 2, 3, 5, 10+ years? Lol. Personally, I wouldn’t, but what do I know?
Anyway, if someone can rank their own website in the search engines, then they’ll probably be well equipt to rank yours.
4) Ask For Referrals
No matter how a vendor measures up to what’s been mentioned above, another great qualifier in this regard is to ask for and follow up with referrals. And no I’m not talking about friends of the vendor.
Instead, have them provide you with a list of other businesses that they have helped rank at the top of the search engines. Also keep in mind that the best referrals aren’t just the companies they tell you about. Instead, have them provide you examples of websites currently ranking high in the search engines for keywords; especially those that are related to your industry, or that are in your region.
As I’ve said plenty of times before here at Nomvo… the proof is in the pudding.
All Things Considered…
If you haven’t seen our other articles about why search engine optimization for dentists is probably one of the best performing types of marketing, let me reassure you that it is.
Aside from investing in this kind of marketing, which in many cases can range from $1,500 – $5,000 per month (depending on how competitive your region is), it’s even more important to ensure your marketing budget is being spent with a service provider that will produce an acceptable ROI.
More times than not, dental offices that make this type of investment each month can begin to see an ROI that provides 5-10x what their original budget was. If you’re looking for advice on where to find a dental SEO vendor or if your website is ready for this type of marketing campaign, feel free to contact us… we’d love to help. Nomvo!