In our most recent podcast, Mark and Howie explain SEO in layperson terms. They explain the what, where, and why involved with search engine optimization.
- Realistic cost and ROI expectations in an average dental market
- How Social Media is leveraged to boost your exposure
- On page changes vs off page changes
- When Google makes a change, you better change with them
- And more…….
Hello, and Welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.
Howie: Hello, everybody. We love to welcome you to our podcast. Hey, Mark, how you doing?
Mark: Hey, Howie, how are you?
Howie: I’m good. My Seahawks didn’t lose this weekend.
Mark: It’s a bye week.
Howie: Got me Got me.
Mark: I know. I think he goes last. But,
Howie: Yeah, they did we have they’re having a
Mark: We’re going to England we can’t lose in England next week.
Howie: I know. They’re suffering the, the, you know, the championship season at you know, the season after they won the championship. It’s always a downer.
Mark: Yeah, well, it’s not acceptable here. So. Alright, so what are we doing today?
Howie: We’re going to talk about SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Now that’s a term that probably most of us are familiar with. But what we’re going to do is take a look at what is it? What is it really? What’s going on with that? And, yeah, that’s, that’s what we’d like to talk about today.
Mark: Alright, so we, we hear questions from even our own clients and even our own SEO clients, the ones that don’t bother opening up there report every month. But um, but we also hear from the general dental public, you see it on forums on Facebook, DentalTown, you see these questions like, is SEO worth it? What is it? I’m not sure if my guy or gal is doing a good job. It’s like this. It’s like this. It’s like the unicorn, right? Or Bigfoot? it? It’s, it’s, it’s a mystery, right? Like, they don’t know why they’re paying money. And they don’t know if the person they’re paying money to is actually doing a job. And, beyond that they can’t really quantify if the job they’re doing is actually returning patients.
Howie: Right there. Is this tough for the ROI, you know,
Mark: Yeah, admittedly, it’s, it’s difficult, right. So, what we thought we would do with this segment of our podcast is just slow down the train a little bit. Give everybody kind of 1000 foot elevation of what SEO is or what it’s supposed to do. The benefits of it around the costs of it. What you should expect, I think that’s a, that’s an issue as well, dentists think that they can optimize their website, so I can get 40 new patients a month. And that’s just not true. So what to expect, you know, from your investment, so that you understand what it is, how it’s supposed to work, what it’s doing, how you’re supposed to know, every month if it’s working or not, how to tell if it’s working or not from a statistical standpoint. So let’s just clear all that stuff up, because it seems to create stress in a lot of dentists.
Howie: Yeah, sure does.
Mark: Okay, so let’s go all the way back to our previous podcast discussion. And the difference between passive and aggressive marketing techniques. SEO is in the passive category. So, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Now. Search Engine Optimization really kind of takes on three different elements, in order to be competitive organically in almost all of your markets. So, this applies to everybody listening to this.
The first part of it is to make content changes to your website on a periodic basis. Google wants to see that you’re not stale. Okay? So periodic changes to your website, um, also, on-page and off-page changes. So, content handles on page changes, but there’s off page changes that are made by the programmers of your website, which basically what that does, I’m not going to its coding…its programming. So, it’s useless to talk about that on a podcast. But basically, what that is, is the programmer is telling Google look here, this is relevant, is relevant to these searches. This is a relevant page or website or series of pages, if someone types in ‘dentists space near me’, or ‘dentists, space, whatever, town,’ okay. So there’s on page changes, there’s off page changes, which are off page changes are kind of the most of those are the, I’m just going to call it programming. Okay, because if you actually, right click on your website and click View Source, you can see a lot of it sitting there, and you’ll look at it and go, my God. And that’s basically programming.
Howie: Looks like it at foreign language.
Mark: Exactly, exactly. So. So there’s on page changes, and there’s off page changes. And especially in the last five years or so, social media is also part of SEO, because social media can be used not only to drive traffic directly from the media itself, but also to, to become something that’s found organically when somebody types in a search phrase. I live in Hamilton, New Jersey, so Hamilton, New Jersey, and Invisalign dentist, for instance, you know, you could optimize your website to pop up and in the first page of a Google search, but your Facebook page, and your video on Invisalign could easily get indexed on that first page as well so that you take up two or three links on that first page, rather than just one or
Howie: We see, we’ve seen that with our own clients, you know, we’ll do a
Howie: First impression video, on Invisalign, or anything implants, and put it on their website. And then then low and behold, boom, it their search engine for positioning improves.
Mark: Yeah, and that’s, that’s YouTube too. YouTube, we can be part of this social media category anyway. So, all of those things have to be done by someone who has the skill and the knowledge and the wisdom and the experience in order to leverage, prioritize and leverage their work each month on your behalf. Because there’s always work to do.
When you said, when you say something like, well add new content. That’s work, okay. Unless you want to do it, somebody, you know, somebody needs to do it. But because of the volume of work that could be done, what you want to do is you want to prioritize it, you say, Okay, well, what gives this client a marked advantage over their competitors in their specific market. And so, you focus your time and energy on those tasks. Okay.
Now, what almost always keeps this fresh, and keeps it interesting is Google itself, you know, Google will periodically just come up and change the rules. You know, where, where you used to rank organically for a certain search term or phrase, you they will come in and change their algorithm and change the rules, and it throws, no, it doesn’t throw everything off for a while, it will certainly throw things off temporarily, until the person who’s working on your behalf every month, notices it, and then takes the corrective action to regain your position in your local organic search. Okay, so you, your SEO person or persons, whoever they are, or whoever they are, are, they’re your advocates, they’re working on your behalf. Okay, to make sure that your link to you, at least to your website, if not your social media, if not multiple social media properties are seen on the first page of a Google search, if someone local types in one of the 20 or 30 more common search terms that consumers use when looking for a dentist, okay, now this let’s go to cost, because we’ve seen all kinds of garbage, everything from $67 a month to 2000 a month.
Mark: And they claim it’s, you know, SEO, okay, well, here’s what, here’s what we’ll tell you. Okay. There’s no reason for anyone I live, unless you’re in Manhattan, or downtown LA, unless you’re a start up, unless your domain is brand new, as of yesterday. I mean, there’s really no reason to spend a boatload of money on SEO. Our clients are at $650 a month. In an average market four, five new patients a month, maybe three, maybe seven, one month here and there. It doesn’t generate an enormous volume of new patients in an average market. Obviously, the closer you are to an epicenter, the more patient searches there are going to be but the closer you get to that epicenter, the more competition and the more people and SEO professionals you have trying to beat you out of that higher position. Right?
Mark: So, it becomes like
Howie: it’s a war.
Mark: It becomes that right. It’s like that. What’s that the old Western, the Hatfields and the McCoys, right?
Mark: They go at each other over a fence. But these people are nerds. Right. So, they’re, they’re shooting technology back and forth at each other trying to one up each other. It is literally a nerd competition that’s basically. Okay, so
Howie: Well, you know what, Mark this be good, good point for us to take a pause and come back and then really get into the nerd slingshot wars. All right doesn’t go away. We’ll be right back.
Hey, Mark, do we have a Facebook group or something? We do have a Facebook group Howie, it’s called dental marketing mastery Facebook group. And in there are hundreds and hundreds of dentists who are participating in conversations about everything from internal promotion to PPC campaigns, everything from how we approach local businesses to attract new patients all the way to online scheduling almost everything about dental marketing is being discussed at the dental marketing mastery Facebook group. So if you if you’re a listener of our podcasts and you’d like to extend the podcast conversation, ask questions, engage with your colleagues, engage with staff, we have practice management console, we have all kinds of professionals on the dental marketing mastery Facebook group, so welcome one and all.
Howie: Okay, we are back we were talking about the nerd wars.
Mark: Okay. Yeah, the nerd wars. So. So even in an in an average market, um, even a more competitive than average market, a good SEO professor, I mean, a good solid, SEO professional shouldn’t cost you any more than that. Really, honestly. I mean, it’s just not, you know, it’s just not necessary. Now, part of the reason why this all gets confusing, and why many dentists just they seem, you know, emotionally overwhelmed by the subject, is because nobody’s actually telling them, or showing them the work that’s being done on their behalf. And where they were two months ago, last month, this month, so that they can see progress.
So, you want to see the work, you want to understand the work that’s being done. You want to understand the impact of the work that’s being done. Right. But in other words, did it? Am I losing ground, am I gaining ground? You know, how much traffic came from a search? Did it go up? Did it go down? These things need to be presented to whoever is paying the bill, whoever the owner of the practice is, you know, on a monthly basis, so you can see everything you can you can so that you’re not wondering what the heck these people are doing. They tell you they tell you exactly what they’re doing, and exactly how it’s benefiting. Now mixed in with this are things that the practice can also do on their own to help their own cause. Things like getting more Google and Facebook reviews. That’s a big one.
Howie: That’s a huge one right there.
Mark: Right, exactly. Adding online scheduling on your landing pages. You know, if you’re trying to gain organic traffic, it makes a whole lot of sense to be able to convert them no matter what day and what time of the day it is. Right. So that’s why it all kind of fits in SEO, kind of fits into that whole online puzzle. That whole part of your online strategy. Part of that is the SEO. So, what’s the ROI? I mean, if I’m going to spend six what is 650 a month, and one was about seven grand, eight grand a year. Okay. So, if I’m going to spend eight grand a year, what’s my ROI on, even, yeah, let’s go low, three patients a month, 36 patients a month, average revenue 1500 a piece. That is what is that $54,000? On an investment of $8,000?
Howie: Yeah, that’s pretty good.
Mark: That’s pretty good. And that’s low. So, you drop it down to two a month, that’s 24 times 1500 $36,000, coming in 8000 going out, so the ROI almost always works out. Okay. What doesn’t work out is the doctor’s expectation. Right, the doctor thinks for 650 a month, literally thousands of people are going to find the website and just call the office during normal office hours have the insurance plan you put you know, you participate with or be fee for service and just make appointments. Okay?
Mark: That’s not true. That’s not true anywhere.
Howie: That’s like expecting magic, you know.
Mark: Exactly. That’s not true anywhere. It doesn’t exist, right. That’s a fantasy, fantasy land. But that’s not to say that organic positioning of your website doesn’t pay off, because clearly the math pays off. All right, you just have to get you know, two or three new patients a month is fine. I’m good. I think if “I said which dentist would want to, you know, hand $8,000 out and bring in $36,000?” How many dentists would be in that line? There be many dentists in that line? Right? So even at two or three new patients a month is still wildly profitable. Really good. It’s also very consistent.
And I’ll tell you something else about it. The cost doesn’t go up. Right, there’s no, you know, lots of a lot of things in our lives, the costs go up, the cost don’t go up with it. Okay. Like if you’re in Google AdWords, right, the costs will almost always go up, the more competition comes in with SEO, as long as you have a good a good team on, you know, on your side, it’s, your costs don’t go up. Right. They just keep working and working and working and working on your behalf each month, month over month over month, so that you stay current, so that if Google changes their algorithm, so what you got to handle, if you have website changes, they’re handled. If you have social media changes, they’re handled. So, everything’s basically part of that whole thing that you hear bandied about called SEO.
Howie: Actually, the setup for it is, is where most of the work is done. Right, Mark? And then
Mark: There’s a couple of Yeah, there’s a couple of there’s a good week and a half. So, there’s 10 days worth of work at the beginning. Right, but then after that, the maintaining of it, obviously is less work. Yeah.
Howie: Yeah. Good. Well, any other any other little gem before we sign off here that you want to
Mark: Gem? Yes, I have a gem. This is the first podcast since the release of Unlimited New Patients volume three update.
Howie: Yes. Yes.
Mark: Go to newpatientsinc.com. There’s an education tab. Click that scroll down. If you haven’t already download Unlimited New Patients volume three, of course, but right after you download that download the update for it is free. Doesn’t cost you anything. So um, but yeah, all this stuff that we’re discussing is all in both of those.
Howie: Yeah, that’s right. It’s I think it’s, I said this before, I don’t think he could find a better marketing education, at least in book form or written form then. Then the volume three of unlimited new patients and the and the new update that’s just come out. So,
Mark: Enjoy people.
Howie: There you go.
Mark: Be smart, be good marketers.
Howie: All right. We will see you all again next week. Bye now.