Don’t get sucked into long-term dental marketing contracts – you may well regret it!
Regular readers of our blog will know that we often get frustrated when we see the “dodgy” stunts pulled in the dental marketing community, where dentists get duped simply because they don’t really know what they are being sold. This is rife unfortunately.
One of our bugbears is the marketing contract which most agencies foist on their clients to guarantee 12 or more months of income. What’s worse, there is almost never a guarantee of performance with such contracts which means that the client has no comeback should the promised results fail to materialise.
Today I’d like to illustrate a situation where one of our former clients was sucked into such a contract with another agency. They were promised spectacular results but nothing of worth materialised, and 18 months later they are into paying for a new website, on a new domain name and effectively starting from scratch. Here at Dental Media we strive to look after all of our clients and it was very disappointing to see what resulted in one of the isolated cases where we actually lost someone to a competitor. It’s worth you knowing too, so you can look out for similar and avoid being disadvantaged in a similar fashion.
First a little bit of background – of course without mentioning the names of businesses concerned.
The promise leading to the switch
The client unexpectedly moved to another provider around 18 months ago based on a promise of lots of new patient enquiries and in particular, Invisalign treatments. We had already successfully moved the client to number one in Google for many search terms organically but due to the practice location, we’d also recommended using paid ads to broaden the presence in additional nearby towns to boost the overall web footprint. Given the good organic search coverage and well-elaborated plan to improve even further using pay-per-click, we were very surprised when the client elected to move supplier.
We wished the client well and continued to support her existing website for nearly 6 months whilst the new supplier re-built it. This is where the client first came back to us and expressed her disappointment in the new supplier – in particular the new website was taking far too long to finalise and the new agency was being extremely slow to address the client’s concerns and requests. She also told us that the website was being built on a website ‘DIY’ building tool i.e. not to industry standards. Of course she didn’t realise this but by this stage it was too late. Unfortunately she’d agreed to pay thousands of pounds for the new website, together with an SEO contract to “improve the rankings”. Note that the existing website already had excellent ranking positions!
The new website
Finally the new site was published and the client approached us again to see what we thought. We never burn bridges so we agreed to carry out a few basic performance checks on her behalf. What we found was quite desperate in that the website, built on the DIY web-builder platform, was extremely slow, indeed on of the slowest we’ve ever seen when using the official Google performance testing tools. There were numerous technical errors and “school boy” SEO problems too.
We advised the client accordingly, along with predictions that the website would likely start to lose ground in Google. This didn’t take long and as soon as Google crawled and indexed the new site, a stark drop was apparent. This became progressively worse as the months progressed. At this stage the new agency started to ad spammy 350 word blogs to try to arrest the ranking drops but unsurprisingly, the situation just got worse.