Google Adwords versus Organic SEO for Dentists

Paying too much for your dental Adwords campaign?

We do not need to dwell on the importance of Google ranking position as it has been covered here and elsewhere on  a number of occasions. Suffice to say that its no use having a great looking dental website without holding a prominent position in the search engines, in particular Google.

There are two main ways to achieve a good ranking position:

  • good on-site and off-site search engine optimisation to push position in the organic or natural search listings
  • use of pay-per-click (PPC) – typically Google Adwords

To bring some dimensions to the discussion, a dentist who uses Adwords will typically be spending anything between £10 and £50 per day depending on location and the competition for the chosen search terms. Quite a considerable outlay and a sizeable dent in the marketing budget. There is a much more cost effective way….

How sustainable is ongoing payment for Adwords?

Use of Adwords by dentists has its place – for example new sites that need to gain a foothold quickly or perhaps rapid advertising for special offers; but how sustainable is it? Even at the bottom end, expenditure of £300 -> £400 per month is typical, rising to thousands for competitive environments. As a web marketer who specialises in dental search engine optimisation, I don’t see that this ongoing expenditure is sustainable particularly as there is a very viable and logical alternative.

Organic SEO for dentists – the sustainable alternative

A professionally managed, ethical SEO campaign is the sensible and logical mid/long term alternative to PPC. This may cost several hundred pounds across a number of months to carry out but typically within six months, over reliance on Adwords can be completely redressed. Thereafter, a significantly reduced monthly spend can be targeted at preserving the improved positions. Click-through from organic listings is also typically better from the natural search positions than the paid positions.

Organic search engine optimisation for dentists – the process

The process to improve a dental websites ranking quickly and sustainably needs to be very thorough and carefully planned. At Dental Media we typically follow the following key steps:

  • agree the key search phrases with the client
  • research the key phrases to establish the amount of traffic they attract – this is very important. Quite often we are presented with websites that have been nicely optimised for keywords that attract minimal traffic! Researching and optimising the key phrase list is critical
  • identify the key landing pages of the website and optimise them in line with the key-phrase list (on-site optimisation) – note that this is not necessarily just the home page of the website
  • supplement the website content, typically with blogging and if necessary, new content pages
  • begin a controlled programme of back-link building (off-site optimisation). This needs to be done very carefully as poor quality back-links can do more harm than good. Various techniques are used to do this ranging from securing one-way links from relevant websites, forum posting, social bookmarking, article and directory submission and more
  • monitor and review – this is not a “fire and forget” process

We normally see significant movement of the key phrases within the first three months and a general consolidation after six months – throughout the process we review the Adwords spend to decrease it accordingly.

This process is equally relevant to dentists who don’t use Adwords and just need to improve or consolidate their search ranking positions.

Is the process foolproof and guaranteed?

The process is tried and trusted and works extremely well – we have many clients who can demonstrate this with dental websites that dominate the rankings. Is it guaranteed? We can guarantee significant improvements but we cannot guarantee exactly which positions will be achieved. Given that Google constantly changes the way that it works, no ethical search optimiser should ever offer guarantees. However, you can have confidence in our process.

Dental Media provides expert SEO services for dentists – please contact us for free advice.