How Transparent is Your Dental Marketing Provider?

Paying too much for dental marketing? Quite probably yes.

For many dentists, times are getting harder and the need to control costs is more important than ever before. It is also widely acknowledged that effective dental marketing is becoming increasingly important as dentists compete for patients and in particular, “high end” treatments like dental implants and invisible braces.

Historically, dental marketing companies have rolled out “one-size-fits-all” monthly maintenance packages to their clients who arguably accepted without really knowing what it all meant. But just how effective are these dental marketing packages? Are they good value and do they return on the investment? Now, more than ever, it really is important to know what is being delivered….

A typical dental marketing package

The typical marketing package offered by dental design companies usually incorporates web hosting, a set number of site updates per year and, depending on what you are prepared to pay, some form of off-site SEO to build back-links to your website. Typical costs are anything from £75 -> £500 + per month. So what do you get for this? – Lets look at a couple of examples from clients who recently joined Dental Media from other dental marketing organisations:

Example 1 – a client previously paying £70 (+ vat) per month (> £1k per year inc vat):

This client was getting website hosting, some small website updates through the year and (he thought) some SEO work. Inspection showed that there was in fact no SEO work, that the site updates amounted to less than a couple of hours (<£100) and hosting on a “reseller” account worth < £100. Overall a spend > £1000 for real value < £200.

Example 2 – two clients previously paying £300 (+vat) per month, (£4320/year inc vat) plus £3000 per year on ineffective PPC

These clients were dissatisfied with their search ranking and asked us to review their monthly marketing spend and make recommendations. Inspection showed that both clients were receiving <£2300 worth of services, poor SEO, wasted PPC spend and unresponsive web support. Overall spend > £7300/yr, real value < £2300

In both cases, Dental Media re-worked the client’s marketing packages to provide services that were transparent, cost effective and delivered real results.

Summary – What You Should Expect From a Dental Marketing Package

As a minimum, expect the following from a dental marketing package:

  • transparency – make sure your supplier can evidence the work they are contracted to perform. For example, get them to report on the SEO in detail, how the SEO keywords move from month to month, where back-links are placed and detail of the strategy they are employing on your behalf.
    Don’t just accept an automatically generated report from Google Analytics or similar.
  • if your package involves PPC (Adwords) ensure you have access to your account and that you access it frequently to see what is going on. Look for good click-through-rates, high quality scores and evidence that the campaign is being pro-actively managed. I’ll be covering Adwords PPC in more detail in a forthcoming article at Dentinal Tubules in the coming weeks
  • value-for-money – this really is critical. We see so many examples where dental clients are being charged for monthly packages and actually receive very little for it. Only now as dentists have to look even more closely at costs, are these charges being challenged.
  • suitability – do you really need a marketing package? This is the first question you should ask; don’t just accept that you do. If you operate in a competitive environment, it is likely that you will need some form of ongoing SEO to ensure your site is prominent and competitive. This should be tailored to your site – not just an off-the-shelf package. Each site is unique.
    However, if you operate in a non-competitive environment (and many dentists do), pay-as-you-go services my be entirely appropriate and way more cost effective for you. As example 1 above shows, this client was wasting hundreds of pounds per year.
  • expertise – please ensure that your provider really does have the expertise to deliver results. Don’t be confused by qualifications like “Google Adwords Professional” as these are simple “bottom rung” requirements. Make sure they have experience and can demonstrate results. Also remember that the promise of page one Google results is easy enough for lots of search terms – get them to evidence success for more generic terms in competitive environments.

Evidence suggests that many dentists are being disadvantaged by unsuitable, expensive marketing packages that offer very poor value. If you are concerned that you are paying too much for your dental web design, marketing and support, please contact us for a full, no obligation review. Please call 01332 672548 or use the website contact form , we’ll be pleased to assist and very likely save you a lot of money.

Dave