Buying SEO based on number of keywords? Stop!

Why keyword SEO is defunct and may be used to trick you

minimise irrelevant search queriesI was recently asked to comment on a couple of SEO reports which had been given as examples to a dentist who was looking for SEO services. She asked for my opinion as she thought the service from the supplier of the reports looked good and she was considering subscribing. However all was not as it was presented, in fact it was a long way from providing a useful service. The reasons for this were several fold as follows.

Reliance on keywords

The dental SEO company was selling a service purely based on blocks of keywords, with incremental fees as more keywords were selected. As well as being very expensive, the SEO company was selecting primarily “long tail” keywords which are very easy to rank in Google but don’t really deliver much traffic at all. The monthly reports from the service provider were triumphantly announcing that terms such as “Cerec dental crowns Cromford” were prominent on page one – but very few people would search that of course and so the traffic it delivered would be negligible. So on the face of it, for the client, lots of headline success, but most of it fairly pointless.

No traffic reporting

Modern SEO is much more about website traffic and conversions than keywords, particularly where the keywords are of limited value. But the company were not presenting any data at all about these key aspects. I suspect this was actually deliberate as it would likely have been very difficult to demonstrate any success with the “strategy” they were adopting.

To really tell how a website is performing, you need to know how traffic levels are progressing, where the traffic is originating and also the quality of the traffic. None of these factors were being presented to the dentist concerned. To simply present progression of “easy” keywords is extremely misleading.

No conversion reporting

Another key omission from the reporting and almost certainly deliberate, was any data related to website conversions; the nitty gritty information about contact form submissions that a dental business owner really needs to evaluate their SEO strategy. This is very important and to omit it is simply trying to get away with doing a poor job in my opinion.

Other key performance measures omitted

As well as the key information above, the SEO report completely failed to cover elements such as bounce rates, conversion path analysis (which pages led to form submissions), most popular pages and more. Just a focus on relatively meaningless keywords chosen to look good.


SEO is a minefield and even well-known dental marketing companies are being deliberately frugal with the information they supply to dupe clients into thinking their campaigns are working. This is quite unethical and yet too many dentists fall for it, over and over again.

Fortunately it doesn’t have to be this way and the key lies in finding an ethical, proven SEO supplier to deliver the results and data you need to progress your business. Here at Dental Media we’ve been supplying digital marketing services for dentists for 18 years with an excellent track record. If you’d like to see more about our results and the transparent data we provide to demonstrate success, please get in touch on 01332 672548.