Is your marketing company *really* doing the SEO you think they are?

A cautionary tale and why you need to check what you’re paying for!

As you’ll see if you read further into our blog, we periodically highlight some of the questionable tactics used by some dental marketers and the disproportionate fees they charge.

Often work that is claimed to be done isn’t, or the wording of the contract a dentist signed up for is so obfuscated that they can’t actually quantify what they’re paying for. Where we see such irregularities, and sadly there are lots, we feel it’s only right and proper to bring them to the attention of the dental community.

Another example came to our attention last week when a dental SEO practitioner elected to leave their existing company to go freelance. The person in question contacted us to see if we had any work positions available and to explain their situation in more detail. Here’s what they told us, and as you’ll see, it’s a cautionary tale for any dentist who pays out to a third-party company for search engine optimisation services. Very often you aren’t getting the value you might think, and very often, nothing at all!

SEO… or not?

During our discussion, the SEO guy advised that they had been taken on to be lead marketer for the company’s monthly marketing clients. They had joined the “team” expecting other marketers to be in place; however what was actually happening was that the work was either being outsourced off-shore or not done at all. The company expectation was that the SEO guy would take on just short of 50 clients who were each paying hundreds of pounds per month for Google promotion services.

This set the alarm bells ringing as it’s just not possible for one person to manage that many clients, with the support of offshore outsource or not. The suitably of using an offshore marketing service is highly questionable anyway, but that’s a story for another blog.

The dental marketing company in question charges their clients anything from £300 per month upwards to £1k plus for SEO advice and services, but closer inspection, shows that their service is at best hit-and-miss. Best case, one person trying to manage nearly 50 clients would only be able to input 3 hours per client per month and probably less. This is nowhere near enough time for to make a difference with Google ranking, particularly where competition is significant. What is perhaps more perturbing, is that the company was taking client’s money and then not doing any work at all for months at a time where they felt they could get away with it.

Reporting and accountability

We were also told that the company concerned took a minimalist view of reporting. Each of their clients did actually get a monthly report but they were generated automatically and with no additional explanation or recommendations on future strategy. Also no indication on the number of enquiries that the campaigns were generating. So just enough to make the clients think something was happening but insufficient information to allow them to make useful decisions.

Perhaps most worrying was the feedback which suggested that the marketing company knew that the majority of their clients didn’t really have much of an idea about what to ask and that most of them just paid the bill without really questioning. New clients were still being taken on because they knew that effectively they could “get away with it”.

The outcome of this was that the employee hung around for a few months but then elected to leave. Not only were they disenchanted with the expectations, but also the unethical way that clients were being treated and effectively duped.

We actually researched a few of the clients who we knew were paying out to the marketing company in question and checked their Google positions – as expected, none were prominent – and no wonder.

Summary

The cautionary tale above is likely not unique unfortunately. Too many companies see dental sector marketing as offering rich pickings and offer all sorts of services without actually being able to deliver. They then get caught up in a cycle of acquiring new dentist clients, failing to meet obligations but continue to offer the same services regardless. The client ends up paying, but often for nothing and not really understanding why.

If you are skeptical about the SEO services you are receiving and don’t have any reports or data to convince you otherwise (which you can actually understand!) why not give the team at Dental Media a call? We have a strong reputation for results based marketing which delivers – you can reach us for a no-obligation chat on 01332 672548.