When you’re running a dental practice, it can be tough to determine whether you should put your efforts into SEO or paid ads. Both options have their pros and cons, and it can be hard to decide which is the best route for your business.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of both SEO and paid ads, so you can make an informed decision about which option is right for you.
- 1 The Difference Between SEO and PPC
- 2 What is SEO?
- 3 Pros of SEO
- 4 Disadvantages of SEO
- 5 What is PPC ( Pay-Per-Click )
- 6 Pros of PPC
- 7 Cons of PPC
- 8 Quick Summary
- 9 Surprising Statistics About SEO & PPC
- 10 Which marketing strategy is better for my dental practice?
- 11 How to combine SEO & PPC to maximise your return
- 12 Final Thoughts
The Difference Between SEO and PPC
Before getting into the gritty stuff and starting a war between SEO and PPC, let’s define these two.
What is SEO?
SEO means search engine optimization and it’s a set of practices designed to improve the appearance, positioning or rank for web pages in organic searches. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Why Would I Need SEO?
Search engine optimisation essentially guides search engines what your dental website is about so they can show your site to people searching for relevant terms.
For example, If your dental clinic specialises in specific treatments like teeth whitening, dental implants, or Invisalign, In that case, your SEO strategy should make sure your site publishes content that revolves around those topics as if they were structured as a cluster. This will help your site appear at the top of search results and give searchers valuable information about the treatments you provide.
Pros of SEO
SEO is cheaper in the long run.
Although SEO costs time and money to pay your SEO agency, SEO tools, and content creation, it still costs less than PPC in the long run.
When your content ranks and drives traffic to your website, you no longer have to keep spending money to make your future patients see it. And when these potential patients click on your link, it comes at zero cost, unlike a PPC campaign where you pay per click.
Search traffic is more stable
Once you rank on Google, your site will continue receiving traffic as long as it remains optimised for search. This is unlike PPC marketing, where once a campaign ends and the budget dries up (or even before), people stop finding websites like yours in their results!
Appearing consistently in search results for relevant terms helps build trust, especially when it comes time to speak or write about services related to dental care. Being listed high up on Google can help convince people that you’re a credible business!
Disadvantages of SEO
Google updates their search algorithm frequently
The game of SEO has been changing forever, but it’s important to stay on top. In the past few years alone, many changes have occurred with Google algorithm updates that can really affect your ranking and visibility online – sometimes positively, other times not so much!
You'll need to optimise your website regularly
You might have to regularly optimise your content and web pages so that it continues to rank. This could mean refreshing old articles or removing expired links from the site’s navigation bar; to fixing 404’s and broken links.
SEO takes time to show results
New websites need time to rank in Google.
It can take months or even years for a new site to be found by potential clients and earn its place at the top of search results, especially if there is a more established dental business competing within that local market.
It requires high-level skills and expertise
Even if you have a knack for internet marketing, it takes high-level skills and expertise to properly optimise your site for search engines. It’s time-consuming and there are so many aspects that need attention! And who has the energy to do dental SEO after tending to all those dental patients?
And that is SEO. Now let’s talk about PPC (Pay Per Click).
What is PPC ( Pay-Per-Click )
It is usually found as the top four results on a web search results page, with another two at the bottom. It has “Ad” in bold letters right before the link. When the link is clicked on, the advertiser pays Google for that click.
The advertiser with the highest bid (and best page) wins one of the top spots. It’s an effective way to get visitors to your website and grow your business.
Why Would I Need PPC?
The PPC model is different because you are buying visits to your site instead of paying for ad slots. This means that, as opposed to “earning” them organically through search engine results and organic marketing campaigns, which can take months before they show any effect at all, advertisers can generate immediate results with this type of advertising platform since people will see their advertisements immediately after a related search on Google.
Pros of PPC
PPC offers quick results
The power of PPC is in its speed. Not only can you get quick results, but with PPC advertising campaigns coming up within hours instead of months or even years for SEO strategies, it’s become an increasingly popular way to drive traffic to your website and see visitors turned into dental patients quickly!
PPC ads appear above organic rankings
PPC ads give your dental website the first spot on Google’s SERP, which means that potential customers will notice you before they see other sites.
PPC allows you to pinpoint your target audience
It’s important that when deciding on who should see an ad, the user selects a specific demographic or interests in order for it to be effective at reaching those desired people with ads and offers they are more likely to be interested in!
You can quickly run split tests on a PPC ad
With PPC campaigns, you can run two different ads simultaneously to measure the performance of each individual ad. All that’s needed for this test is to change some elements and allow them to be displayed. You can later decide which ones to keep or terminate, depending on which one has the best conversion rates.
Cons of PPC
PPC ads are expensive
You cannot run a successful PPC campaign without the right advertising budget. You will need to pay for every click your audience makes, which means once that money dries up, oops! Your traffic is gone, too, because these ads are expensive especially the high value services like Implants, Invisalign, and Cosmetic treatments.
Lower profit margins
The pay-to-play system of PPC can be a great way to attract customers quickly, but it usually results in lower profit margins. Your CAC would continue to get higher without an increase in prices on products or services, which means that your long term success might not happen because you’re spending more upfront first and having less coming back at later stages.
PPC ads become stale after a while
The creativity and uniqueness of your PPC ads can quickly wear off. You have little control over the content that appears in advertisements, meaning you might end up with a similar copy to other advertisers on Google; this makes it easy for people to overlook yours since they’ve seen it before!
Search engine optimisation is a great way to help your content rank higher in search engines, making it more likely that people will click on and trust what you have published online. SEO for dentists also gets their clinics’ names out there when people search for information related to the dental industry or a specific dental service. With PPC ads, however, one must spend money in order to get an ad placed throughout the Google search results—but only if those particular users decide to click on it. The majority of people (me included 60% of the time) tend to avoid those links marked “ad” on the search results page.
Surprising Statistics About SEO & PPC
Which marketing strategy is better for my dental practice?
I’m going to be honest here. SEO will take a while before you see results, but once it builds your website’s online authority, it will stay that way for a while; and PPC will almost immediately get you good results, it can be quite expensive in the long run. So, if you are asking which one is better, I’m going to have to say both.
PPC will surely get potential patients to click and visit your website, true, but you have to make sure that your website answers all the searcher’s questions. And making sure that your website does exactly that is one of the primary SEO practices. If it’s a new website, PPC will ensure that your site gets clicks and gets more traffic, which will help your website be recognized by Google as a credible source.
PPC is a way to ensure your ads show up at the top of search results, making them a good way to start getting phone calls from prospective patients immediately.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy for your dental practice. If done properly and maintained, you’ll see steady returns over time.
Think of it this way: PPC will give your site the push it needs, and the weight of your SEO, as a long term strategy, will keep you rolling forward.
How to combine SEO & PPC to maximise your return
As mentioned earlier: for effective dental marketing strategies, the combination of pay per click ads and SEO can give your dental business the best results.
Integrating SEO and PPC as essential parts of an overall digital marketing strategy is the best way to increase a dental practitioner’s chances of reaching future patients.
PPC advertising campaigns ensure you get leads and earn brand recognition while your SEO strategy is developing in the background. Your SEO efforts will help push your dental business to the top of search engine ranking and stay there, allowing you to decrease your PPC spend when needed.
Another benefit is that PPC can be used to reach areas your Google My Business wouldn’t, and the algorithm can focus on a specific target audience and retarget organic visitors for a more targeted messaging; while SEO, with quality content marketing, gets and keeps their attention and interests. Combined with a little word of mouth marketing (positive reviews), it turns into the ideal customer engagement combination.
PPC and SEO are both important for getting your business out there, but they work differently. The main difference between the two is that SEO works to build a reputation while PPC focuses on generating leads. When you use them in tandem, these methods can help generate more qualified leads and turn potential patients into loyal patrons of your practice! If you want to learn how we can make this happen for you, give us a call. We’d love to chat with you about what it would take to get started building an awesome marketing plan customized just for your needs!