How To Combine PPC & SEO To Increase Dental ROI

How To Combine PPC & SEO To Increase Dental ROI

If you’re new to online marketing, you may wonder what SEO and PPC are, and this is where our article comes in! 

We’ll delve a little deeper into the definitions later. Still, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ while PPC stands for ‘Pay-Per-Click Marketing’, and both are effective strategies in marketing your dental practice.

How To Combine PPC & SEO To Increase Dental ROI

PPC involves buying traffic to your website from Facebook or Google, and any other platforms available to you.

Meanwhile, SEO is a strategy that doesn’t involve buying traffic but rather boosting your traffic by utilizing relevant and rich keywords so you can rank highly in search engine results. 

SEO and PPC are key components of a successful marketing strategy and will bring more clients into your practice.

Marketers are excited about these two marketing strategies but wonder if one strategy is more effective than the other for dental practices, and this is something we’re going to answer in our article today. 

Below, you’ll find 14 methods for using pay-per-click data and SEO to enhance your dental practice’s marketing and get a higher ROI.

But before we get into the methods, let’s take a closer look at what SEO and PPC are and their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is SEO?

SEO is a strategy that not only makes your website more accessible to prospective patients but more valuable to search engines like Google. SEO includes the following techniques:

  • Accruing high-quality backlinks.
  • Targeting keywords.
  • Local SEO targeting specific and relevant keywords.
  • Managing online reviews and listings.
  • Effective use of alt tags and title tags.
  • Effective use of Schema coding and markup. 

A critical aspect of SEO is creating a brand that isn’t just recognizable but consistent and separate from your website. 

What Is PPC?

PPC, on the other hand, is a method of advertising where companies will make bids for keywords. Successful people will have their ads displayed on Google whenever anybody searches for that particular keyword. 

The ads at the top of the page on Google get a lot of clicks, so it’s understandable why PPC is such an appealing and popular strategy. 

When employing a PPC strategy, you only have to pay Google for the clicks on your ad. This reduces the likelihood of paying for unqualified leads and means you’re only really paying for the clicks by people interested in your business. 

PPC Vs SEO: The Statistics

As you can see, PPC and SEO have a lot to offer but do the stats back them up? Let’s take a look!

SEO Stats

  • Searches made on engines like Google are responsible for the most traffic to business websites, even more than social media at 300%. 
  • 88% of searches for local businesses on a cellphone lead to a call being made to the business in 24 hours.
  • Around 80% of users pay more attention to organic links than paid ads on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). 
  • SEO accounts for 30% of all web traffic and 20% of all online revenue.
  • Organic searches rather than paid searches are estimated to be 5.6 times more valuable.
  • 1 in 10 blog posts is compounding, meaning their organic search traffic only increases. 

These figures are very convincing in favour of SEO, but let’s consider some PPC stats.

  • Every $1.60 a business spends on PPC earns around $3. In other words, this is an ROI of 187.5%.
  • PPC ads have been proven to improve brand awareness by 80%. 
  • 75% of consumers find it easier to gain information about a business from a paid ad rather than just an organic search.
  • 63% of people surveyed would click on a Google ad if it were related to what they were searching for.
  • While 80% of people surveyed said they don’t pay attention to paid aids, 46% of the clicks for all searches make the top 3 paid advertising spots on Google. 
  • While the above stats are important, we should keep this stat in mind too. Over 600 million devices have installed an ad blocker on the browser, which increases the difficulty of making a splash with a PPC strategy.

Contrary to popular belief, when Google updates its algorithms, PPC is not impacted. However, the same cannot be said for SEO which can be affected by updates to the algorithms. 

How Can SEO Help You Grow Your Dental Practice?

How Can SEO Help You Grow Your Dental Practice

SEO is crucial for marketing, but it can be overlooked by a surprisingly high number of dental practices, which is undoubtedly a shame. 

SEO can help your growth in two main ways. The first is boosting the visibility of your practice online. If patients can find your website easier, it’s more likely that people in your area will choose your practice as your visibility grows. 

The second way is that it brings more traffic to your site. An effective SEO strategy is a guaranteed way to rank high on Google, increasing your traffic. 

By combining SEO on and off your site and focusing on local keywords, you can boost the growth of your dental practice. 

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of SEO

Although SEO is essential to an effective marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean it’s without downsides that you must consider, especially if you rely solely on SEO. But let’s start positively with the advantages of SEO.

  • A great SEO strategy boosts brand awareness and simplifies finding your business online for prospective patients.
  • SEO projects have a lot of longevity.
  • Most people searching for services do this locally, and local SEO can make your practice more visible and, therefore, the result people are most likely to click on.
  • SEO gives you more control over your online presence and target audience.

Now let’s take a look at the potential disadvantages.

  • Successful SEO strategies take time, and your Google ranking isn’t going to increase overnight. The same can also be said for your ROI. 
  • Your SEO will need to be updated every time Google’s algorithms change. 
  • SEO isn’t guaranteed to achieve the desired results. 

While SEO is an essential and effective growth strategy for most businesses, it can’t be used in a vacuum and needs to be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies. 

When Should You Hire A Dentist SEO Specialist?

To help implement your SEO strategy, you may consider hiring an SEO specialist focusing on dental marketing. So what are the benefits of doing this, and when is the right time to bring a specialist in?

Honestly, it’s a tough question to answer, but let’s look at some signs that it’s time to hire a dental marketing SEO specialist to help you with your marketing strategy. 

  • You are not ranking as highly on Google as you used to.
  • You’re not getting any new leads or fewer leads than you’re used to on your site or your Google Business Profile. 
  • You’re unsatisfied with your ROI.
  • Your competitors are attracting more new patients than you.
  • You feel like you’ve hit a wall with your marketing.
  • You’re unsure of how to tackle online marketing but know it can be beneficial.
  • The user experience on your website is lacking, according to patient feedback.

If these issues relate to you, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a specialist, as an effective strategy can assist you in overcoming these problems. 

When users browse your website and click a link, you want to retain their interest and ultimately make an appointment. An SEO specialist may deduce the problem of failure to attract new patients is that your local SEO performance needs some work. 

There may be a few reasons for this, namely that the marketing company you’re working with doesn’t have much experience in dental marketing and therefore is inexperienced with the finer details of marketing in this sector.

Luckily, there are many good dental SEO specialists out there. However, there are also a lot of bad SEO specialists who are taking advantage of the fact that online marketing and SEO are essential for businesses and are providing people with poor service. 

You may have experienced this and have had an SEO company contact you, stating that they specialize in your industry and can improve your SEO. Of course, we should never take these things at face value, and you should seek out a company that is knowledgeable in dental marketing strategy.

But how do you know if an SEO company is legit? When considering an SEO company, let’s look at some empty promises and traits you should keep an eye out for.

  • They guarantee that you’ll rank highly on the SERP and promise quick results.
  • They are focused on quantity rather than quality.
  • They are limited in their techniques, usually no more than two.
  • They’re unable to answer questions.
  • They don’t give you an audit.
  • They seem too good to be true, particularly with the prices they offer.

How Can PPC Help You Grow Your Practice?

PPC is also an effective strategy for growth, especially if it’s taking a while for your SEO strategy to achieve the desired results. With PPC, you can bypass higher-ranked sites on Google by purchasing the relevant keywords. 

The advantages of PPC are easy to see. To develop your practice, you need visibility; PPC is a cost-effective and quick way to achieve that. 

Plus, PPC can give you the edge with mobile users, especially when it comes to local results, and can give you an edge over your rivals regardless of their high ranking and how long they have been around. 

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of PPC

Just like with our SEO analysis, let’s start with the advantages of PPC.

  • With effective keywords, visibility on Google is pretty much instant.
  • You can keep a tighter handle on your budget as you can select which keywords you want to bid on and only pay for the number of clicks you achieve. 
  • Highly-targeted ads will only be visible to those searching for your keywords.
  • You can track your results easily and find out how successfully an ad brings new patients.

Now let’s take a look at some disadvantages. 

  • There isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get the keywords you’ve bid for, which will have a detrimental effect on your ads.
  • PPC ads are not long-term solutions. Once you’ve stopped paying for them, you will no longer see results.
  • You have to pay for every lead.
  • Users tend to favour organic results over Google ads.

However, running ads on Google is a growth strategy that can bring great results if done correctly.

PPC Vs SEO: Who’s The Winner?

So now that we’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of PPC and SEO, who has come out on top? 

Well, neither of them. PPC and SEO are a winning combination; these two strategies shouldn’t be seen as an either/or option.

Both strategies have undeniable benefits and potential disadvantages but work well together. 

Dental marketing requires strategy in the long-term and action taken in the short term, which is why employing PPC and SEO strategies is an excellent idea.

Using PPC & SEO Together To Help Your Dental Marketing

Using PPC & SEO Together To Help Your Dental Marketing

So now we know that PPC and SEO are best utilized together. How do you do this? Let’s look at 14 methods of using PPC and SEO together to bring in new patients, boost your profits, and achieve higher ROI.

Getting On The First Page Of Google’s SERP

Combining SEO and PPC strategies gives you greater opportunities to appear on the first page of Google’s search results.

This is important because 80% of users peruse only the first page of Google search results. Therefore, your practice must show up on page 1. 

Implementing a PPC and SEO strategy gives you plenty of opportunities to get on the first page of Google, which is undeniably impressive to users. After all, you must be on the first page for a reason: you’re a great practice!

Yes, PPC ads tend to have a smaller click-through rate than organic search results on the first page of Google, but that doesn’t mean that many people don’t click on PPC ads.

These ads make up nearly two-thirds of clicks when people search for a service or product.

Use Keyword Research For PPC And SEO

While using SEO and PPC together can be extremely effective for dental marketing, PPC has a slight edge. MD Connect found that PPC brought nearly 80% of visitors to dental practice sites, leading to 71% of referrals.

Meanwhile, SEO brought in 21% of visitors to dental practice sites, leading to nearly 30% of all referrals. So why is this?

Keyword-level data is no longer a part of Google’s Analytics tool, which has caused many problems for SEO marketers, as keywords responsible for driving website traffic are no longer visible. 

However, you can still use PPC data to find keywords for an organic search. You need to go to the Admin section of Google Analytics, then the Account column, and choose which Analytics account you would like linked with your Google Ads account. 

This will let you use the Paid & Organic Dimension report to include SEO data in your Google Ads. 

Use SEO To Discover Long Tail Keywords Your PPC Strategy Couldn’t

PPC strategies often focus on discovering keywords that bring in heavy traffic and assume the person who searched for the keyword is looking to purchase a product.

However, this doesn’t yield a lot of keywords, especially when compared to the large number of keywords that your website can rank organically from the content of the website.

Once you pinpoint which long-tail organic keywords are generating interest and are being talked about, you can use them to fuel a PPC strategy. 

Broadening your PPC campaign to incorporate keywords you hadn’t considered before gives you the edge over your rivals who are not using them. 

Use SEO To Rank For Highly Valuable PPC Keywords

Dentistry is a sector that has expensive relevant keywords that can be costly when used in PPC campaigns. For example, Google’s cost per click can be as high as $50, and one of the priciest Google Ads keywords is ‘treatment.’

But don’t be too disheartened if a keyword is too expensive for you to bid on. You can still use that keyword for SEO by incorporating the keyword into your website’s content, creating blog posts with that keyword and using that keyword in alt tags and title tags. 

This may take a while, but you will start to rank for those keywords and therefore be able to afford them in PPC campaigns.

Brainstorm Content With Search Query

You can use PPC to develop content ideas by looking at your search query report. This is found in Google Ads and lets you see the types of treatments that are the most heavily searched when they discover your ad.

This is an invaluable piece of knowledge when coming up with ideas for content that will organically drive traffic to your website.

For instance, if your advertising keywords are ‘Denver plastic surgery,’ and visitors to your website discover your ad by searching for ‘Denver liposuction surgery,’ then even if this is not a dental procedure, it’s worth focusing on these keywords as a blog subject for local SEO.

Use PPC To Boost Organic Click-Through-Rate By Over 500%

Google will show you that having a PPC campaign will boost your organic SEO, and marketers support this. 

For example, Seer surveyed their clients and discovered that when an ad and organic listing showed up in SERPs, the organic click-through rate increased from 6.15% to 38.26%, an increase of 522%.

The clients also saw an almost 10-fold increase in click-through rate when ads and organic listings appeared in SERPs. 

Research by Nielson also revealed that when paid ads and organic content show up together, the brands advertised received 92% of total clicks, rather than just 60% with only organic content. 

Google Ads Paid and Organic Dimension Report lets you see how your SEM and SEO campaigns work in SERP.

This data can be used to give a fuller picture of your marketing research. When looking at the report, pay attention to the ‘Both Shown’ or ‘Combined Stats’ metrics. By doing this, you can see how some search terms perform in organic queries and ad impressions. 

Suppose a keyword term has impressive ad impressions but not so impressive organic queries (or the other way around). In that case, you can use this information to explore opportunities to boost the keyword’s performance in both PPC and SEO strategies.

Prevent PPC Cannibalization

Many businesses assume that marketing is expensive, which puts them off combining PPC and SEO in their healthcare marketing strategy because it may lower their return on investment. Many businesses don’t see a compelling reason to buy clicks if organic rankings give them clicks for free.

In the marketing world, this is known as ‘PPC cannibalization,’ and it’s not an unfounded fear. However, it can be solved.

Taking advantage of organic and paid campaigns and the Paid and Organic Reports can prevent PPC cannibalization while increasing your ROI.

So if an organic listing for a particular query is not ranking highly in SERPs, you can attempt to improve PPC performance to ensure it does rank highly in SERPs as a paid ad, which may plug the gaps in organic traffic. 

Although there are advantages to having organic and paid listings show up in one search, it may not be super effective for return on investment.

If both strategies rank highly for the same search queries, it may be worth reducing your top CPC bid on PPC to decrease the PPC cost and promote more organic conversions. 

Boost The Quality Score Of Your PPC

To find out your PPC Cost Per Click (CPC), Google uses a ‘Quality Score,’ where you rank your ads according to the keywords on your landing page. Google will also use different metrics for its page rankings for organic searches. 

This may be an issue if your PPC and SEO campaigns are not working in tandem. This is because SEO campaigns aim to optimise pages for organic search and may overlook factors of ad quality scores. 

However, when these campaigns are working in tandem, you can give ad quality score and organic search equal importance to achieve better PPC results. 

Utilize Site Search

For all SEO campaigns, Site Search is an essential tool. Knowing what visitors to your site are searching for can inform tweaks you need to make to your SEO and site structure to enrich their experience as users.

This data also comes in extremely handy for PPC campaigns. With Site Search, you can inform your PPC strategist of the exact keywords that are a part of the information your visitors are looking for. Including them in a PPC ad adds another layer to your consumer targeting. 

So how do you do this? Just activate Google Site Search in your Google Analytics account!

Use Highly Performing Ad Data To Create Effective Titles

When implementing an SEO strategy, you should never stop coming up with messaging that relates to your target audience; this is where page titles are so helpful.

Monitoring how your audience engages and reacts to specific page titles you want to use is seriously valuable.

But how can PPC help with this? Let’s take a look.

  • Think of 2 ads with the same copy but two different titles.
  • Make it, so Google Ads shows both ads equally.
  • With the Google Ads interface, see which title achieves a better Click-Through-Rate.

Once you know which title is more appealing to your audience, use the more popular title in your SEO title tag and your PC ads.

Better Manage Your Online Presence And Reputation

Managing your online presence and reputation for every dental practice is crucial, especially as a business is primarily done online. This is often where patients are first exposed to your services. Your reputation online has a massive influence on people’s perceptions of you.

When you use a joint PPC and SEO strategy, you can better manage and promote your online presence.

Visibility serves a vital role in how people perceive you, and if your practice is currently ranking low on Google, PPC ads can help get your name out to potential patients.

Similarly, SEO can help build a compelling and consistent online brand and boost your recognizability in the long term. 

Recent studies have shown that familiarity has a positive effect on marketing strategies. This is because people who saw the same ads regularly from a brand they were familiar with were less likely to develop ‘brand fatigue’ when compared to regularly seeing ads for brands they were unfamiliar with.

Take Advantage Of Organic Traffic When Remarketing

The goal of all SEO strategies is to generate organic traffic. When results are visible, you can use this traffic to target patients who may have interacted before but didn’t make an appointment.

Remarketing can zero in on people who went to your website but didn’t put their name on a waiting list or visited the appointment page without making an appointment.

No matter who your target audience is, research has found that the click-through rate for retargeted ads is 180.6% higher than for ‘normal’ ads. 

Plus, it is also one of the most cost-effective PPC strategies as it can cost half as much as traditional PPC ads. 

Monopolize SERP Coverage

When local prospective patients take to Google to look for a dentist, the SERP will bring up organic search results and paid ads. 

When you use PPC and SEO in tandem, your practice can have the monopoly of the coverage on results pages, so when a prospective patient does a Google search for dentists, your ad will be the first thing they see.

Many users will ignore the ad, but if they scroll down, they will see your clinic again, and this will give your practice more legitimacy and improve the chances of that prospective patient picking you over your rivals.

Prevent Rivals From Poaching Your Brand Search Traffic

Branded keywords are essential keywords that will most likely appear in the search terms for the most brand-aware users in your target audience. If you’re trying to optimize these keywords, then using SEO and PPC in tandem can stop your rivals from stealing this traffic.

But your clinic must be on the first page of Google’s search engine results to make the most of brand search traffic. 

Although the aim is for these keywords to be present in your ads and organic searches, using PPC while you develop SEO ensures that you’re getting your name out there when the branded keyword is searched for.

Final Thoughts

We hope this has shown you just how transformative PPC and SEO can be to your marketing and has given you a greater understanding of how you can combine these strategies for online marketing. 

When PPC and SEO campaigns run simultaneously, they must be collaborative strategies that enrich each other, not just doing their own thing.

The easy way to ensure this is the case and that you’re making the most out of your PPC and SEO campaigns is to stress to the specialists working on your campaign that the aim is to increase the visibility of your practice in organic search and paid ads.