So you have hired a dental SEO agency or are just about to hire one. You’re all excited about how you will get hundreds of new patients because you will rank first on the first page of Google within a few months as the SEO agency has promised. But within those first few months after signing on with an SEO agency, you are having doubts about achieving that result. Your agency is probably not producing the results it promised yet.
If you haven’t yet hired an SEO agency, then you must check out this article on questions you must ask an SEO agency before hiring one.
Is it too early to worry? Is it time to start deliberating whether you have hired the right SEO company? How do you know if your SEO company is doing things right or not? Thousands of dental practices have thought of these questions. And you could (or rather WOULD) too if you don’t know how to pick the right one and identify the shady ones. But don’t worry, just yet! This article is curated to answer these very questions and help you steer clear of the scammer posing as SEO experts. Read on to understand how you could do that.
Before we move to this article’s core subject, it is essential first to understand what dental SEO is, as some dentists are a little fuzzy about its meaning.
In general, dental Search Engine Optimization is a blanket term used for all activities you can do to improve your website’s visibility online. To put it simply, SEO helps a practice site rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo and is pivotal in driving traffic to a dental website.
The higher you rank, the better chance you will reach potential patients, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately generate more new patient appointments.
Sounds good so far? Well, it’s easier said than done, though! It takes a lot to boost rankings on search engines. Dental website SEO involves both on-page and off-page optimization. On-page SEO refers to all internal improvements you can make to your website, such as improving the quality of content, making the website design more patient-friendly, etc. Off-page SEO involves external implementations to enhance your website’s authority, such as content creation and sharing, link building, etc.
A dental SEO company employs experts in different fields of SEO. These professionals provide several services such as auditing your website, curating a bespoke dental SEO marketing strategy, and implementing various SEO tactics to help you achieve your practice goals.
A dental SEO management agency ensures that:
If someone with no knowledge of dentistry walks into a dental office for a root canal, they will honestly not know if the dentist performs the procedure correctly or not because they have no idea how it works! That’s not our field of expertise; it’s yours.
Similarly, dentists struggle to identify if their SEO company is doing its job correctly or not; they don’t know the correct way to do it. Fortunately, though, you can look out for the following signs to be sure that your dental digital marketing agency is doing all the right things (or not) for your website search engine optimization:
While you will receive a website audit and competitor analysis report from almost all SEO agencies, what matters more is the reporting on the activities done for you in the initial weeks after the process has been started. There are 9 SEO reports that company must provide you about your website. This reporting should continue till the SEO lasts.
Your dental marketing company should provide the following ongoing weekly reports to you:
SEO is not a quick fix. It is a continuous process that takes time to yield results. So if your dental SEO marketing company doesn’t get you ranking on the first page of Google in a couple of months, it’s OK! However, it doesn’t mean that you should wait forever to start ranking! Ideally, your rankings should start showing improvement after three months.
Again, we are not saying that you should feature on the first page of Google within three months; all we say is that you should be better off in 3 months than where you are today. That could also mean jumping from rank #95 to rank #70. It wouldn’t give you the visibility you need, but it is a sign that your dental SEO company is doing things right!
Choosing the right keywords is arguably an essential part of the SEO process, especially for local SEO, such as for a dental practice like yours. Hence, your agency must choose the right keywords. For dental website SEO, long-tail keywords that include your location and/or the treatments you offer are the most important. So if your SEO agency proposes to focus on generic keywords that won’t bring any relevant traffic to your website, they aren’t doing things right.
Ranking for keywords isn’t that important; ranking for relevant keywords that bring in qualified leads is.
Related Article: How to Choose the Right Keywords for Dental SEO
Genuine and trustworthy dental SEO management agencies will always present tangible proof of their success. They will provide you with keyword performance reports to understand how you have fared on Google rankings for the chosen keywords over the past few months. The reports shall be provided to you once or twice every month to track the SEO campaign’s progress easily. The agency would also show you the new content or modifications made to the existing content on your website by them.
You own your website. So your dental SEO marketing agency will have to ask you to give them access to all or most of the following:
If the agency doesn’t ask for access to the above, they either don’t know their job or neglect in doing their job, or in the worst-case scenario, they are doing something shady. Check the detailed article on the access you must provide to your SEO agency for your reference.
This one is a tell-tale sign of how good (or bad) your SEO agency is. Yes, SEO is good. But it works even better when combined with other tactics of dental digital marketing. For instance, content marketing for SEO helps you rank higher quickly and increase your return visitor rate. Social media marketing enables you to build a strong and positive online image, which improves your social media engagement and Google reviews, which positively affects your rankings.
A good Dental Marketing Agency has expertise and experience in most forms of digital marketing. They know how a comprehensive marketing strategy would benefit you instead of SEO only, and they strongly advise you to adopt that strategy.
Many mediocre agencies often focus solely on off-page SEO, i.e., writing a few low-quality SEO articles, creating backlinks, etc. however, on-page SEO is just as important.
On-page optimization refers to optimizing your website’s elements, such as page loading speed, website content, keyword density, etc. SEO for dentists that don’t focus on on-page SEO factors won’t give you the results you are after.
Hiring a result-oriented SEO company isn’t cheap. You invest a reasonable amount of money because you look at it as a significant source of new patients for your practice. Naturally, you’d have some questions about it. How does it work? How is the agency planning to implement it? Why hasn’t my website started ranking higher yet?
If your dental SEO marketing agency is doing its job correctly, they would have no problems answering your questions. They will always be available to resolve your queries, explain how their dental SEO services work and benefit you, guide you through the process, and work with you to achieve the best results for your practice.
Website traffic and revenue are the two most obvious indicators of your dental marketing company’s performance. We know what you are thinking. “If traffic and revenue decrease, then the agency isn’t doing a good job, and if they both increase, then the agency is working its magic. Right?” Well, it isn’t that straightforward.
A sudden drop in traffic could be a result of an algorithmic penalty. It may or may not be your agency’s fault. But you need to get cautious and start asking them questions about it. Also, during all these years, we’ve seen many cases where an increase in revenue accompanies traffic drop. This statement may sound contradictory, but it is anything but that.
Your goal is getting good traffic and not lots of irrelevant traffic. Now, what is good traffic? It is traffic that arrives from targeted long-tail keywords and the right audience. This traffic converts more easily. The result? Your conversions increase, and your revenue shoot up from fewer visitors. In other words, your dental SEO company is doing a fantastic job!
Some agencies may make a mistake while attempting to do things the right way, but some are just outright incompetents and frauds. While you may or may not want to give a second chance to the former, you must put on your running shoes and run as far away as you can from the latter. Here’s how you can identify them:
“With us by your side, you will rank first on Google. We have a special relationship with Google.”
Does this sound familiar? Even worse, does this sound lucrative? Well, we’ve got news for you! No one, not even the Google CEO, can guarantee you the first position for any keyword. So if you come across an SEO agency that promises that, head out to your lawn because you need to do some warm-ups to run as far away from them as possible! Check the detailed article on should you hire an agency that guarantees first page ranking.
Just think for a moment. Would a dental SEO management company, one that has the nous to rank well on Google and earn clients organically, ever bother to send spam emails to get clients?
Agencies that send out spam emails are the ones that can’t get clients organically or even with paid ads. All their hopes of landing a client rest on fooling beginners with these spam emails. And just in case they land a client, how do you think they will approach the job? With more spam! So what do you do? Stay clear! That’s it.
Content marketing for SEO does involve infusing keywords in the content, but overloading keywords into your content, also called keyword stuffing, will do you more harm than good. The content should provide value to the readers and produce to be read by people, not search engines.
An easy way to identify if the content your agency created is suitable for people is to ask yourself if the content is worth sharing on your LinkedIn. If not, then you either have to ask them to write good content if they do other things right; otherwise, run away to the mountains, far away that scammy agency you’ve hired!
It is standard for web designers to ask their clients to link back to their website in the footer; they want to showcase their work to prospective clients. However, this is not at all acceptable in the SEO industry. No decent dental SEO agency would ask you to link back to their website or even to other websites as part of an ‘exchange deal.’ You own your website, and you do not have to disclose to anybody that a specific digital marketing company has done your SEO. Period.
Here’s an idea: Ask your SEO agency about their process and techniques for driving traffic to a dental website. Look out for the following answers:
If your question answered with any of these responses (or anything similar, which translates to ‘we can’t/won’t tell you’), you have got yourself an agency that you cannot trust. As discussed before, the right dental SEO service provider will always answer your questions, even if they are quite technical and would probably not be useful for you anyways.
Proper SEO is solely based on white hat (fair) practices. And your SEO agency must be able to explain them as simply as possible if they are doing that. If they are secretive about their SEO techniques, then we’ve got some bad news for you: You invested in a scam. So sorry.
The volume of link backs to your website matters a lot, but not more than those links’ quality. Quite often, scammy SEO agencies can bring a sharp but temporary increase in rankings on the back of bad or low-quality links.
The links that track back to your website must come from a relevant source within your industry. Links from totally unrelated sources are what we call spammy or bad links. Again, these links do you a lot of harm and will have a strong negative impact on your SEO medium to long term.
Another common scammy practice that fraudulent agencies follow is directing traffic to their client’s websites from their blog network. If the contract expires or the relationship sours, all this traffic will redirect to their new client’s site (quite likely a competitor of yours), and they will leave you hanging with a massive dip in your rankings and SEO. In effect, you’d be paying to develop a competing site. Money well spent!
You might have seen this:
Standard package – 15 pages on-site optimization + 100 directory submissions + 150 article submissions + 250 social bookmarks
Premium package – 30 pages on-site optimization + 200 directory submissions + 300 article submissions + 500 social bookmarks
What do these packages mean? They could interpret that your SEO company thinks SEO is a mechanical process, and they have no clue about what they are doing. Every website is different from the rest and will have various deliverables. There cannot be a predetermined cookie-cutter package.
Also, you will find hundreds of agencies that offer ‘market-best’ rates. The prices they offer for their services appear too good to be true. And in most cases, they are too good to be true. A top SEO company has all the latest tools and techniques and a team of SEO experts.
And all of these cost a lot of money.
If an agency offers a low price package, be on the lookout for some hidden charges to magically crop up. Some may even ask you to upgrade to a supposedly premium package a few months down the line, with the promise of better results. Don’t fall for that scam.
Let’s revisit the previous point. Predetermined packages aren’t the only thing wrong with being promised 300 articles submissions or 200 directory submissions. Such a large volume of articles would always contain many spun content, terrible linking, and spammy comments – the three things Google algorithm hates the most!
You will be under significant risk of inviting a penalty from Google. And trust us on this one, those are not easy to get rid of, and it will cost you much more than hiring a legit SEO agency! So whenever you come across an agency that promises such large numbers, you know the drill. Lawn. Warm-up. Run. Mountain.
Search engine bots view the relationship between different websites through links. They move from one website to another via Dofollow links and ignore the Nofollow ones.
To the layman, Dofollow and Nofollow links look the same. But there is a small difference between them. Nofollow links have a small piece of code that tells search engine bots not to follow them. Dofollow links are just links without this code. It is only the default state of a link.
Dofollow links are crucial for driving traffic to your website and improving your search engine ranking, while Nofollow links only drive traffic. Hence, if an SEO company spends more time and effort creating Nofollow links, you must ask them why. And more often than not, you can leave the meeting without waiting for the answer.
There are many good SEO companies, but there are way more terrible ones. This article will hopefully help you identify and stay away from them. Revisiting these points would make that task easier:
A top dental digital marketing agency would:
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