Dental SEO vs. PPC: Which is Better For Your Dental Practice

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The Connect the Doc Team
June 14, 2023
min. read

Gone are the days of looking through phone books to find the nearest dentist and dental practice. Today, patients enter search queries like ‘dentist near me’ on Google and visit one of the dental websites displayed on the search engine result page (SERP). However, the question is, how should a dentist go about improving the quality of search traffic coming to their website? The answer is the difference between dental SEO and PPC. 

This article will explore the differences between the two digital marketing strategies: dental SEO and PPC. You will learn how to define these two strategies, which strategy is better suited for your dental practice, and how you can benefit from implementing them, which is better suited for your dental practice.

What is Dental SEO?

Dental SEO is the process of attracting quality search traffic to your dental website by improving your website’s quality and value. SEO is short for search engine optimization. Search engines are built to point patients to websites that include the information they need. These search engines use algorithms and bots to determine which websites are displayed on the SERPs that web users see. 

By optimizing your dental website to meet these search engines’ requirements, you boost your website’s chances of being displayed on SERPs. The higher your website ranks on these pages; the more likely patients will click your website. Dental SEO strategies work to increase the likelihood that your current and prospective patients will find and visit your website when they enter a dental-related search query. 

Why Is Dental SEO Important?

At its core, dental marketing is the business of attracting, engaging with, and retaining patients. This process begins with strategies that increase traffic to and appointments booked with your dental practice. Dental SEO builds on this concept by increasing search traffic from search engines to your dental website. Search traffic refers to the number of patients who visit your website after using a search engine. 

1. Dental SEO Is Cost-effective 

Compared to several types of dental marketing strategies, Dental SEO is a cost-effective strategy. It mostly requires using words, design, and layout on your website that meet the requirement of search engines. Other aspects of dental SEO include guest blogging, link-building, and reviewing your site architecture. The monetary cost of these processes is less than most outbound and traditional marketing strategies. 

2. Dental SEO Has Long-Lasting Impact

When you optimize your website for search engines, the changes you make lead to sustained traffic from search engines to your website. As long as your website exists and meets search engines’ requirements, your website will continue to rank on SERPs. If you have a well-optimized website, it could remain at the top of SERPs for a long time. In this way, dental SEO has a long-lasting positive impact on your marketing efforts and business goals. 

SEO is a long term marketing strategy. It can take weeks or months to start seeing the impact of your dental SEO efforts. This is a time-consuming process. Given that the search engine’s requirements may change over time, your optimization strategy may have to be revisited. This could also cost you and your team some time. As such, it may be worth considering another digital marketing strategy that is less time-consuming: PPC. 

What is PPC? 

PPC stands for pay-per-click marketing. Pay-per-click marketing is a strategy that attracts search traffic to your dental website while you pay whenever an advertisement (ad) is clicked. In simpler terms, PPC is about paying for the search traffic. With PPC marketing, you bid on keywords/search queries that your target patients use and pay when they click your ad on SERPs. 

PPC marketing is used to position your dental website above others listed on a SERP. PPC ads typically appear above the top ranking websites for a keyword/search query. It appears at the top of SERPs, in a position that is estimated to attract clicks from 46.1% of all web traffic. As one of the first things they see when using search engines, patients are more likely to click and visit your website.  

Why is PPC important? 

PPC is an effective strategy for increasing patient leads. It helps your website show up on SERPs when patients search for keywords you’re bidding on or other dental practices. This marketing strategy boosts your practice’s brand awareness and ensures you stay top of mind of prospective patients who come across your ad. 

1. PPC Has Immediate Impact

When you run a PPC ad campaign, you can start reaping results almost immediately. Within minutes of running your ad, you can expect target patients to start entering relevant search engines and clicking displayed results, including your ad. This makes PPC marketing great for service announcements and product sales campaigns. It is also used for running seasonal campaigns. 

2. PPC Targets Your Ideal Patients

PPC marketing strategies specifically target patients who use search queries or keywords you bid on. Before running a PPC ad campaign, you have to identify the keywords you want to bid on and use them as a criterion for the kind of traffic you want to attract to your website. For example, if you bid on ‘Invisalign treatment in Fargo,” your ad will be displayed to patients who search for these keywords or phrases similar to these keywords. 

Your keywords determine who sees and clicks your ad. It is vital to conduct extensive keyword research using tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner. Keyword research helps you identify the search queries that your patients are most likely searching for. This research needs to be done right to get the best results. We recommend hiring a PPC specialist to support your efforts. 

SEO vs. PPC: Which Is Better For Your Dental Practice

Although PPC is a highly targeted marketing strategy that has an immediate impact on your business goals, it costs more than your dental SEO strategy. As such, it may not always be your preferred digital marketing strategy. On the other hand, SEO is time-consuming and may not be ideal for your end-of-year promotions. 

So, how do you know which strategy is better for your dental practice? The answer is to do both. 

If you are at a point where you are developing your dental practice’s online presence and digital strategy, we recommend starting with PPC campaigns first. PPC marketing will help your dental practice show for search queries related to your practice. 

However, while your PPC ads are up and running, you should start building out and implementing your dental SEO strategy. Dental SEO requires time and patience. It is essential to do it right and lay the foundation for long-term growth, success, and better ROI. 

When you have done the groundwork for both strategies, you should continue running both simultaneously. This will give you the best results. Some dentists choose to run PPC ads only when they have sales or special announcements. While there’s nothing wrong with alternating both strategies, research shows that businesses with the best marketing results implement both SEO and PPC marketing strategies simultaneously. 

These strategies require a certain amount of time, effort, and expertise that you or your team may not have. To do it right and get the most out of your dental marketing strategy, contact Connect the Doc’s team of SEO and PPC specialists. We will support your effort to achieve your business goals by conducting extensive keyword research, improving your dental website’s SEO, and running and tracking your PPC ads campaign.

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