Recently we’ve been talking about how important dental marketing is in a slow economy. So I just introduced a new free service for dentists to help them find a dental domain name for their practice websites that will get them a higher search engine ranking.
As someone who devotes his life to this stuff, I can’t emphasize enough how a great domain name can boost your Internet marketing success.
But how exactly do you measure “internet marketing success“? It’s a legitimate question, and I realize it’s something many of you must wonder about. I know dentists are a results-oriented bunch, and I know you get frustrated when marketing guys tell you to spend thousands on Internet stuff when they can’t guarantee or quantify results.
So let me demystify how we measure success in internet marketing.
Obviously the best way to get hard results is to track where each new patient is coming from. Some dental website marketing programs can automatically track this valuable information, which is something I highly recommend. But, as important as it is to track new patients, it doesn’t give you the full story.
It can take multiple contacts to convert a new patient. A consumer may see your dental practice website, then be referred by a friend, then track you down in the phone book. A direct mail piece may send a potential new patient to your website, where they sign up for an email patient newsletter, which eventually converts them. No marketing vector works in isolation.
But let me focus on the area where I’m most passionate: Internet marketing! Now, I can help you track the success of your campaign by telling you each month exactly how many page views you got, how many people requested appointments online, how many called the phone number shown on your website, even how long those phone calls lasted.
However, there’s another way I can figure out how successful your web marketing is. What happens if I go online and pretend I’m a potential new patient? It all comes down to whether I find you online or not. If you can’t find yourself online, then neither can new patients.
The average person looking to find a dentist online would probably go to Google or another major search engine. My research has shown that they will enter a multi-word search term that includes a geographic descriptor. They will also specify the type of dental care they’re seeking. Therefore, we tend to see search terms like “sedation dentist Atlanta” or “Brooklyn braces dentist.“
Before you can quantify the success of your website, you need to know what your target phrases are. (It’s okay to have more than one!) These are the same phrases your target patients search for. You might have multiple variations, because there might be a few different geographic words to describe your location, and you almost certainly treat multiple kinds of dental problems.
Why not go to Google right now and search for your own target phrase? If your website comes up on the first page of the Google search results, then you’re probably doing pretty well.
I’ll talk more about measuring Internet marketing success next week, but I want to leave you with the following question: What would it be worth to you to be #1 in the Google search results for your chosen geographical market?