Focus on ROI: Internet Marketing that Works… and Doesn’t

Just like you keep up with dental technology, research, and techniques by reading industry journals, I make a point to read the latest information about Internet marketing, dental marketing, and marketing trends. For a long time now, I’ve blogged about social networking having poor return on investment (ROI). Sure, subscriptions and participation are free, but time is money, and to build a successful social networking presence, you must invest time. By successful, I mean a presence that has a following – not financial ROI.

In Entrepreneur Magazine online, an article titled “Finding Customers” tells us that social media is not bringing retailers many customers. A report by Forrester Research, “The State of Retailing Online 2011: Marketing, Social & Mobile” shows that retailers are not happy with the results of investing in social marketing, like Facebook and Twitter. Now I know dentists aren’t online retailers, but there is something to learn here. The benefits to social marketing are wrapped around improving brand awareness.

Just this week, I advised a wonderful client of mine that a custom Facebook page will look great, but it will not improve ROI. It may not bring any new patients to the practice. This does not mean that a custom Facebook page is a poor investment. You have to consider your goals. For a high-end cosmetic dental spa, brand awareness and perceived value of services is essential to maintaining high profits. In this case, a custom Facebook page may be well worth the monetary investment.

But if you’re looking for hard, cold cash as a return on your marketing investment, according to the aforementioned report, “A whopping 90 percent of online retailers said search-engine marketing was the most effective source used to acquire customers last year…” Well, that’s great news for dentists!

Search engine marketing can be the most affordable and measurable online marketing strategy. For a few thousand dollars a year, you can have a completely custom, search-engine optimized dental website – with weekly or daily blogs – and integrated social marketing. Google loves blogs, so in addition to optimized text pushing your website domain higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), your blog will underscore and double or triple the efforts. All text on your website and blog must be original, not anywhere else on the Internet. It should also be appealing to both search engines and humans (it is possible). In addition, strategically embedded links, tagged photos and videos, and optimized headings are important.

To measure SEO success, your website and blog need Google Analytics. You must also track Google rankings for targeted keywords. Do research every 30 days to assess rankings, then apply your findings to future blog posts. What I mean is, write blogs optimized with keywords that would boost your listings in targeted areas. Keyword research is a separate issue, and a precursor to any optimization project.

If this all sounds very detailed and time consuming, let me tell you, it is. You must involve coding, copywriting, search engine optimization, research, and application of findings to your Internet strategy if you want a successful and measurable online marketing campaign. In some cases, implementing a contest, monthly email blasts, quarterly newsletters, and local listings will help improve your Google rankings.

At Modern Dental Practice Marketing, we do all of this and more. From designing a dental practice brand to building, monitoring, and maintaining a solid online presence, our team has the training and expertise that you and your front office team probably do not possess. We promise never to place a filling or diagnose dental conditions. That’s your job. Internet marketing is ours!

Call Jill at 972-781-8861 or email [email protected] to discuss your Internet marketing strategy.