SEO or PPC?
When deciding what online marketing services to purchase for your practice, the question often is “Should I get SEO or PPC?” Once people understand more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, they will see the advantages and differences between them, and how they work together.
How Search Engine Optimization Works
To get more new patients to your dental office you need to make it easier for them to find you. Now more than ever people find their dentists by searching on Google or some other search engine including Alexa, Siri, and the like. How do you get yourself found on these?
Search engines try to provide the best search results for their users. They want people to be satisfied with what they found because they will come back to search next time. Knowing what search engines are looking for is the job of a Search Engine Specialist. They know what works to make search engines boost your site more, and consequently put your site at the top of their searches.
WEO Media’s team of SEO experts not only know the industry’s best practices for getting you to the top of search, we also experiment and diagnose the behavior of users and search engines to inform our SEO decisions into the future.
How Pay Per Click Advertising Works
Google makes its money from selling ads. Every time you do a search you can see the ads placed prominently at the top of every search. There used to be one or two at the top of your screen, but Google has added features, more ads, and expanded the ad section to cover your whole screen. You need to scroll down past the ads to see search results. A lot of users do scroll past, but many also click on the ads to get where they are going.
Using PPC Ads, you can “skip the line” and get ahead of your competitors. You pay for each click to get new patients. A big advantage of PPC is you can choose what you want to target. You can target:
Is SEO or PPC better?
We get this question a lot and we would say the answer is complex, but it’s not. Just like mailers and radio are two different channels for advertising, SEO & PPC serve different purposes and work together to get you new patients.
SEO has a notable limitation: The results don't come overnight. In fact it can take between 1 to 6 months to see real success in the form of new patients, depending on various factors like competition and budget.
The other potential drawback of SEO is that your reach is limited by proximity. Google displays local search results, so they will only show your business in search results within certain geographic area surrounding your physical location. If you are in Washington DC, Google is not likely to show you in Baltimore or even Arlington. The only way to target areas farther away is through a PPC campaign.
A Google Ads (PPC) campaign can fill in the gaps where SEO falls short. As soon as your campaign is setup and approved, you should start to hear your phone ringing more often. In addition, the campaign performance will improve over time as Google's algorithm optimizes the best performing ads based on the data.
PPC does have a limitation: You only get what you pay for. As soon as you stop paying, you will stop getting clicks and new patients. PPC reacts to how much you spend instantly. Double your budget, get ~75% more clicks. Cut it in half and get ~75% less. That said, PPC allows you to grab patients from searches you don’t rank in, or areas outside where your site shows up.
On the other hand, if you stop paying for SEO, you will continue to reap the benefits for months. There are many long-term benefits of SEO, although once you stop, your rankings in search engines will slowly begin to drop. If your area is competitive, you will see the drop even quicker.
What’s the verdict?
As for most good things, the answer is why not both? Get SEO to put long-term equity in your site and rank for a wide variety of searches (many you never thought of). Get PPC to speed up your results and reach the places where SEO does not. A good marketing plan includes multiple channels to get new patients.
Call a digital marketing consultant at WEO Media to manage your marketing plan. We have services that cover many marketing channels and the experts to make sure you get positive ROI.
Ready to get serious about driving traffic to your site?
WEO Media - Dental Marketing
8625 SW Cascade Avenue Suite 300
Beaverton, OR 97008-7121
Call today 888-788-4670
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