Shifts in digital marketing opportunities take place in every professional service industry, and medical—especially dental—is no different. Whether the changes are taking place with Google’s black box of a search algorithm or consumers’ behaviors and interests are dramatically different than they were just a few years ago, the saying “the only thing that remains consistent is change” couldn’t be truer than it is right now.
1. Trends for Types of Services/Specialties Change Over Time
Google Trends is an extremely powerful tool for not only confirming the amount of traffic one phrase has relative to another but also the cyclical nature of searches and its trendline over time.
In the example above, “painless dentistry” is oftentimes a keyword we receive for our clients about a more specific approach to their dental services. It turns out that “sedation dentistry” is much more prevalent among the average consumer, and this particular service has also been trending significantly over the past few years.
In another example, we see at-home options for teeth whitening gained popularity for much of the 2010s. From my recollection, that was when many top toothpaste brands were claiming that every single one of their offerings could “naturally scrub away years of teeth staining” in something “as little as 6-8 weeks.” Maybe people grew disenfranchised with this marketing around 2018, only to be met with a huge spike in at-home demand (that spike there is the onset of Covid-19).
Today, we can see that the demand is basically equal. These kinds of tools can confirm the direction of marketing specialized services today and set you up for success in the long run.
2. The Competition Isn’t as Stiff as You May Think
Many of our team members have spent plenty of time in the legal industry. It is extremely competitive, perhaps even painstakingly so. But whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Marketing in the dental space is by no means easy, but relative to other industries, it is definitely manageable. In the images provided above, there are approximately 36,500,000 results for inquiries related to “dental digital marketing agency,” but there are 452,000,000 results for “legal digital marketing agency.” That’s more than 12 times more. In a quick Google search, there are roughly 450,000 law firms in the United States. Many of them are also in the B2B space, catering to only corporate and private business matters. On the other end, you have about 186,000 dentist offices. Fairly comparable operating businesses, they are a considerable fraction of the competition.
3. Reviews Are Much More Important on Google vs. Different Forms of Social Media
In a recent study with 150 respondents, we asked about the importance of reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Respondents, on average, said Google reviews were 85.5% more important than Yelp reviews and 120% more important than Facebook. It is still absolutely paramount to get reviews on platforms like Google and to get them frequently.
4. Paid Channels Such as Google Ads Still Work, but There May Be More Hesitation Than There Used to Be
With the right Google Ads partner, you can have predictable success using a paid approach for coming up on qualified search results. As the years go by and the average consumer becomes more privy to the methodology and quality of paid results, it can make it gradually more and more difficult to manage and maintain a worthwhile campaign. It is worth noting that while competition comes and goes (and mostly goes) from paid platforms such as Google Ads, it leaves room for newcomers to stake their claim and hopefully enjoy cost-effective bids on their most coveted keywords.
On a scale from 1-10, our respondents averaged a 7.24 when asked if “Google provides the best search results,” which would be equivalent to a comfortable “yes.” The average score for the question “How obvious are Google Ads to you” was also 7.72, with the average respondents confirming with 3.71 that they would click on a Google Ad if they knew it was one. These are not the best numbers, but they are not enough to completely pursue seeing if they work for you.
5. Consumers May Be Accepting of a Dental Practice’s Presence on Some Social Media – Evidently Not TikTok Though
You may be thinking back and forth about being on social media. You may not be thinking about it at all. After these responses, you may be even more accepting of any non-committal decision.
Would You Look Up Dental Info on Instagram? 1.45
Would you Use a Dentist You Found on Instagram? 1.45
Would You Look Up Dental Info on Google? 7.19
Would you Use a Dentist You Found on Google? 4.34 (a surprising answer, considering the likelihood based on of the information above. But relative to the other information presented, it is still three times more likely than most social platforms).
Would You Look Up Dental Info on TikTok? 1.32
Would you Use a Dentist You Found on TikTok? 1.31
6. Minimum Quality and Quantity of Google Reviews Is Paramount
We mentioned that reviews are a key component of any digital marketing campaign. After all, the average consumer may easily spend 30 minutes researching any particular professional service. They’re going to find out about the majority, if not all, of your reviews. So, if Google is going to be the go-to place for reviews, what are you looking for exactly for a rating and a quantity?
4.07 should be the minimum rating, and the average potential client is expecting you to have at least 34 reviews.
7. In Most Professional Services, 40% Of People Are Clicking Through to Google Business Profile Listings
Over the past several years, the same stat keeps popping up over and over again: most people are choosing Google Maps listings as the most reliable form of search result, even over Google Ads, Local Service Ads, and Organic Listings (organic listings are second, though). Having a key plan for your GBP listings will set you on the path for quick results and quality leads, and unless there is a drastic shift in how Google provides these listings, this is a steady plan for the foreseeable future.
You can see in the image above that there are three “organic” listings within the GBP section. There is one sponsored, which we’ll likely be seeing more and more often. This is technically a Google Ad with a Location Extension enabled. If you have strong reviews, this may be a nice option for additional exposure. If you’re working with a Google Ads partner or taking care of it internally, I would recommend looking into this further as it appears as a seamless listing relative to the others, and people may not consider it to be a paid result.
Contact Market My Market to Market Your Medical or Dentistry Practice
If you’re a medical or dentistry business, Market My Market is here to help. Our experienced team of digital marketing professionals have years of experiences helping similar business stand out from the crowd and rank well on search engines. With expert SEOs and an in-house team of content writers, we can help you take your business to the next level.
To learn more about how we can help you succeed, contact us at (866) 270-2250 or complete our contact form today.