7 questions most dentists don't ask their marketing firm

By Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer

September 18, 2019 -- As a practice owner, you want your marketing to convey the right image of your practice. Maybe you've responded to an inquiry from a company that specializes in the marketing of dental practices. What should you ask this marketing firm to see if they are for you?

It doesn't matter how successful the marketing company is because no one cares for your office and your interests quite as you do. I tell colleagues they should be an active part of their office's marketing strategy. Learn the basics and be your own advocate.

7 questions

The following are seven questions I recommend you ask a marketing firm:

1. What's the firm's click-through rate?

Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS
Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS.

The click-through rate is the number of people that click on your ad divided by the total number who see it. Click-through rates are given in a percentage. The higher the number the better, although be aware that average click-through rates for dental marketing have been estimated to be between 2% and 2.9%.

2. Do you create unique ads?

It will be essential to know what to expect when it comes to both marketing copy and graphic design. Will yours look the same as many of the other firm's clients, or will they be creating something unique for your office?

3. What keywords will be targeted?

For both website search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads, you will want to know what keywords are being targeted in the marketing campaigns that are run for you. Knowing the keywords allows you to be able to decide if this is something on which you want to focus and also to hold the marketing firm accountable.

For instance, if you were told the campaign was using the keywords "dental veneers" and "dental implants" for your website SEO, you can search for those specific keywords along with your city name to see if this target strategy is working. If you have access to your Google statistics this would be an easy way to check as well.

4. What is your cost-per-click?

For paid digital ads, you will want to be sure you know your cost per click. This is the total amount spent at any point in time on a marketing campaign versus the number of people that have clicked on your ad. This gives you the best idea of whether a particular ad is worth your time and allotment of your budget.

“Learn the basics and be your own advocate.”

5. What is our biggest traffic source?

Where does your traffic come from? Is it Facebook, Instagram, Google, or Yelp? Figuring out where your audience lies will help you when you decide how much money you wish to allocate to each platform.

6. Are you using negative keywords?

If your marketing firm is running any pay-per-click ads for you, be sure they have submitted a robust list of pertinent, negative keywords to the campaign platform. This is one of the easiest and best ways to save you money.

For example, if your firm has set up a Google Ads campaign to target the phrase "dentist near me" and does not have a negative keyword list set up, you may be paying for clicks on searches such as "24-hour dentist near me" or "cheap dentist near me."

You can see why you would not want to pay money to find patients looking for either of the above. Negative keyword lists should also include other dentists' names and offices near you so that if a person is searching for a specific dentist's phone number, they don't accidentally click on your ad as well.

7. What is your strategy?

Before signing a contract with a marketing company, you should always be aware of what the overall strategy is that it is going to help you enact. What are the goals? What will the company actively create for you? How does it plan to analyze and evaluate if the strategy is working to meet your intended goals?

Agreeing to a strategy will keep all parties on the same page and also shows there has been thought and preparation by both parties.

Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS, is a pediatric dentist at Sunshine Smiles of Orange County and the author of the Color Your Health blog.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.


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