What to watch out for with your SEO provider

By Megan McGuire, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer

January 28, 2016 -- Levin Group has partnered with the online specialists from Wpromote to provide the expertise needed to implement effective online practice-building strategies for our clients.
— Roger P. Levin, DDS

Megan McGuire
Megan McGuire is a senior online marketing specialist at Wpromote. Image courtesy of Wpromote.

As the number of websites continues to increase, it's becoming more and more important for dental practices to cut through the noise to reach prospective patients. A critical part of this is search engine optimization (SEO), using on- and offsite optimization strategies to help a website climb higher in Google's search results.

Hundreds of SEO firms are on the market now, and it can be very difficult -- in fact, almost impossible -- to determine what's good and what's a waste of money for those unskilled in SEO. However, there are a few things to be aware of. Here are some of the major red flags to be aware of when looking at SEO providers.

1. They promise you the moon (and stars, and sun)

This is a huge one. If anyone tells you they'll put you at the No. 1 spot on Google's results in X amount of time, go somewhere else. The truth is that no firm can make a promise like that in good faith, as there are too many factors at play to make such grandiose predictions. The only company that has control over the results that Google shows is Google. Instead, look for firms that provide explicit plans of what they'll do and how they'll measure your return on investment.

“If anyone tells you they'll put you at the No. 1 spot on Google's results in X amount of time, go somewhere else.”

2. They keep everything under wraps

An SEO agency is essentially a type of marketing firm, and the agency works for you -- so you're 100% entitled to know what it is doing and how it's working for your practice. If your SEO firm isn't sending you regular reports of its efforts and progress, it's time to look somewhere else. This also holds true if the agency's explanations don't make sense. Any firm that can't or won't explain why it's doing what it's doing -- in terms you can understand -- isn't worth your time.

3. They take a cookie-cutter approach

While there are some standard principles of SEO, the reality is that every business is different -- every dental practice is different -- so any firm that takes a completely standardized and uniform approach raises a red flag. You should expect your SEO firm to perform an initial consultation and demonstrate a solid grasp of what it takes for a dental practice to succeed in today's challenging dental marketplace.

4. They are impossible to reach

We know that schedules may be hectic, and you aren't the firm's only client, but if you are continually calling and emailing your SEO firm to no avail, it's time to seek outside help. Your SEO firm should be available to answer any questions you may have, regardless of how basic or complex. Be sure that your specialist is sending you regular updates, asking to schedule monthly calls, and keeping you informed on everything happening within the program. An online marketing specialist who's dedicated to meeting your needs will always be available to assist you. You're paying them, after all.

Do your research

Ultimately, the basis for deciding which SEO firm to go with is unique to you and your practice. To make the best decision, you need to do your research and compare the companies you're considering. Use the warning signs discussed above as a starting point. They'll help you spot the big red flags and immediately eliminate companies from your review process.

For more information about online presence and other components of the Levin Group Marketing Consulting Program, please speak with a Levin Group dental practice specialist at 888-973-0000.

Megan McGuire is a senior online marketing specialist at Wpromote and is responsible for assisting dental practices with their online marketing needs.

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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Last Updated np 1/27/2016 3:16:48 PM