ENDODONTIC MARKETING CASE STUDY
HH Hancock Endodontics
DR. HH HANCOCK
“I've been practicing for twenty years, and we started getting referrals from GP's that have never referred to us before!”
INCREASE IN PHONE CALLS
GROWTH IN WEBSITE VISITORS
NEW REFERRAL PRACTICES
The Endodontic Marketing Challenge
Dr. HH Hancock had an outdated website built in the early 2000s and needed to be ranked better in organic search. His goal was first to update his site to reflect the quality of his care and secondarily wanted to see higher rankings, more new root canal patients, and GP referrals.
One of the main concerns of Connie (Office manager) was that several of the GPs in the area were ranking on Google Maps for “endodontist” and “root canal” above Dr. Hancock. She was confused why GPs were higher on the Google map than they were. She felt it was unfair and knew that the GPs were getting more Endodontic patient phone calls.
The Endodontic Marketing Suggestion
The package we created included four services; Endodontic website design, an improved website hosting service, SEO for local search phrases, and a reputation management service with a Google review acquisition and a solid social media presence.
THE INVESTMENT: Through bundling the services, we were able to waive all website design fees, a savings of more than $4,500, and drop the monthly investment for all services by 40%. Dr. Hancock was appreciative and found the investment fair.
First Step: New SEO Optimized Endodontic Website
Dr. Hancock’s new website was built on the flexible WordPress Platform. In the Endodontic website design phase, the team updated Dr. Hancock’s color palette to improve brand awareness. In the website development phase, they updated all metadata, schema, alt text on images, image compression, and reduction of java and CSS to help the site load more quickly.
Websites need to be built with SEO in mind. When the website goes live, it needs to begin ranking organically as soon as possible and support rankings on Google maps.
More than 50% of all website visitors are on mobile devices. Dr. Hancock’s previous site was mobile-ready but not mobile-optimized. The team updated Dr. Hancock’s website to a mobile-optimized site. In addition, the mobile tap targets were checked and updated.
Second Step: Google Business Profile Optimization
Connie’s main concern was ranking higher on the Google map. She knew that ranking there would attract new patients because she uses the Google map to find local businesses. Her logic was, “If that’s what I use, how many other people use that to find local businesses?”
Google Maps SEO is a dental SEO service focusing on increasing phone calls directly from Google maps search results.
Approximately 20% of Endodontic patients find a new Endodontist by searching on Google maps; rather than as a GP referral.
Dr. Hancock had never optimized his Google Business Profile. Because of this, his Google listing was not showing up on the first page of the Google map for endodontic keywords. When searching ‘root canal dentist’ or ‘Endodontist near me’ Dr. Hancock was being beaten out by GPs. Updating and optimizing his Google profile was an obvious first step to increasing phone calls from patients searching for an Endodontist on Google.
Helping Dr. Hancock “Go Green”!
Dr. Hancock and the office manager, Connie, had never heard about this optimization. Still, they did know that most of their community looked for local businesses using Google maps. So they were excited that it was included in the Endodontic marketing campaign.
The test was to see if we could increase Dr. Hancock's new Endodontic patient phone calls by helping him rank higher than GP's on the Google map.
When My Social Practice first started working with HH Hancock Endodontics, their local search results were sub-par. We began focusing on the top two phrases that potential patients would search when looking for a Endodontist dentist, “root canal” and “endodontist.”
Understanding A Google Maps Ranking Report
To understand Dr. Hancock’s case study, you must first understand how Google map rankings work.
Google maps is a location based, which means that the results on the map change depending on where a person is searching from.
The goal is to “go green”. If a node is green it means that anyone searching from that location will see your practice on the front page of Google maps.
The report that you’re seeing here is called a Google Maps Grid Report. It helps you to understand where a practice ranks on the Google map depending on the location and the phrase that the patient used in their search. If a practice ranks in the top three listings at that search location, the node will be green.
This example would show a practice's position on Google Maps if someone were to search for the word "dentist." The nodes are separated a half mile from each other, giving the size of the map a 3.5-mile to 4.0-mile radius. If you're standing where the woman is and search dentist, the practice ranks second on Google maps. If you're standing where the man is, the practice is ranking thirteenth.
OPTIMIZING FOR “ROOT CANAL”
WHEN WE BEGAN
1 node on the first page
The initial local search grid report for the keyword “root canal” (shown above) for Dr. Hancock uncovered that his practice was not showing up in their immediate area for the keyword “root canal.” The size of this report is half a mile 13 x 13 grid report. Each node is .5 miles from the next, making the entire grid approximately 3.5 – 4 miles. When we began the optimization he was ranking on the front page of Google less than a half mile around his practice.
HALF WAY THROUGH
4 nodes on the first page
After a few months of the Google Maps SEO service, Dr. Hancock began to see results.
It’s typical to begin seeing a gradual increase in higher rankings directly around the practice. As Google starts recognizing the practice as more relevant, location-based SEO takes effect. Not every keyword begins to rank in a circular pattern like in the graphics above. The population density, competition, and the keyword you’re going for, after all, play a part in how SEO takes effect.
WHERE WE ENDED
Entire map is on the first page
Optimization never really ends, but we do get to the point of diminishing returns. We’ll see the growth pattern of higher rankings begin to slow down. Sometimes we see reduced rankings, especially when Google changes an algorithm. When this happens, we have to update some of the SEO tactics. In the long run, we’ll see diminishing returns, and when this happens, we’ll maintain tasks SEO for that keyword and begin placing more emphasis on a second keyword.
OPTIMIZING FOR “ENDODONTIST”
WHEN WE BEGAN
Only 11 nodes are first page rankings
Dr. Hancock had slightly better beginning rankings with the keyword “Endodontist.” Notice the pattern goes gradually from green to yellow, and very little red is in the bottom southwest corner of the grid. Now compare that report with the first report in the root canal example. The “root canal” grid report moves toward the red more quickly, indicating that SEO optimization will be more difficult. In his situation, quite a few GPs in his area were trying to optimize their Google maps listings for Endodontist.
HALF WAY THROUGH
All except for 3 nodes are on the first page
One of Dr. Hancock’s optimization problems was his Google business listing had been optimized for dentistry rather than Endodontics. The first step we took was to update all of the categories, content, and services in his listing for Endodontics. We were able to see a much quicker optimization process for this keyword. What is not seen in this example is that Dr. Hancock lost many rankings for the keyword “Dentist,” but that was a benefit since he doesn’t want dental patient phone calls.
WHERE WE ENDED
Expanded the report to 4 times larger
We were able to go green for the 3.5 – 4 mile grid report much quicker than with the keyword root canal, and so we expanded our efforts. The grid report above looks like he’s lost ranking, but the grid is four times the size of the other two. The third graphic is a 2-mile 13 x 13 report. Each node is two miles from the one next to it. After expanding the grid and seeing first page rankings 14 miles away to the southeast, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to boost his rankings much further.
What Did The Practice Think of the Marketing Campaign?
Connie Billerman the office manager was our point person during the campaign. After a few months of optimization she called me and said this:
"After we began working with the team at My Social Practice we started seeing a significant uptick in new Endodontic patients! We started getting calls from GP's that had never referred to us before. I love this service! We've been in business for twenty years and we've never seen these types of results." Connie Billerman, Office Manager
Third Step: Google Reviews Acquisition
It’s one thing to show up higher on the Google map so that new patients can find you but it’s another to actually get a phone call.
Optimization for the Google map requires two aspects; better rankings and better social proof. Social proof is enhanced with a solid review acquisition strategy. Getting more Google reviews is not that easy for an Endodontic practice, which is why we recommend automating the process.
The minimum goal for any Endodontic practice is a Google review profile of 40 reviews with an average rating of at least 4.5, which is backed by consumer research studies.
The number one place to get reviews is on your Google Business Profile. The second place would be Facebook. Third would be YELP and the Fourth would be Healthgrades. The reason that Google reviews are so important is because they’re attached to your Google Business Profile which shows up in the search results.
Dental SEO Case Study Results
The information for Dr. Hancock’s case study spanned more than a year. One of the best tracking methods with Endodontic SEO is from the Google Business Profile statistics. The graph below is the impressions for first year of optimization for Dr. Hancock. Impressions are the total number of times that Dr. Hancock’s listing shows up on the Google map when someone does a search.
Notice the big downturn for the impressions in the first few months, which is a result of updating all of his marketing to Endodontic strategies rather than dental. Once the Endodontic strategies took hold we begin to see an increased impressions. Phone calls, clicks to his website, asking for directions, as well as referrals from new GPs began to increase.