How Much Should Dental SEO Cost?
by Tyson Downs
Whether you've been online for a while or you only just launched a website to act as your real-world business's counterpart in the online arena, you might be interested in discovering the advantages to be gained through dental SEO.
Search engine optimization (basically the practice of making your website more visible online using a number of strategies) is an essential part of any business that wants to grow, for the simple fact that there are so many options out there. Without a dentist SEO company to help you be seen by the search engines and ultimately, consumers, you have very little chance of being found.
Just do a search for "dentist your city" on Google. You'll quickly see how many hundreds if not thousand of others you're competing against. And SEO, when properly managed, can put you at or near the top of the list for your most relevant search terms.
But like any service, SEO for a dentist is not without cost. Sure, you can probably teach yourself how to perform SEO... if you have a few months free to delve into this complex activity and learn the ins and outs of Google's best practices.
More likely, though, your dental practice takes precedence, in which case you'll want to hire a professional service provider to help you out. But how much will it cost? Why do some services cost more or less than others? What are you getting for your money?
As a business owner, it's important to know where your money is going so you can ensure it is spent wisely on behalf of your dental practice. Here are a few basic guidelines when it comes to the cost of dental SEO services.
Dental SEO Services are an ongoing process
Hopefully you understand that it's important to have a presence online. And you understand that in order to have a good online presence, you need to take action! You can't sit around and wait for your online presence to build itself, well I suppose you could, but that wouldn't be very smart!
Hopefully you understand that it's important to have a presence online. And you understand that in order to have a good online presence, you need to take action! You can't sit around and wait for your online presence to build itself.
First, understand up front that SEO is not a magic wand that you can wave for instant results. It is a process, and it will be ongoing if you want to build up your online presence, increase your domain authority (a ranking factor), and maintain results. It's important that you know going in that for optimal results, SEO is not a one-time deal.
Consider marketing for your dental practice. You probably wouldn't create a marketing campaign thinking you'll only air one commercial, or that you'll be airing the same commercial for the next twenty years, regardless of how outdated it becomes.
Even your website design is not static. You might not update it frequently, but you know that it will need modifications as staff changes, you move locations, redo your office, etc. or as your primary services change.
Although there are certainly one time pricing options offered by some SEO specialists, and you can definitely buy piecemeal, (buy some on page optimization here, buy a course about backlinks there, buy content over there), the best way to achieve lasting results is with a strategy that includes continuing SEO services, and incorporates it as part of an online presence strategy.
Think of it this way; is the Internet going to disappear? Do you think the search engines are going to continue to survive? Will other dentists want to show up in the search results? It's because of those reasons that SEO should be penciled down as an ongoing marketing expense for years to come.
There are several different ways to pay when it comes to SEO services, although not every provider will offer every option. The place where most business owners begin is with contract services.
These short-term agreements allow you the opportunity to see what an SEO service provider can do on behalf of your dental practice before you lock into a long-term plan. Often, specific services are offered at a set fee under the contract.
This is a good way for dentists to give SEO providers a spin. And if you like the service you receive, you can always sign up for more in-depth or long-term SEO support. This will help you understand how the provider works, his responsiveness, etc. But not necessarily his effectiveness.
Just keep in mind that because of the nature of SEO, results often take a few months to start to show.
Pay by project
While generic services are a good way to get your feet wet, you'll eventually need a strategy that is tailored specifically for you, for dentists. So when looking for an company to do your online marketing, be sure to consider their expertise in your field.
If you want an SEO plan with a limited scope that is custom designed for your business, you can generally contract for a specialized project. It will likely demand specialized pricing as a result, but you may get more targeted results.
This is likely to be the payment model you end up settling on, mainly because SEO works best in an ongoing capacity.
Like any type of service, rates will vary from one vendor to the next. But before you agree, you'll want to comparison shop to see what types of packages are offered by various SEO service providers, as well as how their pricing structures stack up for similar services.
Of course, it isn't as if you are looking at buying a red apple, from the same orchard, and the same tree, with different costs.
No, no. Service offerings are different, strategies, and certainly expertise is going to be different.
Consulting services are usually offered at an hourly rate. This may be useful if you have no idea what you might need to get started; an initial consultation, followed by a brief, hourly engagement.
Once you've paid a consultant or company to spend a couple of hours discussing your needs, if you like what they have to say, you should be able to implement an SEO plan for at least a project or a contract for the next several months, if not a long-term strategy.
Low versus high cost
Now we get into the meat of the question. How much does SEO cost? As you have probably found, it is that it will vary from business to business, depending on your wants, your needs, your budget, and so on.
SEO services could start at as little as a few hundred dollars per project or per month and go as high as several thousand dollars. The real question is: how much should you pay?
When you start shopping around, the best bet is probably to skew towards the median. When you pay bargain basement prices for SEO services, well... you're going to get what you pay for. You might not see the results you were promised, and you probably won't get great customer service either.
On the other hand, there's no reason to shell out $5K every month for a basic service package that includes link building, keyword research, and analytics reports. You want to make sure you're getting your money's worth.
For this reason, it's probably best to look for middle-of-the-road pricing to begin with. From our experience, and analysis, a monthly SEO plan for most dentists should cost somewhere in the $1,000-$3,000 range, give or take, and that could include features such as on site blogging, content creation, guest blogging, relevant backlinking, general online marketing for dentists, and more, depending on the package you opt for.
And don't forget that many SEO service providers offer special pricing if you bundle packages together. So rather than stopping with link building, for example, think about integrating other useful services. You may pay less in the long run and compound your results.
When seeking SEO services, remember that it's not all about the money. There's a lot of value in finding a provider that is reputable, reliable, easy to reach, and committed to ensuring that you get reasonable results.
Some providers will offer you the moon (#1 rankings for popular search terms in just 2 months!), but you need to have a little common sense if you don't want to get taken for a ride. If they aren't charging you enough money, how do you think they'll have time for your project? They won't. I've seen it time and time again.
It's better to go with a provider that offers moderate pricing, tempers your wild expectations, and then delivers just what they promise. This way, you'll gain all the advantages of SEO and a little peace of mind, as well.
SEO can entail a major expense, especially for a small business. But if you want to compete with other dental practices, you really can't afford not to optimize.
And when it comes to figuring out how much to spend on SEO services, you really need to comparison shop, arrange for consultations, read reviews and think about what you're getting for the money. The cost will be different for every dental practice, but a fair provider will find ways to work with your budget and create a package that benefits your business. And always, always consider your return on your investment, and simply not your outlay.
About the Author
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.