SEO FOR DENTISTS: CALCULATING ROI
While many marketing strategies carry the risk that the cost will exceed the return, fortunately the return on SEO for dentists can often be calculated in advance, at least in terms of a ballpark figure. The cost of a six month Search Engine Marketing campaign with us is easy to find. Simply check our Pricing page. Now that you know the cost of achieving higher ranking, you’ll need two other pieces of information. The first is the lifetime value of a new patient and the second is a calculation of how many new patients a higher page ranking will bring to your practice.
Once you have these two pieces of information, calculating additional earnings for your practice is a simple formula. See the infographic to the left or keep reading. Heck. Do both. It's good for our egos.
How Many New Patients Can You Expect?
This is a calculation we’ll do for you. It does require access to tools that only SEO agencies typically have, such as the number of local searches by keyword and the number of clicks your highest ranked competition is getting. These tools allow us to determine how many extra clicks higher ranking for your site is likely to garner, and a conservative estimate of conversion rate will result in an estimate of the number of new patients you can expect. Provided you fit our client profile, we’ll not only do this calculation but prepare a screencast video just for you and your practice that will walk you through the metrics so you can see for yourself how the number is calculated.
Average Lifetime Value of a New Patient: Method 1
As already mentioned, the other vital piece of information is the average monetary lifetime value of a new patient. There are two ways to calculate this. The best way would be for you or your accountant to do some simple math. Take a look at your earnings in the past 12 months. Then look at how many patients you have. Divide earnings by patients and you’ll arrive at a pretty accurate Average Annual Value Per Patient. Then, using your experience, or a lot of forensic accounting, figure out how long a patient typically stays with your practice. Let’s say it’s 12 years. Simply multiply the Average Annual Value Per Patient by a factor of 12 and you arrive at the Average Lifetime Value Per Patient. This number is the value of each new patient.
We understand if that seems like just a little too much effort. It’s OK. Just the term ‘forensic accounting’ is enough to make us sleepy. Fortunately there’s a second method that’s a lot quicker and easier.
Average Lifetime Value of a New Patient: Method 2
Here’s a method you can likely do off the top of your head to arrive at a fairly reliable ballpark figure in the space of a few minutes, using only your experience of your own practice. Let’s start with annual checkups/cleanings. The average patient will get these done twice a year. You know the cost for this at your practice but for the sake of this illustration let’s use a figure of $400 per cleaning and exam. That’s $800 per year.
Patients also need regular x-rays. Let’s say that’s also $400 for a set of x-rays. Again, substitute here the number that you actually charge. If we figure on one set of x-rays every two years, that’s another $200 per year. We’re now up to $1,000 per year.
Method 2: Beyond Maintenance
Now we need to know how long you’ll keep this patient. People move. People have life-changing events. Even if you run a great practice with high patient loyalty, life is simply going to interfere and patients are going to leave. Just to pick a number, then, let’s say the duration of the average patient at your practice is 10 years. That’s now a lifetime value of $10,000. Of course, that’s just for maintenance. Over the course of those ten years, let’s assume the average patient will have one major procedure, perhaps a root canal, bridge or implant and two minor ones such as fillings or extractions. Once again, for the purpose of our example we’ll say the major procedure has a value of $2,500 and each of the minor procedures $600. That’s an additional $3,700 for a total of $13,700 over ten years.
Methods 1 and 2: What About Referrals?
We’re not quite done yet though. Once again, we’ll assume you’re running an excellent practice with high patient satisfaction. This means referrals. Some people won’t refer anyone during their tenure with your practice, while others might send multiple friends and family members your way. Let’s use a conservative figure of one new referred patient for each patient you get through Search Engine Marketing.
…and the Total is…
This means that in our example one new patient from SEO equals an Average Lifetime Value of $27,400.
If Search Engine Marketing resulted in just 4 new patients per year, that’s an additional annual earnings of $109,600, or over $1 million per ten year period.
Of course, you need to deduct costs from that to arrive at net earnings and this is a figure that will be unique to your practice, so we can’t help with that.
Getting to the Top is One Thing…
As you already know, we guarantee first page placement in six months or less, but that doesn't mean you'll have reached a ranking on page one that either you or we will be happy with. In many cases 6 months will be long enough for us to place you highly on the first page of Google organic results, as well as in the top 3 Google map pack results, but not always.
While we can't guarantee any particular placement on page 1, we'll keep working to rank your site as highly as possible. How much time it will take to reach the top half of page one will vary depending upon a large number of factors, some of them beyond our control. We’ll also advise other strategies that may have you ranking for your Facebook page, as well as a referral site like Yelp. This could mean multiple first page exposures for your practice. More exposures equals more clicks equals more conversions equals more earnings.
…But What About Staying On Top?
Now that we’ve got you there, you need to stay there. Fortunately that doesn’t require as much time or effort as getting you to that position in the first place. We have an ongoing maintenance package that’s designed to keep your site dominating the organic and map results for as long as you keep us working for you. These ongoing maintenance packages are much cheaper than the original monthly investment.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have the tools to calculate the value of new patients, contact us for the missing piece – the additional number of patients you can expect to receive from higher ranking. If you fit our client profile, we’ll do this for you at no cost or obligation. The number will vary by the size of your market and we have the tools to estimate how many additional clicks you can expect through higher ranking.