The 5 Biggest SEO Trends for 2018

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

SEO has come a long way from the black hat days of link farming and keyword stuffing. This is due mostly to the rise of machine learning AIs such as Google’s Rank Brain, a machine learning system that helps Google analyze and determine search results. These AIs have the ability to analyze a large range of user experience and ranking metrics and determine which information it thinks best correlates to what a user is searching for. We have seen recent changes to these in the form of Google’s algorithm updates. As one of the nation’s largest dental marketing agencies, we have watched these changes take effect first hand and have compiled a list of SEO trends we see emerging in 2018. The top trends in dental SEO for 2018 are:

  1. Mobile First Indexing
  2. Comprehensive, In-Depth Content
  3. Increased Video & Image Searches
  4. The Rise of Voice Search
  5. Links + Linkless Mentions

Mobile First Indexing

In October of 2016, combined online traffic for mobile and tablet devices officially passed desktop, marking 51% of all online traffic for the first time in history. Following the tipping point, Google announced that they would be switching to a “mobile-first index,” meaning Google would consider the mobile version the actual version of the website, even if someone searched from a desktop computer. Therefore websites that were mobile-friendly were given preferential treatment in search results. Now, mobile traffic sits at 60% and growing. Although mobile first indexing is not live yet, it could happen any day now, and it is sure to have a major impact on websites that are not mobile friendly. If you have a website that isn’t mobile-friendly, you should start the process now before it is too late.

Comprehensive, In-Depth Content

In the past, Google would crawl a page and look for the number of times a particular keyword or phrase was used throughout the:

  • Copy
  • Title Tag
  • Description Tags
  • Alt Tags
  • H1
  • URL

Although these are still ranking factors by some consideration, they are more measures of content versus context. Remember, it is Google’s number one job to display the most useful information that correlates to a user’s search query, not the most alike. Content that contained between 1900 and 2000 words typically outperformed websites with less content.

Another way to give your content a boost is through the use of LSI keywords or Latent Semantic Indexing. LSI keywords are words that are strongly associated with your page’s content. For example, the LSI keywords for “proper dental care” might be:

LSI latent semantic indexing

You can also use the blue hyperlink words at the bottom of Google’s search engine to get more LSI keywords and check them with Google’s keyword planner to look up search volume.

Increased Video and Image Searches

2018’s biggest SEO winner may very well be the rise in video search. In fact, according to Cisco online, video search could make up as much as 80% of all online search by 2021. Youtube is already the second largest search engine and increased 60% just this past year.  Optimizing your videos with keywords and content like you do with a web page can also increase the chances of it appearing directly in search results.  Nearly 55% of searches contain at least one video in the results.

Out-bound video has also exploded in 2018. According to eMarketer, nearly 77% of marketing agencies say that out-stream video will be a crucial element to their clients’ success going forward. Unlike in-stream videos, out-stream video plays outside of video content. These are often used in social media feeds or placed in between content. These videos tend to have a much higher viewability since they can be placed anywhere and formatted to only play when in view of the user. A study by Marketing Land found that viewers actively watch out-stream ads for 25 percent longer than other types of video ads. The study also found that 42% of respondents who viewed these video ads were aware of the brand measured in the study, and 65 percent of respondents who were exposed to out-stream formats were aware of the ad upon video completion.

People have also altered the way they search through the use of image searches, looking for topics such as “hairstyles for men” or “living room ideas.”  Google image searches are made over 10 times as often as any search on Bing or Yahoo, and they represent more than 40 times the number of searches on Facebook. Again, these searches are based on increasing a user’s experience. To ensure better rankings it is important to use high-quality images and optimized alt tag and descriptions.

The Rise Of Voice Search

Currently, one in five searches come from voice search, 35x from what was used in 2008, which is likely to grow with the adoption of smart home devices and the increases in mobile traffic. With that in mind, it is imperative to stay on top of voice search. The best way to optimize for voice search is to optimize for question dialog (such as titles using “Where is,” “Who is,” “How do I,” or “What is”…with answers listed in the content below). Google will usually favor text inside featured snippets and first page websites for voice search results.

Links + Linkless Branded Mentions

It is no surprise that links are important. And just like last year, content and links will remain the foundation of SEO. However, it is likely that as Rank Brain advances, hyperlinks and anchor text will become a thing of the past. Bing has already confirmed that they are using unlinked brand mentions as a ranking signal and a patent from Google suggests they do the same. Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, stated in September last year, If you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet — and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that. Then you are doing great.”  In theory, this would be a great step forward since there are more brand mentions then links using those mentions on the internet.  Link building would become more organic and interlinked with content and less about “link-building.”


To stay up to date on the latest news and insights make sure to sign up to our blog or follow us on social media for real-time releases.  If you are interested in learning more about SEO and how it can help you achieve your goals contact us or call (720) 350-4484.

It’s Not a Marketing Problem: How Finances and Operations Impact New Patient Acquisition

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Picture this: a practice has invested in a dental marketing agency to increase new patients. The marketing agency deploys a handful of different marketing tactics and the phone begins to ring. And ring. And ring.

This situation actually happened a few years ago. The dentist’s goal was to increase new patient numbers by 20 each month. In that first two weeks, 20 new inquiries came in by phone. But the staff was all out of the office; the practice was closed for an extended holiday. What’s worse, no one returned the patient calls upon reopening.

In other practices, someone untrained in customer service answers the phones. Basic service acumen is the foundation for a great patient experience right from the get-go. The most successful dentists take smooth operations even more seriously.

Fortune Management helps dentists better engage the entire dental team in ushering new patients into the door and truly building a relationship with each of them. They help inspire a leadership mindset throughout the practice.

As for finances, here is another scenario: a practice has seen encroaching competition and an aging surrounding community, leading to fewer young families entering the practice. As a direct result, production has slowly declined over a 5-year period. Cash flow is strained, the doctor regularly struggles to make payroll and has over the years taken home less and less pay. The doctor takes a $30,000 loan to invest in marketing, thinking that will solve the issue.

In this case, low patient traffic is a symptom of a financial issue. The doctor was employing the same number of staff and paying on the same high-dollar lease. If cash is tight, it may be time to reduce staff or renegotiate the lease, two of the largest expenditures for a practice.

Wells Fargo Practice Finances advises that taking a short-term loan is a normal part of the lifecycle of many practices, yet that loan should be invested in improvements to the practice or into marketing only after trimming expenses. After all, the lender wants the loan to be used on assets that will make the practice money, not take its money.

This is the great trifecta supporting every successful dental practice: strong operations, sound financials and solid marketing strategies. When any one part is out of whack, it throws off the other two. In what area should your practice invest its time and energy now?

The Future of Digital Advertising – 4 Trends to Watch for in 2018

By | Advertising | No Comments

Omnichannel Marketing

Over the past several years companies have embraced a multi-channel marketing approach. Multi-channel marketing involves interacting with customers through multiple marketing channels, both direct and indirect, in order to sell products and services via the channel of their choice. This creates an operational atmosphere that’s more driven by how to sell to the customer in each channel versus the experience created across all channels.

An omnichannel marketing approach, on the other hand, focuses on creating an integrated and seamless customer experience across all channels, anticipating that the customer may start on one channel and move to another during their decision process.  To stay competitive, practices may want to shift towards an omnichannel marketing approach in order to enhance user experience and in turn, boost new patient numebrs and production.

Out-stream Video

According to eMarketer, nearly 77% of marketing agencies say that out-stream video will be a crucial element to their client’s success going forward. Unlike in-stream video, out-stream video plays outside of video content. We typically see these in social media feeds or placed in between content. Since these videos can be placed anywhere and formatted to only play when in view of the user, they tend to have higher viewability. A study by Marketing Land found that browsers actively watch out-stream ads for 25 percent longer than other types of video ads. The study also found that 42% of respondents who viewed these video ads were aware of the brand measured in the study, and 65 percent of respondents who were exposed to out-stream formats were aware of the ad upon video completion.


Remarketing works by tagging users with cookies when they visit a particular page on your website. Those cookie IDs then link to a remarketing list and show ads to those users as they continue their search elsewhere on the Internet. Although some people tend to find these slightly intrusive and a bit creepy, remarketing is a great way to remain in front of a potential patient after they’ve left a website. Plus, data shows they tend to perform extremely well. Search Engine Journal’s recent State of Digital Marketing report shows that 91% of search experts use remarketing and claim it’s an effective tactic. According to WordStream, remarketing ads had half the fatigue rate of general display ads and led to higher conversions the more times a user saw the ads. On top of this, remarketing ads tend to significantly increase brand awareness and are historically more cost-effective than general display ads.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality opened up a new world for digital advertisers. The technology has advanced significantly over the past few years and is projected to become a 117.4 billion dollar market by 2022 according to a Markets and Markets report. Companies like IKEA are already utilizing AR to promote how products would look or fit into your room.

The possibilities are endless. Storytelling will become more immersive and interactive, practices will be able to provide realistic virtual tours, and people will be able to truly experience live events without ever leaving their homes.

To stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in digital marketing, make sure you sign up for our blog. To discuss a digital advertising strategy that meets your needs contact us or call 855-BIG-BUZZ to speak with a marketing professional.

Prioritizing Your Practice’s Needs

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

With corporate dental offices encroaching on private practices, and competition reaching all-time highs, it is more important than ever that your practice is buttoned-up, organized, efficient, and appropriately staffed.

You can deploy the most comprehensive and well-planned marketing strategy, but without the appropriate, trained, qualified, and collaborative key players, it will only get you so far. In the same breath, you may have the most amazing team running your practice, but without a strategy behind marketing, patient acquisition, and patient retention, they will only get you so far.

That said, a practice will thrive and reach maximum success when the following three areas are in tip-top shape:

  1. Finances
  2. Operations
  3. Marketing


In order for a small business to be successful (and profitable!) the finances must be accurately forecasted, measured and reported. There are countless resources and experts in this arena– Wells Fargo Practice Finance has reps nationwide to ensure your practice loan is the best it can be and offer extremely personalized service. Carr Healthcare Realty, also nationwide, is available to help you (the business owner) negotiate the very best lease, working solely with the tenants and buyers, never directly with landlords or sellers.


The area of practice operations includes the systems and structures that make your practice run, including your team. Together, these systems and structures should work to maximize profitability and production, ensure the schedule is filled and stays full, makes recall a no-brainer, and most importantly, keeps your patients fully satisfied in every interaction they have with your practice. Dental practice coaches, such as Fortune Management, work with you to take a deep dive into your practice, and inspire your team to get them on board with your practice vision. They will also work with you and your team to develop powerful leadership skills.


A strategic and comprehensive marketing plan allows for your unique message – your why – to target, reach and attract all of the prospective patients who are in need of your services, as well as to retain all of your current patients who are already raving fans of your practice. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and just as each patient has a custom treatment plan, each practice needs a custom marketing plan.

When all three of these systems are buttoned-up and working together, the possibilities are endless and corporate dentistry doesn’t stand a chance!


4 Quick Fixes for Your Social Media Marketing

By | Blog

Social media can play a large role in your marketing plan. When done correctly, social media marketing can boost new patient numbers, production and brand awareness. Take your social media marketing to the next level by implementing these four quick fixes:

  1. Change who you are targeting: Social media appeals to the young and trendy, but that’s not the only demographic using it! According to a Pew Research study, mentioned here, Facebook users aged 45-54 are spending more time on the social media website now than ever before. That same age group is likely your target demographic. These patients also have children and parents that can become your patients, too. Market to this group with content, imagery and information to which they can connect. For example, if they are busy getting kids to soccer practice while also having to take care of their aging parent, be sure to mention you offer CEREC same-day crowns. Quality care and convenience is exactly what they’re going after.
  2. Post smarter. Posting to social media regularly can feel like a task, especially when different users are posting at various times or login information is in several places. Use a tool like Hootsuite to house all your social media pages and to schedule posts throughout the week. Hootsuite allows your team to use one login to access all your social media pages, and to see exactly what has been posted and what’s scheduled to go out.
  3. Remember to listen. In the book, Social Media is a Cocktail Party, authors Jim Tobin and Liza Braziel connect social media to a social gathering. Just like you wouldn’t do all the talking at a cocktail party, you shouldn’t do all the talking on social media. Spend just 10 minutes each week looking at other people’s posts to see what’s happening in their world. Are you a specialist? Look at the pages of the general dentists who refer to you, and share their relevant posts (i.e. share posts about their canned food drive or the new technology they just installed in the office). They will likely reciprocate.
  4. Try something new. The video trend grew immensely in 2017, and it’s not stopping. One way to keep video fresh? Live video! Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow users to post live broadcasts about what’s happening in their lives. Use live video feeds at your practice by giving tours of the office, sharing a tip of the week, or introducing new staff members.




Kick Off 2018 Right: 2-Question Patient Survey to Jumpstart Marketing

By | Uncategorized

You know that January is a big deal for your practice. When you kick off the New Year with strong momentum, you set the tone for the rest of the year. You feel it when you hit new patient numbers in the first month, and when treatment plans plus a couple of large cases are scheduled in the months to come. Solid top-line production and bottom-line profit from the start set the pace for year-long success.

A great way to jumpstart marketing, boost new patient traffic, and increase treatment acceptance, right from month one, is to administer a very simple survey. Select a pool of patients or patient families who:

  • Are extremely loyal to the practice
  • Accept treatment
  • See the doctor(s) as the expert
  • Pay on time
  • Refer to the practice

Extract (no pun intended) from the patient database the email addresses of those folks who fit the bill. Then send them the survey, just 2 questions:

  • How has our practice made your life better?
  • How likely are you to refer us?

The answers to the first question will be great testimonials to add to the website.

Plus, when you ask for permission to use their words as testimonials, you can ask them to post those responses to Yelp, Healthgrades, Google+ and other review sites. It’s always best to send patients detailed instructions on how to post to review sites. Get instructions now.

Finally, you can email these testimonials to any and all patients who have not yet accepted treatment. Have the front office pull a report showing who has not yet signed on for treatment, craft a custom email to each of them reminding them of their treatment plan, and include relevant testimonials gathered from the surveys and a suggested date and time for an appointment to get the treatment plan started. All you want them to do is take the next step, and life-changing stories from others are like marketing gold in making that happen.

The easier you make it, the more likely they are to act.

The second question is suggested by Fred Reichheld, author of The Ultimate Question, as the best and only customer satisfaction question that need ever be asked. Learn more.

Based upon responses to that question, you can gauge how happy your best patients really are. There may be some light-bulb moments. If 80% or more of the respondents gave a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, you have a healthy customer satisfaction rating and a practice that’s set up for success. If fewer did, it may be time for team training, practice coaching or financing for a technology or office design upgrade.

The immediate reward from this question is that you can nurture respondents who gave high ratings into actually referring more often to the practice. A campaign of handwritten notes, thank you emails and “Please send your friends and family” reminder postcards can ratchet up referrals in a jiffy, especially if focused on that small pool of people that Reichheld refers to as “Promoters.” 80% of your referrals will come from just 20% of your practice database, so focus on those who love you most.

Here’s to you in 2018!



Are You Making These AdWords Mistakes?

By | Uncategorized

Failing to Organize Your AdWords Campaigns

Organizing your campaigns not only helps your dental practice allocate spend more effectively, it also improves quality scores. Improved quality scores then give your practice better pricing on click bids. Each campaign should have a specific theme or target a particular service. If your dental practice has multiple locations, you may want to set up a separate campaign for each location. See the example listed below.

adwords campaign organization

Not Setting Up Radius Targeting Around Your Dental Practice

Using radius targeting allows your dental practice ads to be shown around an area that you choose, be it your practice address or a general area of interest. Setting up radius targeting ensures that your ads will only be shown to those you see as most likely to visit your practice

Not Optimizing Bids For Mobile Devices

According to Search Engine Land, local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day. Increasing your campaign’s mobile bids ensures that your dental practice will be displayed at the top of local search results for those searching via mobile phones for an office like yours right now.

Not Adding Negative Keywords

Negative keywords allow you to filter out search terms that are closely related to the keywords you are targeting, but not quite right for your offering. For example, an orthodontic practice wants to target those searching for “braces in Denver.”  The practice is obviously referring to orthodontia, but that search term (“braces in Denver”) may not filter out people searching for leg braces or back braces. Those should be negative keywords.

Not Using Google Ad Extensions

Ad extensions supplement your ads with additional information in search results. Ad extensions allow you to display information such as multiple pages, phone numbers, services, callouts, location information and more, right from the search results. On average, Google estimates a 10-15% click-through-rate increase from implementing a new ad extension, although this is dependent on the business type and other factors.

Using The Wrong/Default Keyword Matches

There are three types of keyword matches in Google Adwords. At first, it is best to use broad match or broad match modifiers to gauge how users search within your targeted location.  As time goes on you will want to analyze your search terms and alter your match types for better results and targeting.  The three keyword match types are:

  • Broad Match – Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. Note: You can also use a broad match modifier, which is similar to broad match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches including the words designated with a plus sign (+dentist office) or close variations of them.
  • Phrase Match – Ads may show for searches that match a phrase, or are close variations of that phrase, with additional words before or after. Ads won’t show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase, or if words in the phrase are reordered in any way. Phrase match is designated with “” (“dentist office in”).
  • Exact Match – Ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. These searches are designated with [] ([Dentist]).

For more information on how to run successful campaigns for your dental practice, sign up for news and insights and have them sent straight to your inbox! To speak with a dental marketing professional to see if AdWords is the right choice for your practice contact Big Buzz or call 855-Big-Buzz.

2017 Dental Marketing Year in Review

By | Uncategorized

After surveying hundreds of patients nationwide in 2017, we have compiled the following data to help your practice increase production and profitability in the coming year. In our proprietary survey process, we ask 25 key questions to uncover trends and changes in dental marketing year over year. This report details the cumulative data from three of those questions.

Would you search online for a practice like this one? [Yes – 70%, No – 30%]

The data shows a continued upward trend from last year, with 2016’s results indicating that 63% of patients would search online for a dental practice. That being said, you are still missing out on 30% of potential new patients if you are investing only in online marketing.

There are more than 50 marketing tactics that a dental practice could deploy, and of those, only a handful is right for your practice right now. The majority of practices realize higher production dollars and profits when the marketing plan includes the right combination of marketing tactics: brand/awareness, traditional, internal and online/digital.

What type of marketing do you pay attention to when searching for a dentist? [Referral – 37%, Online search – 21%, Newspaper – 2%, Email – 2%, Online reviews – 18%, Signage – 4%, Radio/TV – 3%, Social media – 7%, Direct mail – 5%]

While referrals are still the leading answer, they are down to 37% from 67% in 2016. Trends also show that the importance and significance of social media in a patient’s decision-making process is increasing. Recent studies show that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.[1]

This data illustrates another growing trend in marketing: patients, and consumers as a whole, will utilize and research on several different platforms before making a decision, especially when their health or that of their family members’ is involved. They may hear about your practice from a neighbor, scan your website, and check out your online reviews or social media profile. Then, without even realizing it, they may see your direct mail flyer that you sent two months ago in the stack of papers in their study. That totals four different contact points that they made with your brand before even making a decision.

Focusing on a single marketing tactic limits your pool of potential new patients, as well as your credibility and trustworthiness. By maximizing your marketing in a strategic and data-driven way, you will be able to target, attract and retain your ideal patient, building trust and strengthening the relationship before they even pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.

What would be the easiest way to encourage you to write a review or make a referral?  [Email reminder – 58%, In-office reminder – 13%, Handwritten note – 9%, Small reward – 21%]

Interestingly, email reminder is holding steady from 2016’s report. This data shows us how willing people are to sing your praises and send new patients your way, but generally one of two things tends to happen:

  • The patient gets busy with life and simply forgets to refer to you or write a review
  • The patient doesn’t even realize you are accepting new patients

People are very willing to send their friends and family your way or write a review, they just need to be reminded and it needs to be extremely easy for them to do so.

One way to do this is to send a monthly email reminder to your patient base with a link directly in the email for them to write an online review.

And, as always, we’re all little kids at heart and like to be rewarded/incentivized for “good” behavior. Offer patients a small gift card or account credit if they refer a new patient to your practice. Or, spice things up and enter their name in a drawing every time they refer, picking a winner monthly or quarterly.

Make sure to document all of this on social media, too. Your current patients need to feel the love, and your prospective new patients will want to be a part of that!

While these are the major trends we saw in dental marketing in 2018, our philosophy is that each practice has its own unique print in the world. Resist the temptation to copycat what everyone else is doing and explore all the possibilities for the best outcome.
Get a complimentary marketing plan for 2017 that is custom to your practice’s goals.



3 Online Marketing Tactics Dentists Can Use in 2018

By | Uncategorized

Over the past 10 years serving the dental industry, online marketing has been a top lead generating tool for countless Big Buzz dental clients. Over the years, the types of online media have changed, ranging from SEO and online advertisements, to Snapchat filters to YouTube advertising. What’s next for 2018? Read on to find out what online marketing tactics you should pay attention to in the coming year.

1. Real-Time Content. You’ve likely heard of content marketing, and you may already be doing it. Perhaps you’ve been working off an editorial calendar that your team created in January based on your ideal patient/target persona. The content you’ve created has served a great purpose in educating your audience and providing your website with fresh content.

Take it up a notch: Implement real-time content into your strategy. Instead of just writing about brushing techniques or the benefits of implants, write newsletters and blog posts about current events, evolving technologies, and new services you offer. Your patients will get that much more out of your correspondence if it impacts and relates to their lives now.

2. Native Ads. Native ads are a type of paid advertisement that naturally flows with the user experience and blends in with the platform on which it is posted. An example of native ads is sponsored content on a website. The content may look like an article, but it’s really a paid media placement.

Why this is important now: If you are a specialist or CE provider and are looking to reach other dental professionals, consider writing thought-leadership articles that show your expertise, offer true value to the reader, and seamlessly blend into a respectable media source to build trust.

3. Deeply Personal Social Media. Social media is definitely something you’ve heard about before. More likely than not you have a Facebook page that you update every so often when someone remembers. That may have been your strategy (or lack thereof) last year, but this year, we want you to really engross yourself in it!

Personalize that page: The best dental social media pages are those that feature real, authentic images of the doctor, patients, office activities, and more. Those posts get the most interaction from patients so that conversations can be had. The point of social media is to be social. Stop posting only on holidays and appoint someone on the team to capture the true essence of what your practice is all about. Authenticity will shine through and potential patients will be able to connect with who you are on a much deeper level.

The Dangers of Duplicate Content

By | Uncategorized

Having quality content on your website is extremely beneficial in boosting your search engine rankings because that text tells the search engines what your website and its specific pages are all about. Search engines interpret the meaning of your web pages by looking at the text and keywords. If you want your website to appear for searches related to that text and keywords, you need original, quality content. When creating content, be sure to avoid duplicate content (content that is the same on multiple pages, or content that is the same as that on another website) as you run the risk of being penalized by Google’s Panda Algorithm. Panda, first launched in February 2011, penalizes sites for duplicate, shallow or copied content, and spam-like content stuffed with keywords.

Why does original content matter? Not having original content can cause a drop in rankings, therefore leading to a drop in website traffic. To provide users with a positive search experience, search engines limit the number of sites they show with the same content, forcing them to choose which site is likely to yield the best results for the user. Additionally, failing to feature unique content can lead to a penalization from Google, and once you’re on the search engine’s bad side, it’s hard to recover.

To avoid being hit with a Panda penalty, ensure your content is well written and contains no grammatical or spelling errors. Also be sure to include fitting keywords or phrases that help answer the questions for which users are searching. For example, including keyword phrases such as “the best kinds of tooth restorations are implants” can be beneficial for someone searching for “the best kinds of tooth restorations.” Make sure content is relevant, valuable and hearty in substance.

If you have already been hit by a penalty, it all comes down to identifying which version of the duplicate content is the “right” one. If there is content on the site that can be found in multiple locations, it is important to insert a canonical tag, which tells search engines a specific URL is the original copy of a page. The best way to do this is to set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the original. Not sure how to handle this? Ask us for help!

Be sure all content you create is quality, original and full of substance. If you’re doing this, you are setting your practice up for SEO success!