Let’s Buy A Bike!
The Difference Between SEO and Online Ads, and Which Is Best for You
Let’s explore a simple analogy to clarify Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online ads (like Google AdWords).
You are an avid cyclist in the market for a great new bike.
You call your most trusted friend, Gary, who tells you to go to REI first, then check out Bicycle Village, and a good third alternative might be Bike Source.
Because you and Gary are such good friends, you run into him a few days later. Again, the subject of the bike comes up. You ask Gary to remind you of his favorite bike shops. This time, his answer is slightly different – because he’s changed his mind about his preferences. “Definitely go to Bike Source first. They just got some new inventory.”
You head right over with the map that Gary gave you. Thanks to your inquiry, Gary lead you straight to the front door of the best possible bike shop for what you want.
You are now aware of the city’s best bike shop! From there, finding your dream bike is up to you.
Gary is Google. The Google results increase your awareness of what’s popular in that moment. You are led to the home page of the result that Google thought was best for you, based upon its preferences and its understanding of your preferences.
SEO might be a good solution for your practice if:
- Yours is a referral-based practice that wishes to be easily found when people recommend you
- You have an extremely strong home page that strategically invites visitors in and makes it easy for them to make an appointment
- Your biggest competitors are on page one of the organic search results and you are not
- You are marketing directly to new patients in other ways (direct mail, email campaign, etc.)
- Yours is a new practice, and you need all of the exposure that you can get
You are the same avid cyclist in the market for a great new bike.
You walk into a store that you think might carry your dream bike, the Zephyr Helius 4000. As you walk in, a salesperson approaches. “Hi,” you say. “I’m interested in the Zephyr Helius 4000.”
“Your timing is perfect.” he replies. “We’re running a special on the Zephyr Helius 4000. Today only, you can get 40% off the purchase price.”
“Great!” you say. “I definitely want to buy one!”
Then the salesperson guides you from the front of the store right to where the Zephyr Helius 4000 is displayed, confirms the price for you, and asks you, “May I ring you up?”
“Yes!” you reply, and follow him to complete your purchase.
The salesperson is the online ad. The search leads you directly to the desired product/solution/service you wanted. The display is the landing page, which tells you exactly what to do next: make the purchase, fill out this form, make an appointment, etc.
Online ads might be a good solution for your practice if:
- You seek to drive new patient traffic quickly and/or steadily
- You have had a reputable online marketing agency assess your potential results, and you can see that the investment will provide a reasonable return
- There is low competition (and therefore reasonable cost) for your most desired search terms (implant dentist, restorative dentistry, wisdom tooth extraction, etc.)
- You are already doing SEO, and you want even more exposure
- Most of your other marketing tactics are for awareness, and you need to add a direct marketing tactic to your efforts
Either way you roll, be sure to wear your helmet! It can be a wild ride!
(Need help with your SEO or online ads, or just want a second opinion? Contact Big Buzz today for a complimentary online marketing assessment.)