How we positioned VCCID online as a top practitioner in Vancouver.

Client Story: Vancouver Centre for Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry

When we first started marketing for our dental client, back in 2014, VCCID had completed 20 years as a dental clinic at the Metrotown mall in Burnaby. They had a great location, a strong history, and a loyal customer base. However, they needed a steady flow of new patients to stay profitable, invest in new technologies, and expand their practice.

Times had changed, as patients were turning to the internet to find dentists and dental clinics rather than asking friends and family for referrals. VCCID had a website, but it was getting little traffic, and was not generating any new patient leads.

As a digital marketing agency, we came in to help VCCID adapt to the changing tides and ride the new digital trends. They had one primary focus that was and continues to be –

Bring new patients to the practice!

The Beginnings

The Strategy: Create Useful Content to Generate Traffic

The VCCID digital marketing campaign was strategically built with the inbound marketing philosophy – to help new patients find this clinic when they are searching for a dentist or dental clinic.

Our primary focus was to find out what information new patients were searching for on the internet, and create new content to answer their questions. With this goal, we invested in extensive keyword research, and updated the VCCID treatment pages. We also published many blog articles to answer questions like – cost of dental implants, options to replace missing teeth, how to prevent gum recession, etc.

The Execution: Utilizing Google Ads, before the competitors, to generate leads.

Apart from using SEO tools to find relevant keywords, we also took early advantage of Google ads (Google AdWords as was called back then). There were, and still are, 7 dental clinics in Metrotown mall, and around 30 clinics within a 1 km radius from VCCID.

However, not many competitors were taking advantage of online advertising, and we were able to get an average cost-per-click of $6.34 in 2013, $6.23 in 2014, and $7.75 in 2015 for search ad campaigns. Content marketing and paid search ads were the first steps to generating more leads for this dental clinic.

Website traffic from BC in 2013 vs 2014

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2013
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2014

Along came the traffic

The seeds were sown, and organic search traffic continued to increase from mid-2014, reaching its peak in Jan 2018. Some of the website pages started to rank in top positions for highly searched phrases like – ‘Dental Implants in Canada,’ ‘Veneers Burnaby,’ and ‘Cost of Dental Implants.’ A comprehensive digital marketing strategy played an essential role in getting this dental clinic more clients.

Digital advertising results continued to be favorable with cost per click from search campaigns averaging $7.47 between Jan 01-15 and Dec 31-17.

Our marketing team continued to build on this success by continuing to do what we had been doing. But as traffic was improving, we started to focus more and more on brand positioning.

A brand was born

Building a brand to increase conversions rates.

In 2016-17, we simultaneously began to focus our dental marketing strategy on branding, with the goal to increase dental patient conversion rates. We identified that the greatest asset VCCID had was Dr. Peter Balogh. He is the clinic owner, practitioner and a genuine gift to the world of dentistry. We say this because of his professional passion to constantly advance his skills & knowledge, and sincerity to share honest information with his patients to help them make the best decisions for their oral well being.

Highlighting Dr. Peter Balogh

We started to improve the website pages to have Dr. Balogh appear as the authority figure that he is. His credentials, education, and experience were displayed clearly in important places.

We also embedded the option for users to directly interact with Dr. Balogh by submitting questions using the  ‘Speak With Dr. Balogh’ form.

Publishing & managing content

We started recording videos of Dr. Balogh where he shared information about topics of interest. We started editing, optimizing, and publishing these videos on YouTube. We also started to promote the content on Facebook and Twitter.

Such initiatives helped position Dr. Balogh as a celebrity in the dental industry, and patients started literally calling to ask for appointments specifically with Dr. Balogh. So successful were these efforts that these days, patients often have to wait 2-3 months to get an appointment with Dr. Balogh.

The battle of March 2018

In early 2018, the licensing board of dental college updated their compliance guidelines for dental marketing.

There were many changes necessary to meet the compliance requirements like –

  • Removing words that could not be measured – e.g. experts, specialists, modern, state-of-the-art, advanced, etc.
  • No offers or promotions could be used to attract users
  • Awards, testimonials, and abbreviated qualifications were not to be shown without clear explanation of context

Feb and Mar of 2018 were labor intensive months of conducting content audits, and making changes to the website, social media accounts, online business directories, and advertising copy.

We fought the battle of compliance with great diligence, but it meant sacrificing all the frills of marketing.

However, the foundation of the campaign was always built on publishing quality information with the genuine intent to help users. This strong foundation helped us continue to stay relevant, even when the compliance requirements levelled the playing field.

Google EATs Your Money, Your Health

In August 2018, Google decided to change the tides with ‘The Medic’ update that impacted a vast majority of businesses in the financial and health industries. Paid search traffic for many businesses in these industries started to take a nose dive. This core algorithm update was done to rank websites that scored higher on expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T).

The Update Effects: Leveling the playing field by boosting new businesses.

It seems like Google also made this update to boost some underdogs and increase the competitiveness of the digital marketing environment. Previous to this core update, many late starters to the world of digital marketing would have felt that outranking the early adopters could be impossible. But the Aug ’18 dental marketing update helped some of the newer businesses outrank the likes of VCCID.

The Solution: Hold steady to our firm and credible campaign foundation.

Our tactical marketing decision was to not be frayed by the negative traffic trend. Our campaign was built on a firm and credible foundation, and so we decided not to get all anxious and start experimenting with changes. We identified what could be improved, and perused ideas that would ultimately enhance user experience.

Steps we took to address the dental marketing update included:

Identifying low-quality content.

Revising, removing, or consolidating low-quality content.

Identifying content gaps in core topics and publishing new content to fill those gaps.

Scaling for the future

The next steps?

The spring season of 2019 began, and with that came new leaves, new flowers, and new dental marketing ideas. This time, the elephant in the room was the old website that needed to be redesigned and redeveloped.

After all, it had become 12 years old, which is a VERY LONG time in a rapidly evolving world of the web and dental marketing.

Why a new website?

The clinic has grown in size in the last few years, and it now employs more doctors and staff than when we first started. With this growth, we decided to focus more on the dental clinic and the values that make it a success, rather than concentrating as much on Dr. Balogh.

This new website development project started in July of 2019, and our goal is to launch the new website before the end of the year.

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