Case Study: Dentist Group in Singapore

In this post I’ll walk through the process of identifying and showcasing the opportunity from organic (non-paid) search for a dental practice in Singapore. This methodology can be used across just about any industry.

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Whenever I look at a given company or industry I will always tend to start my education by building a picture of how potential customers will search for information in that industry. The goal is to build up a picture of the keyword queries that a given company should want to be visible on in Google in order to positively impact their business performance.

Keyword Search on Google

In order to build up this initial view I need to go through a process of keyword research, which is a huge topic in its own right. For the purpose of this article I am not going to go through this step in detail, but ultimately what would come out of this process is a clear view of 2 initial elements you’ll need to gather:

  1. A list of target keywords that you care about
  2. The monthly search volume on each of those keywords

Suffice to say I spent a couple of hours building out a top level view of the search opportunity that exists in the dental space in Singapore. I came up with 178 unique keywords spread across various categories as detailed in the table below. At this early stage I focus on higher volume keywords, and I negate any keywords that have less than 20 searches per month.

CategoryNumber of KeywordsAnnual Search Opportunity
Crowns / Caps / Bridges1118,480
Dentist General37177,360
Dentures312,840
Fillings / Root Canal3465,040
Implants1430,240
Othordontics / Braces / Retainers38180,060
Teeth Removal / Extraction2081,120
Whitening1221,720
Veneers934,440
All Categories178621,300

The reality of course is that there is tons more keywords in the industry than 178, but the idea at this stage is to get a start point which can be easily communicated and digested without completely killing yourself for very little extra gain in the story telling process.

So what is the opportunity?

Taking this 178 keywords I am able to generate the monthly, and therefore annual search volume per year in Singapore. The headline statements would be:

There is 51,820 searches per month on our 178 target keywords, which equates to just under 622,000 per year which is a rather nice opportunity for driving new customer acquisition and revenue to any dental practice in Singapore.

At this point I already have a pretty nice story to share, but the next logical step would be to highlight how the dental clinic ranks on each of the keywords. By adding this data point you can tell the dental clinic how much they are capturing or missing.

hey, did you know there is a massive opportunity here, but your only capturing a tiny fraction of it?

So, taking my selected dental clinic in Singapore, I will move onto identifying where they currently rank in Google Singapore for each of the target keywords.

Lets do some rank tracking…

There is a whole range of tools you can use to find out the current ranking positions of a website on any given keyword(s), but for my purposes I tend to use Moz.com. Taking my keywords I can generate current ranking positions on each keyword within about 20 minutes, and I’ll end up with a nice summary graph as shown below. For example #1-3 is referring to keywords ranking in positions 1 to 3 – in this case there is 0 whereas there is 148 ranking outside of the top 50 results.

Keyword Rankings Graph From Moz.com

Once I have the keyword rankings, I’ll consolidate my data points..

Now its time to start to bring the data points together. I tend to use a simple excel worksheet for this purpose and have provided an example below:

  1. The list of target keywords [column B]
  2. The total number of searches that occur on each of those keywords [column C & D]
  3. The current ranking of your prospective client on each of those keywords [column E]

Dental Keywords Excel Sheet

What can we learn from the data at this point?

With those 3 key data points we can already build a pretty powerful story for my dental clinic. The first graph below takes all of the keyword ranking data and consolidates this to provide a snapshot of how the dental clinic currently ranks.

Keyword Rankings by Position Bucket

Key Takeaways

  1. Out of 178 keywords, only 2 keywords rank on page 2 which means they display somewhere between positions 11 – 20.
  2. 28 keywords rank between positions 21 - 50 which in reality means they are largely invisible and unlikely to drive many visits. By the nature of them at least ranking in the top 50, they may however represent a quick win opportunity.
  3. Here is the real kicker though 148 of 178 keywords rank outside the top 50 results this means my dental clinic is basically invisible on 83% of the target keywords. That’s both a major issue and a major opportunity to help grow their business.

The second graph is designed to showcase where the most opportunity (visits) exists relative to where the dental clinic ranks. Unsurprisingly given the poor ranking performance of the clinic, much of the opportunity will exist where keywords rank 51+.

Search Opportunity by Ranking Position

Key Takeaways

  1. Of the 28 keywords that rank in positions 21-50 there is 86,000 searches per year on these keywords.
  2. There is a whopping 535,000 searches per year on the keywords where the dental clinic fails to be visible. This means they are missing out on this huge opportunity to grow their business from highly relevant dental keywords.
  3. Sadly, the 2 keywords that do rank close to page 1 (positions 11-20) only represent 1,000 searches per year which is a relatively small opportunity vs. the amount that is getting missed.

There is 535,000 searches per year on keywords where this dental clinic currently has no visibility at all. This is a huge opportunity!

Ok, so whats the potential upside?

Next I want to try and define the potential benefit if the dental clinic was to seriously invest in trying to improve their current plight. The effort and investment will of course differ by industry and the given status of a companies current web presence, but the process of highlighting the upside is fairly standard in any situation.

Again, for the purpose of telling a very clear story that can be easily consumed what we can do is create two initial scenarios:

Scenario 1 – on average you manage to rank all 178 keywords in position 10 [Moderate Goal]

Scenario 2 – on average you manage to rank all 178 keywords in position 5 [Aggressive Goal]

At this point you are not necessarily covering what is/isn’t possible, you are merely communicating the opportunity so the dental clinic can at least understand what they’re missing and what they could seek to target if they effectively invested in an SEO strategy.

How do you build this view?

The easiest route to estimating potential visit increases from SEO is to utilize a click through rate chart, which estimates the number of visits a given position (ranking) will drive. For example, it is generally stated that position 1 gets a little over 30% of all clicks which means if there is 1,000 searches per month on the keyword ‘dental clinic’ then position 1 will receive 300 visits.

For a regularly updated view of average CTR performance by position, I highly recommend this source – Google CTR Study by Advanced Web Ranking but do always bear in mind that we’re working on averages here, so its not an exact science, but a set of estimates.

In order to calculate estimated visits I just need to take the annual search volume by keyword and then multiply by the CTR % of positions 10 & 5. For example, if a keyword has 3,600 searches per month and I want to know the estimated visits from ranking in 5th position I would simply do:

3,600 x 5.53% = 199 visits

In excel, it might look a little something like this:

Search Estimates by Position

Sometimes position 5 or 10 doesn’t look exciting enough…

Sadly, nearly 70% of all clicks happen on positions 1-4 so unless the search opportunity is huge, it can often make the visit uplift for positions 5-10 look a little less inspiring. To provide an example of this, here is the output for our dental clinic if we compare ranking all your keywords in 1st, 2nd, 5th and 10th:

Ranking PositionAnnual Visit Uplift
1st212,296
2nd109,630
5th34,388
10th9,763

But we have to be realistic…

Its good to shoot for the stars, but depending on the situation you’ll need to embed a level of realism on what can be achieved in the short, mid and long term.

For the dental clinic, they currently barely rank so a realistic target in the next 6-12 months is probably to focus on pushing them into the top 10 for a selection of keywords. You’ll likely start getting into the detail here and selecting priorities and pushing aside lower volume opportunities and areas where the dental clinic perhaps doesn’t want to focus on.

Once you’re into the details you’ll need to find out from the dental clinic the revenue opportunity from certain products/services. It could be that 100 visits on Invisalign could be worth significantly more than 10,000 visits on tooth extraction for example.

When all is said and done, visits don’t matter if they don’t turn into revenue. You have to embed the commercial side to really define your focus.

Calculating commercial impact…

This step is relatively straightforward providing you have some key data points:

  1. The average price of various services provided by the dental clinic
  2. The average conversion rate from visit to paying customer

The latter is probably going to be a finger in the air to begin with, but you can refine over time. In order to keep this short, lets just make some assumptions using Invisalign, which is priced between S$4,500 – S$7,500 in Singapore, so we’ll assume my dental clinic charges S$6,000 per treatment. If I was to drive an incremental 3,500 visits on qualified Invisalign keywords the uplift might look something like this:

Incremental visits = 3,500 per year

Visit to purchase rate = 1.5%

Total purchases = 53

Average cost of treatment = S$6,000

Total revenue uplift = S$318,000

I’d just apply this methodology across the various target areas to reach an estimated incremental revenue uplift.

Conclusion…

The great thing about showcasing the opportunity from organic search is that there is a mature market in terms of tools and data access. Your job is to know about these sources and understand how to leverage them together to tell a clear and effective story. Hopefully this article provides an example of how to do that, but please feel free to ask any follow up questions in the comments section.

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