Partner content

Knowing Your Digital Marketing Math

Date Posted: 11.13.20 Speaker: Tom Feary

In Knowing Your Digital Marketing Math, Tom Feary of Neon Canvas discusses the key drivers of new patient starts derived from online marketing. He reviews vital key performance indicators, how to know if your marketing is working, and estimate your growth opportunity through digital marketing. Topics he covers include SEO, advertising, website design, ROI, and free tools to measure your performance.

Video length = 0:25:54

Tom Feary
Tom Feary is the Vice President of Growth for Neon Canvas

Blu Nordgren (BN): Good afternoon, and welcome to Knowing your Digital Marketing Math. My name is Blu Nordgren. I’m the marketing communications manager at Cloud 9 Software. During today’s webinar, I’ll be working behind the scenes to make sure that our tech is working correctly. And to be the first responder to all of your questions. The webinar is being recorded and the recording will be made publicly available within two business days. For today’s presentation, all the participant lines have been muted. You can submit any questions that you may have through the Q and A button at the bottom of your screen. Questions will be addressed at the end of the webinar as time permits.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to today’s speaker, Tom Feary. Tom is the vice president of growth for Neon Canvas, a leading digital marketing agency in orthodontics. He is a digital media and marketing veteran having led digital products and business units for media companies and startups for over 20 years. In his role with the Neon Canvas team, he works with practices across North America to identify growth opportunities to digital marketing tactics and strategy. And so without further ado, please take it away, Tom.

Tom Feary (TF): Okay, great. Thanks, Blu. Appreciate the introduction. And thanks for having me today. Thanks everybody for joining us. Appreciate your time. I know is busy. So, many of you were probably eating a salad or grabbing a sandwich while we go through some data this afternoon. The math is not going to be too hard I promise. Let me share my screen and we’ll share some slides and get into a presentation. I know the title of the presentation today is, “Knowing your Digital Marketing Math”. I really talk about this in terms of knowing what your opportunity to grow is. And so I call it opportunity math. I do a lot of what’s called digital marketing audits of well, digital marketing efforts in websites, particularly in orthodontics. And I have found one thing to kind of hold true in orthodontics. For every 500 website visitors you receive, if your website converts one and a half percent of those into appointments, you can pretty much be assured you’re going to see four to five new patients every month from those 500 visitors. So that’s your basic opportunity math. Website visitors, conversion rate, results in appointments that give you that opportunity to start treatment with new patients. And today we’re going to break down the information in those two ways. We’re going to talk about web traffic, channels of web traffic, and what influences or impacts the conversion rate on your website.

One of the things that we know about orthodontic practices is that you already have a high degree of brand awareness. Your practice. You’ve got a great referral network with dentists. Patients are happy with treatment. They tell their friends. You’re active in your community. You have a personal brand as a doctor. And so you get a lot of web traffic by people searching for your name. So, our opportunity first is to address where you can grow beyond your brand name and the people who don’t know about you. And that’s an organic search when they’re asking Google questions or they’re browsing the internet and we can advertise to people who were in market for care. And also how do we leverage engagement and social media to drive that traffic to your website? And then on the other side of this with conversion rate, how clearly do you tell your story? How do you differentiate yourself? How unique you are. How do you demonstrate your culture, your values and your web experience? And from a user experience standpoint there, what we really talk about is, how fast your pages load. Do your links work? Do you have missing pages? Can people navigate around clearly? And the web design has to communicate your brand values, but also direct the user to a call to action. What we often call that getting there button, that’s the button where you ask for an appointment, a free consultation and those kinds of things. So, those two things.

Let’s jump into web traffic now. In fact, my go forward button works here. We’re going to start with trying to figure out what that growth opportunity looks like around your practice and the community that you’re practicing in. And I use a lot of free tools when I do these presentations. I’m going to point these out to you as we go through this. In this one, I’m using Google’s keyword planner tool. You can create a free Google ads account if you’re not doing ads to get access to this tool. And in this example, I’m using Memphis, Tennessee as my location. I asked Google to tell me all the combinations of searches and keywords people use with just the words, braces and Invisalign. And then tell me from that how much search volume is happening in that specific area. You can see one, two and three. Number three shows that there’s 750 keywords in Memphis, Tennessee that are just using braces Invisalign. And number four, if I add up all those average monthly searches, it’s over 15,000 searches that are occurring. Now, typically, if I were to use orthodontic related terms or your brand name, or even your personal name as a doctor, we would see that keyword opportunity to be much greater in terms of 1500 keywords. So, this is kind of where you start in terms of understanding the activity around your area, and what that growth potential is. Then compare that to what your website is doing. And in this case, I’m using Neon Canvas’s co-founder, Doctor Kyle, in fact, I’m using his domain here, Saddle Creek Orthodontics to then go in and compare what he’s actually doing in that geography of Memphis, Tennessee. So he’s generating nearly 7,000 search users, and he’s ranking on 4,500 keywords. That’s what I call really your organic footprint. That’s what your footprint looks like as compared to that previous slide, where we had 15,000 searches happening, and potentially 1500 keywords. So here we would say, Doctor Kyle’s footprints are pretty enormous. He’s generating a lot of traffic. Where do you get this data? If you’re not paying for a tool like SEMrush or Moz, you can get it right out of your Google Analytics. I’m probably going to get lots of questions on the tool. So just, we’ll try to kind of go through a list at the end if we need to.

So now I know how I stack up in terms of what that opportunity is. How do I grow my footprint? Because I need more traffic to my site, remember we’re trying to get to 500. If we’re not at 500 visitors now, we’re trying to get to 500, 1000, 1250, 1500, et cetera. If you’re in a larger market, even more beyond that. So, the first thing we want you dominating in terms of what represents your footprint and search with Google and Bing is your brand term. Most of you already have that brand awareness. You’re already ranking number one on your brand name. If you’re not, we need to take a look at that. That can be an issue, but most small businesses already own their brand name. The second place for you is all of those 1500 terms that we just looked at out of the keyword planner. It’s things like orthodontist, Memphis, braces in Germantown, Tennessee, Germantown braces, kids’ braces near me, orthodontist near me. Who’s the best orthodontist in Collierville, Tennessee. That’s kind of your second place where to start to grow and expand your reach. There’s not a lot of search volume when those individual keywords and key phrases, but in aggregate, it’s pretty darn enormous. And then after that, it’s frequently asked questions or decisions searches. And think about this, you could probably right now write down 20 top questions that you’re asked by patients in those new patient exams like, how much do braces cost? Can I get purple braces instead of silver braces? Can I still eat popcorn with bare braces? Can I chew chewing gum with braces? All those questions that you get asked, people are going into Google. They’re asking those same questions. And so how do you expand your footprint knowing all this stuff? Well, you have to have a content strategy that’s built on understanding that search behavior. And then there’s a lot of technical stuff that you need to do behind the scenes in your website and off your website to make sure that content can be searched for and found, and then as seen as authoritative to bring that traffic to your website and convert. Moving on here through traffic. And what does it look like when you really are establishing your brand terms, going after all those local phrases and getting traffic there. And on the frequently asked questions, here’s just a keyword snapshot. Again, going back to Doctor Kyle’s data. His top 10 out of those 4,500 keywords he was ranking on these are his top 10 as a percent of traffic. And you can see number one, Saddle Creek Orthodontics. If we were to look through his entire list, you would see his ranking number one on his own brand terms. Number two, orthodontist, Memphis, as an example, one of those local phrases. And again, if we were looking at this whole list, we would see hundreds of those keywords and search phrases. And number three, is that an example of frequently asked questions. Can I eat popcorn with braces? And again, that’s how he’s expanded his organic reach and established such that large footprint. Now, he’s also been doing that over time. This isn’t a light switch. You’ve got to look at this as a long-term strategy to really expand your footprint and dominate. But tools here again, Google Search Console is probably one of the most overlooked free tools on the internet. It just takes a couple of minutes to verify your website through Google Search Console. Again, it’s free, and it will give you all the search words and search terms and queries, where your website is showing up, and even show you the clicks to determine a click-through rate. So I would encourage you guys to use that if you’re not using it now. And again, some paid tools like SEMrush and Moz. Here, I’m using SEMrush as a tool for Doctor Kyle. So that’s a snapshot of what that kind of looks like. Now, we talked about, I know I’m emphasizing organic traffic here. There’s a reason for that. But we talked about getting all this website traffic, that’s your first opportunity to kind of grow. And there’s all these different channels. Organic search of course, is when people are in Google and Bing, and they’re searching for things and they find you. Direct traffic is that traffic where people know who you are, your website already, and they just type it in,, and they come to you directly. Paid search, of course is paid advertising. Typically it’s from Google. Social media is links from social media channels. And a referral is when someone has a website or a link to your website from their site.

Now, there’s a couple of notes I wanted to make on channels. Because we’re talking about knowing your digital marketing math, and how do we measure effectiveness in channels? Well, we can measure conversion rate here by channel too. We get organic search traffic that hits our website. They set appointments with us. Typically, you’ll see with organic traffic, your conversion rates will be lower. And on your paid advertising traffic, if you’re doing paid advertising effectively, you’ll see higher conversion rates there. The way you measure your advertising effectiveness and your channels could be on cost per lead basis or a cost of acquisition basis. I’ve got some equations that I can share with you at the end of the presentation, we get through Q and A, but industry benchmarks are widely available on the internet now. You can search Google for cost per lead, conversion rate, benchmarks in my industry. And you’ll find a lot of resources there. That’s why digital marketers tend to focus on those cost metrics, because it’s easy, fairly easy to benchmark against, but you’re going to have varying degrees of costs related to these channels and also conversion rates, because the intent and the traffic is a little bit different. Now, I have this organic thing with an exclamation mark behind it. I’ve been doing digital work for a long, long time. And I can tell you that healthy digital efforts are founded on a good base of organic search traffic. And I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds here, but just a little P and L knowledge for you. The reason why healthy digital efforts and digital businesses are founded on this good base of the organic traffic is because there’s no variable costs to producing revenue on organic traffic. In other words, someone comes out of Google. There’s no cost on the click. They visit your website. They set an appointment. It’s $0. When we’re doing paid advertising, you’re paying that person to visit your site, and then convert. So healthy, digital businesses always have a strong base of organic traffic. And as we look at Doctor Kyle’s mix here, you can see overwhelmingly, he’s pulling in a lot of organic traffic. So that’s why it’s important. And why I emphasize in terms of knowing your math, it kind of starts with understanding the demand around the practice with that search behavior. Tools here, Google Analytics, you can measure all your channels very effectively through Google. And if you’re doing any advertising through the related advertising platform. Moving through this.

Now, I’m going to tell you something about conversion rate. Remember our opportunity math is we get traffic. They visit the website. The website has a job to do. We’ve measured that by conversion rate. And the benchmark I used early on in the presentation was one and a half percent. I’m going to tell you something about conversion rate. You have little control over it. As a business owner, as a doctor in the practice, you have very little control over it, other than selecting the team or the people that you work with to do the website. Those are the folks that are going to build put the technology behind user experience, design the navigation of the site and the experience for a person to come through and set appointments. We’re going to talk about some nuances in a minute about the people that do stuff for your website and how you have better control over it. But here’s the two things with conversion rate I want you to come away with, and I’m going to click out of the presentation mode, so I can show some examples. Here’s some examples. And I’m going to pick out a practice. This is a random practice that I picked out this morning. I don’t know the good folks at Super Smiles. And I’m sure they’re awesome people. This looks like a fun place to bring my child to get braces, but I just I’m using this as an example, and nothing more. I don’t really, we don’t know these guys. But what I wanted to show you here was, we’re obviously focused in the web design on communicating brand values. This is fun. It looks energetic. It looks inciting. I think I’m going to be able to hold, my kid’s attention is going to be, there’s a lot for them to get excited about and look at here. But remember the purpose of our web experience. I brought traffic to this now, I need to convert them. Where’s the conversion point on the page. There’s a lot of conflicting colors. There’s a lot of flashy lights going on. A lot of smiley faces. I’m looking around. If I know Super Smiles already, or I’m already, my awareness is raised of what they do at a good job they do. I’m coming here, I’m looking to set an appointment or good consultation or make that next step. I’m looking to get married. So I come into this experience and I scroll through, I’m seeing buttons around forums. I can submit my parental authorization. That’s cool. I’ve got some nice things about awards that we’ve won. I’ve got content that kind of positions the practice, but I don’t see it a let’s get married button. If I scroll back up to the top, there’s one in the upper right. It’s an inquiry button. But then when I hit that inquiry button, there’s not really anything to do. I’m going to have to make a phone call it looks like. And maybe for this practice, that’s what they want. But is that very clear for the consumer? Let me just show you just to contrast in style with these city orthodontic stuff in Chicago, when we hit this page for the first time, our eyes are going right to these buttons. If it’s not the video and kind of getting engaged in the story, the next thing is this, there’s no doubt on what we want the user to do here to schedule an exam. If the user’s not ready to schedule an exam, and we scroll down this page, check it out. There’s a second day button, and we can even go on a second date or a third date below. They’re always the same style and design and colors. And there’s nothing competing with them, because we want the user to move through the story, engage with the content. Because the ultimate goal that we’re after here is to get the user to set an appointment. And then even in this experience, we’re saying, okay, this is how it works. You can pick from a virtual experience or come into the office and you’re done. So, that’s what I mean by this design and storytelling and focused on conversion rates. You want to make sure that you’re really clear on that.

Now, this next thing around user experience, there’s a lot of things that come into play here, but we want you to think about how fast your web experiences load on a mobile device or even desktop. And the reason why we focus on this page load speed is because the basic rule of thumb is that 30% of your conversion opportunity is lost for every second longer than two seconds. So, the two second mark is a Google benchmark. They want your page load. Your page is loading two seconds, particularly on mobile devices. And then after that 30% deterioration. So, if your website’s loading right now, has a four second page load speed, you’ve roughly lost half your conversion opportunity by the time that page loads at 4%. And that’s why that’s really important for you. There’s a free tool here you can look at to kind of measure how you’re doing now. It’s called Google Page Speed Insights. And again, I’ll just show this to you real quickly. Once we hit this thing and you enter your domain, you score this or Google will call your website and give you a score. And then they even tell you down below what to fix. Now, this is extreme web geek stuff, but you can use this as a tool to hold your web people accountable and focus on, and knowing how they’re pacing or progressing on improving your experience over time. Don’t think that was too technical for you. I tend to stay out of those technical weeds. Now, let’s talk about website vendors just a little bit, because remember I told you, you have very little influence over the conversion rate. It’s the folks you working with that have to be obsessed with it. So, just a couple of things about tech platforms. We know that tech platforms are generally low cost, but these content management systems that they use are quote, unquote heavy. And typically, this is what causes the page load speeds to be so large in a lot of cases. So, just be aware of that and talk to them about what they’re doing to optimize page load times. They generally tend to be low SEO too, because Google doesn’t like inferior performing experiences. Lots of freelancers and solopreneurs in the industry in the orthodontics industry. Most of them are using third party designs and applications and plugins. So your one experience maybe awesome, maybe total rockstar when you get it launched. But over time, the performance deteriorates, because if we’re not maintaining those third party applications and designs and the programming, the bones of your website, that becomes a problem later. And oftentimes the solopreneurs are focused on one thing. It’s either web design and SEO, and they can’t do the promotion piece or the content piece. So, they have to pull in other things. DIY websites are really attractive, because do it yourself. But I have here about heavy effort, because you still have to know how to position your business, write, copy, and content, know how to do the SEO behind it to get the greatest benefit out of your web experience. So that’s as DIY as you think.

And then the last one, there is agency, which agencies can cost a lot, but the ROI can be higher if you have the right partner there. So, that’s just a little bit about how you go about selecting some vendors and some tradeoffs as you kind of look at website conversion rates. Now, here’s the Cudi Gracie of the presentation. So, how do you figure out what your opportunity is. Because you guys want new patients every month, every day, every week. It starts with trying to come up with a goal on how much web traffic you can generate from all those channels that we talked about earlier. And I like to just say, what do you think your fair share of search traffic is based on your market, the communities that you serve in your market size and go back to that keyword planner tool. Look at that overall number, create a geography that represents your total market area. And then it’s a best guess. It’s a best guess of what you feel like you really could achieve, a good marketing person can help define that for you. And then set that benchmark of one and a half percent conversion rate. And then what you’re going to start from those appointments. And that’s your X new patients a month. Typically, when I do audits for orthodontists, I’ll forecast anywhere from, on the low end, maybe nine new patients a month, by the way, that’s incremental over what you’re getting now today. And then in larger markets where the traffic opportunity and potential is so great, you can be as many as 20 plus new patients a month. But that’s how you kind of pick out your opportunity there. Gosh, Blu, I’m just garnered through this. So that was it. I’ve got some other slides with some equations, but maybe we’ll just save those until we have some questions. Just thank you guys for sharing your lunch and your afternoon and your Friday, the 13th with me. We do free marketing audits at Neon Canvas. And the way you can access those is and audit. That’s what the page looks like. You just tell me what your website is. Give me a competitor website, and away I go. It takes me a couple of days to turn them. I’d be more than happy to do one for you. Here’s my directive contact information. If you’d rather just send me an email and say, hey, I’ve got some questions, can you take a look at this? I’m always happy to help. And my phone number, and this phone number is not copyrighted. Google Slides want to do that for me. That’s nice. And my LinkedIn and information, you can connect with me. So there you go. I’m ready to take some questions. And I hope I didn’t put everybody to sleep. Wasn’t that helpful? It wasn’t that much math.

BN:  It was great. Thank you so much. We’re now open for Q and A as Tom said. As a reminder, you can submit questions via the Q and A button on the bottom of your screen. I do have one for you here. So, most people have heard of Google and their ad tools, but can you tell us a little bit more about SEMrush, and how it’s different from Google?

TF: Yeah, so SEMrush is a marketing research tool, is the best way to describe that. They do so many more things now, but how I use it every day is really as an analytics tool to pull research. So, I can take a look at any website and estimate how much traffic they’re getting, what their paid advertising effort looks like, keywords they’re ranking on. And of course, I use it for keyword research too. So for instance, if I wanted to know orthodontic, Memphis, and how much volume was around Memphis orthodontists, I can pull that specific keyword and then create a library of all kinds of related keywords, and also find out who else is ranking well on that term. So, it helps you identify competitors too. So, it’s a, SEMrush is a marketing research tool. I just, I use it every day, but you can get all the same data that’s in SEMrush out of Google Analytics. It’s just in a different way, or even Google Search Console really is the meat and potatoes now of where you’re gonna get your keyword data from Google. You won’t get competitive information from Google. So, if you want to know more about what competitors are doing around, you need a tool like SEMrush or even Moz, M-O-Z is another popular search engine research tool.

BN: And do you prefer SEMrush?

TF: I do. Because I just have used it for years, and I just know how to get around, and I kind of know the nuances.

BN: Great. Well, thank you so much. We don’t have any remaining audience questions at this time, but I really appreciate your time today, and it’s been extremely informative. Do you wanna leave your slide up with your contact information one more time?

TF: Oh, yeah, I can put that up.

BN: Excellent. Thank you so much again. And thank you to everyone who attended. We hope to see you again at a future webinar. Make sure you follow Cloud 9 Software and Neon Canvas on social media to stay up to date on our offerings. Take care, everyone.

Tom Feary
About the Speaker Tom Feary

Tom is the Vice President of Growth for Neon Canvas, a leading digital marketing agency in Orthodontics. He is a digital media and marketing veteran, having led digital products and business units for media companies and startups for over twenty years. In his role with the Neon Canvas team, he works with practices across North America to identify growth opportunities through digital marketing tactics and strategy.