Case Study: SmileTexas.com
Client: Smile Texas, a cosmetic and implant dentistry practice in Houston, Texas.
Case: The client was spending pay-per-click dollars and operating an out of date Flash website that was not fully optimized (see Figure 1). Their online conversion rate was poor and their ability to draw in new clients through their website was nearly impossible; the lack of search engine optimization on the site prevented them from breaking into the top search results for their most in-demand services.
WSO was engaged by Smile Texas in late 2009 to optimize their site and boost the number of new patients. After careful review of the existing Smile Texas website, WebSiteOptimization.com and project manager Bradley Glonka worked with the client to identify their business initiatives and developed and refined a new design that also matched the group’s desired aesthetics. The result is an attractive, informative, user-friendly, search-engine-optimized website (see Figure 2).
Goals: WSO focused on the following goals when implementing the new Smile Texas website design: to develop a search-engine-optimized website; to draw in prospective clientele and convert them into Smile Texas clients; to broaden the Smile Texas audience through social networking; to increase a visitor’s time on the website through dynamic site elements; and to earn a high rate of return on search engine marketing.
Results: The redesigned Smile Texas website launched in October 2009, and was further refined in August 2010 (videos, blog, and interactive smile gallery), and thus far the rate of return on investment has exceeded expectations. Smile Texas has earned as high as $28 for every dollar spent (28:1 ROI), averaging an ROI of 9.5:1 over the past year. The revamp of this website and the marketing methods surrounding it have become an investment that is quickly paying for itself.
Through a combination of natural SEO and PPC advertising, traffic has
increased by more than 70 percent over the past year (see Figure 3).
The following elements were implemented to create the new, optimized Smile Texas site:
- Videos serve as valuable two-piece conversion tools.
- The videos draw in potential clients who are shopping for dental implants and other types of cosmetic dentistry provided by Smile Texas. Viewers are offered a visual representation of the kinds of services they can receive from Smile Texas, and they are able to hear the
information straight from the dental surgeons themselves.
- The written title and summary for each individual video is optimized, making it attractive to search engines and drawing in even more potential clients.
- Smile Gallery
- The new smile gallery is dynamic – there is some randomness to its layout so that the gallery will remain fresh for repeat visitors. The gallery is also database driven, allowing the client to add new entries (photos and text) to the gallery themselves as they become available, and categorize each entry to clearly show the service(s) that each patient received. This also provides a convenient search method within the gallery itself.
Before and after photos are powerful selling tools. Brief descriptions of the procedures carried out for each patient accompany the photos and are easy to understand and quick to be absorbed by site visitors – not to mention by search engines. The smile gallery is a feature that has a dedicated page, but portions of it are also spread throughout the Smile Texas website. Photos of satisfied clients automatically appear on the appropriate service pages that discuss the types of procedures they received.
- User-Friendly Content Management System (CMS)
- The web design of the new Smile Texas site was done in WordPress. Smile Texas is not a stock template WordPress site – the design has been customized to create a sophisticated and consistent look and feel, while still allowing the WSO client themselves to add pages and content on their own and at their leisure. The WordPress interface is user-friendly, enabling users to easily upload and format images, videos, and documents; create links; add, delete, or move pages; and construct a hierarchy of pages and subpages.
- SEO-Friendly Copywriting
- The text that accompanies the Smile Texas videos was composed by a professional copywriter who also writes and posts the website’s regular blog entries.
- The existing text on the Smile Texas website was edited page by page to ensure consistency of voice and format and to identify any errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, and clarity.
- Web 2.0
- Today’s business websites should not be considered 100 percent optimized unless social networking tools are incorporated into the web development and marketing and maintained on a regular basis. For Smile Texas, a Facebook fanpage was created and is updated several times weekly, offering videos, photos, testimonials, news, blog updates, links to related articles, and more. A Smile Texas Twitter page was developed for the same purposes and is maintained similarly and on a regular basis, with extra effort put toward developing a growing audience of followers and interacting with said followers. A YouTube channel has also been created as another outlet for promoting Smile Texas, their informative videos, and the optimized text accompanying the videos. All methods of social networking are geared toward developing a greater awareness of Smile Texas online and in social networking circles.
- Live Chat
- As a means to bring in more prospective clients and answer the questions of site visitors on the spot, a live chat system was implemented into the Smile Texas website as a successful conversion tool.
Along with all of these features, the Smile Texas website was also optimized for speed and performance – enough “under the hood” research and maintenance was performed so that, even with all of the video and photo features on the site, each page still loads quickly and smoothly. Users place a great deal of value on website speed, and they don’t have much patience when an element does not load properly. The result is an effective, interactive site that engages users to contact the site owners for an appointment.