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Optimized web presence raises perio practice's profile

May 25, 2017 Editor's note:  This is the seventh in a series of articles about Internet marketing that feature interviews with ADA members to describe how PBHS, the website and marketing services provider endorsed by ADA Business Resources, is helping dentists address today's marketing challenges.

In marketing his Santa Ana, California-based dental practice, Dr. James Mata's approach has gone from "let your fingers do the walking" to let Googlebots do the crawling.


Dr. Mata
PBHS, the website and marketing services provider endorsed by ADA Business Resources, helped Dr. Mata to smooth the way between the analog world of phone directory ads and the digital realm of the internet. "We were spending a lot of money on Yellow Pages," Dr. Mata recalled. "The web presence came into being, and I didn't know what to do."

But PBHS did.
 
They offered Dr. Mata an array of possibilities for his business, a four-chair periodontal practice that has served the Orange County, California, area for some 30 years. Dr. Mata found relief in partnering with PBHS to establish his practice on the Internet, and he hasn't looked back since.

"I actually started with PBHS from day one, and they kind of held my hand going into websites," he said.

He began with a very basic website plan and has evolved its features as his practice's needs changed. What attracted him initially was the turnkey ease of PBHS' packages.

"I didn't have to reinvent the wheel when putting up the website," Dr. Mata said. "They had educational; content specifically geared for periodontists. It was easy and not expensive to have them help me set up a website that was instantly very professional looking."

PBHS also offers the latitude necessary to tailor sites to a specific practice, Dr. Mata found.

"That made it feel like it was mine, [that] it wasn't just one platform," he said. "You get to customize your website and its content and make it feel like it's your own. So that was the first website. And then, as time progressed and the more I wanted it to be useful, the more I realized I can't just have a website."

He had initially regarded his website as a resource where he could direct people seeking basic information about his practice — or where he could be discovered if someone searched specifically for him. But, for his next website rotation in 2014, five years after launching, Dr. Mata decided he needed to beef up search engine optimization efforts through PBHS and focus on new patient acquisition.

"I didn't really care at first if I was on the first page or the last page [of search results]," he says. "The more I found out about it, the more I realized that I really do need search engine optimization. They do that, too, so we started the SEO campaign to direct new patient traffic over to the website."

Choosing more robust search engine optimization has meant a boon in business for Dr. Mata's practice. "It made a lot of difference — a lot of difference in that when people look for a periodontist, I'm on the first page. It has gradually gotten higher and higher on Google search. They continue to work to place it in a better place over a period of time."

Being a dental specialist, Dr. Mata ordinarily acquires new patients through referrals from general dentists — to the tune of 90 percent of his business. His ramped-up SEO efforts have meant new patients come in as a direct result of having found him through the power of his website and the key words associated with it.

"We put on our site 'specializing in pinhole technique' and there is a huge amount of interest out there," he says. "So, they find our practice, that we're doing this procedure. And people come in without being referred from their general dentist, just from our search engine optimization that has us as pinhole technique specialists. So, that's been really huge. That part I love."
     
PBHS offers monthly reports breaking down traffic to Dr. Mata's website. In one year-over-year snapshot through late February, for instance, Google Analytics showed that he'd experienced a 60 percent spike in organic traffic and his conversion rate was up 240 percent. He ranked at No. 1 for the key words "dental implants" and "chap pinhole technique" in Santa Ana.

Excellent numbers though his reports may show, Dr. Mata says his truest litmus test is asking new patients how they came to him, though often they simply volunteer the information.

"The patients who come in without a general dentist, they'll say, 'Oh, I saw you. I saw your website. I saw that you're doing this pinhole technique and I just made an appointment. I don't have a general dentist,'" Dr. Mata said. "So, that's really how I know. They just say, 'I found you on the web.'"

When colleagues ask Dr. Mata about his website, he eagerly tells them about his experiences with PBHS.

"Many general dentists say, 'Well, how did you get your website to come up the way it does,' and I direct them to PBHS," he says. "They do all the heavy lifting. I just have them run with it and do their thing. It's just made it very, very easy for me because I don't know anything about it. I'm a dinosaur when it comes to making something like that work. It's really nice to have them do what they do."

ADA members receive a $500 discount on a website design package. For a complimentary analysis of your current branding and online presence, call PBHS at 1-855-WEB-4ADA or visit pbhs.com.