When is #1 on Google really #19?

April 10, 2013
by Keith Gilleard

Organic Search If you’re a dentist, and if we’re talking about search engine optimization, the answer to that is: quite often. To fully answer this question, let’s first take a look at what search engine optimization is, and what it isn’t.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is basically the art and technology of adjusting and coding a website for specific search terms (keywords) with the idea that it will become so relevant to the searcher that it will come up high on search engine results. These results are colloquially called natural” or “organic” results.

Taking the first two to three slots at the top of the page on a pink or yellow background, and the whole right-hand side, are the pay-per-click ads

Directly below, or after some directory listings, comes Google Places pages (now Google+ pages; these show up on Google Maps). These require different optimization techniques.

More recently directory results, such as Yelp and yellowpages.com, have been coming up high on the natural results.

A highly competitive arena 

As you can see, you are not only competing against other dentists doing search engine optimization for those valuable high spots on the first page of Google, but also with the other forms of Google search results.

It’s important to do an analysis of the different types of search marketing and the competition in order to do have an effective Internet marketing strategy. Also, different services can require different strategies, such as dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, etc. It’s vital to work out which mix of Internet marketing tools will work best for your needs.

We can help you with a Free SEO Analysis. Click here to schedule, or call us at [phone].

Where is your competition coming up on Google?

  Most people use the search term “dentist” or “dentist __________ [name of town]” when looking to get dental work. Type in “dentist” and your town name (and state, if there is more than one town with that name). Count the number of pay-per-clicks ads at the top and on the right-hand side. Some of your competition will be in these ads.

Then count how many directory listings, if any, there are under the pay-per-click ads. Occasionally a dentist’s website or two comes in under the pay-per-click ads. These are the dentists that are working very hard, or very effectively, at their search engine optimization.

Next will come the Google Places results, count these. There are usually seven listings.

Below these listings come the bulk of the “natural” results. In many cases, after the pay-per-click ads, directory listings, if any, and Google Places, dentists’ websites come in at number 17-20 on the page.

This information, with variations, applies to more specialized keywords, such as dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign®, dentures, and so on.

Your website should be a conversion machine

It is vital that traffic is sent to a website, and that needs to be done, and done well. But what happens when the visitors get there?

Most dental websites are informational at best. They present data about the dentist’s services that could be found anywhere on the Internet, but contain very little personalized data about the dentist, the practice, his approach and so on.

The approach of the website should be like that of an ad. The website as a whole and its individual pages should create interest and make people want to make an appointment at that practice. Websites devoid of any real personalization or real marketing don’t give the visitor any reason to choose that dentist over another and the end result is few inquiries, or fewer than could be gotten.

A dental website’s job is to convert the viewer to a patient, and that requires good marketing.

If you would like to know if your website has the necessary factors to interest prospective patients, give us a call or email us. We can set up a Free Website Audit and we’ll let you know!

About the Author

Keith Gilleard
Keith Gilleard is President of Gilleard Dental Marketing. Gilleard has been providing effective and unique marketing programs for dentists since 2007.