When your future patient decides to finally do something about that nagging toothache, how are they going to find you? This hypothetical patient is in pain, why aren’t you doing more to help them?
Wait! Before you grab your dental kit, don your smock and knot your laces to rush out to find them, perhaps there is a better way…maybe they can find you!
While 20 years ago, potential patients would strength train by heaving open their yellow-pages to conduct a search for a dental provider, times have changed. Most likely your future patients will be honing their digital dexterity by doing their search online. What are they going to find? A lot of that depends on you.
Building an eye catching, user-friendly, responsive website is just the start when it comes to being found on the internet. You’ve spent all this time, money and resources to make your website engaging to visitors, don’t simply abandon it to the wilds with the hope someone will stumble across it.
Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) and You!
When it comes to being found on the internet, we are talking about internet search results. While there are a variety of search engines to choose from, when it comes to market share, Google is the clear winner. As of June 2017, 79.45% of all searches are done through Google (netmarketshare.com). So, let’s focus on them.
The first thing to talk about is the Organic Search results. That’s the bit on Google below the Ads, and below the maps. There are quite a few different factors that Google looks at in order to rank and display your website. Is there traffic coming to the site, is the site modern, does the site contain content that is pertinent to the search? And Content is key. Original content is even key-er. We here at ProDental Multimedia have staff solely dedicated to writing original content for sites because original, relevant content is a deciding factor of how your site will rank. Writing original content, refreshing what is on the site, all things that you can do if you put your mind to it. That is why Organic SEO is extremely important and the most commonly known aspect of SEO. And while it can often take weeks or even months for your hard work to start making a difference in your site’s ranking, it will take far longer if you leave your website alone in the wilds of the internet.
To help strengthen your SEO results and get you to the first page of search results sooner, it is critical to branch out into other avenues of online marketing to help people find you and your brand. Two often overlooked areas are local search and social media. Tying all of these aspects back to your website boosts your page rank significantly and gives you a wider more unified online presence. Local search ties your business to an actual physical location and allows searchers to find the localized business they are searching for. Well known for the little red balloon that draws the eye to the address and phone number of a business, this feature of Google has been swallowing up phone books ever since its inception.
The Social Media Experience
Social media should be an obvious choice, particularly if you are marketing to a younger generation. And let’s face it, teeth are important and each successive generation seems to have them. The social media experience has become expected from consumers of today regardless of generation. Reports show that on average, people are spending nearly 2 hours a day on social media sites (January 2017 socialmediatoday.com). That is a significant portion of their day spent in a medium designed to feed them information about goods and services they need. Shouldn’t they be learning about you?
Not only is social media a good way to engage and interact with your consumers, but it also gives them a reason to come back again and again. Additionally, Google is now looking at the social signals your brand is involved in. The more likes, shares and comments your Facebook page contain, the greater effect it will have on your page’s rank for your practice’s website. These aspects of SEO are necessary to get you to the first page of search engine results and keep you there.
Ranking Number One with Paid Search
So you understand the importance of organic search and social media, but you want your website to have value and be found right now. What can you do to get found instantly as you are building this SEO powerhouse of a website? One way to ensure you show up-top is to run a paid search campaign (also known as PPC). These are the searches at the top of Google with a green box that literally says “ad”. Google AdWords campaigns are a fantastic way to get you instantly noticed because you are paying to be found. Sure, once you stop paying for your campaign you will no longer be at the very top of the AdWords section of search, but hopefully in the meantime you’ve built up your organic, local search and social media campaigns so you’re on the first page for many of the terms you wish to be found for. Additionally, paid search gives you the benefit of showing up for places you aren’t physically located at to reach a bigger audience with your marketing campaign or even focus your marketing on specific locations and people. All of this compliments your ongoing SEO and social media efforts.
These are the best ways to get yourself found. If you can do a structured and strategic mix of these different items, you will eventually find your website climbing its way to the top of search engines’ results. Along the way, should you have any questions or need some help, give us a call at 207-887-2204, we’d be happy to help.