How to get to #1 on Google in 2 days – no kidding!
When it comes to Google search results supremacy, it seems everyone is looking for a gimmick… a way to game the system… tricking Google into listing their website on the first page. The SEO experts who sell their services to dentists promise that they hold the key. All you have to do is commit to a monthly service fee, and they’ll take care of the rest. I’m not opposed to having an SEO on retainer. But, I’m here to tell you that you can’t just write a check and be good-to-go.
They’ll also tell you that Google is always changing (true), so you have to always be… well… writing them a check (maybe true). I’m NOT suggesting that your SEO or webmaster isn’t earning his or her keep. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. But, they may be constantly “optimizing” a website that basically sucks. “Polishing a turd,” as it were. And, if your website’s content sucks… then your website is a turd, no matter how well your SEO “optimizes” it every month.
I want my SEO – Patients for nothin’ and my clicks for free…
(Hat tip to Dire Straits and Sting)
Even if your SEO somehow manages to get your site listed well, even with bad content, the HUMAN visiting the site will not likely convert into a patient.
Ever since I’ve been marketing myself online (since 1999) and sharing what I’ve learned, I’ve been jawing incessantly about CONTENT being the true key to website success. Content is king! I’m a persistent bugger! If you write well for your audience (who is doing the searching on Google), your website will naturally rank well on Google. No tricks needed. No special secret sauce. And, it doesn’t matter how often Google changes their algorithms (about 500 times a year, incidentally).
(Feeling musical today. Nod to David Bowie)
Every so often I change up some things on my website. And every so often I decide to add another page to my site. It could be a new service I’m offering, for example. Or, it could be an existing service that I simply didn’t feature on my site before. It could be a different WAY of presenting an existing service. For example, with amalgams in the media again, I added a page about Amalgam Removal. Sure… I already had a page about “White Fillings.” I already had a page about “Cavities.” But, I’m always thinking about how PEOPLE search for things…. new ways of searching for old things… with new keywords in Google’s search box. These are often considered “Long Tail” searches.
I’m working my way to my point here, trying not to get too sidetracked. 🙂 Recently, I decided to add a dedicated web page about athletic / sports mouth guards. My son plays hockey. And, believe it or not, hockey is pretty big here in Florida. For that matter, a lot of contact sports are big here in Florida. Will the sports mouth guard niche be a big revenue producer? Nope. You almost can’t charge enough for them to be profitable. But, it’s another way for folks to find my practice, right? And, long tail keywords are easier to dominate in Google search results, because there’s simply far less competition.
Of course, I had to do a preliminary search for “sports mouth guards my town” to see who else was out there marketing mouth guards. And, not surprisingly, there were several dentists already doing it.
The oft-asked question is how long it takes Google to find a page and rank it. I also get asked about IF we can beat the other guys, since their pages are long-established. “Yes we can!” How? With kick-ass content!
Mike-meister… the Mikester… Mike-a-loosky…. Writin’ copy…
(hat tip to SNL’s “copy room guy” played by Rob Schneider)
But, gosh… How much can we write about mouth guards? I think most dentists don’t give themselves enough credit about how much they know and how much they can teach others about what they know. I managed to write 1700 words about athletic mouth guards. And, it’s good stuff! Crazy? Now… many will argue that’s too much. Nobody wants to read that much. I disagree. And, so does master ad copywriter, Joe Sugarman. Long copy sells better… IF it’s GOOD copy. Joe Sugarman gained fame with his ads that were full pages of text… about something as simple as a calculator or sunglasses. It must be compelling. Joe talks about creating a “slippery slide.”
So, I took that letter to hockey parents, edited it a bit, and turned it into a web page. Of course, I break up the long copy with illustrative photos. I talk about benefits more than features. Why is a custom mouth guard better than a store-bought boil-and-bite guard? Because it’s stronger? Because I’m a dentist, and I said so? That’s what most websites essentially say. How about the performance benefits to the athlete? What about long term costs of losing teeth traumatically? Why should a patient pay more… a lot more… for a custom mouth guard?
You can’t handle the proof!
OK… here’s the bottom line: I published my new web page on Sunday. It’s now Tuesday, and I’m at the top of Google for this keyword! I’ve knocked the other established pages down. Booya!
How is that possible? Content, baby. Content. Good content is advantageous both for SEO and converting visitors to patients.
Do I expect a huge influx of calls for sports mouth guards? Nope. Did I order my Ferrari in anticipation of mouth guard-derived riches? Nope. I may get some patients interested in mouth guards, and that’s OK. But, it’s another way to get exposure for my practice. It’s another “funnel.” It cost me nearly nothing except my time and mental bandwidth.
It’s easier to optimize a web page for a single keyword or set of keywords. It’s easier to optimize a web page for a single service or niche service than it is to optimize a page for a whole class of services. I think it’s a big mistake to have a single page on your website that lists ALL your services. Each service should have its own page.
I’ll be monitoring my Google Analytics to see how many visitors I get via this keyword. That will tell the story.
Ultimately, this blog article isn’t about mouth guards in particular. It’s a demonstration of how a well-written “niche” or “long tail” web page can be a way to get ranked well on Google, get more exposure, and maybe even gain some new patients.
Think about it. What services could you highlight on their own web pages? People DO search for specific services… a lot. There’s far less competition for Google’s attention for those “long tail” keywords.