To continue my story about the new website… It’s been one year since the new website went online.
As I’ve mentioned before, I built my own website back in 1999. I read many books about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and even wrote a full chapter about it in my book, “The Website Owner’s Manual for Dentists.” I’ve written multiple articles on this blog about it, too.
Over the years, I spent a LOT of time tweaking and optimizing my website to show up well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). And, it worked very well! I dominated the local results for years. But, in more recent years, my site was dropping in rank. Competition has become fierce, and honestly, I had dropped the ball a bit, too. My life is busy.
A lot of SEO is done in the design of the website. By “design,” I’m not talking about the cosmetic features or how the site looks. I’m talking about the structure / coding of the site… most of which is “behind the scenes.” But, that’s just the beginning. There is much that needs to be optimized beyond the structural design of the website. And, that is an ongoing process. It was time to delegate!
When I turned my website project over to New Patients Inc (NPI), it meant they were taking over all of it in terms of the technical details. That doesn’t mean I’m not participating. My involvement is still critical, as it is for all dentists marketing on the web. You need to know what is going on, and you need to contribute to your online marketing message.
There are three goals in website marketing:
- Get prospective patients TO your website.
- Keep those visitors ON your website (capture their interest).
- Get those prospects to TAKE ACTION (make an appointment – ideally ONLINE!).
SEO helps with goal #1. People looking for a dentist will usually use Google to search for a dentist. Maybe they are searching for “dentist my town.” Perhaps, they are searching for “porcelain veneers my town.” Or, “dental implants my town.” Some might be searching for “emergency dentist” or “dentist with payment plan my town.”
Where does your website show up for searches like that? If you’re not on the first page of search results, the likelihood of being seen at all are slim. That’s what good SEO does. It gets them TO your website by providing a link to your site on the first page of search results.
It’s important to understand that you want EACH page on your site to be optimized to show up for the relevant searches. So, for example… If someone searches “dentist my town,” landing on your home page is appropriate. However, if someone searches “dental implants my town,” you DON’T want them to end up on your home page and then have to drill down through your menus to find the information about dental implants. Rather, you want the link in the search results to take them DIRECTLY to your page about implants.
Are you A dentist or THE dentist (the prospective patient is seeking)?
This is why having a separate web page for each marketable service is important. Then you want each of those pages optimized (SEO) so they show up in the relevant search results. Make sense? If not, post your question in the comment section below. 🙂
Once they are on your website, the goal is to KEEP them there (with compelling and relevant content) and finish with an ACTION response (make an appointment online, call, or send an email inquiry).
NPI sends me a detailed monthly SEO report, which you can see an example of here through this article. Over time, we can track trends using a variety of metrics. They also report on what they’re doing to improve results. Just because your website design firm SAYS it’s doing SEO for you, it doesn’t mean they’re really doing or accomplishing anything. It’s important to know WHAT they are doing for you. They should be able to show you, in understandable terms, exactly what they are doing for you and whether the trends are in your favor as a result. What TANGIBLE things are they doing? Of course, the “proof is in the putting”… putting butts in the chair!” 😀
Having done all my own SEO before, it’s a language I already understand. But, NPI’s monthly reports are put together in a way that anyone can follow. I also know that results and trends take time to happen. That said, I’m already seeing results, both on paper (SEO reports) and butts in chair.
When I considered turning this project over…. delegating, as I said… I was concerned that I may drop in the SERPs before I rose in ranking. I was worried that I might lose the ground I had so painstakingly gained and held (to some degree) over the last 17 years. I can tell you it didn’t happen. Rather, the opposite happened. There was no drop, and the trend been upward.
Without question, my decision to turn the reins over to the marketing brainiacs at New Patients Inc was a good one.
Since SEO is how most searchers will find your site (or not), it’s importance cannot be stressed enough. When I was doing my own website work, it was a majority of my efforts. It’s THAT important. If people aren’t finding your site in the search results, then your site is effectively invisible and not working for you. When it is working, it can be a marketing gold mine. Hiring the right firm to keep your website showing up in the search results will pay big dividends.
With the country’s economic indicators turning more favorable, I am ready to ride that wave! Surf’s up, dudes! What has your SEO done for you lately?