Google Rocks (Adwords vs. Places vs. Organic)!

Had a walk-in patient this morning.  Well… not exactly a walk-in.  He is a transient cable technician who roams around the country doing work for cable TV companies.  He had an old bonding break off his central incisor last night.  He walked in after finding us on Google without calling.

Using his mobile phone, he Googled “Emergency Dentist.”  What is interesting is that he skipped right past the Adwords and even the “Local Business / Places” listings.  His first and only click was the first organic listing, which was me (highlighted in yellow below).  When I asked him how he found me, he pulled out his phone and showed me the results on his screen:
(I added the red labels for this illustration.)

Do it all!

Now… please do not infer that I am suggesting Adwords and Places listings don’t work or that you should ignore them.   I’m not saying that at all.  No doubt, they do work!  But, they are only PART of the equation.  The reality is that many, if not most, searchers STILL trust Google’s organic algorithms to give them the most relevant results (vs. Adwords, for example, which they know are paid advertisements).  People trust Google.  And, another advantage and attraction of organic results is the description that is attached to them.  It is a brief elaboration of the link they are about to click.

Choose Your Web Marketing Company Carefully

What bugs me a bit is that many marketing companies that pursue the dental profession have a tendency to heavily promote the “Google secret du jour.”  They emphasize ONE thing…. the “latest thing.”  It gives them something to incite dentists into a tizzy.  And, lately all the “rage” is Google Places, formerly known as “Google Local Business.”  Mind you, Places is NOT new.  It’s been around for a LONG time under the name, “Local Business.”  What IS new is how they integrate it in the SERPs (search engine results pages).  The Places listings are more prominent in the SERPs than they were before.  So, your Places listing (which is FREE) is important.  Do not neglect it.

My point is that SEO (search engine optimization) is still king.  It’s still important… VERY important.  SEO is what positions your website (and the individual web pages within your website) in the organic section of the SERPs.  And, again… searchers TRUST the organic results.  But, lately those purveyors of internet marketing services use anything they can to precipitate a new feeding frenzy among panicky dentists.  And, in the process, the very foundation of good search engine positioning seems to get swept aside.  And, the foundation is good SEO.  I see sooooooooo many dentists’ websites that are not well-optimized.  Some have essentially no SEO at all.

If you want to get found on Google, you must have good SEO.  Yes… claim and use your Places listing.  You can even use Adwords, but be sure to target them effectively and track the results, or you could spend a fortune for nothing.   Use all the angles to your advantage.  They all do count.  But, do not… DO NOT neglect SEO nor let anyone convince you to dismiss the organic results in the SERPs.  Today’s emergency patient skipped right past the Adwords and Places.  And, to me, it’s not a mystery as to why he did.

That’s all for now, Dental Warriors!

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6 Responses to Google Rocks (Adwords vs. Places vs. Organic)!

  1. Hey buddy, great post! …and congrats on your own great organic positions.

    I agree too; all three current spots in Google’s search results can be effective, especially the Local Maps (Places) since they’ve now been merged with the organic SERPS.

    Many of our clients (dentists) have seen their former 1st page rankings migrated to their Google Places profile; and sometimes even when they haven’t created or claimed their business listing. From my observation, ranking well in Google Places for the dental website is greatly influenced by its SEO and its natural (organic) positioning. This simply means if you’re investing in SEO for organic rankings, it’s highly likely you’ll find your practice showing up in Google Places as well.

    Still, so many dentists have yet to realize the potential of their website to acquire patients. What bugs me too is how certain ‘marketing companies’ proclaim the benefits of only one promotion method over the others, and usually just to hawk their services as being superior – e.g. creating Adwords campaigns for the dentist, while ignoring the huge potential of SEO and the organic listings. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say and I’m sure you’ve long since enjoyed the lucrative return from your own SEO efforts.

    It’s encouragement from dentists and others like yourself that will help guide still more dentists to fully appreciate the power of search engine optimization and online marketing for their practices. It’s simply smart business.

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX

  2. The Dental Warrior says:

    Thanks for chiming in, John!

  3. Jason Battle says:

    I’ve noticed that the places listings dominates the organic search. You search orthodontist Orlando and their are only 3 organic listings at the bottom of the page. Bing and Yahoo are a bit different.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Jason! That’s not exactly true. The Places listings you see in that SERP (search engine results page) are actually Organic listings MERGED with their Places listings. The descriptions you see below each Places listing is from the Organic listing. Specifically, it’s the Description Meta Tag.

      That means SEO is even more important now. Google is now combining or merging the most relevant Organic results with their respective Places listing.

      • The Dental Warrior says:

        @Jason…. Been browsing around your website. FWIW… I think it could be optimized much better than it is. I also think the content could be improved.

    • Take a look at how Google shows search queries made from a mobile device.

      safe, shortened link:
      http://tinyurl.com/5uqow9m

      Clicking through to a website from the search results, Google then “creates” a mobile-friendly version of your website.

      Google’s mobile delivery system may partially preclude the need to create your own mobile device accessible website.

      John Barremore
      Houston, TX

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