dental search marketingAs a dentist you hopefully understand how important dental search marketing is to the growth of your practice.

An increasing number of your prospects are going online (on their desktops or mobile devices) to either find you or find out more about you.  In either case, you need to ensure you are positioned well in the search results.

Types of Dental Search Marketing

Two different types of internet search results exist where you need to be well positioned.

In most cases the search results that are returned include several paid listings at the top (otherwise known as pay-per-click).  Paid listings are outside the scope of this discussion.  Next, one to three organic search results generally show.  This is followed by the Local Search area (to be discussed below), followed by the remaining organic search results.

First – Organic Search Results.  You probably know this as traditional search.  Organic search results, commonly known just as search results, show a series of websites ranked according to Google’s algorithm.  This is also commonly known as SEO, or search engine optimization.  You invest time and money on your own or with a firm that understands SEO and is current with all of Google’s changes…and Google regularly changes things.  What works today in terms of getting your site ranked may not work as well six months from now.

While organic search results are important, in many cases your rank depends upon factors outside your control.  For example, if you have a new domain name, all things being equal, you will have a difficult time obtaining competitive positioning against older, more established websites.

It’s important to understand that obtaining good organic search ranking can be a slow, arduous process.

Second – Google Local Results.  As a local business, this should be an area of primary focus.

Why?

Generally these results are shown “above the fold.”  Google’s own data reports that up to 75% of people never scroll down past the first window, or the “above the fold” area.  So, if you don’t have positioning in the Google Local Results, you will miss up to 75% of people looking for your solution.

Next, because Google shows stars in its Local Results when you have five or more reviews associated with your listing, you have the opportunity to visually “grab” peoples’ attention with your listing.  Added to that, if you have stars, a good star rating (tied to the stars that your reviewers give you – a 1 to 5 star rating system), and a larger number of reviews than your competitors, you have the good chance that people will click through on your listing even if you are not ranked near the top of Local Results.

The number of results shown in the Google Local area range from three to seven.  This is influenced by a number of factors.  The key point is to determine how many Local Search results show for your particular area.

As it generally turns out, it’s easier to get ranking in the Google Local results.  This isn’t an automatic thing as you may encounter a competitive situation where many of your competitors “get it.”

In summary, effective dental search marketing is important to your practice’s growth.  Either on your own or with an outside expert, you want to get it done.