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Your placement on Google search results pages are the most important part of your web marketing – and they don’t matter one bit.
Google dominates the search engine market, virtually everyone starts their search for information with a search engine, and almost no one goes past the first search engine results page (SERP) to find what they are looking for.
So let’s say you have a great SEO program in place. How do you know you are dominating SERPs and what do you do if you are?
Here are three facts about your Google rankings:
- What you see is probably not what others see.
A potential client once said he had Googled some of our clients and wasn’t that impressed with their search engine results. What he didn’t understand is that Google tailors its SERPs based on your previous searches, what you’ve clicked on, your location and other factors based on its algorithms.
When he searched a few dental keywords, it was no wonder our clients didn’t come up – he was hundreds of miles away from the closest one! Google would have been doing him a disservice to bring up a dentist so far away.
If you search the keywords you really want to dominate, you probably WON’T see the same thing a potential patient sees.
To get a more objective view, follow these steps:
- Log out of every account (Google, all social media, WordPress, everything)
- Clear your cache
- Open Google Chrome and use “incognito mode”
- Now open Google and search for your top keywords, especially long-tail keywords like “Memphis permanent replacement teeth” or “Indianapolis dentists what do I do about missing teeth.”
Now where do you come out?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to see where you really rank, what to do with that information?
- Most people aren’t searching using your keywords – if you’re using individual words.
Most patients don’t just Google “dentist,” “crowns” or even “tooth ache.” In fact, Google data shows that 54.5 percent of queries use more than three words.
Why is this a problem for you? Because long-tail keywords are hard to optimize.
You don’t know if someone is going to search “Charlotte NC dental pain,” “Charlotte NC why do my teeth hurt,” “do I need to see a dentist,” or “who is the closest dentist to me in Charlotte NC who can fix cracked teeth.” These queries could all be about the same problem.
At SmartBox, we research our patients’ websites to find out which keywords and keyword strings are bringing in the most traffic. Then we add other proven search terms and we optimize for all of them. If your SEO provider isn’t doing the same thing, it may be time to make a switch. If you don’t have an SEO provider, it’s probably time to get one.
- It doesn’t matter how high you rank on SERPS if you are not converting clicks to patients.
Some companies want to sell you on how many “clicks” or “hits” they get you on your website. But if those are not qualified prospects, meaning they have been tricked into clicking on your site or otherwise are not looking to become a patient, what good has it done you?
Do you get paid every time someone visits your website? No, you get paid when those clicks become paying, staying and referring patients.