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The Maturity of Your Patients Searching
Wanted to talk today about the maturity of your patient searches. I was actually flipping through dental town earlier and saw that there was a doctor asking about the differences between short tail and long tail keywords and he really didn’t want to worry about the long tail keywords right now he just wanted to know more about what people are searching for in terms of short tail keywords and the problem with that is is that people searching for short tail keywords aren’t the kind of people you want to attract. People searching for short tail keywords are immature searches and you have to look at the progression of how people search and how their search evolves as they educate themselves and as they acquire more information about what it is they actually want. What you see is at first you might see somebody searching for “dentist Indiana,” “cosmetic dentist Indiana,” then they’re going to go back, they’re going to look at that first page of search results and they’re either going to find somebody they like and that’s the end of their search, more than likely they’re not going to find somebody they’re looking for with that simple of a search. They’re going to go back and look at “cosmetic dentists in southern Indiana,” or “cosmetic dentist in New Albany, Indiana.” They’re going to look through those search results and they’re going to revise it a little bit more, “cosmetic porcelain veneers in New Albany, Indiana,” and now you’re getting into the nitty gritty of what somebody is going to be searching for, that they’re actually going to be ready to click on and I talked a little bit about this in Episode 32: “the keywords that actually generate phone calls for you,” and those are actually the long tail keywords, those are the things that you want to identify, you want to optimize your site for, that’s what somebody that is searching that is actually looking at what you have to offer and they’re going to pick up the phone and call you. When you go after the short tail keywords when I say they’re immature searches that’s not a dig at the person it’s that they haven’t gone through that process of maturity to know what they even want and that’s what the searching process does. Statistically, 80/90% of your people searching are not going to click to page two, they’re going to go back to the top and they’re going to revise their search. Think about when you search yourself, I know that when I search I do a couple searches and I go back to the top and I revise it and go back down and keep looking at results and tweaking my search. Find out what the long tails are, find out what people are actually searching for when they’re ready to call your office. You can do that through a number of ways: phone call tracking, you can do something as simple as asking people what they searched for when they call you which you can be very effective. Asking somebody on the other side of the country or your buddy you went to school with might be a good starting point as well for your long tailed searches. I’m sure they’d be glad to give you the information as long as they’re not competing with you. The thing to realize there is you’re going to see different keywords in every geographic area and in every town that you’re in. You know, up in New York they use different words than they do down in Texas, than they do in California so it’s going to vary geographic area to area, dentist to dentist, everybody has a different approach a different type of patient that they want to attract. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to optimize your website, trying to use keywords that it’s not that you don’t want the short tail keywords but the short tail keywords are not going to generate as many phone calls for you as the long tails do. If it was just easy as picking cosmetic dentist out of a hat every dentist would be doing that.