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Will Google Continue to Matter to Dentists?

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Patient Attraction Episode 963

Google search has been transformed in the last year by an emphasis on local results, a reallocation of paid ads to the results column, and the addition of the Knowledge Graph. Now, some people who specialize in search engine optimization are saying things are only going to get worse for local marketers. I’ll be back after the break to tell you how dentists should respond to this new threat.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– I’m Colin Receveur.

– Google is still by far the most-used search engine, so placement in the search results is crucial.

– 2017 brings the prospect of being found on organic search being harder than ever.

– The demise of the “right-side ads” last year, and their relocation to top and bottom of the results column, cut down on the number of page 1 organic search results.

– The addition of the Knowledge Graph display, or Google’s favored answer to a query, took up more real estate.

– Now, SEO specialists are now saying that the Knowledge Graph is going to appear for an ever-wider range of queries.

– And paid ads, including AdWords ads, are going to be even more prominent in page 1 results.

– If this trend occurs, there may only be room on page 1 for the single top-ranking organic search result.

– In fact, the whole landscape of SEO may change.

– As mobile-device voice searchers become comfortable with longer keyword strings, trying to track individual keywords may become a losing proposition.

– This is painting a pretty bleak picture for dentists who rely on SEO to rank high in organic search results.

– Now, it’s possible that searchers will adapt to the diminished real estate by learning to switch to page 2.

– But just as the additional paid ads affected search results, so too will these changes spill over onto page 2.

– Obviously, the best option is to be number 1 on search engine ranking pages.

– But ranking number 1 in every important niche is practically impossible unless you have years invested in cultivating your SEO.

– For dentists who can afford it, carefully tailored AdWords campaigns may be the way to go, although the cost is likely to rise significantly.

– In addition, the best strategy will be to diversify their dental marketing into other areas such as Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and other “pointers” toward your website.

– Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that your dental marketing functions as a system to attract the patients you want and need.

– You may not be able to rely on Google to get patients to your website, so you’re going to have to do it yourself.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.

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