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Search engine optimization, or SEO, has been widely touted as the greatest thing since the invention of the smartphone. That’s both true and not true.
One of the side effects of the internet is that everything is right now, or at least near-instant. That’s resulted in a shortening of expectations generally and particularly with regard to marketing. As the saying goes, “The problem with instant gratification is that it takes too long.”
Done correctly, SEO is a highly effective means of driving more dental prospects to your website. But it’s not a quick fix, as much as most dentists would like it to be.
SEO is basically a set of technique to increase your search engine results page (SERP) rankings. The higher you rank, the more likely it is that prospects looking for a dentist will see your listing rather than a competitor’s. First-page ranking is crucial, because relatively few people will look past the first page of search results, and almost none will click to the third page.
So, the goal of SEO is to get your website, your blog, your social media posts – basically, everything that you post online – to come up when a prospect in your area enters a particular search term or combination of terms.
There’s a lot of competition out there. There are over 800 million active websites with another 300-500 being added every minute. So, you’re competing not only with other dentists, you’re competing against the distraction factor of those 800 million websites.
That’s part of the reason that SEO isn’t a quick fix for what ails your online dental marketing.
According to Google, a reasonable time frame to see the effects of good SEO is four to twelve months. Before you fire your SEO provider, consider this: very, very few books are instant best sellers. The vast majority of new releases require favorable reviews, excellent word-of-mouth, and online promotion for some time to make it into the ranks of the “hot.” It’s no different for your SEO. Essentially, Google is your audience, and its web bots will take some time to crawl back around to your website after SEO is implemented.
And all the while, other SEO providers are working to boost their dentist clients onto the first page of search results. Your SEO will need to be tweaked repeatedly to account for So, yes, seeing results from your SEO will take some time.
If you’re doing your own SEO work, either to save money or just because you enjoy it, it’ll take even longer to show results. You’re up against professionals who stay abreast of the latest techniques and work five or even six days a week on implementing those techniques.
Besides, doing your own SEO doesn’t make you any money. You make money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems. SEO can get you more patients to make money on, but by itself SEO doesn’t make you a dime.
Stick to doing what you trained to do and love to do, and let SEO work over time to get you more new dental patients.