If You’re Not Marketing Online, You’re Missing Out – Here’s Why
Whether you’re just starting your business or dental practice or you’ve been in the business for years, you know that the success of your office depends on your ability to recruit and retain high-quality patients.
While traditional forms of advertising are still relevant, the fact is that patients today rely heavily on the Internet for both entertainment, social networking and local information – recent studies show that the vast majority (96%) of computer users search for local resources on-line, with most looking for a specific business or service.
What does this mean for your business? In a nutshell, if you aren’t using search marketing to promote your practice, you’re loosing patients to your tech-savvy competitors. Go ahead and type “what your business specializes in + your city” (exmaple “dentist+Louisville”) into your favorite search engine – if your name doesn’t appear among the top few results, you need to launch an aggressive Internet marketing campaign right now.
Why You Need SEM & SEO
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) involves promoting your business on search engine results pages (SERPs) with paid advertisements. The next time you do an online search using Google, Bing or Yahoo! pay attention to the websites that appear at the very top and right-hand side of the page – those are what’s known as pay-per-click ads (PPC), and they are powerful Internet marketing tools!
Why? Because they only appear when users in a specific geographical area search for specific information, and better yet, you only pay for the ads when an Internet user clicks on the link! PPC is the ultimate form of targeted, high-ROI marketing for your dental practice.
SEO works in conjunction with PPC ads, as part of a complete search marketing strategy.
So, What Exactly Is SEO Anyway?
Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO) is the process of designing and maintaining a website that meets the ever-changing requirements of leading search engines to be considered a high-quality, creditable site that provides valuable information and resources to users.
When we talk about providing our clients with SEO services, we’re referring to a host of different strategies such as:
- Researching the keywords and phrases people are searching for, then including these in the website
- Creating fresh, relevant content (web pages, articles and blogs) that is valuable to users
- Ensuring that the website ‘works’ well, loads quickly and can be viewed in different browsers (including on smart phones and tablets)
- Raising the credibility of the website by linking to authoritative sites
- Including interactive social media tools like links to Facebook, Twitter and email
Despite what some unsavory SEO companies might claim, there’s simply no such thing as an ‘overnight success’ when it comes to SEO – SEO is a part of a sound, comprehensive Internet marketing strategy that will deliver consistent results in the long run.
What’s The Harm In Waiting?
Perhaps your business is doing just fine without an Internet marketing plan – for now. Even if you don’t think you need a strong on-line presence, your patients do – remember that people now judge the trustworthiness, credibility and professionalism of a business based on the quality of their website. Sooner or later, businesses who don’t focus on search marketing will be left scrambling for patients or customers – not a good position to be in.