One of the most common questions I hear dentists ask me today is “Why doesn’t my website show up on the Internet?” The first thing I do is compliment them. At least they have taken the time to check out their website on the search engines and determined something is wrong. Unfortunately, most small business owners have no idea if there Internet marketing program is a finely tuned Mazarati or a Hugo that is unavailable in the eyes of consumers in their area.
When designing a website and Internet marketing program, most professionals have no clue that the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN (now Bing) can’t read the written words in your website or determine if it is outdated or new. The search engines scan your site using a sophisticated mathematical algorithm. This is where SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, and meta tags come into play. You have to tell the search engines who you are, what you are all about, and where you want to target new patients in your local demographic in order to be found. The search engines dictate the rules of engagement and you must follow them.
Does all this sound like Greek to you? It did to me… until I spent hundreds of hours mastering the subject of Web 2.0 Internet marketing. SEO and keywords relate to the words and phrases prospective new patients type into the search engines to find you. Your website is the hub of your Web 2.0 marketing campaign. The design of your website, blog, and social networking sites relates to their setup and structure so once a new patient finds you with keywords, you can engage and convert them with your marketing message to visit your website or contact your office for a new patient exam. The main focus of your Internet marketing program is to drive new patients to your front door. In order to accomplish this… one hand must wash the other with correct SEO, engaging design, and a powerful marketing message.
So how do you determine if your Internet marketing efforts are being found by consumers in your local demographic? Simple… test it! This test works for any business targeting customers in a local area. Feel free to pass it on to your friends in business using their own targeted consumer keywords.
- Go to Google and in the search box type in patient keywords – orthodontist [your city name and state]. Orthodontist is the #1 keyword new patients use to search for treatment providers.
- Repeat the same steps again with the keywords braces #2 and Invisalign #3.
- Does your website, blog posts, Facebook page, e-zine articles etc. show up on page one of Google? (Pay Per Click Ads and database advertisers like wellness.com, DrOOgle.com and Dexknows.com don’t count… we are looking for organic page ranking for your website, blog, and other Internet marketing tactics)
- Does your practice name and website URL show up correctly on Local Google Maps?
- Now do the same thing again… but this time, one by one substitute the names of all the surrounding towns in your area where you target new patients. Does your website, blog, video, Google Maps, etc show up on page one in these towns also?
No matter how great the design of your website and Web 2.0 marketing program, you are missing a wealth of new patient opportunities to build your practice due to limited local visibility on the Internet. This can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars you may be losing to your competitors online over the years.
Your website and Web 2.0 marketing program is a very powerful marketing tool if set up correctly… start to finish. “You don’t know, what you don’t know, till you know it!” Find out from an orthodontic Web 2.0 Internet marketing specialist what you don’t know…today!