Truth About Google Page One for Dentists

Honest techies are quick to tell you that you may or may not get to be on page one of Google, despite the most diligent efforts. Dishonest techies will promise spot one, page one if you pay enough — but they can’t produce. I read an article today, by a techie, that argued the point, page one of Google isn’t necessary. I think this is an old and outdated argument. Here’s why.

POINT the FIRST: “Page one” is a very open ended term. I’ve mentioned it many times in the past few weeks, but if you don’t yet know, Google began using unique user data when compiling search engine results. When you search for a keyword phrase, “Dallas Implant Dentist” for instance, the results Google shows YOU won’t be the same results your potential patients see. Everyone sees different results based on their personal trends. So, when you search for a keyword phase that has always shown your website on the first page of results, you may not see your website listed at all. For potential patients, you may hold the number-one spot on page one. The only way you can know how your search optimization is getting along is to turn to Google Analytics reports. If you don’t have access to your GA reports, call your webmaster now and ask for them.

POINT the SECOND: “Page one” for what? You want to be on page one, but for what keyword phrase? Your name? My bet is, for most searches, you come up pretty high for your name, but unless a potential patient knows your name, that result won’t get you far. MDPM came up high for “hairless guinea pig” for a time because we used a photo of a hairless guinea pig in a blog. We don’t sell guinea pigs, so we don’t care how we rank for that term. If you want new patients, you need to be found for the keyword phrases they use when looking for a dentist. To determine what those phrases are, a little research may be in order. We use common sense + Google’s keyword tool, combined with Google Analytics findings and constant tweaking of our strategy, to get dentists found for the keyword phrases that best describe their services.

POINT the THIRD: Being on “page one” is a good thing, regardless of what anyone tells you. The aforementioned article I read this morning said being on page one isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I disagree. I can’t find any recent studies on this, probably because Google rolls out about 500 changes to their algorithm every month, but this 2007 information about Internet searchers is interesting.

  • 6 percent only look at the first few search results, and 32 percent will read to the end of page one
  • 23 percent go to page two, and there’s a steady, rapid decline for pages after that
  • 10.3 percent look through the first three pages of results, and 8.7 percent go beyond page two

REMAINING PROBLEM: So, all that’s out in the open now. You’re left with the question, how can you get new patients from the Internet?

SOLUTION: Google has gone back and forth on whether they’ll give the same website multiple listings on page one. They seem to dislike the idea because their whole MO is to provide diverse, solid, reliable information. What we’ve noticed, however, is that our clients who have more than one domain can be found multiple times (on page one or whatever) for targeted keyword phrases. Since Google started the unique user data thing, we can’t prove this any longer. However, one of our clients with three sites came up seven times for one keyword phrase — all on page one, without any Adwords listings. This was about three months ago. That client consistently gets solid traffic, per Google Analytics, as well as new patients from the Internet. Because of this, we know that if you have multiple dental websites (or blogs) with original content (not found elsewhere on the web) and keyword rich links, where appropriate, to pages of your other sites, you will do well.

WHY IT WORKS: Google has published clues as to why this holds true. For instance, Google ranks original content higher than duplicate content — in fact, duplicate content counts against your ranking. Also, Google considers blogs to be news, and news gets preferential treatment in indexing. Also, Google ranks content from “experts” high. The more content you have out there linking to your sites; the more presence your name has on the Internet, the more of an expert you seem to be to Google.

NEXT STEPS: This blog is long enough, so I’ll stop now. If you’re a dentist, and you need help getting new patients in the door, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today at 972-781-8861, or email us, to talk about your situation. We’ll analyze your current web presence and make suggestions. No contracts. No commitments. Free advice. You can’t go wrong. If you decide that a new website, new text, a microsite, or a blog would benefit your Internet marketing strategy, we’ll be happy to accommodate you.