Search EnginesFrom a patients perspective, finding a dentist was not as easily accomplished in the recent past as it is now. The key that unlocked the path to efficient targeting of customers was the development of search engines and the significant advances that have ensued. It is undeniable, search engine technology has become the dentist’s greatest tool, since the yellow pages.

Caution, however, is the word of the day, especially for those who falsely underestimate the amount of intense work required to wield this strategy of search engine marketing. Just as a primer, an attempt shall be made here to delineate the rudimentary steps required to initiate a search engine optimization campaign.

Search Engines
Search engines are the gateway to the internet. It allows a person to find almost anything, at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. An impossible feat if one solely relies on print media. When you search for a topic, a search engine will scour its vast database to match what a person is in search of and the person is then able to click on the link and be transported to the site.

Search Phrase
A keyword or phrase is what the person types in. For instance, if one was in need of dental services, then its conceivable terms such as ‘dentist,’ ‘dental service,’ ‘toothache,’ are used by a person. The keywords then direct the search engine to return results of sites in its database that could match what the person is looking for.

Choosing Keywords
When embarking on search engine optimization, it is necessary that the dentist’s keyword choice be well planned and meticulously researched. There are two reasons for this:

I. Improper keywords that do not perfectly match the site will lead to unqualified visitors arriving at the site who will not take action once they gather other than to hit the back button.

II. If too many people hit the back button back to the results page, the search engine will eventually strip the ranking of the site. This will result in wasted time, effort and resources.

On-Page Optimization
There are two distinguishing channels of optimizations. On-page and off page. Off page optimization is concerned with search engine mechanics while on-page optimization deals with the dentists website finely tuned to the following:

keywords that organically appear in the page such as ‘dental work,’ ‘dentist,’ ‘patients’ are all words that should appear in a dental website. They encompass both primary keywords and secondary. And when balanced correctly, appeal to the algorithm that search engines use to determine the quality of the site.

Site maps that tell the search algorithms what pages are within the site and how to crawl them. The more extensive the site, the more important and relevant it seems. A single page site is not a site at all but more like a contact page and search engines are not interested in ranking those.

The information presented here barely scratches the surface. There are more issues and more details that one needs to understand before embarking on a campaign. But even so, the better option especially for dentists is to be part of a dental network and allow the network to focus on the optimization.

photo credit: Pixabay Public Domain

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