Exchange places with the patient for a moment to understand how a patient who faces an ailment is motivated to take his problem to the search engine. What does he search for? And when he searches for it, is your website what he will see first, or second, or even third? Anything past third may not matter because the one of the first three have already caught his attention and an consultation appointment has already been made.

If its not clear as yet, any search engine exercise must aim for the best possible position. Most searchers never go past page one. So any campaign that is initiated must aim for the page one.

Having a blog or a well designed, flashy website is not sufficient, it never has been. There are only three ways to get to your site. The first is from a search engine recommendation in the search results; the second is from seeing an advertisement in print or from your business card in the physical world; and finally from a recommendation link that one friend sends another. Out of the three, the most valuable, is the search engine recommendation.

The search engine serves two purposes in the minds of the searcher. First, it puts them in contact with what they are looking for. Second it gives them the implicit assurance that if they weren’t good, they would not be ranked. So the brand equity of the search engine trickles down to their first place occupant and precipitously down that list.

The second importance comes from the ability to search a site that would otherwise never be found. Most sites do not enjoy the notoriety of sites like CNN, whose web URL is brilliant. It is the name everybody knows them by and it is simple to recall and key in. For the rest of the sites, search engines need to lead the way. And this is a very good thing.

Because, traffic that comes to the site without intent, and just to poke around does almost no good. But a person who is in search of a particular service and keyed in as such is a customer ripe for the plucking.

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