About 3 or 4 times a year I get a call from an Internet company trying to earn my business by explaining that they have figured out the search engine magic that will lead great patients to your door month after month. So I ask a few questions about what methods they use to achieve such traffic and most answers revolve around paying for Google Adwords or other pay for traffic sources. Google Adwords works by bidding for specific search terms or phrases, for instance your site is about Cosmetic Dentistry, you would bid for Cosmetic Dentistry and you could bid for the words separately. You place a bid per click, so if a user finds your ad on a Google search and clicks your link to goto your site you pay for that visit. Depending on how much you bid for that click you could pay as little as a few cents all the way up to many dollars, I really don’t know what Cosmetic Dentistry’s current price is but I’m sure it’s up there. So basically, you decide that your going to pay $3000 for Google Adwords and you were able to purchase the keyword Cosmetic Dentistry for $100/click then you would get 30 clicks and then your ad would be removed. Ok that’s a brief and probably incomplete description of how the system works but that’s not really the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is to discuss the words that people actually use to solve a dental problem.
I currently use Google Analytics for my site statistics, and if you aren’t using analytics talk to your web guys and get them hooked up today. When I review the Keywords that are used for people to find my site, I only get a few visits a month from the search term “Cosmetic Dentistry in Las Vegas”, but I get 10 times the visits from the search term “Dull Tooth Pain”. I even get a few more visits from the search term “how does tooth decay happen” then Cosmetic Dentistry. So what does this mean? It might mean that my website is boring and not flashy enough to pull a cosmetic oriented patient. I am more inclined to think that people are using search engines to solve problems and are more inclined to type in natural phrases for solutions to problems.
“Dull Tooth Pain” sounds like a patient looking for answers to their dull tooth pain. My website has an article that discusses different types of tooth pain and this page is shown as the first listing on Google, and on that page there are no paid ads, nobody has bothered to buy the search terms Dull Tooth Pain. So the question worth asking is if I were a patient trying to fix my smile what would I type into the search engine bar? Would I search for Cosmetic Dentist Your Town? Would I search for something quite different, such as Fix My Smile Your Town?
The search engines are always changing they way they look at web pages, years ago, you could game the system by using correct placement of keywords and keyphrases, now the game has changed, the search engines are now able to determine the content of an actual webpage, so virtually any page that is one your site is a potential entry point to your site and to your practice. Content is king, the more content, and the better the content the better the search results. So if you really want to get better results from the search engines start creating content that people will find interesting and in their language. The search engines will think it’s interesting too.