So you’ve spent some bucks on a shiny new website. Isn’t it adorable? Sure, you click on the link for “Cases and Testimonials” and it still says “Under Construction,” but you’ll get around to posting some pictures eventually.
I’ve found that my website comes in handy in two situations:
(1) A new patient is referred by another patient/insurance list/advertisement and they want to check us out online before they call the office.
(2) A new patient types some keywords into Google and our website comes up.
I believe that the first scenario happens a lot more than the second scenario. A lot more.
Perhaps I’m naive, but I just don’t think a lot of people type “Cosmetic dentist, Long Island, Implants” into search engines to find a new dentist. We may find other products and services that way, but dentistry (thankfully) is not always viewed as a commodity that can be easily interchanged for those bargain shoppers out there.
I don’t have data to prove my theory, but here are some indicators:
Google Trend for "Cosmetic Dentist"
Go to Google Trends and you can track the popularity of keywords. For free. How useful!
So I tracked the popularity of “Cosmetic Dentist” in the United States as a keyword for the past five years. The graph must be read with some things in mind:
(1) The data is based on averages, not measured hits. An explanation can be found here.
(2) The data includes all of the other reasons people would Google the keywords, including news items.
This means I cannot absolutely draw the conclusion that people are relying less and less on Google to find a new cosmetic dentist, but the data may be used in support of the theory.
The next search I did, however, is more interesting.
Here’s the Google Trend for “Find a Dentist” in the United States for the past four years:
Google Trend for "Find a Dentist"
I’m seeing a pattern here. The conclusion from this last data is:
In 2010, people are typing “Find a Dentist” into Google half as much as they were in 2006.
So I don’t believe in spending lots of cash on SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. If my office is one of the first listed on Google when someone types in certain keywords, then that’s awesome. I’ll happily accept that. But I’m not about to pay a company upwards of $300 a month to have that privilege.
That being said, there are ways to make your website more attractive to search engines that don’t cost any money. More on that in another post.