One of the most important parts of marketing your dental practice is search engine optimization. In fact, about 92% of those who use the internet use search (SearchEngineWatch.com). Why? Because searching allows people to find instant answers to questions they have. Every search performed on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo is asking a question. The job of a search engine is to provide the best response possible. The more accurate the responses provided to questions, the more likely people are to return to the search engine to continue asking questions.
Once you decide to embark on the marathon of SEO, it’s time to start doing research. It might be appealing to jump at the first company that comes your way promising results that are out of this world, but it’s important to be cautious when shopping around. There are many companies out there that claim to offer SEO, but are really scams. These companies tend to rely on “black hat” methods that are shady and can actually do more harm than good.
Black hat SEO refers to a set of practices that are used to increases a site or page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service. – WordStream.com
When considering who to hire for your dental marketing, pay special attention to the following. And, if you see any of this, run the other way.
- They Claim to Know Exactly What Google Wants
With Google dominating the search engine world, it’s no wonder everyone wants to be at the top of their search engine results pages. Doing so take trial and error and hard work. No one knows Google search algorithm because it’s kept under lock and key. Giving it away would allow people to manipulate search engine results and ruin the customer experience for people searching.If a company claims to know Google’s recipe for success, they’re lying to you. And lying is not a good way to start a business relationship.
- They Promise Hundreds of Links
Link building is an important part of SEO, but in this case quality is more important than quantity. So while a company can promise hundreds or even thousands of links and deliver, there’s a high probability these links aren’t good quality and won’t do much to propel you to the top of search engine results. In fact, poor quality links can eventually get you pushed to the bottom of SERPs once Google catches on to what you’re doing.
- The Guarantee of a Certain Ranking
As we mentioned, no one knows the secret to Google’s algorithm. Because of that, it’s impossible to promise a certain ranking to a business. If a company promises a top ranking to your dental practice, be sure to check how they plan to go about doing that and confirm whether they’re talking about organic search results or paid search (PPC).While AdWords and PPC are helpful and can get you nearly instantly ranked in the part of Google that displays ads, it’s not the same as organic listings. Oftentimes the keywords these scam businesses will bid on are low quality and don’t actually produce leads. They simply allow the business to say, “hey, look we got you ranked.”A business CAN guarantee that you’ll outrank your competition, but this is because they’ll do a lengthy competitor analysis and use that to develop a customized strategy for your dental practice.
- They’ll List You On Hundreds of Directories
While there might be hundreds of business directories available online, the only thing that really matters in the world of SEO is how you’re listed on top ranking sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook. By keeping your business listing up-to-date and active on these sites, you’ll get much better results than the hundreds of other directories combined. on’t let a scammy business sell you on quantity. This is another instance where the quality of a listing supersedes the quantity of listings.
- They Work on The Behalf of Google
Nope, Google is Google. They’re the largest search engine in the world and a technology powerhouse. They don’t partner with agencies for search engine optimization work. They do, however, partner with agencies when it comes to AdWords (through an AdWords certification). When a company tells you that they work on behalf of Google they’re lying and behaving fraudulently. Do others a favor by reporting them to Google.
When it comes to choosing a company to work with your practice’s marketing strategy, choose a company that’s ethical. Choose one that relies on white hat techniques and proven long-term SEO strategies. Learn more about SEO basics in this blog post.
Above all, work with a company that’s proven and a leader in their industry. You’ll never go wrong trusting a business that comes with a track record of success of supporting businesses like yours.