Editor's note: A Web site can provide some of the most cost-effective marketing available to a dental practice. In the first two parts of this series on Web sites, we explored the basics of building and maintaining a Web site. In this third part, practice management expert Richard Geller offers advanced advice for driving traffic to your site.
|Richard Geller has advised thousands of dentists on practice marketing and case acceptance, and has written a book on the same topic. He helped launch the first popular intraoral video camera.|
First, you need to understand that Google puts you nearer to the top in a given search if you have backlinks -- that is, links from other sites to yours.
Backlinks are the secret to getting high ranking on Google. Quantity is good, but the quality of your backlinks is more important.
So what makes a good backlink? The best are on high-authority sites. You won't benefit much from a link on the Web site your next-door neighbor built in 20 minutes when he was in high school.
Examples of high-authority sites include Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and nytimes.com (the Web site of the New York Times). DrBicuspid.com is also becoming a high-authority site.
You can link to DrBicuspid.com here. But how do you get links on the other big-name sites? Don't hire one of the companies promising to generate 100 or 1,000 backlinks. That will generate suspicious activity that may get you a "Google slap" -- a sanction from the search company that actually makes your site harder to find. Instead, go out and personally create a few backlinks a day, or even a few every week.
- Pick a topic and write a few paragraphs about it. I suggest topics such as veneers, implants, or other high-value dentistry.
- Go to a Web site like MySpace, and create an account for yourself.
- Paste the paragraphs into the MySpace account.
- Use the MySpace editor to build a backlink to somewhere on your site, a specific page about your topic.
- Repeat this every day or two, or once a week.
But there's more to backlinks than that. A link includes several parts. The part that a user sees is called anchor text. The hidden part is the address (and sometimes other information) that users will go to if they click. You want the address to go to a page within your site.
This type of link, which goes somewhere deep in your Web site, is called a deep link. It has more value than just a link to your home page.
So let's say your Web site is www.HawaiiSurferDental.com. If your MySpace paragraphs are about cavities, you might link to www.HawaiiSurferDental.com/about_cavities.html. That beats a link back to just the home page.
That is the essence of creating backlinks -- something that is a quick fix that you can follow.
You will see that your Web site will gain rankings on Google with this simple trick.
And I have a lot of other tips to offer. Right now, you can get them free from my book on case acceptance and practice marketing. Simply visit "Dental website marketing backlinks," and enter your name and e-mail address. (Don't worry, I never share your information with anyone.) The book is in its third edition, and normally sells for $59.95. You'll get the book for free, and you'll find other quick fixes and dental advertising and dental Web site advice.