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SEO Decoded: What you need to know to be dangerous

SEO Decoded: What you need to know to be dangerous
Austin Kelly

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. – “Albert Einstein”



If you have been in the business long enough, you have seen the dental marketing agencies try to impress doctors with brochures, landing pages, apps and the rest; explaining that you NEED SEO or SMM or some other internet acronym in order to treat patients well.

It’s like telling a patient he’s going to need an orthodontic anchor. Oooooh…you mean braces.


I think most dentists don’t want to have the conversation about their online presence because they are uncomfortable with the language. They either avoid it, make someone else do it, or just go with whatever marketing company their friend is using.

This is a shame.


It’s not a matter of being uneducated; it’s just the nature of the internet.  Just like dentists, computer geeks constantly develop new words and acronyms to keep up with advancing concepts.



Fortunately, the concepts aren’t complicated once explained. My aim is to help you make informed choices about your marketing decisions. I’m going to give you just enough information to be dangerous (in a good way).

Over the next few weeks I am going to translate 7 online buzzwords so you can feel confident having conversations about your online presence. Hopefully it will help you find the best marketing firm for your office. Or, if you already have one, you can better understand what is going on with your web presence.


1. SEO or Search Engine Optimization

Dry definition: the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

In this example, think of your practice’s website as a race car.

The race is how each keyword (like Dental Implants, or Family Dentist) ranks in the system. You want to be the website that pops up FIRST (at the top of the page) if a patient types “Dental Implants, Rochester New York” into a Google search. The problem is, all of the dentist’s in Rochester, New York are trying to get to the top of the page as well.



So you’ve got to do your best to make sure your “car” (website) has all the right bells and whistles while still following the rules of the race.




Some races are hard as hell.

  • Maybe it starts to rain (Google algorithm updates!)
  • Maybe there are more race cars on the track (other people trying to rank for the same keyword!)
  • Maybe your pit crew sucked it up (Web guru not doing his job)


With some keywords there is more competition. You  may not fare as well in those races.Others may be a complete breeze to rank first! Depending on your ranking, your marketing team should assess your race car and make changes to help you get ahead.

  • What about suspension? (Header tags!)
  • What about brakes? (Keywords!)
  • Tires? (Content!)
  • Pit crew? (You marketing team!)


All these little parts (SEO) count toward the greater sum of the race car (your site). They help you make it to the top of the Google search ‘race’ first.

So when someone says you need to work on your SEO, it’s the parts of your race car (website) that need to be tweaked to get you in to first place (first place in Google ranking for your desired keywords).


Next time we will tackle SMM or Social Media Marketing.

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