Home > Why You are Not Ranking Number 1 - The Truth about Your Practice’s Google Ranking

Why You are Not Ranking Number 1 - The Truth about Your Practice’s Google Ranking

Description: seo.jpg
by Michael Porat

Googling your Practice to test search engine optimization (SEO) results has become common practice, but be wary of putting too much stock in the results generated because they can be misleading. With the plethora of information on web marketing available, more and more optometrists are reading up and self-evaluating their online marketing presence. But like a first-year medical student who suddenly finds himself “symptomatic” of many diseases he is studying, so it is true that a little bit of SEO knowledge can often cause false alarm.

The fact is that the field of search engine optimization or SEO is fraught with uncertainties, trial and error and a myriad of tactics and techniques that make any single evaluation, like Googling your website, severely lacking in perspective. Among many other factors, Google search has been moving toward more personalized results based on search history, device, social activity etc., so your search result page could look very different from the results of your neighbor on his computer down the street. In fact, rankings, web traffic or even Facebook “likes” are not “end game” results at all - their measurement is one of a process and not a result.

Whether it is online marketing, newspaper advertisements or any other marketing you are conducting, the real measure of success is not in the marketing activity itself, but rather in the business results derived. For example, I recently spoke with an optometrist who had gained 30 new patients through his website the previous month. I was excited to contact him because the results were just incredible and that was after the previous month in which our online marketing efforts brought in 27 new patients. Unfortunately, when I called, the doctor was upset. His first question was, “Why am I now ranking #2 for eye exams?” I responded by asking if he was aware of the actual business generated that month and in fact, he was not. His focus was on results formulated by an article he had read that discussed rankings and like most articles about online marketing, it never tied the topic back to the most important end result – new business.

While it is always good to see our practice leaders involved in the “how” of our work, it is equally discouraging when they lose focus of the true results of our work. In my intake calls, I am fond of inviting new customers to hold my feet to the fire on new patients sitting in their lobby. I challenge them to ask me how many new patients we generated at each monthly meeting. This is the return on investment – your ranking or the total amount of traffic visiting your website are not.

This applies equally for all marketing efforts. Another doctor mentioned that she had been running a newspaper ad every Friday in her local paper at a cost of $800 per month. “Great! What does that do for you?” I inquired. “What do you mean?” was her response. “How many patients does it generate for you and what kind of return on investment do you receive?” ”Oh, I don’t know.” When spending $800 per month on anything in your practice, a logical question to ask is, “What do I get in return?” This is your return on investment calculation. Without it, you might as well just be throwing money down the drain.

In the world of online marketing, there are far too many gurus available. But true wisdom can be derived from one simple question – “How much business did that effort create for me?” Ask this of all your marketers, consultants and website gurus. If they don’t have a straightforward answer for you, move on until you find it. Better yet, when hiring anyone to conduct marketing activities for your practice, simply let them know that they have one goal in mind – to generate new business. How they do it - that can be left up to their expertise.

Michael Porat is the COO at EyeCarePro.com. Read about Coach Michael by clicking here

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