Internet lingo can be confusing even to those who go online frequently. And while you don’t have to be an expert to begin marketing your practice online (that’s our job!), it is helpful to understand the basics of how people find you online. Most people will look for a product or service by using a search engine, Google being the most common. How do you show up?
Here is a quick graphic that we created to help you understand the different pieces that make up a Search Engine Results Page (or SERP) on Google. While these elements look somewhat different on other search engines (Bing, Yahoo, etc.), the basic layout is similar and they all function in generally the same way. (Click on the image for a larger view)
Google Adwords – This is paid advertising, generally on a pay per click basis. We typically only recommend creating an Adwords account if you aren’t being found anywhere else on the first page of a Google search. Most dentists we serve do not need Adwords accounts and it’s always best to use your available resources to show up naturally.
Google+ Local – Formally called Google Places, Google began rolling local search results into their Google+ product and renamed their map listings. The results on this page are localized for the location of the person searching. Your placement in this area is especially important for mobile results.
Organic Results – These listings are natural and unpaid. A website that is relevant, contains quality content and has good search engine optimization (SEO) is most likely to show up in this section.