Each quarter, between the 10th and the 15th of that given month, you will receive your quarterly report in addition to your monthly search report. The quarterly report reflects back on your progress over the last three months and includes your keyword rankings. Your keyword rankings are not present on your monthly report because it takes Google several weeks to crawl your website and then rank you according to the optimizations we have made. A quarterly assessment of your keyword rankings gives us the most accurate representation of your SEO progress.
We track every type of traffic, whether it’s organic, direct, or referral traffic, but we especially want to see how your organic traffic numbers continue to improve. Organic traffic is when someone does a keyword search on Google and is presented with results. An example of this would be “Cosmetic Dentist City, ST”. If they choose you out of the results they are given and arrive at your website, that is an organic visit.
You should want the majority of your traffic to be organic traffic. However, you can increase your website traffic and ranking if by working with the SEO team on a few projects. No one knows your practice better than you, and we’ve seen that the members who have the most success are those who work closely with us.
Explaining downturns in traffic
There are certain times of the year when people are less likely to be searching for new oral health providers. Unless you’re an eCommerce site, you’ll probably see less traffic during the winter holidays. To increase traffic and engagement on your website, ask the SEO Team about unique content and link building opportunities!
How review sites can increase website traffic
To increase traffic and engagement on your website, I would suggest focusing on review acquisition. Review websites are key for referral traffic because the potential patients they’ll drive in are likely already far along on their journey to select a new provider. A user on a review platform– like Google My Business, Yelp or Yellow Pages– is comparison shopping, and probably ready to pull the trigger sooner rather than later. You can easily expand your online presence by creating a profile for your practice and encouraging your current patients to review you!
How a social media campaign can bring more traffic
If you are looking to increase the amount of traffic to your website, I would consider expanding your online marketing strategy beyond reviews to include social media platforms. While having a dynamic website is imperative for your practice’s online presence, oftentimes, potential patients will feel a deeper connection with your practice through the content they see your social media platforms.
Although your Facebook page may not directly affect website rankings, good content that engages viewers has a potential for generating more organic sharing and engagement, which can translate into an influx of traffic. Increases in valuable traffic can increase your site’s ranking. It is important for practices who are investing in Sesame’s search services to understand that good SEO must take into account the value of a good social strategy.
How link building can bring in more traffic
Even though you may be the top provider of a service in your area, a doctor who has created a successful online campaign through link building with local community programs will rank better due to Google’s perception that they are the more “trusted & preferred brand”. Having other websites “pointing” to yours is a huge way to generate more traffic and better website rankings. If any local teams, clubs, schools, or community affiliates are willing to link to your website on theirs, we can link to them on a custom community involvement landing page. It’s a win-win for both parties.
Improving keyword ranking with unique content
In terms of your visibility within the Google search engine, anything within the first 10 positions means you are ranking on the first page of Google search results. In order to improve your keyword rankings, I would collaborate with the SEO Team to create unique content. When you use content that is unique to both your practice and your location, Google recognizes those changes and ranks you higher within the search engine. It also goes a long way with prospective new clients; they want to know what is like to get treatment with you, not just any doctor.
Every month we optimize for your physical location. Google gives businesses ranking priority in their physical location. That means that if your practice is physically near to the person searching for you online, your chances of showing up in the local results are good, but if it’s too far away, it is unlikely to be included in the results.
Obviously, you have no control over where a particular searcher is located at the time he performs a search, but it’s important to understand that the closer a searcher is to you, the better your chances are of being shown as a result of his search. This is why we focus so much on (city) in your SEO Campaign; you will always rank the best for where you are physically located.
How a new website can affect search results
If you are seeing fluctuations in rankings, that is to be expected for up to a year after the purchase of a new website. With a new website, Google has to come back and crawl the new site, re-index the changes and apply them to how they rank the site. Since so much is new, this can often result in a drop in your ranking. Basically, Google has built a relationship and gotten to know your old site and when you do a redesign/get a new website, the search engines have to get familiar with the website again.
First Call data
As a part of your SEO service, Sesame has added code to your website that allows a special call tracking number to replace your current telephone number only when a potential patient clicks on your website from an online search. When the call tracking number is dialed, your caller will hear a brief “This call will be recorded” message, during which they’ll be asked to identify whether or not they are a new or current patient. Regardless of their self-identification, all calls coming through our First Call tracking system will be routed to your practice. First Call is a great way to see how the SEO service is actively working in your favor; by typing in the keyword combinations that we are targeting, potential patients are finding you quickly and arriving at your website.
Negative First Call fluctuations
If you find that your call volume is not what you would like it to be, please keep in mind that we typically see downward fluctuations for dentists in the summer, as winter is typically the busy season. For orthodontists, we see the opposite. There are additional projects and marketing solutions we can offer you if you would like to supplement your existing SEO service during your off-seasons.
How microsites split call volume/new patient acquisition:
If you find that your call volume is not what you would like it to be, please keep in mind that microsites split traffic, bringing down ranking and call volume for the primary website. My suggestion would be to remove your microsite, putting the focus on your primary domain. Otherwise, all you’re really doing is spreading your content too thin and diluting your domain authority. It’s generally easier for users if all the content they need is in one place so they don’t have to jump around between multiple URLs. Spreading content too thin not only harms SEO, but it also harms the user experience.
When there is a big discrepancy between new patients, current patients and the total number of calls
Your total number of calls is usually greater because you will have potential new patients that won’t press a number and simply wait to get routed to the practice. Their call will be added to the total number of calls received, but not as a new or existing call since they chose not to identify. We encourage you to audit these particular calls, as these could be potential new patients that only skipped the identification process to be sent to a live person.
If you have any other questions about your Sesame SEO quarterly report, don’t hesitate to give the SEO team a call!
—Naomi Newell, Lead SEO Specialist, Sesame Communications