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lesgeaux
USA Fan
Member since Jul 2008
1940 posts

Does SEO really work?
Startup dental office. Right now strictly word of mouth. My supplier company is trying to get me to bite on a website development plan that includes SEO but I've always seen this with a stigma of being pretty tacky. $300/mo extra for SEO


TheOcean
Florida State Fan
#honeyfriedchicken
Member since Aug 2004
39412 posts
 Online 

re: Does SEO really work?
Yes but $300/month won't get you shite. Good SEO starts at $1k/month minimum with better companies charging $2k/month


WhiskeyThrottle
Member since Nov 2017
745 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
I don't know details about SEO, but I do know to stay on top, it's a moving target. Additionally, it's fueled by things beyond your control a lot of times such as traffic quantity and average stay times. Add to that the ever growing list of HTML tags and metadata.

It's pretty difficult for a small business to get on top and stay on top. Doable, but either really expensive or you have to really know what you're doing and allocate a lot of time to changing content. Your money is better off marketing outside of the internet. If you think about it, the internet is for national/international use. A dental office is very regional. My $.02 is that you should spend that $300 a month and go spend an hour at business parks handing out cards or doing other forms of advertising. My family owned a small business and there was no way SEO expense was going to pay off for her given the business dynamic. That and she barely knows how to get on the internet.


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philabuck
Ohio State Fan
NE Ohio
Member since Sep 2008
10017 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
I'd setup your practice on Google Business and throw a small amount of money on Google Adwords to do targeted ads on a 20 mile radius of your practice.


LSUTigers00884
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Oct 2011
988 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
Yes it does work. But make sure to ask good questions on what they’re doing.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
16004 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

A dental office is very regional. My $.02 is that you should spend that $300 a month and go spend an hour at business parks handing out cards or doing other forms of advertising.
quote:

I'd setup your practice on Google Business and throw a small amount of money on Google Adwords to do targeted ads on a 20 mile radius of your practice.

This, that, and set up a facebook page and post on there a lot.


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The Egg
LSU Fan
Houston, TX
Member since Dec 2004
72894 posts
 Online 

re: Does SEO really work?
don't forget IG and FB as similar abd maybe even more effective tools

use relevant hashtags, etc.

social media has its quirks but for a small business, it could be invaluable.


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Big_Sur
Auburn Fan
Member since Nov 2012
824 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

$2k/month


Need a lot more than this to go from 0 to Hero. Also need about 3 years.

Good SEOs are worth their weight in gold and are paid handsomely if you can lure them away from their existing high-paying gig or personal websites.

Bad SEOs are rampant for $2k/mo or sold to you as an add-on from a newspaper website or a web hosting company. ANd useless.


SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
365760 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
i have read a lot about SEO and different online strategies and i have to say that spending your SEO budget on well-targeted ads is probably a better investment for service-based businesses (like your's and mine). my field (lawyer) is also totally fricked in terms of SEO. you think billboard attorneys invest in just billboards? psh.

most of SEO is just producing content and getting backlinks anyway. there is no magic formula like back in the day when you'd spam keywords
This post was edited on 7/10 at 7:39 am


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SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
365760 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

Good SEO starts at $1k/month minimum with better companies charging $2k/month

that all depends on just how much work you want done in terms of content/backlinks

i previously used a highly rated national SEO firm and spent between $800/1200/mo. scale matters, and a local dentist doesn't need $2k/mo worth of backlinks and blogs


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tigerpawl
LSU Fan
Can't get there from here.
Member since Dec 2003
14121 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
My advice to you is to make sure all the fundamentals are covered. Things like page titles, things that negatively affect page load times (image size).... and relevant content. Your location relative to potential patients is important, so make sure you’re onboard with “Google My Business”. Also, make sure any text copy mentions the nature of your business and your city.

I think SEO consultants are way more important for large, national conglomerates than they are for local small businesses. Just cover the fundamentals…

Lose the “experts”; buy the book: LINK
quote:

Also need about 3 years.
It’s my understanding that Google exposes you to the internet world in baby steps. They are very concerned about going all in on a new business only to find out they are not “relevant“ to google users. Your website needs to age. Google is obsessed in returning search results to its users that are “relevant”. Google lives and dies by this one word: RELEVANT
This post was edited on 7/10 at 10:00 am


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ashy larry
LSU Fan
Marcy Projects
Member since Mar 2010
4260 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

Startup dental office.

quote:

Strictly word of mouth

quote:

Trying to get me to bite


Nice


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PJinAtl
Auburn Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2007
9682 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
Web developer here, and yes, SEO does work.

For it to work really well, as others have said, takes time and a good investment in both time and money.

However, there are things that you can do that can help and not go crazy with it.

Make sure the site is mobile friendly. If not built with a mobile first philosophy, at least make it responsive design. That is becoming a big thing with Google, as now >50% of page views and searches are coming from phones and tablets.

Make sure you use meta tags on every page. The two most important are the page title (keep it to between 50 and 65 characters; have a keyword at the first part of the title tag, and the brand name at the end; title tags should be descriptive of the page's content) and description (145 to 165 characters; put targeted keywords in the description; this is the "blurb" that will pull up on a search engine result page).

Search engines pretty much ignore the meta keyword tag these days, so don't spend much time, if any, on those.

Make sure you use headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3) as appropriate on all pages.

Make sure each page has good content and keywords on each page. The search spiders will pull keywords from the page. But make sure that you use the keywords in an organic manner in the context of the page. Spiders are set to ignore the old "keyword stuffing" of days gone by where you would create a paragraph of nothing but keywords and then set the text color to the page background color so visitors wouldn't see it, but spiders would. (That was also a horrible thing to do from an accessibility standpoint as a screen reader would find that and read it out).

Speaking of accessibility, make sure that your site is coded for accessibility. That includes alt text for all images, correct headings/subheadings, etc.

Don't overload your pages. You want a fast load time. It is better to have several smaller pages than one huge page, especially if you have big images or a video file on the site.

Create an XML sitemap for your site.

Use Google Search Console as a tool to evaluate your site. Use it to see what keywords your visitors are using to find you and fine tune your pages to include that information.

Get links to your site on respected sites. If your town has a chamber of commerce, make sure your site is listed/linked on there. The more links that come to your site from trusted sites (domain authority), the better.

Two really good tools (both cost money) are Moz Open Site Explorer and Screaming Frog. They let you evaluate your meta data tags, inbound links, outbound links, etc.


SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
365760 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
i have a somewhat related question. what is the best platform for web design for mobile speed?

i can get my desktop page to a 90+ score on Page Insights, but mobile isn't close. and i run GPI on other sites and it's similar outside of a few randos. it looks like the randos are all html5 and not WP so is it even possible for a WP page?


tigerpawl
LSU Fan
Can't get there from here.
Member since Dec 2003
14121 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

Get links to your site on respected sites.
This is extremely important but hard to accomplish. Getting marquis websites to link back to your website (inbound links) is easier said than done. For example, if you had someone that worked for the ADA and somehow managed to get them to link back to you, that would be awesome. Ditto for someone in the financial world getting the Wall Street Journal to link back to their site. If you ever get mentioned in a well respected publication, make sure they use “anchored text” in the article.

Google, to a large extent, judges you by the company you keep.


PJinAtl
Auburn Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2007
9682 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

i have a somewhat related question. what is the best platform for web design for mobile speed?
I'm maybe not the best person to ask that question, as I don't have any experience in developing sites in WP.

My current work site is a Drupal site, and my personal pages are CSS/HTML5.

I know that Drupal has a setting in the performance section of the configuration that allows you to aggregate and compress css files, and aggregate javascript files. I believe this is Drupal's term for minifying those items.

I would assume there is a way to minify those items in WP as well - which makes them load faster.

I would also make sure images are optimized, and make sure you are running a close to current (if not the most recent) release of WP. Newer versions are probably more fine-tuned to be mobile friendly.


SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
365760 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
backlinks are a huge racket and i imagine it's the next frontier in fake media (as a way to generate revenue in addition to ads)

i think it's very possible that it is already a "behind the curtain" revenue stream. if not the media is stupid

i've actually thought, if my local news station hasn't thought of it, of proposing an advertising arrangement where they write stories and link me.


PJinAtl
Auburn Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2007
9682 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
quote:

Google, to a large extent, judges you by the company you keep.
The same goes for outbound links from your site to other sites. Links to questionable sites can get your SERP score downgraded.

Another advantage of Moz/Screaming Frog is they can scan your site for bad outbound links. If you link to a page that is no longer there, you get scored down for it.



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Big_Sur
Auburn Fan
Member since Nov 2012
824 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
Been happening for years.


Here's a fun example: LINK -- notice that the only link within the article is keyword-rich anchor text on a completely unrelated topic.

How about this one: LINK -- "riding the bus" is a great link for LINK /, makes total sense in context.

Here's a good one! LINK linking to this, clearly the best resource on the web for stamp collecting and not spammy at all: LINK

Or here we have "Contact A Lawyer" anchor text that takes a user to, you guessed it, some law firm that paid either Erin or AL.com: LINK

Good one here...never thought there would be a link for "rhodium plating" in an article on JerkTech (whatever the hell that is), but clearly LINK is a site JerkTech readers NEED to know about: LINK



SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
365760 posts

re: Does SEO really work?
ah ok. i need to scan my local sites to see if they're doing this. it doesn't appear that they are


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