Everyone knows that selling your business online is the way to go these days, but what many of us don’t quite understand is just how to grab the attention of the right people. In order to be seen by potential patients, creating a presence online is key.

When searching for anything, the easiest and fastest way to find options is obviously to jump online and do a quick Google search. Let’s say someone new to the area needs to find a new dentist. Easy, right? They type in “local dentists” and hit enter. In response they are faced with hundreds of results. This is where you want a presence. And you don’t want to be 74th of 150 results. You want to be at the top. This is your ranking.

Think of online marketing like climbing a ladder to the top of a building where the audience awaits. If you climb only the first few rungs, they probably won’t even notice you’re there (unless they’re specifically searching for you). Climbing to the top is the way to be visible and get attention. Getting, and keeping, this attention is the point of optimizing your online presence.

There are different ways to establish your practice online and increase your ranking – one is free and the other is not. The goal of both is the same but the way they’re different is in how that goal is achieved. One requires more time and effort and the other requires money.

Go Organic

Patients want to know that your reputation is respected. There’s no better way to confidently choose a new dentist than to be referred to them by another happy patient. In the past, word of mouth was the way this was accomplished but nowadays Organic Placement is the new word of mouth!

Organic search results appear below paid ads but are more reliable and valued. Because organic ranking is earned, and free, and is based off of content and quality, there’s no question that your views will be meaningful and will attract the right people. Going organic definitely takes time and effort, but the results are worth the wait.

Pay Your Way

Also known as “pay-per-click” (PPC) advertising, Paid Placement offers instant results. When search results are returned, PPC ads appear at the top of the page in a highlighted box. Since you’re paying for it, the search engine doesn’t pay attention to the content or validity of the information displayed on the webpage, all it sees it that every time someone clicks on your link, it makes money. Even though paying per click isn’t earned and isn’t nearly as trusted as Organic Placement, it is a helpful way to get views if you’re new online.

However you choose to establish a presence online, don’t forget that the content of your website is like meeting and greeting possible patients for the first time. Keep your site updated and full of popular topics. If your site appears stale and neglected, it’s likely that visitors will click elsewhere.