One of our physician clients told me about an SEO company that reached out and offered monthly SEO and Google Ads services: “The SEO company have been telling me that I MUST do monthly SEO and google ads in order to even have a presence on Google, which will be at least $800 per month.”
This is a myth. If you have a solid search-friendly website that is built to the best web standards, that alone guarantees that you will have a presence on Google. At some point within a couple of months after the launch of your website, Google will index your website and it will appear in search results. Google makes it clear that you don’t have to pay an SEO company in order to have a presence on Google.
If you are in a competitive area with lots of other doctors of your specialty around, it may require aggressive SEO and other marketing efforts to appear HIGHER in Google search results (in other words, to improve your search rankings). But with a good website, even if you don’t do ongoing SEO you will have a presence on Google – it’s just that you may not rank as highly in the search results as your competitors in a busy area. However, search rankings depend not only on your SEO but your overall marketing efforts. It’s important to remember that ranking highly on search engines requires a holistic approach and relies on many factors such as your reviews, the longevity of your practice, your marketing activities online and offline, social media marketing, and even your operational model. For example, if you are a dental practice that is open on weekends and if you optimize your website and online listings accordingly, you will show up in search for “dentist open on Saturday” higher than your competitors that aren’t open on weekends.
Don’t believe the myths that SEO companies sometimes tell you. You might need to pay for ongoing SEO if you want to rank higher, but you certainly don’t need to pay an SEO company if you just want to be on Google. All you need to be on Google is a solid search-friendly website.