What’s Wrong With Being #1 On Google?

Magnifying glass focused on the top block of a pyramid.

What’s the number one thing clients focus on once their website is up and running? I bet you know…

It’s rankings. Most people want to be the first practice listed when someone does a search on Google or Bing.

Tracking rankings can be addictive, especially if you’re near the top. But as SEO guru Neil Patel recently pointed out, this obsession can lead you astray. He regularly gets more than 2 million visits through organic traffic a month. (And his traffic has grown more than 140 percent over the previous year.) Want to guess how many keywords he tracks?


In fact, ranking as number one isn’t even part of his strategy.

Instead, he focuses on user experience, overall growth, and conversion rates. What a coincidence…so do we. In fact, getting new patient calls for our clients is our number one priority at MedPB.

Patients Aren’t Focused on Rankings

Consider how the patient sees the typical search results page:

  • It’s hard to tell which listings are organic and which are ads. They kind of blur together.
  • Some of the most obvious things on the page (like local listings) are often ads. In fact, there are less organic listings now than ever before. They’ve been replaced by…more ads.
  • Most patients searching for a practice find what they’re looking for at the top of the page–where the paid ads are.
  • Organic results have been pushed down significantly on the page.

So where are patients most likely to look? Here’s a heat map that gives you an idea.

Heat map shows how PPC Helps Rankings

Don’t get us wrong, SEO and organic traffic are still an important part of your strategy (after all, just consider the millions of visitors Neil gets through organic alone).

But rankings shift constantly and being number one doesn’t guarantee people will click on it.

In fact, more than half the time people are clicking on the second through tenth listings.

How often does the top-ranking pages get the most search traffic.

Because PPC dominates the search results and are the first thing patients see, it can really help drive new patients to your site. Plus, PPC ads can indirectly help improve your organic rankings as well (though there are no guarantees).

How PPC Can Get You More Patients

Kyle is a longtime SEO client. With a 500% increase in new patient calls as compared to before he worked with MedPB, he’s also a happy customer. But Kyle still had bandwidth for more patients. So on our monthly consultation call, we brainstormed ways he could push the envelope even further. PPC was an obvious choice, and with no long-term contracts on any of our services, there was no risk to Kyle to give it a try.

Google ads started working right away. Not only did Kyle see an 83% bump in traffic, he saw a 54% increase in new patient leads in the first few months. He also saw his rankings jump to the top 3 for all the keywords he was trying to rank for. More importantly, his business overall grew.

We’ve seen this with other clients too. Sandy, one of our clients in Florida, saw a 300% bump in new patient calls after starting PPC, not to mention a 400% increase in traffic to her site.

The bottom line?

A patient-focused approach works better than obsessively following the rankings.

Want more new patients?
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