Many small-business owners including dentists and physicians are under the false impression that everyone who visits their website sees the home page first. In fact, this is a potentially expensive misconception that could be costing you website traffic, and therefore new patients.
There are three ways that a visitor will come to any website:
When someone enters a search term in by method 1) above, the traffic will likely head to your home page as that is the default page that shows when someone types in your web address. A visit to www.shorthillsdesign.com will take you to the home page. In method 2), the insurance company's listing will likely bring a patient to your home page, but an AdWords ad will almost certainly not take a visitor to your home page, and should take a visitor to a landing page that is customized for the message of the AdWords ad. And lastly, with method 3) there's no telling where a visitor will end up, and that's what I want to discuss next.
When someone types in a search term such as "veneer dentist mytown", Google and other search engines look for the page that is most relevant to the search term. In this case, Google would pull a list of the pages that it believes "match" the search term "veneer dentist mytown", and it will display and rank the pages in the order of relevance. Thus, if you have a dedicated page about veneers, then it logically follows that your veneer page would rank better for this search term than a generic home page. And this is where most dentists miss out on visitor opportunities. The key when building your website is to make sure that you have an individual page for each and every service you perform. Remember, a single web page can only be about 1-2 subjects, so long gone are the days where we have a home page that lists the 10,000 options you offer your patients. The shift in the last few years has been toward dedicated, focused pages. This approach provides relevant content to Internet searchers, and allows search engines to "learn" what your page is truly about.
Many of our clients report an increase in search rankings and traffic from organic search once we've redeveloped their websites and the question is why. The answer is easy. If you and your competitors started out with a website that was not built to Google's webmaster standards, and then you relaunch your website and you follow Google's standards, then your pages will likely rank ahead of the competition's pages. If you have 5 competitors in your area, and now you are the only dentist with a "veneers" page, then of course your dedicated veneers page should rank ahead of your competitors generic "We offer crowns, root canals, implants, dentures, and veneers" page. However, your pages should be built to Google' standards because if they are not, then you simply cannot compete with those who follow Google's standards. For example, if all 10 of your competitors have dedicated "veneers" pages, then you need to have a "veneers" page, too, just to "break even" with the competition. And once you have a veneers page in place, then you can start to tweak your veneers page to hopefully be "better" than your competitors pages. But without a dedicated page, you are wasting your time (and possibly SEO dollars) trying to rank for that subject.
Coming full circle, one must appreciate that pages other than the home page provide a lot of traffic volume to your website. And while each of these individual pages alone won't outcompete your home page for traffic, when combined the traffic volume that these "extra" pages can bring in (along with their rankings) should not be ignored!