More threads by ruslan.barabolkin

Feb 20, 2015
Reaction score

I am working with a dentist and as we were going over what I would be doing for him, he asked me, "Well with AdWords, I know EXACTLY the keywords that would get me on the first page of Google. What keywords can YOU guarantee me that will pull me up on the Local Pack, that is page one?"

Now I never guarantee page 1 and such and know the posts here that I saw about walking away, but that is my question now: IS there a way to exactly pinpoint what keywords WILL trigger a local result and that I truly CAN work towards those keywords so that I can say, "Here are the keywords we're going after: dentist, cosmetic dentist, family dentist, etc...and you shall see yourself in the local pack 6 months from now." That way I can show that those exact keywords pull the dentist up (i.e. "guarantee results") for him?

Since you have experience with dentists Linda, any words of advice?

Anyone else can shine a light on this please from experience?

Or do I simply choose the synonyms that Mike Blumenthal has that trigger GMB Categories?

Thank you all!
The quick answer is "no". For dentists, things like "dentist", "cosmetic dentist" or "dental clinic" almost always return packs but there are others that are hit-or-miss like "dental implants" or "invisalign" that sometimes do and sometimes don't.

You can't guarantee ad placement with AdWords either so it's kind of similar.

Thanks for the feedback.

What all do you present as your value proposition when they ask, "What will you get me in the local pack for?"
Hey Ruslan,

We always make it our goal to get them ranked for everything eventually but I never guarantee ranking and would never suggest anyone do that. What clients are paying for is our time and expertise. Ex: If anyone is going to get them ranked, it would be us. We can't predict what Google's going to do - what if they completely got rid of local packs? It's not like they ever announce when they're cutting 7-packs to 3-packs.

The biggest thing is to make sure the time we're spending on them is increasing their overall ROI by increasing phone calls & form submissions from their web traffic. If we're doing that, their money is well spent.

I steer away from focusing on 1 keyword - there are SO many keywords out there and Google made a fantastic point recently that 15% of searches are unique so it's important to target a wide variety!
Thanks Joy, great feedback!

Sorry Ruslan, meant to answer yesterday.

Back when I still worked with clients, that was back when 5 categories were allowed in the dashboard.

So I would ask for their top 5 keywords or services in order of importance.

So even though categories are different now I would still ask them NOT tell them.

Because they all want to rank for Dentist, and most cosmetic dentistry BUT some don't want the focus there, they want it on family or emergency dentistry. And some would not touch emergency or denture type keywords with a 10 foot pole.

So you can research the top Dental kws and show them the list of how popular each is, but then they need to come up with final list. Could be they are doing pretty well on everything but really want more Invisalign pts or whatever. So it's up to them to choose.

What I would normally do actually, because if you just ask them for a list it can be overwhelming OR they may give you KWs that aren't even good ones....

On my client data worksheet, I would say: "Based on your site, here are what I think your top 3 keywords should be, do you agree those are most important for your practice??? But then it looks like you also focus on laser, sedation and emergency Dentisty. Out of those 3 which 2 are most important for your practice?" That way you pick the best 3 based on their site and your KW research but give them a choice too. (Lead them, guide them, but don't decide everything for them.)

But then for each of those core 5 keywords there are 6 - 8 variations they could rank for. City KW. KW in City. KW near city. etc. etc. And you can tell them, you'll try to rank them for other KW combos as well, but those 5 will be the focus.

(FYI, in my training I give you my "Client Data Worksheet" which spells out all the KW stuff above and gives you a form to use to be sure all your bases are covered with each client. You flush EVERYTHING out in a Word doc. Leave nothing to chance. Then once you go in to edit the page you know exactly what needs to be added or changed - including all kinds of find details like having them doublecheck to be sure their map marker is in the right place, etc.)

Now one thing Joy touched on, especially in some of the smaller cities some of the niche keywords may not pull a pack. Totally varies so the only way to know is search for the variations above using that KW.

Hope that helps a little.
I completely agree with Joy in not guaranteeing terms for organic. They change SO much based on geography, device, connection and previous search context that you might as well go outside and start chasing squirrels (just as productive - I can see the Reddit .gifs already).

'Keyword value' is a line of thinking that is tough to combat; most of these SMBs have been 'sold' marketing plans related to KWs (at some point in time, so they think they're valuable). KW rankings are a good temperature-check, but incredibly inaccurate and if you're using them to judge the overall performance of your campaign: You're doing it wrong (to put it nicely)

It's important to know the high-level business objectives of your client, define the their KPIs and after that you can start to understand HOW your asset is being engaged with (what's important to the user), how to leverage it and what areas need focus; be it specific landing pages, technical problems, paid-ad bidding changes, medium focus-strategies, etc. (a much better place to be as an SEO).

From defining their KPIs you can identify what micro conversions (expected behavior) lead to that business' macro conversions (calling, newsletter sign-up, contact form, etc): Apply monetary value to those conversions, optimize to increase them and in a year's time... ask for more money, rinse-and-repeat.

Personally, I take questions like the one you cited as a question of MY value. To make questions of your value a non-issue start tinkering with Multi-Channel-Funnel reports in GA to counter KW-value questions (and start exploding minds):

  • MCF-AMS (across-multiple-screens) :: How do offline marketing initiatives affect your digital channels (and vice-versa) <-- scary stuff for SEOs; non-digital is the DEVIL!.
  • MCF-O2S (only-2-screens) :: How does the asset perform on mobile vs. desktop - what, if any, are the effects of one on the other? Do they add value to one another or detract?
  • MCF-ODC (only-digital-channels) :: How do your digital marketing channels add or subtract value from your overall business objectives?

Most of these SMBs are so far off of what actually matters (IMO) that if you can show them how 'bad' things are they will listen to you. If you can rank for a particular term, that's great, but what happens when you get that user to click-through(#moreimportant)? OR worse... what happens when Google tweaks their algo and you lose that ranking?

If you can do all that ^ you'll find less questions like 'what KWs am I ranking for' and more integers in your paychecks.

Sorry to vomit on this thread... :(
Disclaimer - Avinash Kaushik is my spirit-animal:
Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik - Digital Marketing and Analytics Blog

Hope this helps,
My answer will be a bit off topic... I don't know if that could help you with your negociation, but you could do a flat fee+ a bonus if the customer's website shows up more than 15 days a month on page 1 for the keywords he wants (a bonus per keyword).
That requires monitoring of the keywords but there are plenty of cheap solutions for that. So the flat fee is your actual "normal" price and then you have a chance for extra bonus if you can do magic :).
Thanks for the help Linda. That definitely helps. I guess my next question would is do I then take these keywords and use them as the sole focus for individual pages to rank them FOR those selected keywords?

Also, is your training updated with the latest updates and do you offer lifetime updates with it?

Also thank you heckler and patrice.
Thanks for the help Linda. That definitely helps. I guess my next question would is do I then take these keywords and use them as the sole focus for individual pages to rank them FOR those selected keywords?

Yes for the main ones or long tail variations that get a lot of searches too.

But one of the main things is each page needs to be SEO optimized as well.

Then those main pages for services like Cosmetic Dentistry and Teeth Whitening (or whatever that Dentist's focus is) need to be linked from the home page, so Google can see that based on the home page content and links to those page, those services are important.

Also, is your training updated with the latest updates and do you offer lifetime updates with it?

Yes updated.

Who's Lifetime??? Yours or mine??? ;) I have been adding updates as they happen and then give you ways to be instantly notified of all future updates. Google changes too much for anyone to promise lifetime updates. (I'd have to charge $10K for training that included that.) But for the foreseeable future, yes. :)
GMB categories almost always bring up pack results, even when adding in a geo-modifier.

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

LocalU Webinar

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom