SEO is the buzz word in dental marketing at the moment. It stands for search engine optimisation - the art of getting your website high in search engine listings.
But it is a complex subject surrounded by technical jargon and constantly changing "rules", which means there are also lots of mis-leading myths surrounding it.
So we're taking it upon ourselves to do some SEO myth-busting, in the hopes that this will help you to make informed decisions about what you do and don't need for your website.
Myth number 1 - the Google logo.
Everyone loves Google (except, perhaps, Bill Gates), and everyone recognises the logo. Which is probably what leads to the misconception that if Google is mentioned enough times by website developers or SEO experts, then they must be doing well and have some sort of affiliation with Google.
This is not the case. A Google logo on a website - ie the same logo as you see on Google's home page - doesn't necessarily mean anything at all. It can have quite simply been cut and pasted into the design.
What does count is a proper Google accreditation, but even then you have to read between the lines to establish exactly what the accreditation is, and if it has any impact on your specific needs.
Many of the Google accreditations are based around their paid-for services, and do not have anything to do with search engine optimisation skills.
For example, you can join the Google Advertising Professionals Programme. To earn this accreditation, you have to pass exams - and also build and maintain a minimum 90 day total client spend of $100,000.
The Apps re-seller programme is similar - you join to sell Google's Apps such as Google mail for business, Google calendar etc.
Other programmes focus on more technical skills, such as the Google Qualified Developer Programme, or the Google Analytics Programme - but again these do not imply specific SEO skills.
We're not putting down these programmes - they are worthwhile accreditations, carrying a certain amount of kudos.
What we are saying is that you need to be sure that the accreditation programmes are relevant to your needs. And that you shouldn't assume that a Google logo on a website or marketing material is significant - it may not mean anything other than an ability to cut and paste an image....