You’re probably used to being the expert in your practice. And you should. After all of those years of dental school and experience treating your patients, you ARE the expert! But for a dentist who wants to get a larger share of patients searching for a dentist online, it’s important to be the “expert” in that space too. How do you do that? With a simple photo and some behind the scenes website work.
As we discussed in the past, Google wants to, above all else, make sure the best, most relevant content is served to the people who search Google. One way that they’ve decided to do that is by offering what is called Google “Authorship” to anyone who posts content to a website. By providing this optional code to people who post content online, Google now has a way to decide which content is the highest quality and which authors provide the best content. How? Google Authorship is connected to the author’s Google+ page, so it can track how much interaction the article has had – ie: how many +1’s the article has received, how much it has been shared on social media sites and how many Google+ circles the author is in. Google assumes that the more the content is shared and commented on, the more value its users place on it. Additionally, Google Authorship verifies that content is being written by a live, actual person by placing the author’s photo next to each article that comes up in a Google search. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what it looks like:
The benefits of Google Authorship can apply to big-name, national journalists…to local fashion bloggers…to the neighborhood dentist posting clinical blogs to his or her website. So, why should you be concerned with having your headshot photo next to anything that your website publishes online? How does it help position you as an “expert” online? Here are the two important reasons why:
It builds credibility with your potential patients – It’s been this way for a long time and we don’t expect it to change any time soon…we’re visual people. We like photos. We like to “see” instead of “read.” Here are some of recent stats on that:
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than text information – Zabisco, 2012
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. – 3M Corp and Zabisco, 2012
If a potential patient Googles for dentistry services in your area and a few of the listings have photos next to them, they will more than likely click the links with photos first. Google Authorship gives your website and it’s listings an edge over your competitors who may not have this Google tool set up.
It helps your website build credibility with Google – While the “exact” methods of what Google considers will help SEO (ie – how high your website will rank in a search) remain completely speculative, we do know a few things. We know that Google values websites that provide high-quality content, on a consistent basis, that is “interacted” with (ie – shared on social media, commented on, etc.) By installing Google Authorship for your dental blog posts, you are telling Google that you want to be considered an “expert” in your field and would like to be “included” in that consideration. If your content is high-quality and relevant, you may start seeing it help your website’s ranking.
How to Set up Google Authorship
The first thing you need is a practice website that publishes a blog (with good content) and a Google+ page. Once you have those two important elements, go to plus.google.com/authorship and sign in with your Google email. Follow the instructions from there.
You can also include a short piece of code to your website to “install” Google Authorship markup. It looks like this: rel=”author”. If you go this route, make sure you include your name on all of the blog articles on your website. When you do this, your Google+ photo will appear next to one of your articles in a search listing, along with a short description of the article.
Our experienced dental marketing team is equipped to set up Google Authorship for your practice website, ensuring that you are the expert both inside your practice and online. Contact us today for more information.