For a couple years now, dentists have been hearing about the importance of social media, namely – Google+. And that’s a good thing! After all, Google+ is slowly becoming the foundational platform that all Google products (mail, maps, search) will eventually be based on. To break it down even further for dentists, here is how Google+ can help your practice’s online marketing efforts:
- There seems to be a definite link between your Google+ activity and your website’s place in a Google search. If you have an inaccurate Google+ page or even worse, none at all, your online marketing efforts can and will suffer.
- You need a Google+ page to take advantage of Google’s Authorship benefits. Google Authorship not only gives you the title of “dental expert” in any piece of online communication in a Google search, but it also gives your content (namely blog posts) priority over any other dental content in your market that doesn’t have authorship. Don’t know if you have Google Authorship? Your photo should appear next to your blog posts in a Google search.
- Your Google+ activity makes a difference if you want more patients searching for a dentist from their smart phones. This is a big one! Mobile traffic has been steadily increasing across all industries at about 3.5% per month and the number of local searches quadrupled in 2012 alone. Bottom line – dentists should do everything they can to make sure their practice website shows up in a mobile search for a dentist in their area.
But, many dentists are still slower to adopt Google+ than social networks like Facebook or Twitter. We get it, despite its known importance to Google; it doesn’t get the “buzz” that Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest have. After all, time spent on Google+ in March of 2013 was an average of 6 minutes, 47 seconds, compared to the 6 hours and 44 minutes spent on Facebook in the same month. But ignoring Google+ is just a flat-out bad idea for any dentist who wants to leverage Google to help them book more patients online. Here are some statistics to help convince you:
Stat 1 – 23% of Generation X visits Google+ at least once a month. 28% of Generation Y visits Google+ at least once a month. – Forrester Research, 2014
Why are these generations specifically significant to a dentist? Simple – it’s exactly who they want to treat. Generation X is that group of people born from 1966 to 1976 (now aged 38 to 48) who are in the time of their life when they have the disposable money to correct their smiles with veneers, implants or even full service cosmetic dentistry. The oldest of Generation Y, also known as millenials, were born in the early 1980’s (now in their early 30’s) and are just now starting to have children who will need specialty dental services like braces or emergency dentistry for accidentally knocked out teeth. So what does this mean for a dentist? Nearly a quarter of these generations are using Google+ on a regular basis and we suspect that percentage will only increase. They use Google+ and they expect you to be there too.
Stat 2 – Google+ had 300 million registered users in October 2013, up from 190 million in May 2013.– Google, 2013
This stat speaks for itself. Not matter the perception, the fact is, Google+ is growing. This is good news for dentists, because the more people in your community that use Google+, the more opportunities you have to connect with new potential patients on the platform.
1.5 billion photos are added to Google every week, many of them shared on Google+ – Google, 2013
Now that’s a lot of photos. What this statistic tells us is that people aren’t just logging on to Google+ and “looking” at content, but they’re interacting and making it a community all their own. Over time, they’ create communities (or circles as Google calls them) and begin to spend even more time there.
70% of business brands have a presence on Google+ – Social Media Today, 2013
Google+ is catching on in just about every single industry, including dentistry. While bandwagon marketing has never been our “thing,” we certainly think being an active participant on Google+ gives you a leg up over your competition when it comes to connecting with patients and potential patients and boosting your website over theirs in a Google search.
Google+ is just one piece of the social media puzzle. If you want to get your practice active on social media, contact our marketing team today to find out how we can help.