Most of what is written about social media for dentists fails to discuss the relationship between your social media presence and your dental website search engine optimization (SEO).
Google is constantly looking for ways to deliver the most relevant and useful content to its users. The quality, freshness, and uniqueness of the content will always be an important factor for rankings.
Just like word processing programs like Microsoft Word, Google is easily able to detect quality in regard to spelling and grammar. Those are quantitative metrics that Google certainly uses; however, they don’t tell the whole story about the quality of the content. Things like relevance, usefulness, and accuracy are somewhat more difficult for search engines like Google to determine without human input.
Aside from the relevancy signals like exact match phrases (e.g. someone searches for “dentist City” and results with “dentist City” in the Title or URL show up), Search Engines rely on internet users to build links to websites and share content using social media to determine the usefulness of the content.
The relationship between SEO & Social Media Optimization (SMO)
According to Wikipedia; Social Media Optimization (also known as SMO or social SEO) is the methodization of social media activity with the intent of attracting unique visitors to website content. SMO is one of many online methods of website optimization. One of the many other methods is search engine optimization or SEO.
With Google making a huge push into the Social Media arena with Google Plus (a/k/a Google+ or G+), we have confirmation of what we’ve assumed for some time: Social Media is becoming a more important factor for ranking well in Google. In addition to links from other websites to yours, Google is also looking at your social presence: Tweets, Facebook Likes, +1s, etc.
We’ve been anticipating and monitoring the growth of social media as a ranking factor for a while now. When Bullseye rolled out our Platinum Plus dental SEO package, we included a Twitter management program to help generate a social presence. We’ve since enhanced our packages and have been integrating more social media marketing into each of them.
How you can leverage social media without becoming consumed by it
If you’re looking to improve your social presence, a huge social media campaign isn’t necessary to yield benefits for your practice and reputation; just spending 5-10 minutes a couple of times a week to share insights, jokes, links to interesting online content, case studies, or experiences will go a long way for your reputation with both users and Google. Also keep in mind that if you don’t have time, one of your staff members (or even family) can also do this.
Finally, don’t forget to add social media share buttons to your website(s). Simply ask your staff, friends, and family to occasionally visit your site and Like, Retweet, Google +1, or share you on their social network of choice. These minor tasks will help Google confirm that your website is a truly relevant, accurate, and a useful resource for searchers.
If you already have a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account setup and are actively adding content to your blogs, there is an excellent way to semi-automate some of the process, give us a call or drop us an email, we’d be happy to share some strategies we’ve been implementing.