Today, the web is social and interactive. It’s not static like most websites tend to be. As such, a website can no longer act as its own island. We now need to consider integrating search, social media, content, blogging, and more; even with a dental and medical website.
The reason for this shift is largely due to changing buyer behavior. Today’s buyer (a.k.a. your current and prospective patients) wishes to consume information when they want and how they want and often-times without the involvement of contacting your office. And more importantly, they want to be educated and not “sold to.” As you will see from the chart on the next page, websites and new forms of inbound marketing content (such as Facebook pages, Twitter announcements, blogging and other social media) have become a considerable factor in the buying cycle. So let’s be honest: If you don’t make use of social media, the doctor down the street will.
Social media accomplishes some of the same tasks as SEO, helping to improve your practice’s rankings. But it does so by appealing to both humans and search engines. Social media is absolutely necessary for web-savvy dental practices. It’s a simple, free, and entertaining for your patients.
Google, in particular, has now begun to implement Social Signals into how it indexes and ranks social media into the equation. Search engines are now looking at Facebook mentions, tweets and other social media mentions in how it treats websites for purposes of indexing and ranking. In other words, all other things being equal, Google will lend more credibility to a site that is mentioned through Facebook and the like, than a site that isn’t.
Whenever you make a connection on a social platform, other individuals in your area take note. Your existing patients may share engaging content, drawing their friends and acquaintances in to your practice. Social media is complimentary advertising that doesn’t really feel like advertising, which makes it especially patient-friendly. At the same time, creating posts across certain social media platforms can help improve your website’s search engine rankings.