As you probably know, SEO (search engine optimization) is an essential part of any good dental marketing plan. Over 90 percent of adults look for information on the internet. If you want people to find your dental practice, it needs to appear in those search results. As Google employees have stated repeatedly, social media is not a search ranking factor. So, what does search optimization have to do with Facebook? The answer is, more than you might think.
Three reasons to optimize your Facebook
- Content discovery and link building
While social media may not be a ranking factor, your backlink profile is. Unfortunately, Google does not consider all backlinks to be important. Posting a link to your website on Facebook will not directly help your SEO. However, it does help people discover your content, which is the first step to earning backlinks that do count.
For example, imagine you post a great video with tips for helping kids learn to brush properly. One of your patients then shares it to a parenting group on Facebook. A member of that group writes a blog post about the challenges of convincing kids to brush and includes a link to your video. That is an earned link, which is valuable in your backlink portfolio.
- Branded searches
When someone searches for your dental practice, you naturally want your website to appear at the top of the first page. However, it will not occupy every result on that page. What else will people see? That depends on how strong your digital presence is.
If your primary website is the only good result that Google finds, then the other spots may be occupied by informational sites, or even your competitors. However, if you have well optimized social media profiles and directory listings, then your practice can easily fill the first page of results.
- Searches on Facebook
When you think of search engines, you probably think Google, Bing, and maybe even Yahoo might also come to mind. As the world’s most popular social media network, Facebook is in an entirely different category. Social media marketing strategies generally focus on sharable content, engagement, and paid advertising – all of which are intended to get your content to appear in people’s newsfeeds. However, people are not limited to seeing what naturally appears in the newsfeed. They also use the search feature. With 1.5 billion daily searches, one could argue that Facebook itself is a powerful search engine.
Tips to improve your Facebook presence
How can you make your page and posts more discoverable, more searchable, and more successful? Here are a few of the simplest ways:
- Vanity URL – The URL to visit your page is https://www.facebook.com/username. A new Facebook business page is assigned an auto-generated username, which can create a long and difficult to read URL. When you visit the page (as an admin), you will see a link “create @ username” beneath the page title, which allows you to customize your username.
- Practice details – Make sure to fill in the description, contact information, and all the other details about your practice. The spelling and formatting of your practice name, address, and phone number should match what is on your website.
- Keywords – You will want to include keywords in the description of your practice and services, as well as in your posts. However, make sure the text flows naturally. Never add keywords at the expense of creating spammy looking content. Keyword stuffing is bad practice, whether the text is on your website or on social media.
- Page visibility – A common mistake is inadvertently leaving your page unpublished or restricting visibility. Make sure that your page and individual posts are viewable.
- Image captions and video descriptions – Social media loves visual content! Pictures, memes, and videos tend to get the most likes, shares, and best engagement. However, they are not easily searchable unless you add some descriptive text.
- Quality – Just like website optimization, high quality content gets better results. Know your target audience, post appealing content, and encourage engagement. Additionally, when someone uses Facebook’s search feature, popular posts are more likely to appear in the results.
Do not count on a single strategy. The best way to achieve Facebook success is with a multi-faceted approach. Strive to make your content sharable and grow your following as well as optimizing for searchability. Also include links to your Facebook page on your website, in email newsletters, and on other social sites.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren. You may also text 313-777-8494 to schedule a session at your convenience.