Did you know that the average person spends 2–4 hours per day on one or more social networks? Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and various other social media websites are more and more becoming standard facets of our lives, and not just for talking to friends and family. These social networks also act as sources of information, where people can follow their favorite businesses or follow informational links shared by other users inside their network. Social media can be used as a tool to promote your high-quality content, to directly communicate to patients the informational value of your website, and to persuade them that you are a dentist whom they can trust.
Content is King, but the King Needs a Horse
Search engines, which drive traffic to your website, prize high-quality content. The quality of content is defined by a number of metrics, which include:
- Uniqueness: How unique your content is goes beyond plagiarism and into the realm of “themes” or “subjects.” Unique content isn’t just worded differently, it offers readers information they can’t find anywhere else.
- Length: Longer is not necessarily better, but short content tends to incompletely address the readers’ concern. Quality content offers comprehensive information on what the reader is searching for. The “perfect” length is a function of the topic being discussed and your audience.
- Grammatical Correctness: Quality content is written well and should be free of punctuation errors, spelling errors, and other grammar mistakes that might detract from the legitimacy of the information being conveyed.
- Media and Formatting: How the information is presented matters a lot. Any writing should look good — it needs to be attractive enough to persuade the reader to stay on that page and read what you have to say. Not only does this mean the formatting has to be just right, it also invites the use of images, videos, and infographics to draw the readers’ attention and to keep them on your website.
To know whether your content is of high quality, ask yourself these questions: will readers share it? Will they quote it? Will they talk and think about it? If your answer to these questions is ‘yes,’ then you are on good footing.
But, high quality content is useless unless readers knows it exists. On some level, content markets itself. After all, that’s the idea behind having a website organically ranked on search engines — to get what us SEOs call “organic traffic.” Your ranking, however, is determined by factors other than just content length and grammatical correctness.
Other proxy variables that tell search engines that your website is one worth pointing searchers to include traffic flow, how long that traffic stays on your website on average (“session length”), whether users are engaging your website or leaving as soon as they land on it (“bounce rate”), and other similar variables. Essentially, they use these factors to judge whether actual readers found your content to be valuable.
Where do you get these readers from? If you’re a dentist, you should already have a network of interested people looking for information on the treatments you offer: your patients! Chances are, most of your patients are on one or more social media platforms. If you let them know that your practice is also connected on Facebook, Google+, or whatever other platform, they will most likely be more than willing to add you to their network. You can use this network to promote your content by linking to it. From there, your patients can comment, share (or re-tweet, or re-pin), and like (or +1 , or favorite).
When your readers interact with your content, whether they do so on your website or through social media, you should reciprocate. Show them that you care: answer questions, address concerns, and respond back to those who took the time to communicate with you. Not only is this good for relationship-building, a crucial aspect of any service-oriented business, but it also gives your patients a reason to continue engaging with your content and, consequently, with your practice.
Put Your Online Presence in Expert Hands
At Now Media Group, our team of expert writers specializes and excels in the creation of high-value content. We also understand that high-value writing doesn’t end with a period, but with continual interaction with your patients. Not only do we write articles and blog posts, but we also go that extra mile in promoting them to your patients. If you would like to learn more about how Now Media Group’s comprehensive marketing strategy can help you and your practice, give us a call today: 858-240-4544.
Addendum: Here is a comparison of the average percentage of referrals received via social media and that received through organic search. The data was compiled by Shareaholic and published by Buzzfeed. It illustrates the power that social media has to drive prospective patients to your website.