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Social media is not anyone’s darling these days. From spreading false conspiracy theories to fomenting political violence, this surely isn’t what was intended when Zuckerberg and others created these platforms.

In a way, social media’s role with businesses is probably actually closer to what the entire social media concept was intended to be. After all, business Facebook and Instagram pages allow clients to see a more casual side of your business. They allow clients and prospects to get to know you and your staff outside of the office. They allow you to tell them about new treatments you may offer. You can host caption contests, post favorite holiday recipes, even promote an upcoming open house.

It’s all casual fun, far from the anger and misinformation prone to personal social media feeds. Business social media pages are excellent vehicles for expanding your visibility and client loyalty.

But do they help you with search ranking? Client practices assume since their Facebook, Instagram, and maybe Twitter or Pinterest feeds aren’t actually part of their actual website that they don’t affect how the site performs in search rankings. That’s true in a literal sense, but these business social media pages do play a role in search.

Here are a few ways your social media affects your search ranking.

More visitors equal higher ranking

Obviously, the amount of traffic that hits a site tells Google how popular and authentic the site is. How does your social media presence affect your site traffic? Through sharing and, to a lesser degree, links on your social media pages back to your own website.

Let’s say you’re a dentist and you make a post about a special on in-office teeth whitening on your practice’s Facebook page. That post could be popular for your patients perusing your Facebook page to share with their friends. Many readers of those shared posts will visit your website to gauge if they want to take advantage of your special. That boosts your rankings in organic search.

Your social media profiles rank in search on their own

Although it’s easy to forget because they look so different from a typical website, social media pages are actually websites. As such, they rank on their own in search. That’s why sometimes you’ll see a Facebook page come up in search engine results pages (SERPs), often just under the local pack.

If you post interesting content to your business Facebook page, this will give potential clients some insight into your business. As with shared posts, there’s a good chance the person will then move on to your actual website.

Shares can expand who sees your content

With organic search, there aren’t any chance discoveries. Google delivers what it thinks are the most viable pages that answer the searcher’s query. That means your website can only be found by a potential client if it ranks for a keyword or long-tail query in search. No one can simply stumble across your business website.

That’s not necessarily the case with your social media. If someone shared your social media content, lots of people can be exposed to it that otherwise would not have searched directly for it. This is especially true if the person sharing the content has many followers or, best case, is a celebrity or influencer.

People search within their social media pages

 This aspect of social media is proving to be a problem for personal webpages and society. People stay within their social media pages and search. That’s because these social media feeds have robust search capability built into them. This is basically how people have been getting stuck in the proverbial rabbit hole of fake stories and bogus conspiracy theories on Facebook. They never leave the site to find other outlets for factual information.

That aspect needs cleaning up on the personal side of these feeds. But for businesses, search capability is a great way for a potential client to discover your business. Searches can be localized to your area or to another specific location. That’s why it is important to optimize your social media pages and content with keywords and procedure titles you want to be known for.

Reviews can help with search

When a social media site shows up in a SERP, it will also have the average rating and number of votes. Plus, it will often include a snippet from one review, such as “I recently had a dental implant from Dr. Brown, and I was thrilled with…”

This can entice a visitor to click on the social media page link and then maybe move on to your business website. It’s as if you ranked in organic search, but you did it by way of your social media pages.

Social media for your business is social media as it should be throughout

Now you can see that, although social media business pages don’t directly impact your website ranking, they still definitely play a role in search engine optimization. Social media helps with search by improving visibility and getting more people to potentially come in contact with your content. This drives traffic to your site, which does impact your search rankings. So, while it may seem like the place to let your practice’s hair down, so to speak, your social media pages also can play a part in your overall organic search ranking.

If you have questions about social media and your practice, either contact your MyAdvice representative and ask away, give us a call, or fill out a contact form.

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