Since it is not a direct part of your practice’s website, it’s assumed that your social media accounts don’t really impact your rankings in organic search. That is true…somewhat. While your practice’s Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts don’t directly affect your website’s rankings, they do play a big part in visibility and awareness, which in turn drives traffic to your practice site. Plus, don’t forget that social media pages also rank in regular search results on their own.
Here are a few ways your social media can help your search ranking.
More traffic = higher ranking
How much traffic hits a website is one of Google’s major ranking factors. Visitors to your social media sites can improve traffic to your site. This can happen when your social media posts are shared. For instance, if you’re a med spa and your practice’s Facebook page has a post about an upcoming special on Botox or microneedling, that post could be a very popular item to share within the networks of your patients’ social media feeds. 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
It’s easy to forget that social media sites, such as Facebook, are actually websites. As such, they rank on their own in search. Search engine results pages (SERPs) often place certain Facebook pages just under the boxed local packs (which are found in between paid search above and organic search results below). So, if your practice website doesn’t make it onto the first page of the SERP, maybe your Facebook for Business practice page will.
If you post interesting content to your practice Facebook page, this will give potential patients some insight into your practice. As with shared posts, there’s a good chance the person will then move on to your actual practice website.
Shares can expand who sees your content
With organic search, potential patients can only come across your website if they’re searching for a keyword or phrase that you rank highly for. There aren’t any, you could say, accidental discoveries.
Not so 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.
Search doesn’t only happen in Google, Bing, and company
For better or worse, many people use social media to conduct most of their search, as these platforms have robust search capability themselves. This is basically how people have been getting stuck in the proverbial rabbit hole of fake stories on Facebook. They never leave the site to find other outlets for information.
The potential damage to society in this is a discussion for another forum. For your practice, it can be a way for a potential patient to discover your practice through a social media search. 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.
Consistent NAP for local search
Since all search for specific medical practices is local search (no longer does a person searching for “dental implants” in Miami, Florida see results that include a Seattle dentist), having the correct and consistent name, address, and phone (NAP) is critical. We’ve discussed this in past blogs. Google looks at all of your listings across the web on health review sites, other listing pages, and your practice website, and it doesn’t like inconsistency. If one listing has Street and the other St. and another ST, Google gets confused. Same with something like Suite 23, #23, STE. 23.
Your social media feeds are included in this. Your NAP for your practice needs to be exactly the same as you have it elsewhere; this helps in organic 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 microneedling done here and it was…”
This can entice a visitor to click on the social media page link and then maybe move onto your practice website. It’s as if you ranked in organic search, but you did it by way of your social media pages.
YouTube videos can get lots of love from Google. For certain things, such as a new aesthetic treatment, a video link could be the first listing in organic search. If it doesn’t show here, it can still show up on the Videos bar below the initial SERP listings. At MyAdvice, we help our practices expand their use of video on their sites. This can be a way for a patient interested in a certain procedure to find your practice by seeing the link to a video you’ve done on the procedure.
Social media definitely plays a role in SEO, although technically it’s not a part of Google’s or Bing’s algorithms. 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 SEO plans.