I’ve been practicing orthodontics for over 35 years and have seen many changes in our field. But nothing I’ve experienced is like what’s happening in the online marketing industry. In one of my social media lectures I have a slide that says, “no one likes change… except a wet baby”. But in this arena, change is really the only constant.
There is a cat and mouse game underway between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts and Google. The game is to trick Google into rewarding our websites with high visibility by using a series of back-end programming techniques. It used to be that by investing your marketing dollars solely in SEO you would be way ahead of your competition. However, Google has recently changed the game with a recent update called Penguin.
The Penguin Google update was specifically developed to reward quality, unique content and designed to showcase sites with active user social participation (your patients on social media). At the same time it penalizes websites using “black hat” techniques such as “keyword stuffing” and overuse of back linking.
This change is a great thing for those who have happy and engaged patients. Now, it’s not about hiring someone that can help your website manipulate Google, but rather about activating your patients to talk about you online.
At the same time, it’s now crystal clear that SEO and social media are not two separate marketing approaches with separate budgets and separate campaigns. Progressive orthodontists realize that combining the two are essential if we are to successfully promote and grow our practices in this new era of social media.