3 tricks for using Google+ for dentist SEO better than your competition
Yes, there's a lot to remember for good SEO results, but using Google+ is not hard, especially when you see business increase!
Make your links Do Follow vs. No Follow
The thing that’s tough about being a dentist is you don’t just need to know about dentistry, you need to know everything about being a business owner as well. You’re forced into being Dr. Joe the H.R. Manager, Dr. Joe the I.T. guy, Dr. Joe the answer man, Dr. Joe the fax machine repairman, and on and on. All you want to be is Dr. Joe the dentist!
When it comes to Google+ (or any social media network), new users make mistakes, and I’m no exception. But here's something important for Google+ users to understand. “No Follow”in the code associated with your link means you are not garnering any SEO from your post. You want your link to be a “Do Follow”link. Hopefully you’re computer savvy enough to understand there is code working behind the Internet scene. It’s the puppeteer that makes the puppet move.
When you post something on Google+, you should not put your link in the text area. If you do, it will be a dead end, a “No Follow” link. When you post you need to click on the link icon and add your link there, separate from the text, and then share it. This will create the “Do Follow” link you desire.
If you want to check this to make sure you did it right, go to any link you’ve put in the text area and right click your mouse, and a drop down box will open. Click on the bottom option that says “Inspect Element.” This will bring up the code behind the link. If it says rel=”nofollow” at the beginning of the code, this is a “No Follow” link.
If you go to a link you have posted in the proper link box, not the text area, then right click on it. Then click on the “Inspect Element” box, and it will again give you the behind-the-scenes code. You will now see the rel=”nofollow” is missing from the code. This is a “Do Follow”link, the kind that gives you more SEO juice, and the one you want to have.
At Growth Hacker Central, we use BufferApp to schedule posts. I’ve noticed there’s no way to put links in the proper “link” area so they become “Do Follow” links on Google+. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to do things the old fashioned way. You will have to post your Google+ articles by hand if you use BufferApp. Maybe there’s something better than BufferApp out there. I’d love to hear what you use to schedule your posts, and whether or not it works with Google+. Contact me at Lisa@MassReferralSeminars.com.
Google is in the business of providing the highest quality content for its users. If they provide subpar content on the first few pages of search results, then users will consider changing to Bing or Yahoo. Therefore the days of marketers pumping out content packed with keywords are over. Users want quality content, and they could care less how many times a keyword is in the text.
Therefore, Google restructured how content would be ranked in terms of SEO. (Google Hummingbird is their new algorithm that was launched in late 2013.) Google Authorship is a way for you to provide great content, and for Google to recognize you as an authority in the dental arena, which improves your SEO efforts. (And you thought you just needed to keep up with new dental techniques!)
Another benefit to Google Authorship is that your picture will show up next to your “rich snippet” (the short blurb about you and your post that shows up in search results). Who do you think gets more traffic – the listing with a picture or the one without? The listing with a picture gets a lot more traffic,and that will lead to more and more “Likes,” “+1’s,” “Shares,” and “Follows.”
A few guidelines to remember:
1) Use a headshot for your profile picture on Google+ since that is the picture that will show up in the search results next to the rich snippet. Google wants to see recognizable headshots here, not pictures of your office or your office logo or your kids.
2) Connecting Google+ to your website is easiest when you have an email address with your domain name in it, such as firstname.lastname@example.org as opposed to email@example.com.
3) After signing in to your Google+ account, go to https://plus.google.com/authorship to sign up for Authorship. If you do not have an email address with your domain in it, there is another link you can click on to still sign up for Authorship, so don’t fret.
4) In the “About” section of your G+ account you can edit the “Links” area under the “Contributor To” subsection. This will also help establish Authorship for you.
5) Go to http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-plus-authorship/ if you are having trouble with Authorship. Your web guy can use this plugin to establish Authorship for you.
Getting more social network juice still drives SEO
If you’ve dug a hole and kept your head in the sand hoping social media will disappear, you finally have to pull your head out. It’s better late than never! Google uses social signals to decide how much of an authority you are on any given topic. At Growth Hacker Central, we talk a lot about the psychology behind how people make decisions. It’s called NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Our brains are all hardwired basically the same way. We’ve learned how to make shortcut decisions about products and services because we live in a society where we have too much to do and too little time. Google+ is no different. People or companies who get lots of “Likes,” “+1’s,” “Retweets,” and “Shares” will rank higher than those who do not. It’s just one of the factors that drives SEO. It’s not the only factor, but it is a factor, so it should not be ignored. (Remember, Google Authorship will help you get more traffic and more social signals as a result.)
The bottom line is you want to get more “Likes,” “Shares,” “+1’s,” and “Retweets.” I know you’re all tired of hearing it, but it’s true. If anything, it has become more important with Google’s algorithm changes. Also, you can use one tactic I like, and that is to ask for it. Statistics show you’ll get 216% more “+1’s” or “Likes” when you simply ask for them in your posts.
Other tactics include social media contests. In order to enter the contest you ask followers to “+1” you or “Share” your name as a hashtag. In the search bar of Google+ you can use the hashtag before any word or phrase to search across Google+ posts, and it will retrieve results. (Don’t put spaces between the words, for example #GrowthHackerCentral.) What does this do for you? Google will see it as a positive social signal if its webcrawlers find you in a bunch of posts.
Using Google+ “Do Follow” Links, Authorship, and social signals such as hashtags will keep your social media efforts fresh and relevant. It’s all about being better than your competitors. I hope these Google+ Tricks help you get a leg up.
Lisa Newhouse is a Growth Hacker (First woman GH in the dental profession) and cofounder of Growth Hacker Central. Growth Hacker Central is the leading provider of Dentist SEO, dental web marketing and growth hacker marketing for dentists. Lisa was a dental pharmaceutical sales professional for 15 years before transitioning into a Social Media Marketing expert for GHC and Practice Doctor Management.