What is SEO and SMO

The worlds of Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization as they pertain to the Dental Industry:

The worlds of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) are converging. We’re at a critical point where performing well in search and social media go hand in hand — the online survival of your dental practices local seo and online reputation requires a critical understanding of both. Here we are going to provide a fundamental understanding of SEO and SMO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Background

Search engines play an integral role in our online world.

For most of today’s Dental Practices, organic search is most likely the first or second most important source of traffic. Some experts say that up to 64% of web traffic comes from organic search.

A search engine is a service that returns a list of sites relevant to a users search query. It  ranks and prioritize those sites in order of importance, to identify which sites are the most relevant.

The search industry started with sites like Altavista and Ask Jeeves, until Google blew everyone out of the water. As it stands, Google is still the most popular search engine, followed by Bing, Yahoo, Ask, AOL and a few others.Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.01.20 PM

The key to effective SEO is relevant, reliable content.

The changes may seem too small to matter – tweaking the title, rewriting a paragraph or adding accurate meta descriptions – however, these small changes will go a big way. You need to look at the page content, the links you’ve included and your overall site architecture.

You also need to consider your use of social media and how often you update your content.

Google has made available a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.


SMO (Social Media Optimization) Background

You’re practice’s online reputation depends on using social wisely.  Social media gives dentists additional platforms to interact with their audience, allowing them to connect faster than ever before. SMO can help you strengthen your brand and boost visibility, as well as generate leads. Optimizing your social media builds both familiarity with and trust for your business, because your potential patients will see you not only mentioned, but recommended by others.

Google quietly launched a major overhaul of their search algorithm this last month called Hummingbird. The new algorithm changes the way Google interprets search terms—and changes the weight of some factors that drive search rankings. So social shares are more important in calculating rankings now, and they’re apt to contribute even more in the near future.

The Hummingbird algorithm values quality content that is relevant, authoritative, and shareable. So the more your content has been shared across social media, the higher its perceived quality—and the better you’ll rank on Google.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 10.28.53 AMYou should also engage with your audience. Social media is a two-way street. You can do other things to increase your content’s sharability, but ultimately you need to provide value to the community and be tuned into your industry — you need to have a voice. Consumers expect to be heard by the brands and people they care about, and social media is the best way for you to listen.


Taken as a whole these elements work together to give your site the right balance – and the right search engine results.

We will continue to provide more information on SEO and SMO in the communing weeks so please check back or view the newer blog posts for more advanced SEO and SMO information.

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