In a video published Dec. 4, 2012, Bonnie Hixson, owner and executive editor of Progressive Dentist Magazine, interviews Ali Husayni, owner and CEO of Sinai Marketing Inc. (Mastergoogle.com) and Rita Zamora, social media marketing expert, regarding the most common questions in these two important fields.
Hixson: For someone who is just getting started on a new strategy, say going in to the New Year, what’s the first step they should take to ensure what they are doing in terms of SEO is effective?
Husayni: My first advice for a practice is to find an expert in the field of search engines whose specialty is Google, since it receives 75 percent of the U.S. search market compared to Bing and Yahoo!, which get 11 or 13 percent. Then, if you are developing your own team of SEO writers and SEO optimizers, the SEO expert can help you train your team and develop a strategy that will help you succeed within a few months.
Hixson: Thank you. And Rita, how about you? What’s their first step in making conscious decisions on managing social media?
Zamora: First of all, becoming informed. Then deciding how they will manage it over the long term and knowing that they don’t have to manage multiple platforms if they don’t want to. If they really get to know Google+ and they love Google+, then stay with that platform and get familiar with all the opportunities there are to experience with them. Forget about Twitter and Pinterest. Do what you enjoy; that’s where you’re going to get the best benefit. Just know that you don’t have to set up a platform on every social media community option that is available. Just inform yourself and start off one community at a time and as you master your skills in those communities, you can always add on additional social media tools as you go.
Hixson: So, more focused effort from one platform at a time so that over time, as you integrate with different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, it will be more effective.
Zamora: Yes. And make sure that at least one person in your office is really intimate with those communities. Even if you just have someone co-managing those efforts, you still have someone internally who is a big part of that, which is really huge.
Hixson: The last thing I would like to address- that I think you both have a great perspective on from two positions within the industry- is content. I think most people would agree that content is king. As a publishing company and with our magazine, we need to stay relevant and make sure the content we produce, accept and relay is helpful and important.
How do you make recommendations on what type of content is appropriate for social media?
Zamora: I think it ultimately has to represent the practice’s brand. I like it when their content shows a little bit of their human side. Whenever a practice shows something that other people can relate to- whether it’s a doctor’s hobby, a volunteer effort or a community organization they support- it shows people things they might have in common with you, and that’s where you can benefit greatly from social media. At the end of the day it really has to represent the business’s core values or their brand. In other words, if they are really professional and conservative on their website, that’s fine. You don’t have to mirror that on social media. However, you don’t really want anything that goes against that grain and is too whimsical or silly. It’s good to have fun on social media platforms and be a real person, but at the end of the day it still has to represent your overall brand.
Hixson: Ok. Ali, in terms of SEO, how do they decide what type of content is relevant on their page and how do they connect their social media presence with their online presence?
Husayni: Websites normally serve the clients as the place to display the majority of your branding. Social media is the connection between the practice, patients and community, and a business should post to it regularly. The website is different. The website needs to be a place where information can be found; a place where people go to research the business, it’s expertise and examples of their work, etc. Google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates are putting more emphasis on keeping or engaging your site’s visitors. In other words, if your site is able to keep its visitors on it for longer periods of time it tends to rank better on the search engine, which is a brand new phenomenon. It’s important to not only keep original, organic text on your site, but to provide videos and images that are engaging and will keep your audience on your site for longer periods of time and further interest them in your business.
Zamora: Wow. This is good information. I’m thinking of a lot of questions I can ask Ali at our next video interview regarding the information he just shared.
Hixson: Absolutely. This is just a very basic starting point for opening his discussion on social media and SEO and how they play a role in building a strong online presence.
If you would each give everyone your contact information.
Zamora: You can find me on my website Ritazamora.com, on Google+ at Rita Zamora Connections, Google my name or find me on Facebook and Twitter under my name.
Husayni: Similar. My name is very unique, although the spelling is different. My website is Mastergoogle.com and I will be more than happy to answer the questions anyone may have.
Hixson: Great. And of course you can find us on theprodentist.com, Facebook or Google plus. We look forward to continuing this conversation soon.
Husayni: Thank you Bonnie.
Zamora: Thank you.