Video (Part 3): SEO & Social Media Marketing with Ali Husayni & Rita Zamora
In a video published Jan. 21, 2013, Bonnie Hixson, owner and executive editor of Progressive Dentist Magazine, interviews CEO, Ali Husayni and Rita Zamora, social media marketing expert, regarding various online “real estate” as well as how SEO and social media compliment each other.
Bonnie Hixon: Hi, this is Bonnie Hixon. I’m here again with Ali Husayni of Sinai Marketing and Rita Zamora from Rita Zamora Connections.
Ali Husayni: Hi, and good morning Bonnie.
Rita Zamora: Hello.
Hixon: We are kind of continuing an ongoing conversation. Rita, you’ve often talked about the benefit of having multiple pieces of online real estate.
Continuing on that, Ali, what are the benefits to your SEO efforts of having various online properties or profiles?
Husayni: Very good question. There are two benefits that I can think of right off the bat. One is when you have multiple online profiles, you increase your chance of getting ranked on the first rage of Google for more than one listing, which is what Rita is referring to with multiple real estates. Also, if you have multiple accounts such as multiple websites, blogs or Facebook pages and link from these accounts to your website, you can increase the popularity of your main website and push it up further on Google’s search results.
Hixson: Great! Well, another angle on that is something we have also talked about before, which is that there are a lot of different practices or businesses that think they are getting online benefit from their posts that link from their Facebook page to their Google+ page but, they aren’t linking to their website.
Husayni: As a general rule, linking to your website will help increase your rank on Google search results. So if you have other real estates on the Internet and from those real estates you link to your website, you will help your rank go up. That’s one important factor with Google algorithm. However, links from places like Facebook and Twitter-when they are pointing to your website- don’t have that value. This is because these companies put a code on the link that goes to your website called a “no follow code.” And when Google algorithm sees those links it automatically negates the value of those links to your website. So, with the exception of Facebook and Twitter, you should always link your other profile or blog posts to your website. The other benefit of having links from your posts to your website is that your are actually directing your audience from these platforms to your main website, which has all of your materials, information, articles and other content. Your website is designed to turn prospects and visitors into actual clients that will call you.
Hixson: Ok. Great!
Rita, there was something else that we discussed previously that I think ties in nicely with this, which is, what’s the best way (going back to the Facebook piece of real estate) for a small business to increase their “likes” organically?
Zamora: Yeah, organically is the keyword. And really, the best technique is to ask people and talk with them. For example, if it’s at a dental practice, ask the patient as they’re leaving “how did we do today” and when they say “Everything was great. We love you guys” it’s a great opportunity to say that we have a Facebook page and it would really make our doctor’s/hygienist’s day if you left a comment for him or her there. By doing this you can increase your likes, comments and feedback, which is really valuable for others to see on a Facebook page.
Hixson: In addition to the Facebook pages and all of the other pieces of real estate we have discussed, there’s a lot happening. Rita, you were pretty excited about some of the things that were going on with Google+ and we were really interested in how all of these connected platforms enhance- not only the relationships with patients and other practices in the community- but your overall SEO initiative.
Ali, what about the new developments with Google+ and all of the changes at Google?
Husayni: Ok, that’s a very complicated question. And I cheated a little bit by having the question earlier and drawing the website titles here (points to dry erase board) on the board so I can explain that to you guys. Basically, the rankings of a website depend on a few things. (Referring to the writing on the board) I’m basically combining the different aspects of the marketing and the Internet, which all relate to your rankings. First of all, you have your website. And the website has to be properly optimized, have popularity and good content. We have talked extensively about this on our website. (About how to optimize a website and get it ranked.) It’s also now connected to Google+ accounts that you have. And if you have a Google+ account we can connect it to your site, which in turn gives you an authorship image. Basically, what that means is Google recognizes who the author of a website is. When you search on Google for particular keywords, sometimes you see some of the listings have a little picture of the author next to it, which says by such in such person, in so many circles.
Have you guys noticed that before?
Husayni: So when you click on that link to the person’s name, that actually takes you right to the Google+ account. This helps with what we call click-through rate. When you have a little picture image of the person next to the listing, you are more likely to click on that link. So that’s where the authorship image comes from. We are able to connect the Google+ account to your site- it’s a little technical, but doable. It only takes a couple of hours and within a couple of weeks Google picks it up and you see you’ll start to see your picture come up next to your website listing on the search results.
On the other hand, we have business profiles or what’s now called a Google places account. Google places is also connected to your website and helps rank it on the local results. For example, you’re a local dentist, cosmetic dentist, orthodontist or even a lawyer. If you’re connecting your Google+ account- Google profile- first of all, you have to know how to create one and properly optimize it. I have some videos on our website that explain that. When you create it properly and put your website address there, Google automatically links that to your website. And then if someone searches locally- say in San Francisco- and you search for a cosmetic dentist. You don’t even have to say San Francisco in your search query. Google recognizes your location from your IP address and it pulls up the businesses that are listed, have a Google profile account, are properly optimized (proper content and proper SEO) it ranks them on the first page, toward the top.
So, these four items are very much now related and connected. And the social media part of it is Google+. Google is really pushing hard to compete with Facebook.
Hixson: Ok. So I guess the matter of having a lot of brand new likes on a Facebook page. This is something that just came up just this week. Where, based on different things that some of our study group members are participating in, we’ve had some practices come in and within an hour they’ve had hundreds of new likes their Facebook page.
So Rita, lets start with you. In a situation where someone suddenly has a huge increase in a number of likes on a Facebook page, what does that say to you and others in their community? And what’s you perception of that as a negative or a positive?
Zamora: Well, I think first of all we can look to see what Facebook thinks about it. In the past and most recently, they took steps to remove a bunch of the fake likes of celebrities, bands and other well-known people on Facebook. They had accumulated a lot of fake likes. Facebook definitely, they’ve got to have something in place- I would think- that flags that. When you’ve got 500 likes that come in within 20 minutes, it flags our attention so, surely they’ve got some systems in place to be able to flag that. Potentially that could mean your Facebook page account gets removed or you could be banned from Facebook. You just really want to focus on organic growth moving forward.
Hixson: That’s great advice.
And Ali, what is your perception of that same topic? In that explosion of growth and how Google might see that and react?
Husayni: Unfortunately, Google does not have access to Facebook pages. And Facebook has not given Google the green light to index or read the pages. So, for Google, it has no effect if you spam and get 1,000 likes within a few minutes. But a similar thing could happen with Google+. Because Google+ puts all of the attention on there. And I’m sure there are similar situations with Google+ where you can pay someone, and all of the sudden you’re listed in hundreds of circles, which is similar to the likes. So that, in effect, could negatively affect your rankings. I don’t know whether Google has yet developed any filtering system to recognize that. They are always a step behind the spammers since spammers are usually quick in exploiting situations like that. But eventually Google will catch up and people who practice that kind of behavior will get penalized. And I agree with Rita. Everything you do with Google+ or your ranking should be organic.
Hixson: I think most people are aware that organic and natural growth of these communities is the best way to go. It’s an evolving type of technology so we’ll see a lot more of this and the spamming I’m sure. But it’s nice to have the two of you as experts to help guide us through what may or may not be happening and what the results could be.
Rita, I have one other question for you. As dental practices or businesses are interacting with their patients and clients, is it better when you’re asking patients for reviews or comments; to have them comment on the business’ page or their own page to expand the circle of influence or audience?
Zamora: I wouldn’t say one is necessarily better than the other. They’re just different. And I don’t know off the top of my head what would be a casual way to introduce to someone and say “Hey, if you liked your visit with us today would you share about it all on your Facebook page, with all of your Facebook network?” I’m sure if you had the right wording you could introduce that in a fun way, but you’re not going to be able to verify that they’ve actually done that so you’ll have to take their word for it. They’ll say, “Yeah, we’re going to share you with all our network.” Unless you’re in their network, you’re not going to know that they did that. The other thing I like about having people post comments on the Facebook page itself is for one, you’re still going to get people who will see that. I’ve had an ortho client who had a movie night that they hosted and the parent posted on there “That was a great movie night. We loved it.” Another one of the parents in her network saw that conversation and started participating in it and there were a couple people there that weren’t even patients that were participating in this conversation. And it’s a lasting conversation. It’s a lasting impression that stays there on the practice wall. So, suddenly you’re able to show everyone this conversation when they come visit your page later on. I personally prefer the comments on the page and that interaction on the page. But certainly anytime anyone is willing to do it in their personal network, that’s big bonus points, too.
Hixson: Ok. That’s great. Well, thanks to you both for sharing your expertise with us again and giving us insights on how the whole SEO and social media initiatives tie together in effective online profiles.
Ali, Rita, nice to have you with us today and we look forward to connecting again.
Husayni: Thank you very much Bonnie and Rita. And I really enjoyed Rita’s suggestion about how to get organic likes on your Facebook page. I really appreciated that.
Zamora: Thank you. And thank you, Ali. We learned a lot and we continue to learn more from you so, thanks.
Hixson: Thanks to you both.