When it comes to effective online marketing for your dental practice, you shouldn’t really choose between the two. Search engine optimisation and social media work best when used together; if you really want the best results for your practice, they are not alternatives.
Why is this? SEO has changed. It is no longer just about links and keywords (whilst they do remain important), strong content and web design is also key. Additionally, mobile marketing is crucial to ensure that you attract the increasing number of patients who are forever on the move. Patients will no longer tolerate poor looking designs which are keyword stuffed- and nor will Google.
Social media plays a key role in winning patient trust and recommendations, which is a strong contributor to gaining new patients and drip feeding your current patients with information so that they always return. Furthermore, if you have feeds on your website, they provide fresh content with every update, something that Google will reward you for with high rankings.
Google+ is deemed as a mixture of both worlds, whilst it cannot compete with the might of Facebook, it is suggested as an important influencer to search rankings. So if you are only going to use one social network- use Google+.
To conclude, social media and seo, when used correctly, work hand in hand to provide you with the best opportunity to market your practice and gain the most from both new and existing patients. So really, shouldn’t we just call it SEM? (Search Engine Marketing)