Choosing Medical SEO vs. SMO: What Is Best for Your Practice?
With the world of digital medical marketing ever-changing, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest marketing tools, let alone know which are right for your medical practice. Should you be investing in Medical SEO, SMO, or both? Here's a quick guide to help you decide.
What Is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website for Google's search algorithm. With more than 3.5 billion searches conducted on Google each day, it's essential to make sure your website ranks high for relevant keywords so that potential patients will see your site when they search Google.
The goal of SEO is to improve the visibility of your website in Google's search results. In other words, when someone searches using a keyword related to your business, you want your website to appear as high up on their results list as possible. Several factors influence how your site ranks, including the quality of your website's content, the structure of your website, and the number of backlinks pointing to your website. The most common include:
1. On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization is the process of optimizing a website's individual pages to rank higher in Google's search results. Creating keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions and ensuring your website's content is high quality and relevant to what searchers are looking for are just two ways of optimizing your pages. For example, if you're a plastic surgeon, you want to make sure your website includes content about plastic surgery procedures, before and after photos, and testimonials from past patients.
2. Off-Page Optimization
Off-page optimization, on the other hand, is when sites other than yours point to your website. You can accomplish this through a high number of backlinks on other websites that point to your site. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in Google's search results. Backlinks essentially act like votes from other websites telling Google that your website is relevant and trustworthy.
The most common way to get high-quality backlinks is to create guest blog posts on other websites in your industry. For example, if you're a dentist, you could write a guest blog post for a website about dental health. In your guest blog post, you would include a link back to your website. This would be considered a high-quality backlink because it's coming from a relevant and trusted source.
3. Optimize Page Speed
4. Creating Mobile-Friendly Websites
Another critical factor in SEO is creating a mobile-friendly website. With more than 63% of searches conducted on mobile devices, it's essential that your website is easy to read and navigate on a smartphone or tablet. If it's not, you're likely to lose potential patients to your competitors who have mobile-friendly websites.
What Is SMO?
SMO, or Social Media Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website for social media. This includes things like creating shareable content, adding social sharing buttons to your website, and using all forms of social media to drive traffic to your website.
The goal of SMO is to improve the visibility of a website on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In other words, when someone searches on a social media platform for a keyword related to your business, you want your website to appear as high up on the list as possible. Some of the most common techniques include:
1. Creating Original Content
First, it's important to create original content that is shareable and relevant to your audience. This could be in the form of blog posts, infographics, images, or even videos. The goal is to create content that people will want to share with their social media followers.
For example, instead of writing a basic blog post about the top 10 plastic surgery procedures, you could create an infographic that outlines the benefits of each procedure. This would be more shareable and likely to generate traffic back to your website and potentially significantly increasing your site’s traffic.
2. Optimizing Content That Works For The Platform
It's also important to optimize your content for each social media platform. This means creating content that is specific to the platform you're using. For example, if you're sharing a blog post on Twitter, you want to make sure the title and meta description are optimized for Twitter's character limit. The same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. Each social media platform has its own unique algorithm, so it's important to create content that is optimized for each one.
3. Engaging With Customers
Unlike SEO, which is focused on optimizing your website for search engines, SMO is focused on interacting with potential and current patients. This interaction can take many forms, such as responding to comments and questions, sharing relevant content, and liking or following other users. The goal is to build relationships with potential and current patients, so they see you as a trusted source of information.
4. Paying Attention To Analytics
Finally, it's important to pay attention to social media analytics. They help you understand what's working and what's not. For example, if you see that a certain type of content is getting a lot of engagement, you can create more content like that in the future. Similarly, if you see that a certain social media platform is driving a lot of traffic to your website, you can focus more of your efforts on that platform.
SEO vs. SMO
Both SEO and SMO are critical for any business that wants to be visible online. However, they are two different strategies. SEO is about optimizing your website for search engines, while SMO focuses on interacting with potential and current patients on social media.
When it comes to digital marketing for your medical practice, it's important to choose the right strategy. If you want to focus on organic search results, then SEO is the way to go. If you want to build a social media following and increase brand awareness, SMO is the better option. But why not do both? Investing in both SEO and SMO creates a robust marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience – and convert them into patients.
If you need help getting started, contact Digital Authority today. Our team of medical marketing experts can help you create a customized marketing plan that fits your needs and budget.