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    Make Your Lab More Visible Online [VIDEO]

    Naomi Cooper explains how search engine optimization (SEO) can take your online presence to the next level.

    Online Marketing. Search Engine Optimization. Social Media. These buzzwords have taken over the dental marketing landscape over the course of the past few years.

    The Internet has forever changed the game for lab owners, presenting an entirely new realm of opportunities to connect with clients.

    Many dentists likely turn to the Internet when looking for a lab, and you want them to find yours. This is where Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, comes in.

    What is SEO?

    SEO is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engine results. The higher your website ranks (or appears) in the list of search results for specific keywords, the more people will theoretically click through to learn more.

    Online marketing experts across the globe continue to debate the best methods to improve website rankings. And the search engines themselves work to stay one step ahead of the marketers; Google changes their algorithm on a regular basis, making it difficult for a SEO expert, let alone a lab owner, to stay on top of the latest strategies. However there are some tried-and-true, low-cost yet highly effective methods that you can employ to dial up your online engagement and organic search engine visibility.

    CHECK OUT THIS SEO CRASH COURSE:

    The name of the game in SEO is engagement. Google prefers fresh, relevant content produced in an authentic, ongoing and consistent matter. You can accomplish this in a host of creative ways, starting with social media.

    Social media should no longer be regarded as a passing trend; because the most popular sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, are now incorporated into the Google algorithm, they have become essential in helping lab owners increase their online reach.

    Social media profiles

    Social media plays a dominant role in online engagement, most notably in two specific ways. First, it provides you with the possibility to interact with clients on a frequent, even daily, basis. Building and maintaining an active Google+ and/or Twitter profile and a Facebook business page for the dental lab gives you countless opportunities to regularly engage with clients.

    Secondly, a lab needs an SEO strategy for its social media as well as its website. Activity on social networks like Facebook or Google+, can help improve your SEO and online visibility, but there is a catch—not all social media activity carries the same weight.

    Simply “liking” posts and pictures and making comments are good for staying connected, but it is the more engaging activities, such as posting fresh, original content on a regular basis, sharing industry-related articles, posting a link to a blog and having influential clients “like” and “check-in” at the lab that will truly work to help improve your social media presence and will also serve to promote your SEO agenda.

    Blogs, YouTube and video

    Blogs and online video also play an integral role in increasing your online presence and digital footprint. Not only are videos increasingly appealing to Internet users, but YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine. Plus, blogs and video play perfectly into Google’s preference for rich media and timely, relevant content; remember, Google also owns both Blogger.com and YouTube.

    This makes it no coincidence that in a recent refresh, Google announced the increasing importance of “fresh content” and video in its SEO algorithm. As a result, having an onsite blog and posting interesting, relevant videos on your website, YouTube channel or social media profiles are tried and true tactics that can help to improve your website’s SEO.

    Blogging and video also lend a more personal approach to dental lab marketing beyond its advantages from an SEO perspective. You can blog on a variety of topics and film one-to-two minute videos. Smartphones and newer handheld video cameras like the FlipCam make it simple to shoot short video messages and upload them to your website, Facebook page and YouTube channel in minutes.

    Online directories

    Your lab most likely has an existing profile in local online directories. All businesses do, as the information is often culled from the online Yellow Pages. So most businesses have a profile, even if they didn’t create it. It’s important to keep in mind that it is up to the business owner to log on and take control of each of the lab’s profiles and the information they contain. Completing your profiles entails claiming them and establishing a password, entering in current contact information and hours, correcting the business name if it’s misspelled, uploading the lab’s logo, photos and videos and including a brief bio or lab philosophy.

    In the current digital culture, there are countless ways to interact with active clients—and to reach potential clients in a meaningful way and on an ongoing basis. And while SEO, social media, video and online directories certainly don’t comprise the universe of marketing options, they are some of the most important ingredients in a dental lab’s successful online marketing strategy.

    Naomi Cooper is President & Founder of Minoa Marketing and Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute. Naomi can be reached at [email protected] and blogs at minoamarketing.com.

    This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Dental Lab Products. Click here to make sure you get great articles like these every monthhttp://bit.ly/18S8j4i