What is Link Building?
Link building is a simple concept – getting other websites to link to your website to improve your site's credibility in the eyes of Google. The idea is that the more credible links you have, the better your ranking potential.
Link building has been around for quite some time, but the strategies and best practices have changed dramatically over the years.
How Do Links Help Your Dental Website?
When a credible and relevant website links to your dental practice website, it's considered a vote of confidence, a signal to the search engines that you are a trustworthy resource.
However, it works the other way, too, which means it's imperative that you get links on legitimate websites that are related and/or relevant to your service. Having too many links to your website on low-quality sites may result in a drop in your rankings if Google determines your site is not trustworthy.
Back in the day, the more links you had pointing to your website the better. Today, though, the quality of the links is much more important than quantity.
How Do You Find High-Quality Links?
To determine a website's quality, start by looking at the site's authority, known as PageRank. PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to rank web pages in the search results. While Google doesn't share PageRank information outright, there are tools available online, such as Ahrefs Domain Rating, that will provide similar indicators.
PageRank passes from one website to another website through links. The higher quality the link, the fewer you need to see an improvement in your own website's performance.
Relevancy is also critical. As a dental professional, it would make sense to find a link to your website on a health-related blog, but it wouldn't make much sense to have a link to your site on, say, a video gaming website. And Google takes that into consideration. If you have a ton of links on unrelated websites, Google might assume they are the result of black hat SEO practices and they could penalize your site.
Consider focusing your link building efforts on:
- Complementary sites (oral surgeons, endodontists, etc.)
- Referral businesses (primary care doctors, insurance companies, etc.)
- Health and wellness websites
- Local business networks
- Credible news outlets
How Do You Get People to Link to Your Site?
It's easy enough to talk about link building for dentists and the best practices you should follow, but actually getting these high-quality links is not always a walk in the park.
A content marketing strategy is the best, most natural way to get backlinks today. You need professionally-written, unique content that offers something of value to your audience. Then you need to promote it in the right places.
The best types of content for link building are:
- Visuals (think infographics and diagrams)
- List posts (such as "Top 3 Ways to Prevent Cavities")
- Original research and data
- In-depth guides
Studies have shown that content like those mentioned above are the most "linkable." Consumers like to read and share them with others if they provide value.
Some content ideas for your dental link building strategy are:
- Infographic about the different dental specialists and what they do/treat (cosmetic dentists, periodontists, endodontists, etc.)
- Diagram illustrating how Invisalign works or how to care for dentures
- An article titled "5 Ways You're Harming Your Teeth"
- In-depth answers to the questions your patients ask you the most about the various services you offer. (Chances are other people are searching for answers to the same questions online.)
Once you've created content, publish it to your practice website and share with your network via social media and email. Research relevant websites that might want to share your content. Perhaps one of your patients is an "influencer"? Think of ways to get your content seen. Keep a running list and reach out to the owner/webmaster/influencer when you publish a new piece. Send a personal email that explains the content you've published and why you think it would add value for their readers.
Here's a sample email template to help you get your outreach started:
Subject line: New article about [TOPIC]
Happy Tuesday! I'm reaching out because I'm an avid reader of your work on [INSERT ONLINE PUBLICATION/WEBSITE HERE]. I particularly enjoyed your latest piece about [TOPIC].
I follow you on social media and I see you've been sharing content about the most popular cosmetic dental treatments.
I am a dentist in [INSERT LOCATION] at [INSERT PRACTICE NAME], and we recently published an article on [ARTICLE TOPIC].
Would you be interested in checking it out? I'd love to see what you think.
Let me know if you're interested, and I can send you the article to take a look.
You want to make sure you don't come across as pushy. Most people's inboxes are flooded with emails everyday. You want your email to stand out as sincere and you want to offer value to the recipient. Send these outreach emails to everyone on your list. You may or may not get responses, so remind yourself to follow up a few days later.
It's a lot of work researching relevant sites, finding the appropriate contact information, following up, and creating fresh, new content consistently, but that's what it takes to build long-term authority in the search engines, especially in competitive jurisdictions.
Dental Link Building Companies
There's a lot of work involved in link building, making it common for dentists to hire an SEO company to do the link building for them. While the cost of link building can seem high, keep in mind all that link building involves: professionally written content, SEO expertise, networking, not to mention graphic designers for visual assets, and a lot of time spent researching, emailing, and following up.
It's also important to remember that not all link building companies are on the up and up, so do your research. Unfortunately, there are still some companies out there relying on black-hat practices that can harm your website.
When link building is done properly, your website will establish a solid foundation for long-term search engine success. This equals more new patients finding your website!
Does Your Practice Website Need Some Help?
Advanced Link Building is a great idea for brand new practices looking to establish a presence in their jurisdiction, as well as dental practices located in highly competitive areas. It may also be recommended for websites that have been penalized for engaging in black hat SEO practices in the past.
Book a consultation to discuss your practice website, new patient goals, and SEO needs with one of our Digital Marketing Consultants today.