Most dental practice owners recognize that they need to use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to rank well on the search engine results pages (SERPs). You probably know you can’t just create a website and then expect patients to come knocking, but if you’re new to digital marketing, sometimes it isn’t easy to know exactly where to put your energy.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, link building continues to be one of the best ways to improve your search ranking.
Why are backlinks a vital part of any SEO strategy?
Link building refers to fostering the ideal conditions which lead to other websites linking to yours (also known as a backlink). When people search for words relevant to your dental practice, Links help your website show up higher in Google.
In total, when deciding how to rank your website, there are over 200 criteria that Google considers. Some of these are assumed to have small impacts, whereas other variables are strongly weighted. Backlinks are continually among the top 3 ranking variables, indicating they remain a significant factor in your ranking. One study of ranking factors found 3.8X more backlinks on the #1 ranking website than the websites in positions 2-10.
When you think about it, it makes sense. How else is Google supposed to know which article is better than another if they are both equally informative and useful? Link building at its heart is just a way of getting other websites to vouch for you.
These endorsements help Google better understand whether it’s worth showing your content or not. This is also the same explanation of why not all links are considered equal in quality (more on this later).
The relevance of the website linking to your site is also significant, beyond how the links came to be. As you are a dentist, it will hold more weight to be featured by the American Dental Association than, say, Nike (not that this will ever happen, but you get the picture!).
Link-building benefits for your dental practice
Although the primary purpose of building links is to improve search ranking, they also help establish your brand of dental practice. The mere presence of these links means customers are more interested in your brand as a result.
So while high-quality links on popular websites will significantly improve your ranking, they will also help draw patients to your practice. The links position your practice as an authority on dentistry and can even lead to other websites to connect to your content, giving you the natural backlinks that Google loves.
Link building tactics to avoid
It takes time and can be challenging to build links, but that is precisely what makes them valuable. Having the right links will propel your site into the limelight, while your online presence can be ruined by getting the wrong links. So let’s talk about what to avoid before you run off and start building links.
- Spamming sites such as Reddit and Quora with unrelated comments
- Buying links.
- Participating in link schemes.
Great content remains the best way to build links
In SEO, the best kinds of links are editorial. This is when a piece of quality content links to your website to support the ideas within. Other websites could link to you in the following ways:
- Referring to your website as a resource for further information
- The inclusion of your website in a link roundup.
- Interviewing a person linked to your company.
Here’s how to maximize your chances of getting these links:
- Create useful, unique, and relevant content
- Build evergreen content of high quality that serves as a go-to resource.
- Publish content that demonstrates your dental practice as a thought leader dentistry so that you can be quoted, sourced, and interviewed by other sites.