When a search engine like Google crawls a website it checks the page content plus inbound and outbound links to conclude how relevant that site is for keyword searches.
Inbound links are links that point to a website from other websites. They are also known as backlinks. Outbound links are links that point outward from one website to external websites.
Even though you may be the top provider of a service in your area, a competing practice that has created a successful online campaign through link building could rank higher based on Google’s perception of which one is the “trusted & preferred brand.” In this post, I will go over different types of links and their value to your practice.
Inbound Links From Charities
Charities and nonprofit organizations often have a donor’s page. If your practice donates to any charities check out their donor’s page and make sure there’s a link back to your website. By sponsoring yourself, friends, relatives, employees, and patients you’ll exhibit support for your community while also gaining a business advantage via the link.
Links From Associations + Organizations
If you’re a part of an association or organization, chances are they have their own website. If they do, find out if they link out to their members and get your website’s link added to their page. It’s important to be creative when campaigning for links!
For example, do you sponsor a little league team, reading club, or local school? Teams, clubs, and organizations welcome community connections for exposure and support! For instance, perhaps a local high school you sponsor can drive traffic to you by saying “Happy Dental would like to offer our athletes a free consultation. Give them a call today!” The word “Happy Dental” would link out to the practice’s website.
Getting your business plenty of reviews should be a top priority and is also a great way to support your link building efforts.
Having the reviewer link to your page or responding to a review by supplying a link are both great practices. For example, being reviewed by a patient could look like this: “Dr. Sam and the whole Sesame Dental staff was amazing! They really made the Invisalign process a positive experience!” In this case, the link to the website would come from the “Sesame Dental” wording.
Responding to a review might look like this: “Thank you for visiting our office! We are glad you are having a good experience with the Invisalign process. We like to make sure you have all the information you need at your fingertips, so please check out our Invisalign page for a digital copy of care instructions!” The link in this scenario would be included from the words “Invisalign page.”
If your business is a member of the Better Business Bureau or the local chamber of commerce they both typically have free online directories where you can submit your business information. Doing so can give you added visibility online to other businesses and community members.
Online community newspapers + bloggers who have mentioned your practice should also make sure and point a link to your website when they mention it. If they don’t, a polite request usually will result in a link!
Overall, reciprocal linking is a nice option in most cases. If any of these types of groups are willing to link to your website on theirs you can link to them on your “Meet The Dr.” page. That’s a good location to touch on your community involvement. Mutual linking is great for increased traffic and better rankings.
You can start the link review process by determining what links you already have. Think about the groups and organizations you are a part of in your community and go to their websites to determine if they’re already linking to your site or not. If they are not, ask them nicely and offer to provide a reciprocal link if they need an incentive to link to your site.
If you have any further questions or would like professional support with your link building efforts please reach out to the Sesame Team!
—Naomi Newell, Lead SEO Specialist, Sesame Communications