Refocus Your Practice Marketing with Link-BuildingJuly 6, 2020 by Katie Neubauer
By Justin Bosco, President of Form + Function
What is Link Building and Why Is It Important?
Link building is the process of gaining a hyperlink from other websites back to yours. A link is simply clickable text that brings a visitor to the website it mentions. Links are important because people generally use them to recommend a good product, service or source of information.
Need an example? If I wanted to tell you about a dentist in Santa Rosa whom I personally recommend, I might do so using a link, just like I did above. That link passes some authority on to the website it points to, improving its ability to rank in search results. (You’re welcome, Doc.)
Linking is a simple concept that plays a major role in how Google and other major search engines rank web pages. But why do links from other sites matter so much? When users put a keyword or phrase into the search bar, Google uses a complex system of signals and algorithms to pull what it deems to be the best quality and most authoritative sources for that search. When other websites link to your pages, this is a sign to search engines that your website is a quality resource that’s worth citing, just like how you might assume that the authors who are cited in an academic paper are experts on the topic they’ve written about. This is why websites with more links generally rank higher in search results. And ranking higher in search results is the best way to generate a steady stream of new website visitors and new patients.
4 Simple Ways to Perform DIY Link Building
Good, ongoing link building takes time and effort. In fact, many dental SEO agencies offer it as a valuable service. But basic link building isn’t particularly difficult and if you’re just looking to dip your toes in the tactic, it’s something you can probably handle on a slow morning or afternoon. Here are a few places you should start:
Check Your Professional Association Profiles
Each dentist in your practice should maintain an active profile with every organization they’re a part of. It’s a good practice in general, but it’s also a great way to gain an easy website link from the authorities in the field. For instance, the AACD Find a Dentist tool includes a place in member profiles for a link to the doctor’s website. Gaining a link from the AACD is as simple as making sure this field in your profile is filled out. To get started, just click here to log into your AACD profile.
What other organizations are the doctors at your practice involved in? Spend some time logging into their websites and ensuring that your website appears on any profile they offer.
Check Your Product Provider Profiles
Product providers, such as Invisalign, can also have product finder pages on their sites that can be updated with your practice information and website. CareCredit, Kleer, and other treatment financing services also have similar pages.
Check Directories of Local Organizations
Does your practice belong to the local chamber of commerce? Most chambers have a member directory for visitors to browse and most member directories include a place for the business’s website link. Even if your chamber doesn’t have a directory, reaching out and asking how you might be able to gain some extra exposure for your business could help result in a blog article or member feature.
Sponsor a Local Organization
Local events, organizations, and even youth soccer teams often maintain a sponsors page on their website as a way to say thank you to their sponsors. Searching Google for “sponsors” plus your city and state is an easy way to turn up dozens of such sponsor pages and sponsoring an organization whose mission aligns with your values can be a great way to land your logo and link on one of these sponsors pages. Sponsorship is not only another way to build links to your dental practice website, but it also helps bolster your brand to get your practice name out into the community.
Build a Few Links Today
Although some investment of time is required to do your own link building, the ways to do it yourself are simple. And if you hit a snag or find link building to be beneficial and want to pursue the tactic as a part of a larger search marketing strategy, find a reputable marketing agency to help. At Form + Function, we’re doing everything we can to help dental practices weather the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve published a free, comprehensive guide for getting started with dental marketing. We’re offering free consultations if you need some honest, no-strings attached marketing advice during this crisis, but we’re hardly unique in this. It’s been great to hear that many organizations in the search marketing industry are donating their time to help businesses that have been closed due to COVID.
AACD members have access to great practice management and marketing resources in AACD's online learning platform. Not an AACD member yet? Apply for membership TODAY!
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