Guide On Link Building for Dental Websites
What exactly is link building and how does it help your dental website’s SEO? A basic definition of link building is obtaining an external link on a 3rd party website that provides a hyperlink back to your main website. As an off-page / off-site SEO tactic, it is one of the most important things that can be performed to help increase your website’s rankings in the search engines. But, if done improperly, it can have absolutely devastating effects on your SEO and possibly get your website penalized or even banned by Google and other search engines. It is also a rather tedious, laborious and time consuming process that is not for the faint of heart. And to top it all off, Google frowns upon any attempts to game their algorithms with obtaining back links, especially if performed in a non-ethical or spammy way. Google indicates that if you create amazing content, people will start linking to your site on their own, without you having to ask for links. But, the problem is that Google will not start ranking a brand new site, even if it has amazing content, without good links pointing at it. The key is to build links that are as natural and ethical as possible.
“The one with the most high quality and authoritative links wins”
Google looks at a link as a vote for your website, so the more votes or links that you have, the better. But they also look at the authority of the link. For example, a link from The New York Times is going to count more than a link from a spammy blog post with thousands of links.
“But, do I really need to have links to my site? What if I just have really good content?”
While having excellent content goes a long way, we have performed some tests and have discovered that you really cannot rank your website for keywords with relative competitiveness if you don’t have links pointing to it. While everyone says that content is king, links are also king-worthy.
There are many different ways of getting links to your dental website, but there are several factors to consider before obtaining them, such as the authority of a website or web page they are originating from, and the relevancy of the website and the location of the link within the web page.
Website Authority for Dental Link Building
When initially researching websites for possible links, an important first step is to determine if the website is a link worthy source based on the trustworthiness or authority of the website. For example, a link from The New York Times is going to have a higher authority ranking than if you received a link from a spammy website that sells links to anybody. It is possible to guess if a website has authority, but using a website tool to check is more accurate. There are several available, and they all have their own names to define authority. A couple of tools to test with are Moz and ahrefs. You should also check the page authority of the page that will contain the link.
Is the Link Source’s Website Relevant to Your Dental Website?
After you have figured out the website and web page’s authority, you should next determine if the website is relevant for your dental website. Does the source website relate to dentistry or the medical field? Or, is it a locally based website that is within your targeted geographic area? If so, these would be good websites to get a link from. But, if the website features multiple different topics, and the website and webpage authority are very low, then getting a link from there may not be a good choice.
Where Will the Location of the Link Be Located Within the Web Page?
The location of a link within a web page will determine the value that Google gives it. If the link is within a paragraph of content, it will be worth more than if it was placed in the author bio or if it is lumped in with dozens of other links. Also, the content that surrounds the link should be relevant to the link target. For example, if you wanted to link to your dental practice’s home page and you want to rank for dental related keywords, it is better if the text in the section or paragraph around it is also dental related.
Other Things To Consider
There are other characteristics of a link to consider when link building for your dental website.
What kind of anchor text you have is very important
This is the text that is contained in the link. You want to make sure the vast majority are branded anchor text links, such as “Dental Business Name”. While you can also target some exact match keywords like “dentist your town, your state” you only want to do that sparingly. It is also a good idea to mix in some random anchor text links such as “click here” or some raw url links such as https://www.yourdentalbusinessname.com
Is it a dofollow or nofollow link?
You want to make sure a link is not a nofollow to get the effect of the link. You can tell by viewing the source code of the webpage it is on. In order for your links to appear natural and not manipulated, though, it is a good idea to have some nofollow links, with the majority being dofollow.
In summary, If you have a link from a highly authoritative, relevant website in a good location, it contains branded anchor text and a dofollow link, then you will most likely have a highly valuable link. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need all three to be perfect in order for it to be a powerful link. For example, that link from the New York Times doesn’t have to be in a paragraph surrounded by text related to dentistry for it to be a good link.
So, how do you go about getting links to your dental office’s website? We will outline many of the free methods below.
Links from Relevant Directories
Notice we didn’t say get links for hundreds of different directories that will give out links to just about anybody. The best move is to find dental related web directories and get your dental business listed there.
The following are examples of directory links on which would be good for your dentistry practice to be listed:
- Best of the Web (botw.org)
- Angie’s List
- Dental or doctor related directories
- Any local directories
Guest Posts for Backlinks
There are several digital marketers that say “guest posting is dead”. It is dead if they are talking about getting your article listed on any random website that allows anyone else to do a guest post. Those types of guest posts should definitely not be pursued. But, if by guest posting you are obtaining articles on dental related websites, then these are definitely still worth getting. Again, with link building it is all about relevancy, so if the website in question is focused on dental related topics, then you should pursue getting your blog post article listed there.
Spy On Your Competitor’s Backlink Profiles
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and that is true for dental link building as well. You should reverse engineer your dental competitors backlinks and try to obtain these links for yourself. But, be careful! You need to make sure the links are not spammy or bad, sometimes called black hat SEO. There might be a reason they are ranking so well, and that reason may turn out to be black hat link building techniques that Google and other search engines consider bad techniques. Unfortunately, you might get penalized if you are not careful.
How to find competitors’ backlinks:
You used to be able to use the following search operator within Google such as “link:competitorsite.com”, but Google recently got rid of that (it was never very good anyhow). You now have to use 3rd party link research software in order to locate them.
Link Earning Technique
This technique entails creating amazing, stellar and link worthy content that “earns” links by performing outreach to those that might link back to it. One way to come up with content ideas is to research online some of the most popular and most linked-to content online related to the dental industry. Then, you create an even better version of that content, and make it so amazing that people will want to link back to it. You then reverse engineer the links going to that original content that inspired you, and perform email outreach to them asking for a link. It takes a lot of work, but this technique can go viral and bring in not only a lot of valuable links, but also social media mentions and direct website traffic. You can utilize this technique on dental related topics, create city or town guides that are based on your targeted local area, and perform outreach on those as well. The possibilities are endless.
An infographic is just like it sounds- it provides information in a graphic format. This is helpful because it can take subject matter that might be a little stale or boring, and make it more engaging by presenting the information and statistics in a graphic. For example, you could take some statistics about gum disease or teeth and present it in a glitzy graphic on your website. You can also share this graphic on other dental related websites and earn a link back. Don’t forget to add your dentistry practice logo, name and website information embedded in the graphic, just in case someone uses it on their website without a linkback. That way, you can create additional brand awareness. Creating infographics can be time consuming and will cost more since you will need to hire a capable graphic designer to create it for you. If done properly, however, a professionally illustrated infographic can become viral, thus earning you plenty of links for years to come.
Other Types of Link Building Techniques for Dental Websites
There are several other types of link building techniques out there such as forum posting, blog commenting, resource or link page links, broken link building, email outreach for links, etc. Just make sure that the links are of good quality by following the authoritative, relevant and in a good location criteria to ensure success. Another good test is to think to yourself, if I were to get this link just for the traffic that would be generated directly from this link, would I bother getting it? On the other hand, if you are just getting this link to “game” the search engines, then perhaps you shouldn’t obtain that link.
Remember, when you are building up links for your dentistry practice, make sure the links are on authoritative websites, that the website is relevant to the dental industry and that the area that the link is placed is in a good location.
Another off-site or off-page digital marketing strategy is social media marketing, which we will cover next.
Optimize Each Page On Your Dentist Website for the Search Engines
How to Guide on Social Media Marketing For Your Dentist Website
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