A part of SEO (search engine optimization) that can easily get overlooked is link building. Link building is the act of adding URL links to your website content that takes users either to other pages on your site or to another website altogether, as well as getting other websites to link to your pages.
Here’s a quick breakdown of links:
- Outbound links: links that you create within your website content that go to another site
- Inbound links: links that other sites create within their website content that comes to your site
- External links: outbound and inbound links are both external links
- Internal links: links that send your users to other pages on your own site
When done correctly, link building will help you rank better on the SERPs (search engine results pages), which is, of course, what you aim for.
This guide goes over what you need to know about link building, so you get better visitors to your site that turn into patients through your doors.
How to Create a Link-Building Campaign
A thriving link-building strategy means that you get all that yummy good attention from Google, your users trust the places you’re sending them to, and other sites think you’re worth sending their users to.
Obviously, it’s quite easy to send your users to other pages on your own website (internal linking) or to other sites (outbound linking) that you think would benefit them.
You’re generating the content. You can link where you’d like, right?
But, you gotta follow the rules.
The rules are easy regarding linking out:
- Relevancy is key. Sending your user somewhere else needs to make sense in their journey
- Be sure wherever you send your user is giving them what they’re expecting to get
- Only send to reputable, trustworthy sites
- Use natural flowing anchor text within your content and add keywords if possible (more on anchor text in a few)
- NEVER link to spam
- Don’t pay for links, and don’t get paid for links
Now, getting reputable, trustworthy sites to link to you is another story. Inbound links are trickier to get because you don’t have complete control. There are two ways to get links from other websites: naturally by creating stellar, share-worthy content or by relationship building.
Yes, this can take some time, energy, and effort on your part, but hey, we never said SEO was quick. In fact, your SEO campaign is full of little campaigns that work together, and some of those campaigns do take longer than others.
How to Get Inbound Links
There are numerous ways to get good, relative inbound links, and if you use your time wisely, you can do it faster than you may think.
Say you’re a chiropractor who works with a local gym, high school, college, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or vitamin store. Asking them to link to your website is a no-brainer- and feel free to return the favor. This gets you in front of another audience, too, which gives you more opportunities for new patients.
Pro tip: Create a template email to send to those you want to ask to partner with you in a link-building campaign, so you don’t have to recreate the wheel each time (just remember to make the proper edits prior to sending, you don’t want it too general, so changes will be necessary.)
Create great content
Clinic owners should have a blog, 100%, but also consider a YouTube channel that shows how-to videos, maybe a podcast, infographics, images showcasing your services or proper movement patterns, etc.
And don’t forget to make these things easily shareable and let your patients, those in your community, and other relevant organizations or businesses know about new content through social media posts, newsletters, texts, emails, etc.
Great content makes people want to link to you. Full stop.
Pro tip: Add shareability buttons such as “Tweet This” and “Share on Facebook” to make it uber-easy to push your content out.
You’re an authority in the industry, so what you say holds value. Consider asking a relevant business or organization to guest blog for you and vice versa.
Write press releases
Press releases tell people all kinds of things so write one up whenever you have something new, educational, interesting, or entertaining to tell your target audience. This is an automatic inbound link but it also gets you more attention on the web, which is excellent for attention off the web.
Ask for reviews
This is another win-win. Always ask your patients or clients for reviews and put those reviews on your Google Business Profile, Yelp, Facebook, Bing Places, and the Better Business Bureau. Wherever potential patients may find you, you should have a review there (if it makes sense, of course).
But reviews also give you credibility and authority with Google, which helps with overall SEO, which helps with patient trust.
Pro tip: Make it easy for your patients to leave a review by offering questions, a template, links, etc.
Have promotions and events
The only thing better than how your body feels after you leave the chiropractor is how your body feels after you leave the chiropractor and only paid half price because you invited a friend. Whatever kinds of promotions fit your brand and your audience, consider partaking in.
People love a promotion, and you can even create one that asks your users to link to your site from their social accounts in order to get a gift or massage or whatever.
Your promotions may include events or seminars or VIP parties that can also help with linking. Say you have a VIP party at the local rec center, that rec center may have an event calendar that may link to your clinic.
Or maybe you want the news station to be at your event. Guess what? Their website may want to link to yours so their audience can find out more about you.
Google’s Link Building Best Practices
Google has a link-building best practices guide that cannot be ignored. This is a bit technical, but we’re here to lay it out using layman’s terms because we’re not into technical either.
Crawlable links are working links that Google can follow. The search engines use spiders to crawl web pages, these spiders must be able to understand where links are going to ensure they make sense.
For Google to crawl a link, it must have an <a> HTML element (also known as anchor element) with an href attribute. Most links in other formats won’t be crawled by Google’s spiders.
This may mean nothing to you, so let us help…
What is anchor text?
Your anchor text is the text put within the content that’s actually a link taking you to another webpage once clicked. This text should be highlighted somehow to show it’s a link. The anchor text tells the reader something about where they’re about to be taken.
Anchor text should be written between <a> elements so Google can crawl the link.
Example: <a href=”https://yourclinic.com/back-pain-solutions”>back pain solutions</a>
How to write good anchor text
According to Google, anchor text should be “descriptive, reasonably concise, and relevant to the page that it’s on and to the page it links to.”
Anchor text is meant to provide “context for the link, and sets the expectation for your readers. The better your anchor text, the easier it is for people to navigate your site and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.”
Example: For a full list of our chiropractic treatments, see the
<a href=”https://yourclinic.com”>list of chiropractic treatments</a>
Internal linking- linking within your site
Linking within your website is essential. There’s no appropriate number here, but do it whenever it makes sense. Internal linking helps Google and your visitors understand you and what you offer. Each of your important pages should have other pages that link to them.
External linking- linking outside your site
Linking to other websites establishes trust and authority for your website, as long as those you link to are trustworthy and authoritative. It’s cyclical and it works to boost your SEO, so link out when appropriate.
Why Link Building Matters to Your Clinic
Link building is vital to your overall SEO campaign and Google creating a best practices for link building means you need to pay attention. If Google doesn’t trust you, no one else will so do what they’re very descriptively asking, and give and get the links.
If you (link) build it, they will come.