March 31, 2012
Link Building 101 for Better SEO
Updated April 4, 2013 - So you want to get to the top of Google, right? Unfortunately, So do the hundreds or thousands of other doctors that are competing for the top spot in the local SEO game. That's OK, though, because if you know what to do, you'll beat out the competition and work your way to the top of the rankings in just a few short months.
It's not an overnight success or a way to get rich quick, but with a continuous link building strategy in place, your web site will see a change in the right direction. Here's how to implement an ultra-effective link building plan.
Link Building 101 for Better SEO
Building links to your site from other sites is one thing; and a good one at that. However, if the links that point to your site are not in line with what your site is about, it can actually hurt your rankings in Google.
What you want to do is get links from other sites that are not direct competitors of yours, but rather provide an enhancement to what you do. Links you get from other sites related to plastic surgery, beauty, skin care, anti-aging, or specialty dental products are ideal because they will enhance your own rankings in Google while driving potential traffic to your site because you share the same target audience. Do you have any vendors that you do business with that would be willing to include you in their provider directory with a link back to your web site?
How Do You Get Backlinks?
Getting links from other sites to yours is no easy feat. However, with a little hard work you can really boost your backlink numbers.
Here are just a few of the many backlink building methods that we use:
- Find web sites and blog sites in your vertical (common) market
- Comment on those blogs and leave a link back to your most recent blog post
- Contact other blogs and ask to provide original content with one link back to your site
- Invite other blog authors to write original content on your blog (they promote their own blog, you get instant traffic and potential backlinks - bingo!)
- Use social media to promote your blog posts and get the word out
- Make a short video about your post and include a link to it in the video's description
- Establish accounts on local review sites (Yelp, RateMDs, Vitals) with a link to your web site in each of your profiles
Our Easy 10-Step Link Building Process
So, how do you approach the sites that you would like to link to you? Here’s a step-by-step link building strategy for you to start implementing right away.
1. Download the Google Toolbar from http://toolbar.google.com.
2. Once you have downloaded the Google Toolbar, open up Internet Explorer or Firefox/Mozilla.
Look at the top right of your screen and see the small, light blue wrench?
Click on it and select “Toolbar Options” from the pull down menu.
3. Now, a window has popped up that is called “Toolbar Options”.
Look at the left-hand area of the box where the navigation links are. Click on “Tools”.
4. Next, you will see the “Tool Selection” menu. Check the box to select “PageRank”.
Your Google toolbar will now tell you what you need to know.
5. At the very top of your browser, you’ll now see a long rectangle with a downward-pointed arrow to the right of the rectangle;
this is the magic tool you’ll need to help with your link building efforts.
6. Go to Google.com and type in your city name followed by your specialty name or the services that you perform.
See that page 1 includes the top sites that are receiving Internet traffic for those search terms?
This is where the link building begins.
7. You will now need to start by clicking on the top site located just below the area of “Sponsored Links”.
In this case, the site would be “Kelly Gallego, M.D….”.
However, since I am searching in Corona, CA and not in Sioux City I will be clicking on the #2 site: “Orange County Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Surgeon Newport Beach”.
8. Once you are on their site, place your mouse cursor over the Google toolbar’s PageRank information.
You will be able to see, on a scale between one and ten, what PageRank that site has.
The higher the score, the better. This site has a decent PageRank score of 3 out of 10.
9. To find out which sites are linking to this cosmetic surgery practice’s site, simply click on the small arrow in your Google toolbar PageRank tool and select “Backwards Links”.
10. Now, you’ll be able to see all of the sites that link to the site you’ve selected. You can repeat this same process for every #1 site in the Google search results that pertain to the search terms you enter.
Another reminder; you’ll want to repeat your Google search by city/town name and the type of practice you have (cosmetic surgery/plastic surgery and cosmetic surgeon/plastic surgeon).
You can also search for city name plus the name of one of the procedures you perform and repeat the searches until you have found all backwards links for practices that perform each procedure in your area.
You're Ready to Rock n' Roll
Now, get to work contacting web sites, blogs, and vendors, filling in your local directory profiles, getting active in your social media circles, and making videos for your YouTube channel. Not sure what to write in the emails you send out? Here's an example:
Your email may look something like this:
I am a (your specialty) in the (your city name here) area. I’ve found your site to be especially helpful in providing information to patients who visit my own web site, (include your own website address here). I have found it to be so helpful, in fact, that I'd love to offer a guest blog post for your readers or have you contribute a post to my own blog. You can view my blog by clicking here (include a link to your blog page).
I look forward to hearing back from you and to your response about a guest blog post.
Dr. ____________ “
Need Help with Backlink Building?
Now that you know how link building works for better Google rankings, you have many of the necessary tools necessary to make a huge difference for your medical practice marketing!