Your healthcare practice has a website. The site is loaded with all the right information including office hours, services rendered, and contact information. You even have a patient portal. But still, you don’t seem to be getting the traffic. What’s going on? Your website could be suffering from the effects of poor link building.
Search engine algorithms are limited in what they can ‘understand’ on their own. They need a lot of help. Much of that help comes from keywords. But some of it also comes from back links. Simply put, you need other sites linking back to yours.
General Link Building Strategies
There are a number of general link building strategies common to every industry. The most productive is guest posting. A guest post is an informational post you place on someone else’s website. That post contains a link back to your site. Guest posting can be extremely helpful in healthcare for the simple fact that healthcare websites need qualified content.
Other general link building strategies social media shares, online reviews, and getting listed in online directories. They all help to some degree. But are there certain link building strategies that are specific to healthcare? Absolutely.
4 Strategies for Strong Backlinks
General link building strategies are all well and good, but link strength makes a difference to search engines. You want strong links that give your site authority. To that end, we recommend the following four link building strategies specific to healthcare:
1. Hospital Directories
How many hospitals are in your local area? In all likelihood, each one of them has its own online directory accessible by patients. Make a point of contacting those facilities and asking to have your site included in their directories. The more hospitals willing to list your practice, the more opportunity patients have to find links to your site.
You may find that only hospitals your practice partners with are willing to list your practice. Do not be discouraged if this is the case. Contact all the hospitals anyway. The worst they can do is say no.
2. Healthcare Specific Directories
One of the general link building strategies is to get listed on generic directories like Yelp and GMB. You should definitely pursue such listings, but don’t stop there. Look for healthcare-specific directories. Check out sites like Healthgrades and Vitals.
As long as your practice is going to be listed on those sites, let your patients know they can find you there. You do not want to directly ask them for a review, as that might seem like a conflict of interest. But letting them know you are on a directory site may prompt them to write a review of their own accord. Each review represents another link.
3. Sponsor Community Events
Get involved in community events. Have your practice sponsor a local sports team or a charity event. Every local event you get involved in offers an opportunity for sponsorship. And if an event or organization has its own site, you are likely to get a backlink opportunity from it.
4. Connect with Local Media
Your local media likely has a need for health-related content. Contact media outlets and volunteer to do short interviews or write blog posts. Every media contact represents an opportunity to get your practice out there. Whenever a media outlet references your practice online, there is an opportunity for a link back to your site.
Link building is still an essential part of good SEO. Consider your own link building strategy if your site doesn’t seem to be getting the traffic. It could just be that you need stronger links.