Category: Author: Lori Shepherd
Getting your website to rank well in online searches partly involves obtaining high quality and authoritative links. A link is an online mention of your website that is directly clickable to your website from the source of the mention. This is partly how Google ranks websites, they determine the quality and content of the links pointing to a website to determine search results based on how much the websites links relate to the query. In other words, Google provides top website results that have links to signify they are the best result for a query.
In the past, too many websites knew that links were a ranking factor and would undergo the process of “link building” to attract as many links as possible. This method, unfortunately, would cause websites to rank highly even if they weren’t the best result for a search just because they had a lot of links that were obtained through black hat (bad SEO) strategies. Since then, Google has publicly denounced low quality links, but that doesn’t mean that link building is over, it just means it has to be done right.
So what is a high quality link? A high quality link is one that comes from a reputable source that is linking to your website to enrich the content on their site. It may be difficult for search engines to exactly assess the quality of a link but their algorithms are becoming more sophisticated and getting better at it which means you have to get better at getting legitimate high authoritative links and here are 5 ways to do that:
Submit your business information to credible, authoritative business directories. These mentions of your business can provide high quality links and also increases your visibility in areas where potential patients are looking. Try Whitespark’s citation finder to get started.
Volunteering is not only personally rewarding, it’s a great way to get some links. Find a local charity or event and volunteer for them, research them first and see if they have provided links on past events. Your involvement t leads to mentions of your contribution which can be turned into a link with a simple outreach or phone call.
Decide on an amount you would be willing offer a High school or college student. Create a deadline for submission and requirements for the scholarship amount. Once you know the details, have your website manager add a page for it with all the details to your website. Once it is live you can reach out to high schools, colleges, or any place that scholarships are listed to have them link to your scholarship.
Create content on your site that is helpful and informative to more than just potential and current patients. For example: create a page for dental anxiety that describes what it is, ways to decrease the anxiety, and/or things to look for in a dentist that may imply they are great with patients with anxiety. Creating content like this with little to no self-promotion creates great link bait (something that websites will want to link to). You can attract links from high quality sites wanting to share your knowledge.
Creating a blog with a strategy can be more effective than just forcing yourself to write witty musings twice a month. Take on a subject such as dental health in an aging population. Map out things you plan to accomplish with in that area and do your research. You can split up the research in several blogs and then perform in-house research on older patients and share your findings. This type of blog strategy builds your credibility on a subject that others love to link to. Your findings could also be a link resource for an extremely credible website that could get your readers thinking that you are an authority on the subject.
Bonus: The Overall Picture
All of these tactics separately may sound daunting to execute but it doesn’t have to be. Create a strategy that incorporates more than one of these tactics. For example if you wrote authoritative content of kids dental health you could volunteer at an event aimed at kids dental health and then blog about the experience and create a scholarship for aspiring pediatric dentists.The big picture is not only about links, that is just a benefit of your efforts. The big picture means positioning yourself and your website at the center of where potential patients are that increases brand awareness and attracts more patients.