Why Link Building Is Important for Dentists
June 23rd, 2016 by
Another Day, Another Molar
Up until last year, I had gone to the same dentist since I developed my first tooth, maybe before. Once a year, I would visit the office, get a nice teeth cleaning, and pick out a prize. I might be in my twenties but, dangit, I like prizes.
When I moved to New Orleans, I had to start all over and find a new medical “squad” to take care of me. I didn’t mind a new doctor (urgent cares, amirite?), but I was worried about finding the right dentist. Will I like them? How much paperwork will I need to fill out? Do they let “children at heart” get prizes?
To find a new dentist, I first asked people around the office: “Do you like your dentist?” and “How did they fix your cavities?” I asked people who I trusted and some people who I didn’t trust but had nice teeth. After a few word-of-mouth referrals, I ended up turning to the internet to read reviews, rankings, and credentials.
Many practices used to grow solely on word-of-mouth referrals, and while referrals from family and friends still provide a direct path to your dental chair, the internet’s influence on how patients find new dentists is growing. If trends continue, more and more patients will find their new dentist on search engines. To increase your practice’s visibility and rank high on SERPs, you need an SEO campaign.
Which brings us to link building. If you are struggling with business outside of personal referrals, I have a solution for you! If your patients have grown up and moved cities, I can help you out! If you give prizes out to adult patients, let me lend you a hand!
The Wisdom Tooth of Linking
Linking is the SEO equivalent of a personal referral. Search engines are like busy bodies: They interact with every website, and the more your site interacts with other sites, the more trust and authority your site will receive from search engines. But how do you get your site to interact with other sites? How do you build trust?
To find new patients, you need to interact, or link, with industry websites. Sites like HealthGrades and RateMDs are specifically for medical professionals. These websites require verification information such as license numbers, which is why search engines trust them. These sites also allow users to post reviews for their dentists, creating another platform for interaction between you and your patients. (If you want to learn more about the benefits of reviews and how to get more from your patients, check out this blog post by a friend or this blog by yours truly).
There are also sites specifically for the dental industry, such as Every Dentist. You can create a profile, get links, and build even more trust and authority for your website. When a patient searches “dentists,” links from specific dental sites tell search engines, “Hey! I’m a trusted dentist!” The search engines, in return, will give your site a higher ranking.
So, if you want to get more patients, get to linking! Who knows? I could be your next patient. I promise I won’t lie about how much I floss…
I am enjoying reading posts on your site after hearing you speak at the MNSearch Summit 2016.
Your niche expertise in the medical field comes across strong. Is your primary focus of an SEO campaign around link building? What percentage?
“To increase your practice’s visibility and rank high on SERPs, you need an SEO campaign. Which brings us to link building.”
So glad you enjoyed my talk at MNSearch Summit and really excited you followed me home to the Search Influence blog.
Link building continues to be an important part of online ranking, both for organic and maps rankings. We try to take a holistic approach to SEO including Technical onsite SEO, onsite and offsite content development, link building and even non-linked and nofollowed citations.
No matter what those scared-straight SEOs turned content marketer tell you, links still matter to getting found online.
Great article Sarah. Never realized the importance of networking online for link building. This isn’t something my dental team is skilled in building, but we are looking into it.
We do have a profile on Healthgrade, and are looking into other websites. Can’t wait to read more! Very helpful.
I would add that as we turn the half way mark in 2017, creating linkable assets, leveraging influencers, and engaging influencers are important to building domain trust. Your article is still very relevant!