Backlinks—links on other websites that lead back to your medical office’s site—are worth their digital weight in gold.
They’re good for your practice in two ways.
First, a link on a heavily trafficked medical information or doctor-locating site will greatly improve your visibility with potential patients. The more patients interested in your services seeing a link to your practice at just the right time, the more new patients in the door, plain and simple.
The second way backlinks can help your healthcare practice thrive is by improving your SEO. Search engines like Google see backlinks as an indicator of quality—if a well-known site with a good reputation links to information on your site, Google sees it as a sign that your information is valuable, and it improves your search engine rankings for searches related to that page accordingly.
But backlinks are only as good as the site they’re on. A backlink on a spammy or low-value site will actually hurt your SEO, and backlinks that you place in press releases won’t have much of an effect either way. The best backlinks happen organically; you produce valuable content that makes reputable sites more than happy to link to your site.
Here are six tactics for producing the content and performing the outreach you need to build better backlinks and visibility for your medical business.
1. Lend Out Your Expertise
Media sites need content, and expert insight into a current event is one of their favorites. When there’s medical or healthcare news in your community, write a piece and reach out to local media sites with an offer to let them publish it. A link to your practice in the byline isn’t much to ask in return, and it will boost your reach with local patients interested in health news—and in finding a doctor with the answers they’re looking for.
2. Sponsor Local Events
Non-profit organizations, charity fundraisers youth athletics, hobby groups, and more are always looking for sponsors. A relatively small donation can give you huge returns in terms of overall community presence and visibility. You can almost certainly get a link or two directly from each group’s website, too, and if you can get local media to cover the event you can score a more valuable backlink there—and get more exposure for a good cause, too!
If you’re having trouble finding groups, checkout Meetup.com. A link on this high-traffic site can be a big SEO boost, and it will allow you to target groups that match your ideal patient profile.
3. Offer Free Basic Services to Professional Groups, Schools, Etc.
Discounts for medical services can be tricky, we know, but if there’s a low-value commonly-used service you offer that you can use as a loss-leader it can be a great way to promote yourself and spread a few backlinks around. Free flu shots for all students and teachers at the junior high down the street, hearing tests for police officers and their families, a basic checkup for all members of the Chamber of Commerce, and so on. These groups will tell their members about the opportunity on their websites with a link back to yours, and presto! You’ve got traffic to your site and to your medical office.
Volunteering your services to high schools, colleges, and other educational facilities can also be a great way to boost your community presence and earn quality backlinks on an ongoing basis. Hold regular clinics, provide checkups a few times a month—ask administrators what they need, and find a way to give it to them. Their gratitude will translate into plenty of value for your practice.
4. Create a Useful Guide
You’re a doctor. That means you have years of education and experience that can be directly useful to anyone who likes being healthy. Pick a specific topic—something related your ideal patients will be interested in—and create an informative, patient-friendly guide or fact sheet. The best nutritional tips based on the current state of medical knowledge, key exercises to overcome a certain type of injury, updates on common medications and new alternatives—the sky’s the limit.
You’ll want to publish the guide on your site, but the real value comes when you offer it up to other sites in exchange for a link. If the guide is as fantastic as it should be, they won’t need any convincing.
Creating a new website devoted specifically to one condition and/or treatment can also drive boost your SEO and linking power, both for your niche site and for your office’s primary site. Just make sure every site you make is high-quality and contains original, useful information; making lots of low-quality site to give yourself backlinks is a quick road to digital destruction.
Get your name out there alongside the kind of information your patients are looking for, and you’ll get plenty of organic backlinks to help you gather more patients from searches.
5. Get Interviewed
Like other media outlets, podcast creators are always looking for expert guests to bring in for interviews. There are tons of health-related podcasts; try to find some with listeners in your area, but even those with a wider or different audience can provide you an online profile boost and a valuable backlink.
Reach out with specific pitches—offers to discuss a particular issue that’s relevant to your practice and to the podcast’s themes. Prepare well, deliver a solid interview, and you can find yourself a regular guest on numerous casts, with links to your site a natural part of promoting each and every appearance.
6. Claim Your Online Professional Profiles
One of the easiest ways to get backlinks—and improve your SEO in general—is to make sure you’ve claimed your practice’s profile with Google, Yelp, Bing, and healthcare-listing services like ZocDoc.
These profiles probably exist already; claiming them allows you to control how you’re represented on these sites and services, allows you to place valuable links back to your site, and validates your site with search engine bots (which means higher search rankings, all else being equal).
Don’t Stop with Backlinks!
Backlinks are one way of boosting SEO and getting people to your site, but they aren’t the be-all end-all. Regularly publishing great content is also an important part of SEO success, and your site design, calls to action, and other on-site elements are crucial when it comes to converting website visitors to in-person patients.
For tips on all these areas and more, be sure to check out the rest of our blog, and feel free to contact us any time!