How The SEO Pros Build Powerful Backlinks for the Medical Industry
One of the most important SEO ranking factors always has been (and still is) a strong backlink portfolio. Each and every backlink is a vote in your site's favor provided they are coming from relevant and authoritative sources.
The medical industry is one of the most competitive SEO niches there is, meaning it usually takes lots of high-quality backlinks to rank for those coveted page one spots. Medical websites pose their own challenges when it comes to generating authoritative backlinks as the content itself is so specialized.
How do the the pros do it? We heard back from dozens of SEO professionals and medical website owners on what they're doing to generate top notch backlinks. Use the 11 tips below to build backlinks to your own or your client's medical practice websites.
1. Be A Local Resource
“Develop local resources that are loosely related to your practice and then pitch them to relevant businesses, bloggers, networking groups, and other organizations.
For chiropractors and physical therapists, you can develop an in-depth guide to the best walking trails in your area. For dentists, consider publishing the definitive guide to your city's best ice cream spot. For allergy specialists, a comprehensive guide to local allergy triggers would be perfect. Focus on creating genuinely local guides that do not promote your business in any overt way if you want to earn the best possible links.”
By Joe Goldstein, Director of SEO & Operations, Contractor Calls
2. Near Me & Google Maps Results
“It’s worth considering that when searching for medical practitioners and dentists, most customers would use a local intent (for example, using the ‘near me'queries). In these cases, Google will display results from Google Maps on top of the organic result.
So, first, for organic results, here are some approaches:
- Get backlinks from reputable medical directories (for example, AMA, MedlinePlus, etc. if you are in the US). Some of them are free, and some will require membership fees.
- Contact reputable medical schools in your area and offer to publish a guest post (or ask them to link your website).
- List your business on local business directories like Yelp, Facebook Places, Google My Business, etc.
- Be proactive on social media, and publish your content on social media so people can share the link
For Google Maps results:
- First, have an optimized Google My Business listing, since Google Maps will use this listing on the result.
- Here, your aim is to build local citations, which is, listing your business’s name, address, and phone number(NAP) on medical and business directories. You will need to maintain a consistent NAP information across all of these listings.
- Another important factor is the number of positive reviews on your Google Maps listing. Encourage existing clients to leave a review.”
By Steve Kurniawan, Content Specialist & Growth Strategist, Nine Peaks Media
3. A Long Term Strategy
“Link building in the Medical/Dental Space can be fraught with issues. Primarily, the content you create must be accurate, cited, and reviewed and often sites that will give links will be very particular about the existing authority of both the site and the author of the information. Link building can be accomplished successfully however. Taking time to create a real relationship with the staff writers at various publications can yield high value links that not only bring value to SEO efforts but actual referrer traffic as well. Often these publications give clear lists of their staff members for example: www.medicalnewstoday.com and www.livescience.com.
Take time to read what a staff writer publishes, reach out both in social media and email to comment on and compliment / praise specific articles. Over time you can truly develop a relationship at which point you can make a “pitch” that will often be warmly received. This is not a ‘get links quick scheme' instead it’s a long developed relationship which can bear fruit for clients for years to come.”
By Ken Knorr, CEO, That! Company
4. EDU Links
“Now more than ever, link building is an imperative step for medical professionals who want their facilities to show up on the first page of Google. One way that my team has worked to do this is by pursuing .edu-based links.
This has started with us reaching out to colleges we attended for undergrad, graduate and doctorate programs to see if they would link to our website via an Alumni Spotlight section, a blog post and more.”
By Lisa Drazil, Administrator, Specialty Teleradiology
5. Build an FAQ Section
“Medical and dental websites are GREAT for SEO because SO many people ask medical questions on Google and this is your chance to be a trusted resource. The #1, absolute first thing I would do if I were you is to build a blog and/or resources page answering top questions patients have. Use your experience to gather these types of questions and also use tools such as AnswerThePublic and SEMRush for further query/keyword research. Be sure to use the question as the header, so that it will rank. If your content is truthful and of quality then I have no doubts it will start to rank on the first page and people will link to it as a resource.”
By Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist, Fueled
6. Local Directory Listings
“One of the best ways to create high-quality backlinks for local medical practices is to add the business to online directories. Online listing directories have high-domain authority, so creating a profile of your medical practice will, in turn, boost your website's domain authority and SEO.
Start with the major listing directories and industry-specific directories. You are going to want to start with Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Bing Places, YellowPages, and CitySearch. Next, add your medical practice to industry-specific directories such as WebMD, HealthGrades, BestDoctors.com and the like. A quick online search for ‘top 50 best local listing sites' is a great place to start.
The one thing medical practice owners need to be aware of is that this process can take up a significant amount of time. If you don't have the time to dedicate to this project, then there are third-party local listing tools that can automatically create these online directory profiles for you. I always recommend BrightLocal, Yext, SEMRush or Deluxe. There will be a monthly fee for this service, but it's well worth the investment if that means giving your medical practice more visibility online.”
By Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO Strategist, LogoMix
7. Testimonials on Vendor Websites
“Medical practitioners and dental offices can create high-value niche backlinks by tapping into their personal network. Every office uses vendors and those vendors are highly relevant to their industry. Make contact with your vendors and offer a testimonial for their products or services. After the testimonial is given, it's an easy ask to have the company name, your brand name, link to your website. They win with a shining testimonial and you win with a great backlink that is relevant to your industry.”
By Matthew Post, Co-Founder, SEM Dynamics
8. Convert Mentions to Links
“I have a few clients that own medical practices and I have one technique I use for building links to their websites. Most of the doctors and physicians I work with have written up articles and have had their writings published in journals and other medical related sites. Almost none of the time did they think about adding a link to their medical practice. I do some simple ‘mention' search and tracking to find all the sites where their works have been published and request a link back to the practice on their behalf. While I don't get responses from everyone, I would say I see a 25-33% response rate, which is excellent compared to any other technique for building links to a website.”
By Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager, JMoriarty Marketing
9. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
“My #1 tip for medical and dental websites would be to optimize their GoogleMyBusiness profile. It allows people searching through google and google maps to find out more about a given business. If you provide a compelling overview of your business with a catchy description, good reviews, and nice photos people will be much more likely to check your website and, later on, the business itself. Also, make sure all the details are up-to-date and straightforward, so your potential customers can reach you in the most suitable (for them) way.”
By Jakub Kliszczak, Marketing Specialist, CrazyCall
10. Learn to Leverage Infographics
“Creating simple consumer-friendly infographics that combine a local activity category combined with some high-level health/medical information has been quite effective in generating links for both medical and dental websites. An example is local summer festivals, day trips from the city, or free events in the city combined with reducing stress, increasing activity levels, etc. Using a site like Visme or Canva, this can be done quickly and cheaply to create the infographic. This allows you to reach out to a wide range of sites from mommy bloggers, to travel sites, to other businesses. Offer to write 150 – 250 words of unique content for their site and allow them to embed the infographic.”
By Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer, Showcase IDX
11. Podcasts and Media Mentions
“To get good SEO and my name out there more, I serve audiences via podcast interviews and providing quotes to print and online media. By making myself available to those serving audiences, I increase my visibility while improving the lives of others. It's a win-win!
To get these opportunities, I submit my interest to podcasters for consideration (including what I can talk about) and I use platforms such as HARO (help a reporter out) to answer media questions for pieces they are working on.”
By Dr. Daniel A. Danyo, M.D., North Atlanta Hair Restoration