What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website. The goal is to improve your website’s credibility, thus ranking, in Google. Link building has been around for quite some time, but the strategies and best practices have changed dramatically over the years.
How Do Links Help Your Chiropractic Website?
When a credible website links to your practice website, it’s like a vote of confidence, a signal to Google that you are a trustworthy source.
Of course, it works the other way, too, making it imperative that you build links on legitimate, authoritative websites that are, ideally, related and/or relevant to your service and area of expertise. Too many links to your site on low-quality sites and Google may determine that your site is not one they can trust and your rankings will fall.
It used to be that the more links you had pointing to your website the better. But the quality of the links is now much more important than quantity.
What is a High-Quality Link?
To determine the quality of a website, it’s important to look at the site’s authority, also known as PageRank. PageRank is a link analysis algorithm Google uses to rank pages in the search results. While Google doesn’t share PageRank information outright, there are many tools available online, such as Ahrefs Domain Rating, that will give similar indicators.
PageRank passes from one site to another through links. The higher quality the link, the fewer you need to notice an improvement in your own website’s performance.
In addition to PageRank, relevancy is important. As a chiropractor, it would make sense to find a link to your website on a popular health and wellness blog, but it wouldn’t make as much sense to have a link to your site on, say, a movie review site. And Google takes that into consideration. If you have countless links on irrelevant sites, Google might see that as spammy or the result of black hat SEO and could penalize your site.
Consider focusing your link building efforts on:
- Complementary sites (acupuncturists, physical therapists, etc.)
- Referral businesses (injury lawyers, imaging companies, etc.)
- Health and wellness websites
- Local business networks
- Credible news outlets
How Do You Actually Get These Links?
It’s all well and good to talk about link building for chiropractors and the best practices surrounding it, but actually securing these high-quality links is not for the faint of heart.
A content marketing strategy is the best, most natural way to get backlinks today. But, unfortunately, just creating content is not enough. You need to create professionally-written, unique content that offers something of value to your audience. And then promote it.
The best types of content for link building are:
- Visuals (think infographics and diagrams)
- List posts (such as “Top 3 stretches for low back pain”)
- Original research and data
- In-depth guides
Studies have shown that the above-mentioned content pieces are the most “linkable.” People like to read them and share them if they provide value. Some content ideas for your chiropractic link building strategy are:
- Infographic about different types of musculoskeletal pain, specific admitting complaints, stretches, etc.
- Diagram illustrating how chiropractic adjustments help the nervous system
- An article titled “The Top 5 Reasons to Go to a Chiropractor”
- In-depth answers to the questions your patients ask you the most when they first come see you. (Chances are other people are searching for answers to the same questions online.)
Once these assets are created, publish them on your practice website and share with your network via social media and email. Do some research on relevant websites that might want to share your content. Perhaps one of your patients is an “influencer”? Think of ways to get your content seen. Keep a running list and reach out to the owner/webmaster/influencer when you publish a new piece. Send a personal email that explains the content you’ve published and why you think it would add value for their readers.
Here’s a sample email template to help you get your outreach started:
Subject line: New infographic about [TOPIC]
Happy Wednesday! I’m reaching out because I’m an avid reader of your work on [INSERT ONLINE PUBLICATION/WEBSITE HERE]. I particularly enjoyed your latest piece about [TOPIC].
I follow you on social media and I see you’ve been sharing content about natural health and wellness.
I am a chiropractor in [INSERT LOCATION] at [INSERT PRACTICE NAME], and we recently created an infographic showing [INFOGRAPHIC TOPIC].
Would you be interested in checking it out? I’d love to see what you think.
Let me know if you’re interested, and I can send you the infographic to take a look.
The goal is to not be pushy. Most inboxes are flooded with emails daily. You want your email to stand out as sincere and offer value to the recipient. Send these emails to everyone on your list. You may or may not get responses, so remind yourself to follow up a few days later.
It’s a lot of work researching relevant sites, finding the appropriate contact information, following up, and creating fresh, new content consistently, but that’s what it takes to build long-term authority in the search engines, especially in competitive jurisdictions.
Hiring a Company for Link Building
Because of the amount of work involved, it’s common for chiropractors to hire an SEO company to do the link building for them. While the cost of link building can seem high, keep in mind all that link building involves: professionally written content, SEO expertise, networking, not to mention graphic designers for visual assets, and a lot of time spent researching, emailing, and following up.
It’s also important to remember that not all link building companies are equal, so do your research. There are some out there still that are relying on black-hat practices that can harm your website.
Done properly, though, and your website will establish a solid foundation for long-term search engine success, thus more new patients finding your website!