Link Building – Is This Healthcare Marketing’s New KPI?

medical seoLink building can best be described as roads to a web page. It is the process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website and, as a major tactic used in SEO, it’s particularly important in achieving high organic search results.

Now, link building is gaining prominence outside the SEO world and moving into the mainstream marketing world as a vital KPI to watch. So why all the fuss? Here, we look at why you should be considering link building as part of your medical SEO.

Besides acting as roads to your website, links also perform as direct promotion of your practice. The trick is to establish quality links on websites that are worthwhile and have an audience that is valuable to your practice, and one that you wish to promote your medical services to. If you can do this, you immediately tap into their audience, which improves your brand’s visibility.  Sources need to be as relevant as possible; carefully consider if it is a respected and trustworthy source, such as patient advocacy websites or specialized health organizations that you partner with.

Whereas SEO can often seem complicated and technical, links are a relatively easy part of the process to understand. If your inbound links from quality external sources are growing, then your visibility is growing. In addition to the technical and on-page components of SEO, links act like super powerful add-ons – they give credibility, trust and relevance. A well-respected website that links to your webpage can be incredibly influential.

Google also considers links as an influential factor in its search algorithms and continues to place significant importance on links as a signal in its search rankings. They act like a third party vote, indicating that your website can be trusted and respected – thus, if you want to earn meaningful rankings in Google, links can help.

Quality links will also help directly impact audience exposure, branding and search engine visibility. Take, for example, a physician who is quoted in an online article about a medical condition that their clinic specializes in. It is highly likely that a percentage of readers would wish to visit the clinic’s site for further information. A link provides the direct path, and helps assist people in their online journey.

Links help people navigate the web – moving from site to site. If you build valuable links that aid user’s searches, you will naturally benefit from improved online visibility. These types of real, valuable links take time to build. Google’s algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated in recognizing “fakes”, so be prepared to dedicate time and effort to securing links as a key part of your medical SEO. If you are strategic when considering the links and external sources that you want to target, the more likely you are to experience real, valuable benefits.  

Gretchen Kalthoff is a writer and marketing specialist for MWE. She is an expert in healthcare marketing and health IT with a special interest in increasing patient engagement through social media and healthcare technologies.

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