Backlink Profile: Building Your Online Authority
People tend to link to websites they think are good. In the case of a dentist’s website, you’re only likely to earn links if you are:
- Trustworthy and likable
- Known as an expert in a particular area of dentistry
- Known as a local expert and/or celebrity
You can also be famous for something else, such as being in the news for killing a beloved African animal, as in the example above, or jumping into the latest TikTok dance craze on social media, as seen below.
This can also cause an explosion in links and traffic. This doesn’t always help your dental practice, though. More links don’t mean better results, especially if the search keywords are done for reasons other than seeking you out to be your patient.
On the other hand, a robust profile of relevant backlinks can significantly boost your search engine rankings. If your dental SEO strategy includes link building, here are some things to consider:
- Prioritize link quality over quantity. It’s not just about the number of backlinks—it’s about the quality and authenticity of the links you earn. Evaluate the credibility of websites linking to you. Are they reputable and relevant to the dental industry? If not, your SEO company probably just paid for a bunch of links, and Google dislikes this, citing it as a breach of their terms of service.
- Backlink improvement is possible. This effort needs to be conducted as a type of public relations effort. Google wants to show its users results that feature dentists who are:
- Experts in their dentistry skills
- Experienced dental care providers
- Authorities in dentistry
- Trustworthy as demonstrated by the opinions of others.
Google calls this list EEAT. This makes “building backlinks” something much harder to do. Webmasters and SEO are used to build links at scale via robots and backroom dealings on the internet. You could pay someone, and overnight, you could have hundreds of websites linking to you. It should not be surprising that Google cracked down on link manipulation and that this link-building type is almost extinct. People still buy links, but they are much more expensive, and the links are created as secretly as possible to avoid angering the Google god. We don’t do either of these things at Pro Impressions Marketing, and you shouldn’t if you’re trying to improve your link profile as part of your dental SEO strategy.
Instead, improve your backlink profile with tactics that feel natural. Leverage your relationships and your knowledge. You should think of link-building like you would when developing a referral relationship or improving your reputation. Seek out opportunities to educate and connect with people. Don’t do this with the link as your sole goal in outreach. Find people who would naturally benefit from knowing you and what you know.
We recently interviewed a dentist about cultivating referral relationships. You can also read about these ideas in Transform Dental Sleep by Jason Tierney. In a referral relationship, you’re looking to build a respectful, symbiotic relationship that is a two-way street. In a link relationship, you rarely want to link back and forth to each other’s websites, but if you can speak to a local dental study club or medical organization or write an article for a local publication, you can lend your expertise to them. In exchange, ask if they wouldn’t mind including your name and website link on their website and social media when they upload the video or article. These are the most natural and easiest ways to build your EEAT.
You can also create link-worthy content on your website via videos and photos, but be careful not to confuse Google about what you are: you’re a dental office. Suppose you stray too much into the territory of an “influencer.” In that case, Google may miscategorize your website as a dental influencer rather than a brick-and-mortar dental office that would like to see patients!