The Importance of Link Building for Dental Websites: Part I
Posted May 23 2012 1:42am
The following is a guest post by Dr. David Wank of Short Hills Design . If you are interested in guest posting for Dental Heroes, please sign up here .
Having a website for your dental office is a critical aspect of growing your practice — but a dental website is only a benefit if people can actually find it on the Internet. One of the most common ways for people to find your website on the Internet is via search engines such as Google and Bing, and establishing your presence on search engines is done through a process called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In this article I will give you a brief introduction to SEO, and then spend time discussing the process of Link Building, which is a key component in the SEO process.
There are many ways to popularize your website, but one of the most cost-effective and productive ways to do so is with the process of SEO. Briefly, SEO is the process by which carefully researched search terms (keywords) are placed in strategic locations on your web pages, with the goal being that your web pages appear in search listings when people search with these keywords. For example, if you are dentist in Short Hills, NJ, one of your goals might be to use the keyword “dentist short hills nj” on your website’s home page, with the hope that if someone does a Google search for “dentist short hills nj” that your webpage will appear in the listings.
Adding keywords to your web pages is probably the most important aspect of SEO, but it is not, by far, the only component of an SEO campaign. There are many other factors that go into determining how your web pages will rank on a search engine for a particular keyword including the level of competition, the location of the keywords on the page, the density of the keywords on the page, and so on. But one of the other most important factors in an SEO campaign is the process of Link Building which I will discuss next.
Using our previous example of the keyword “dentist short hills nj”, if there are 30 dentists in Short Hills, NJ and all 30 of these dentists used the keyword “dentist short hills nj” on their home page, how would a search engine such as Google tell the websites apart? How will Google pick which dentist’s website will rank 1st for the keyword, and which will rank 30th? Parts of this answer lies in the process of Link Building.
As is done in life, much of what happens on the Internet is based on reputation. If you are a competent dentist who does quality work and treats patients fairy, then people will spread the word around town. Similarly, on the Internet, if people like what they see or what you have to say, they will link to your website. So when Google determines which page will rank #1 vs. which page will rank #30, Google – in part – uses the number and quality of INCOMING links (that is, links TO your website FROM other websites) to help make this determination.
In Part II of this article I will discuss Link Building in greater detail, as well as Page Rank, which is Google’s assessment of a web page’s importance. Lastly, I will then talk about how you can get links to your web page(s), and what are some good starting points to get these INCOMING links.
Are you actively engaging in SEO for your practice website? Do you run link building campaigns? Please share your tips in a comment below.