Why Backlinks Are Key to SEO Success

Internet Marketing for Attorneys, Surgeons, and Dentists

There are many important factors for building a strong internet marketing strategy. Of those different elements, backlinking is an important one.

Often I am asked, “What is backlinking, and why do I need to do that?” Let’s take a dive into the importance of a backlink and how it can affect your internet marketing presence.

What Is a Backlink?

A backlink is an incoming link on another site that points back to your website. Search engines like Google reward websites with high-quality, relevant backlinks, ranking them higher in the search results.

Unfortunately, achieving a backlink isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. You will want to continually look to improve your backlink profile while trimming links that aren’t relevant or damaging to your brand.

Although elementary in the definition, earning backlinks can be a bit of a challenge. Often times, the process can be frustrating, time-consuming and taxing on your wallet. However, when done correctly, the ranking rewards and additional traffic that comes to your website is highly rewarding.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Google has always placed a high value of importance on backlinking. Back in 2012, Google released a core algorithm update nicknamed Penguin. The goal of this algorithm update was to decrease the value of links that were gained through black-hat or unethical techniques, such as purchasing of links or linking your site back to unrelated content. There have been many updates to Penguin since then, but all with the same focus of encouraging relevant and ethically gained links back to your website.

In August 2018, Google announced a new core algorithm update given the pet name Medic. The Medic update focuses on sites that are part of the health and medical sector, including doctors, surgeons, and dentists, as well as domains that qualify as Your Money Your Life (YMYL) websites. YMYL sites sell products or services that can have an impact on your health, financial stability or safety. Attorneys, plastic surgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists and other clients served by Page 1 Solutions fall under one or both of these categories, so our SEO and marketing team members have followed the impact of Medic with great interest.

Learn what the latest Google update means for your search marketing

The Medic update places significant emphasis on the Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness of websites. One way to show your site’s authority is through backlinks, although you can also take steps on your website to demonstrate your expertise.

With the authority of your website being so important, you should certainly attribute blog content on your site to an author profile demonstrating that you are a trustworthy source. Although it’s not considered an offsite link, linking within your site is nonetheless a linking strategy.

But, ultimately, having other relevant sites saying that you’re an authority by linking back to you is crucial for providing Google with the proof that your site should be shown more frequently in the SERPs.

How Do I Gain Backlinks?

There are many ways to go about earning backlinks. Below are a few best practice approaches for creating the best backlink profile possible:

  1. Guest Blogging

    1. Finding a relevant website that allows for guest blogs is a great way to be able to promote your topic and link back to your website. This allows for you to have control over the message of the content and make sure that the correct information is being delivered.
  2. News Articles

    1. Journalists are always on the lookout for highly credible professionals they are able to quote on a certain subject. By using a service like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), you’re able to submit your quotes directly to the writers in hopes they use your quote for your article.
    2. You can also seek out the journalists yourself by reaching out to relevant publications and starting a dialogue with them. Be sure that you’re being kind, complimenting their work and offering suggestions for posts that they have written in the past that will help build the credibility of their content.
  3. Broken Links

    1. Finding a broken link in the content of another website and offering the writer a replacement from your own site is a great way to build your backlink profile.
      • Pro Tip: Be sure to provide links not only to your content, but to other content that is relevant and can help fill the void. It may seem crazy, but this can help to make it seem that you have the publication’s best interest at heart, making your pitch seem less like self-interest.
  4. Paid Linking

    1. There are plenty of relevant paid linking opportunities out there. These paid or donation-based linking opportunities can be a great way to build a base. However, you’re going to want to make sure that the sites providing the links are in good standing with the search engines.
      • I do not recommend this to be your main source of backlinks. The reason for this is because Google doesn’t award these type of backlinks as highly as those you have earned.
  5. Link Roundups

    1. There are many online journals out there that do weekly article roundups. These article roundups are generally sent out to followers by means of email newsletters, blog posts and social media blasts. Reach out to the managing editor, introduce yourself and provide him/her with a few examples of the work on your website. If you’re able to build a rapport with the managing editor, this may become a monthly or weekly item where you can have a ton of quality backlinks to your site.
  6. Press Releases

    1. If you have something important to announce and it’s going to be able to provide value to your clients, I would recommend you publish a press release through a newswire that can push your news out to multiple different publications. All of these press releases will include a link pointing back to your website. However, be aware that this will be a paid service.
      • This is a good way to gain backlinks. But, keep in mind that some PR links have a little SEO value, while others do not. It just depends on the publication and their guidelines.
  7. Directories

    1. Be sure that all of your directory listings, such as Google, Facebook, BBB, etc., have your correct domain associated with them.

When you’re going out and trying to acquire new backlinks, you may become frustrated, tired and not see the value in doing so. However, I highly encourage you to continue seeking new opportunities for backlinks, staying creative and never giving up. You will reap the rewards of doing so through higher rankings in search results, more traffic to your website and greater opportunities for leads.

If you have further questions about backlinks or would like to discuss your search marketing strategy, I encourage you to reach out to your Internet Marketing Consultant or call Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.

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