Building Backlinks in the Healthcare Digital Marketing World
We understand that when it comes to backlinks, the internet is saturated with how-to PDF guides, in-depth videos, beautiful diagrams, and any other form of content you can imagine.
These are great starting points that supply beginning SEO students with basic tactics, but take note that basic tactics won’t be sufficient for complex, professional industries.
Yes, all those “how to get more backlinks” blog posts are helpful for building a good foundation. But like all things, success requires work. You’ll have to carefully craft strategies that go beyond foundational principles.
If you need a quick refresh on the basics of backlinks, check out Moz’s backlink fundamentals. BUT, if you want a specific strategy on how to acquire backlinks in the healthcare or medical digital marketing world, don’t go anywhere!
Through our experience with companies in many different industries, we’ve found that backlinking strategies can vary significantly by industry; especially healthcare. After working with several healthcare companies, we’ve learned that backlinking is not one-size-fits-all!
For example; backlinking principles for real estate will be very different than those needed for healthcare or finance businesses!
Working with a wide variety of clients and industries has allowed us to discover which backlinking strategies work for healthcare digital marketing and which ones do not.
We’ve had years of trial and error and have gathered the most successful healthcare backlinking strategies we’ve used and listed them. Read on to build your medical brand, gain more traffic, and drive conversions!
Set Yourself Up For Success
You’d never show up to a conference call in pajamas, bed head, and without a presentation. That would signal you are completely lacking interest and are wholly unprepared. Your potential client would immediately recognize that this exchange has no importance to you and would be highly unlikely to sign a deal with you (unless they are a mattress manufacturing company, in which case you may be on to something there). This poor representation of both yourself and your company would ultimately lead to failure.
This analogy holds true when backlinking for a healthcare company. You MUST set yourself up for success and do your research before you begin sending out hundreds of emails and wasting your time.
1. First things first: content for the healthcare world is drastically different from content for many other industries.
The healthcare industry relies on data pulled from case studies, medical records, and lab experiments. This content is generally backed by educational institutions (whether that’s universities or recognized medical journals) or highly-regarded medical facilities such as medical research centers.
So, when producing content make sure you are tailoring your content to your audience. Your audience is seeking data-backed information, that is, credible information. Therefore, the goal is not to write a mind-blowing article that revolutionizes the healthcare industry but should contain credibility in what is being explained or promoted while bringing up a thought-provoking idea, discovery, or view.
Of course, not every company has a solution, product, or software that is explicitly backed by data. If that’s the case, the next best solution is to find an “influencer;” someone who is well-known and has some authority in the industry. An influencer in healthcare may be a renowned doctor or another company that has made significant contributions or strides in their medical field. This may not be the ideal first step, but influencers often carry a lot of authority so it’s worth pursuing!
2. The second piece of advice for initially setting yourself up for success would be to build a knowledge graph.
A knowledge graph is basically a web of associations. For instance, a knowledge graph for a Tesla Model 3 would include associations such as Tesla, Palo Alto, and California, which then associates with Hollywood, Matthew McConaughey, etc. This is the same exact machine learning model that Google’s new algorithm uses.
What we’re getting to is that you need to build your own web associations for your company or organization. This allows you to identify where to look for possible opportunities for relationships and backlinks. Essentially, if there is some sort of beneficial connection between your company and another company, then there is a potential backlink opportunity.
Don’t Waste Time, Find Beneficial Backlinks
As we explained previously, when you begin your backlink outreach, you’ll want to focus on relevant links that may have a potential benefit. Now, we don’t want to downplay the importance of all backlinks.
Any backlink is important for your site because it continues to build authority. A general saying for backlinks is “the more, the merrier.” As you earn more backlinks, Google begins to recognize your site as authoritative. Keep in mind one of the main goals is traffic to your site, but intent traffic is important. Overall traffic will continue to build the authority of your site, but intent-driven traffic is what will eventually convert on your site. Conversions = Revenue!
Your backlinking outreach should be focused.
In the healthcare industry, we have discovered that blog activity isn’t as active compared to many other industries. The amount of scholarly articles heavily outweighs the number of blogs. We hypothesize that this has to do with the importance of data and credibility. Although blogs aren’t as popular, there are still several avenues we suggest to penetrate for quality backlink outreach. The three different platforms we recommend are:
- Medical Device/Software/Solution Platforms
- Educational Platforms
- Related Companies
Platforms that provide reviews and descriptions for the latest medical devices, software, and solutions are extremely valuable sites to market your product as well as receive quality backlinks. If you are able to get your product on one of these sites, you’ll have a great opportunity for high-intent traffic and will have earned an authoritative backlink. A few examples of platforms are Capterra, G2, and Which Medical Device. There is generally an onboarding time frame to get your product on these sites, but it’s completely worthwhile.
The second best option for finding high-potential backlinks are educational platforms. There are many authoritative, educational sites that produce valuable daily content and have a very large following. Outreach to these platforms is a great opportunity as they are continuously trying to find new products, solutions, and information. A couple of these educational platforms are Modern Healthcare, Medical News Today, Med Page Today, Health & Medicine News in Science Daily, and Medscape.
Typically, there’s an editor or contact center you reach out to in order to explain your solution or product. The best strategy for this outreach would be to explain the immense benefits of your product or find an article that directly relates to your product. If you do find an article that is hyper-relevant to your product, then reach out to the editor and see if they would be willing to add your company as a backlink within the article.
A third option would be to create a list of related companies to your service. This goes back to the knowledge graph I explained earlier. These aren’t competitors, but are businesses that are within your web associations graph that you can leverage for your product. Partnerships are obviously important in business, and reaching out to a related company for a backlink that benefits both parties may also be the start of a great relationship.
Finally, a quick way to add more backlinks to your site would be to see if you are already mentioned on sites without a backlink. This can happen sometimes. Another site will mention your company or product and forget to add a backlink. This is the low-hanging fruit. Here, a useful tool would be Buzzsumo. Simply type in your company name and Buzzsumo will scan the internet and detect if your company was mentioned without a backlink. Generally, you can then reach out to that site and ask for a backlink.
The Professional (and Non-Annoying) Way to Contact Potential Backlinks
Let’s say you’ve already set yourself up for success and identified your high-potential backlinks. Now comes the most difficult part… converting.
First off, let’s make obtaining the contact information a very clear process. A “Contact Us” page can be difficult to find on some sites. If you’re having trouble finding contact information, try using Hunter.io. This tool will scan sites and find contact information for you. Searching for a company or person on LinkedIn can also be a good strategy. If someone is going to be contacted for business reasons, this is the platform to do it on.
Pro Tip: Never fill out a lead form to try and get in contact with a company. This is extremely annoying, and the worst feeling is seeing a lead form submitted only to see someone trying to contact you for a backlink. If there’s no better option, it’s worth a shot, but keep this in mind if it’s someone you’d like to work with in the future.
The dirty work is done, but now it’s time to see how good you are at convincing the prospect to give you a backlink. Converting a prospective backlink to an actual backlink takes some sales skills. Assume that the company you are contacting gets emails asking for backlinks quite often. This adds a little more pressure and provides a better perspective when reaching out. So, we have created a simple, but a strong strategy for getting a higher backlink conversion rate.
- Do Your Research! This goes back to creating your web of associations. You want to do research on related companies so when it comes to sending an email, you have full visibility and knowledge of what the company does. You can even flash your knowledge of the company by making a comment on a recent blog or product they released.
- Explain the Benefits of Backlinking! We’ve discovered there’s a slight disconnect between healthcare and digital marketing. If you’re speaking with an individual with a marketing position, they most likely understand the importance of a backlink. But if this isn’t a marketing individual, take time to explain how backlinking would benefit their company. We generally explain that it helps with the user experience and we would be more than happy to backlink to them as well! Traffic for traffic!
- Social is a Big Player! What we have discovered is that offering social recognition has increased our conversion rate for getting backlinks. Within an email to a potential backlink, we’ll offer to post them on our page somewhere, whether as an entire post or mentioning them in a post. Companies love social recognition!
- Be Authentic! This is the final word of advice. We should always be professional and respectful, but let’s remember that the individual we are contacting is a human as well. Be nice and genuine!
In conclusion, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get backlinks, but through our experiences, we’ve found that these techniques have significantly increased our backlinking conversion rate. If you want more experience-based content from OM, then follow us on social media! Also, please feel free to reach out with content suggestions or questions!