Did you know that one of the most effective ways to improve your search engine rankings is to earn backlinks to your site? In fact, building backlinks is arguably one of the top 2 or 3 things you should do when optimizing your website for search engines long term. Having legitimate backlinks will help you rank higher in search engines, which means more traffic and clients for your practice. In this article, we will explore what backlinks are, why they are important for your website’s SEO, and how you can go about earning them for your private practice website.
What are Backlinks?
Simply put, backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. These links act as “votes” for your site, telling search engines that other websites find your content valuable and relevant. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more likely search engines are to view your website as an authority in your field, which can improve your rankings in search results.
Why Backlinks are Important for Your Private Practice Website
Backlinks are an important factor in determining your website’s authority and relevance to search engines. In fact, they’re arguably one of the top few most important things you can do to improve SEO. I think they’re particularly critical to have when you’re looking at doing a website redesign or making significant changes on your site.
When a search engine sees that other websites are linking to your content, it assumes that your website must be providing valuable information. This is why websites with a large number of high-quality backlinks tend to rank higher in search results than websites with few or no backlinks.
In addition to improving your search engine rankings, backlinks can also drive traffic to your website. When people see links to your site on other websites, they may click through to your site to learn more about your services. This can help you attract new clients and grow your private practice.
Guest blogging is a great way to earn backlinks while also getting your expertise out there. This is where you write a blog post for someone else’s website, and they include a link to your website in the post. It’s a win-win situation, as they get to publish great content, and you get a backlink.
To start, look for websites in your niche that accept guest posts. Research and brainstorm post ideas that align with your expertise and the website’s audience. Make sure your bio includes a call to action and a link to your website. Then reach out to the website owner and pitch your blog post idea. Remember that most sites have guidelines for guest blogging, so make sure to follow them. You can read more tips for guest blogging here.
I will add here that often “cold emailing” doesn’t work so well. Most people don’t want to post a blog post for someone they know nothing about. So consider starting with reaching out to other SLPs you know in private practice. Or agencies in your area that typically service children who would benefit from your services. Or mental health professionals who work with stressed-out caregivers. Maybe a physical therapist that you frequently refer to. Just think of who in your network has an audience that would benefit from your expertise. Once you have built up a few relationships, it will be much easier to get those backlinks.
Lastly, if you’re one of our clients we highly encourage you to post on our closed Facebook group that you’re willing to write a guest blog and offer a few topics you could easily write on. Remember, you don’t want to offer multiple other websites the exact same blog post. However, you could offer a similar topic that is tailored to their audience.
Another way to earn backlinks is by getting added to resource lists. A resource list is a page on a website that lists out helpful resources for a specific topic. For example, a website that focuses on speech disorders may have a resource list for SLPs in private practice. To get on this list, you need to reach out to the website owner and ask if they will include your website as a resource. Make sure your website will be a valuable resource for their audience.
I’ll add here that often the same types of websites you offer a guest blog post to may also have a resource list you could be added to. However, I recommend casting an even wider net when asking to be added to resource lists. Think school resource lists, physician resource lists, hospital resource lists, etc.
Being a Media Source
Being a media source means that reporters or journalists can reach out to you for quotes or information for their stories. This can be a great way to not only earn backlinks but also to establish yourself and your practice as an authority in your field.
One way you can start increasing your reach in this area is creating a media page on your website that includes a bio, headshot, some topics you have particular expertise to talk in and contact information. Then start building relationships with reporters and journalists in your industry. Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and eventually, reach out to them to let them know that you’re open to being a source. I’ve also been known when there’s a media story related to one of my expertise to reach out to a reporter I know writes those types of stories and offer up a story or to provide my expertise. That one works out less often, but at least once I got an incredible backlink from it.
One of my personal favorite ways to get great, high quality backlinks is responding to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) inquiries. HARO is a service that connects reporters with sources. You sign up to receive 3 emails a day full of different media inquiries from all sorts of topics. You can then respond directly to the reporter’s inquiry and if they pick your response you could get featured in the article and earn that sweet, sweet backlink.
Press releases are a great way to get backlinks, as well as generate some media coverage for your business. Writing and distributing press releases can help you reach your target audience and increase brand awareness. When writing a press release, make sure it is newsworthy, follow the correct format, and include relevant keywords. Then use a service to distribute it to the right outlets for maximum exposure.
Writing Amazing Content People Want to Link to
One of the easiest ways to earn backlinks is by creating valuable and shareable content that people want to link to. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and other media that is helpful, informative, and shareable. When creating content, make sure it’s unique, well-researched, and offers something of value. Then use social media and outreach to promote your content to your audience and potential linkers.
Directories are a great way to get backlinks and improve your Local SEO. This includes listing your website on local directories, like Yelp or Google My Business, as well as industry-specific directories, like the ASHA directory. Many list management services (like ours) can help with this, and optimizing your listings can help you rank higher in search engines.
Participate in online communities
Join online communities related to your field and participate in discussions. When you provide helpful advice and insights, people are more likely to link to your website as a source of valuable information. This also helps to build relationships, which can lead to more backlinks.
Create and share infographics
Infographics are a great way to present complex information in a visually appealing format. When you create and share infographics, people are more likely to link to them and share them on social media.
You are an expert at what you do and have so much information the general public doesn’t understand about communication. If you can break down one of those things into an easy to understand infographic that can be really valuable information people want to link to! You have extensive knowledge of various speech and language disorders, treatments, and techniques. Creating an infographic that visually represents this information could be a powerful tool for earning backlinks to your website. For example, you could create an infographic that breaks down the components of a stutter, including potential causes, common characteristics, and evidence-based treatment strategies. You could also create an infographic that outlines the various stages of language development in children, complete with age-appropriate milestones and red flags for potential delays or disorders.
By creating visually appealing and informative infographics that relate to your field (especially to your niche or favorite population to work with), you have the potential to attract links from other websites that are looking to share valuable resources with their readers. Just make sure you condense the graphics before putting them on your website. This can help you build authority and increase visibility in search engine results pages. Additionally, infographics have the potential to go viral on social media, which can further increase the number of backlinks and referral traffic to your website.
A word of caution: Great backlinks are earned, not bought
Never use any link-building tactics that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes buying backlinks, link farms, article spinning, and participating in any other sketchy practices. As you start to rank better, you’ll likely start to get emails that your SEO is horrible. As odd as it sounds, this could be a sign you’re getting closer to your goal of improving SEO and ranking higher in search engine results pages.
Some of those cold emails will offer to sell you backlinks. Maybe they’ll even say that you can buy backlinks with at least a specific “domain authority.” Know that domain authority isn’t a metric used by Google. It’s an algorithm created by Moz to measure link popularity. It’s not a reliable gauge of quality and can, in fact, be gamed.
Furthermore, know that buying backlinks specifically violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in your website being penalized or even de-indexed. If you’re ever in doubt about the source of a link, do some research before accepting it!
Link Building Can Sound Intimidating at First, but IS Possible
By following ethical SEO tactics and honing your skills in content creation, you can build a solid foundation for improving the SEO of your private practice website. With the right strategy, it is possible to earn backlinks that will help you rank higher in search engine results pages, drive more traffic to your website, and improve visibility for potential clients. Good luck!
Earning backlinks as an SLP in private practice isn’t rocket science, but it does take effort and strategy. I’ve shared lots of specific strategies here. It’s normal if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed reading the whole list. I recommend starting with one link-building strategy at a time. Remember that it’s not just about getting backlinks, though. It’s about creating valuable content for your audience and becoming a trustworthy source in your industry. By doing this, you’ll not only earn backlinks, but you’ll also attract more traffic and clients to your private practice.
Professional Support for SEO for Speech Therapists in Private Practice
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the idea of improving SEO on your own, my team is here to help. At Simplified SEO Consulting, we specialize in supporting helping professionals such as speech therapists in private practice with their SEO and digital marketing strategies. We offer a wide range of SEO services for speech therapists including a DIY online SEO course specifically for backlinks and another one step by step guide going over many other components of SEO. Yet, our most popular service is our “done for you” program where we work really closely with practice owners but do the bulk of the work. You give us some info about your niche and we’ll take it from there!
If you want to learn more about how Simplified SEO Consulting can help you improve your SEO and get more clients, contact us today. We’d love to discuss how we can support you and your private practice!
About the Author
As an experienced private practice owner and SEO specialist, Jessica Tappana has been providing expert guidance to private practice owners for over five years. Her belief that helping professionals do their best work when they have a steady stream of the clients they work the best with led her to found Simplified SEO Consulting, where she leads a team of talented professionals specializing in SEO for healthcare providers. With a private psychotherapy practice of her own and years of experience working with mental health therapists, Jessica has honed her skills in driving traffic and boosting online visibility.
Now, she is excited to extend her expertise to SLPs in private practice, offering customized SEO services to help them reach new clients and grow their businesses. With her extensive knowledge of SEO, Jessica enjoys creating insightful content and delivering valuable tips to empower speech therapists to take control of their online presence. Keep an eye out for more helpful insights from Simplified SEO Consulting!