Real high-quality links are earned organically and require a committed effort in terms of online engagement, public relations, and consistent human interaction and exposure.

Building natural links for your dermatology website is the most effective and most challenging of all search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Links must not only be of superior quality to catch the attention of search engine spiders, but they must also be substantive in numbers to make the necessary impact on your website's page rankings on search engines such as Google and Bing. In other words, scaling up your organic links is one of the key areas of focus for your dermatology online marketing campaign.

It is easy to ramp up poor-quality link building by employing a variety of artificial techniques. However, that path is merely a shortcut to a serious rankings downgrade. Google and other search engine algorithms now have the capability to differentiate between the good and the bad quality links. Real high-quality links are earned organically. This requires a committed effort in terms of online engagement, public relations, and consistent human interaction and exposure.

CONTENT STRATEGY

Targeting social media influencers, print media journalists, leading columnists, and respected bloggers should help you achieve top-quality organic links. These individuals are typically very selective in terms of quality and relevance of content, and you have to bring up your content to a level where they endorse and promote it—and support your link building efforts in the process. To reach out to these high quality groups and gain their goodwill, it is important for you to create a sharply focused content strategy.

There is no shortcut to building dermatology related content. You need experienced professional content developers who can create good content and are persuasive in their presentation. If necessary, the content building team should be trained in what kind of content is required for the practice. Only once they are trained and equipped to handle the content, they should be empowered with the execution of a cohesive content creation effort. A system of checks and balances should be in place to ensure that the content flows in the targeted direction at any given point of time.

WORKFLOW PLAN

Link building, in one sense, encompasses every aspect of the SEO strategy. Therefore, without a comprehensive workflow plan and approach, it will never be possible to achieve the desired results for high quality organic links. The entire SEO process must be mapped out in the workflow plan. Most people have to-do lists, but very few among them actually put it down on paper in a systematic manner.

All the related information cannot be retained and processed in the head alone. It needs to be spelled out and incorporated into an organized system that allows the conversion of a wide range of information into clear and cohesive actions and decisions. A workflow will help in a logical distribution of time and effort towards link building and other SEO exercises. It will enable you to operate at peak efficiency with regard to your link building strategy and yield real results.

IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL INFLUENCERS

To begin with, as a dermatology marketer you can perform a detailed online search for relevant websites, blogs, discussion forums, online publications and social media accounts that may be focusing on the similar areas as your practice. These sites should be closely relevant, authoritative, and commanding a reputation and following in their field. The trustworthiness, credibility and authority of such sites can also be gauged by using a number of third party tools with their unique algorithms or metrics.

The next logical step is to acquire accurate contact information about these targeted sites. The contact details will usually be available on the website itself. In addition to the contact name and email or phone number, it will also help to collect their social media contacts such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The idea of collecting multiple contact points for a site is to ensure that if one contact fails to elicit the desired response, you have other contacts available for outreach.

REACHING OUT

The database of potential contacts can run into hundreds or even thousands of names, which can serve as key influencers to support organic link building for your content. It may not be possible to reach out to each one of them with an individual or personalized message. Therefore, the first step should be to develop a few solid templates with effective text targeted at individual subgroups within the database.

Templates should also be created for the next communications in the series, because each target may not respond in the first communication itself. Two or three levels of communication can be created to reach out to each target in a systematic manner. However, repeated communications beyond a third attempt should preferably be avoided. The privacy and confidentiality of the contacts should be respected at all times.

PERSONALIZATION

The key to success in such an outreach effort lies in personalization. Once the templates are developed for the specific sub-groups and specific communication levels, they should not be sent out immediately. Each template can form the broader text, but each individual email should be personalized using the name, contact details and some kind of reference to the website or blog or the specific areas of interest of the contact. Most people will not bother with a standardized template email. However, when it includes personal information and an engagement that appeals to their interests, it becomes a more persuasive proposition.

Templates can be discarded in exceptional cases, and exclusive personalized communications can be developed for targets that have very strong potential. For instance, when writing to an eminent journalist of a leading online publication that deals with similar areas as your dermatology practice, it is worth the effort to create an individual and personalized communication to that individual. The results of such systematic efforts will eventually start showing, and the organic link building strategy will pay off in terms of higher search engine rankings for your dermatology website.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of dermatologists. With a team of 130+ full time marketers, Ekwa.com helps one doctor in an area dominate their market and grow their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call Naren direct at 877-249-9666.