Link building is the process of earning new links for your site from outside websites.
Those outside websites could include medical journals, news publications, or parenting blogs — as long as the source is relevant to your practice, you've earned a good link.
Lots of good links tell search engines like Google that you're a trustworthy source. After all, if someone else is willing to send their visitors to your site for information, then you must've done something truly great.
That's why every good link you get acts like a vote of confidence for your site. And when you collect a lot of them, your site will start to show up higher in organic search results.
So if you wrote a page about flu shots and it gets lots of attention from other websites, that page will start to show up better in search results whenever someone enters the keyword "flu shot."
When your site displays high in search results, you can attract more visitors to your website naturally and without paying a dime. Plus, the longer that page is on your site, the more links it can attract, which makes it a huge potential money-maker online.
With all of that in mind, link building essentially breaks down into two steps.
Step #1. Content creation
Content creation is the process of generating ideas for new parts of your site, researching them, and developing them into live pages.
This process can take a long time, and it includes all kinds of content — blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, downloads, and more.
Creating content should take time because it's important that you do your research. If someone wants in-depth information on the flu, they want more than a few sentences to learn all they can.
But at the same time, users want to read short sentences and paragraphs that are broken up by negative space.
That means if you want your content to appeal to users — no matter what format you use — it's important to do as much research as you can and write as concisely as you can.
Plus, it's important to write with everyday language that's easy for readers to understand. Sometimes, that means writing on a fifth grade level — or even lower! If you ever want to check the reading level of your content, you can use our readability test tool.
Step #2. Relevant outreach
Outreach is the process of sending your content to other website owners, bloggers, or writers via email.
Outreach lets you show your newest content to a select group of people before it starts to show up in search engines or social media. It's a great way to build links and brand awareness.
However, it's also a great way to get on someone's bad side. That's why outreach is a constant back-and-forth — it can easily be misinterpreted as spam.
When you're creating outreach emails, it's important to write as concisely as possible, just like with your content. That lets the recipient quickly skim your email.
You should also include a link to your content in the email so someone knows where to find it.
And to top it all off, you should write cordially and politely.
But not everyone will respond to you after you send them an email. That's why you can send a follow-up email reminding them of your first message.
Follow-ups are most effective when they're used about a week after your first email. They increase the chance that someone will link to your content or at least respond to you.
But after one follow-up, it's time to hang up your hat for that outreach target. Don't send them any additional messages, or you could risk having your email account flagged as spam.
The best outreach targets will always be people in your industry who write for prominent publications, like journals or well-known blogs. It's also important that you email them directly instead of using a contact form since you'll show up right in someone's inbox.
Finally, you can find a target's email address by looking at their website, social media accounts, or blog signature (if applicable).
Create a list of lots of outreach targets and send them all a similar email with your name, company name, and a link to your content.
Once you've done that, you've started the process of earning lots of new links for your site!