The Importance of Link Earning and Link Building for Addiction Treatment Websites
Ranking a website on Google can be a time-consuming process. Unless your market is totally unique, the likelihood that you will be facing stiff competition for high-value keywords is certain. When you own an addiction treatment website, the practice becomes even more grueling as Google has specifically rolled out several stringent regulations for the industry that directly mandate the process of how rehab owners should implement their SEO. To put it simply – there’s a lot of red tape involved, and should you fail or neglect to meet Google’s strict guidelines regarding rehab marketing SEO, you may find your website’s rankings tanking dramatically.
However, link building and link earning still hold true for rehab website owners as a reliable method for increasing a website’s search engine visibility. In layman’s terms, links can be considered “votes” that indicate whether or not a web page or website domain can be trusted as an authoritative or respectable source. Be that as it may, it’s important to know that not all links push equal amounts of trust – some links carry more value than others. Assuming that the strategy of building links is entirely a numbers game is a rookie’s mistake, and can be considered a hallmark of an amateur SEO professional.
Discovering and Monitoring Bad Backlinks
Over the years, Google has refined their guidelines on what constitutes a “bad” link from a “good” one. Links that seem unnatural or purposely manipulative have a greater likelihood of being perceived as negative and will ultimately decrease a website’s search engine rankings. This type of link building is referred to as black hat SEO and can be seen when strategies such as link farms or link buying are used.
It can be a time-consuming process to monitor every single backlink to your website, but consider it good practice to conduct a routine audit of your backlink profile and double check that nothing fishy or suspicious is happening under your nose. After all, an overly zealous competitor could easily buy dozens of low quality and spammy backlinks that point to your domain, which can negatively skew your rankings and website’s reputation in the eyes of search algorithms.
The best option for a rehab website owner is to invest in a high-quality backlink monitoring tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush, and make it a habit to audit their backlink profile whenever possible. Pinpointing vulnerabilities quickly can help protect your website’s reputation from experiencing any fallout caused by heavy penalties and de-rankings.
The screenshot above is an example of Ahrefs’s powerful backlink tool. Its capabilities include revealing the anchor text, trustworthiness of a website, and when the backlink was first discovered. If your rehab center doesn’t have the budget to purchase a tool as comprehensive as Ahrefs, there are certainly cheaper and less intensive alternatives – just keep in mind that any lower-budget backlink software will likely have fewer features and more limitation on what data it can glean. Despite this, investing in the best tools can only take an SEO professional so far: it’s how they use the data that truly matters in the end.
High Authority Backlink Building for Addiction Treatment Websites
As stated earlier, not every backlink carries equal weight. For example, a single backlink from an incredibly trusted, high-trafficked and well-known domain will transfer more value to your website than say, one thousand spammy and sketchy-looking backlinks from 2-3 websites that nobody has ever heard of. Keeping that in mind, a website owner who spends their time and effort carefully curating their content so that it provides true value to their niche’s consumers will have a greater chance of being linked to by other reputable websites. It takes more work to create quality content, however, but when done effectively, your content will naturally be linked to by others with minimal effort by the web owner.
Disavow Bad Backlinks to Your Website
If you find your addiction treatment website the target of a negative SEO scheme (where a competitor actively works to point bad links towards you in an effort to throttle your rankings), do not despair: you have the capability to disavow these bad links and negate any potential penalties they may have been sending you.
Here’s a quick run-down for catching and disavowing these manipulative backlinks:
- Use a tool, such as Ahrefs or SEMRush, to view all your current backlinks.
- Identify which backlinks pose an issue, seem like spam or look like they are unfairly manipulating Google.
- Keep a list of the domains that contain the bad URL.
- Using Google’s webmaster tool, submit all the domains from #3 using the disavow tool.
Learning how to identify what constitutes as spam or not may take some time for a beginner SEO, but after you have routinely audited your website several times, you will start to recognize the nuances and decide for yourself what should and shouldn’t be disavowed. Hiring an external SEO company that you trust to conduct an audit can be helpful as they have likely performed many, and can quickly pinpoint the domains that are most likely hurting your rankings.
The Need for Sustainable Link Building
Sustainable link building is an art, and a strategy must be set in place in order to reap the benefits of longevity. For example, a post about 4th of July may be incredibly timely and well-written – and may have awesome potential to be shared in the weeks leading up to the holiday – but don’t expect it to be earning links well into August or September.
Likewise, rookie SEOs may be tempted to purchase from link farms, which are websites built solely for the purpose of links and contain low or spam-filled content. They’re probably incredibly cheap and pose a quick and easy way to build hundreds of links to your website. In fact, link farms may even boost your website’s rankings in the short-term – so an unsuspecting rehab owner may see their website’s rankings grow dramatically after a link farm purchase and become elated at their return on investment.
That is, until Google catches on, and decides to penalize any links stemming from the link farm – including your own rehab website – thus rendering your purchase useless.
Sustainable link building involves the act of prioritizing high-quality content over short-term wins so that your website can see a natural progression of growth and links. Attempts to bypass or trick Google may work initially, but it’s a risky price to pay if Google decides months or even years down the road that your backlink profile looks too black hat and doles out a harsh punishment by way of de-ranking or deindexing your domain entirely.
Link Building for Addiction Treatment Websites
The advice laid out in this blog post can be applied to many industries, but why is it incredibly crucial for rehab owners? The answer lies in Google’s latest news regarding rehab advertising on its search engine. Because many addiction treatment centers were conducting shady and predatory patient-brokering deals and less-than-truthful marketing campaigns, Google instated a ban that restricted drug rehab websites to purchase ads for keywords such as “alcohol treatment center” or “drug rehab.” Now treatment center owners will have to go through Google’s intensive vetting process before having the capability to run their pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, and, in doing so, poses a hefty and expensive cost for their digital marketing budget.
Now more than ever, organic marketing for addiction treatment websites via high-quality content and link earning is even more necessary. Stay ethical in your content strategy, and prioritize long-term strategies that involve more time and effort over quick and easy wins.
Staying Away from Link Building Scams
By avoiding scammy link tactics, you minimize the risk of facing penalties to your treatment website down the road. Remember that if a link deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A well-vetted rehab marketing agency will likely have the experience and tools necessary to properly evaluate your backlink profile, as well as implement the best strategies for content within your niche.