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We’re Home Care Pulse, a leading provider of experience management & surveys, caregiver/CNA training, and online reputation management.

One of the key strategies an effective SEO specialist should be employing for your home care agency’s website is backlink acquisition. Here’s why.

By now, most business owners are well aware of the need for effective search engine optimization strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Yet these strategies are fluid and dynamic, and unless you’re fully trained, skilled, and committed to ongoing monitoring of the latest trends and recommendations, it’s still easy to fall behind. With the increasing demand for in-home care services, what home care agency owner has the time needed to invest in becoming a search engine optimization expert?

An organization that utilizes a wide range of digital marketing tools and understands the intricacies of each will see far better SEO results than an organization that simply dabbles off and on in SEO. For best results, delegate search engine optimization to an industry-specific expert with proven results, who understands the many intricacies and strategies to use.

One of the key strategies an effective SEO specialist should be employing for your home care agency’s website is backlink acquisition. Here’s why.

Note: A backlink is when one website links to another (also considered an incoming hyperlink). This can be to a particular page or resource and benefits SEO by building authority and increasing how a site ranks on search engines. 

What Is So Important About Backlinks?

Backlinks are vitally important for SEO because search engines (Google in particular) give more credit to websites that have a high number of high quality backlinks. Those websites are considered to be more relevant because other relevant and respected websites are linking back to them. It’s Google’s version of a popularity contest.

Basically, the more high-quality backlinks that point to your agency’s site, the higher your site (specifically, the pages that are being linked to) will rank in search engine results.

There are a number of SEO studies that will tell you that backlinks actually correlate with SERP (search engine result page) rankings more than any other factor. In Google’s eyes, backlinks are a signal that a certain website trusts your agency’s site enough to link back to you. The more “trust” other websites show in you, the more the search engine sees your website as a credible source of information.

Is Quality Important When It Comes to Backlinks?


Yes, yes, yes! When search engines are trying to determine how relevant a website is, the quality of the backlinks that are pointing to your site is a big part of that calculation – it’s a quality over quantity approach.

When considering a potential backlink for your website, quality can be evaluated in a couple of different ways.

First and foremost, you should determine whether or not a website has content that is related to your site. Google obviously considers backlinks between related websites to be more relevant. The higher the relevance of inbound links, the greater their quality. Some examples of relevant websites you would want to establish backlinks with include:

  • Associations related to aging (Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, etc.)

  • Online publications (Good Old Days, Prevention, Reader’s Digest, etc.)

  • Topic-related websites (elder care attorneys, Social Security benefits/income for aging adults, Medicare/Medicaid, veterans’ affairs, Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.)

 

Be aware as well that there are some resources that may initially appear to be relevant but are not, such as handyman or home maintenance services or companies.

Second, you should take a look at the website’s domain authority. In the simplest terms, domain authority tells you how likely a website is to appear in a Google SERP. It is a comparative metric as opposed to an absolute metric, and it’s important to note that it is not a Google ranking factor. In the context of this discussion, it’s simply a useful way to measure the quality of a potential backlink.

What Exactly Are the Benefits of Including Backlinks in a Home Care Agency’s SEO Strategy?

Backlinks do several things for a home care agency’s website including:

 

There are good and bad ways to acquire backlinks. Years ago, it was not uncommon to see websites acquiring as many backlinks as possible in as little time as possible (a quantity over quality approach). This was quite effective for driving up the total number of backlinks associated with a particular website. However, Google caught on to these practices and has actually implemented rules against doing this and will penalize anyone exploiting backlink acquisition in this way.

Instead, current best practice is what is called “white hat” link acquisition. It’s intensive and takes quite a bit of time, but the results are worth it. Below are some common white hat link acquisition strategies:

  • Online Directories and Business Listings. An online directory allows you to list your office contact information, including your website URL, which counts as a backlink to your website. Examples include Yellow Pages, Yelp, and many others. Directory backlinks are some of the quickest and easiest backlinks to acquire and are great for new websites. They’re also great for building your local SEO presence. One caveat: Make sure directory or business listings that you use are “do-follow” links as opposed to “no-follow” links.

  • Blog Commenting. This is just as the name implies: adding comments to blogs and articles that are relevant to the home care industry. Be sure your comments pertain to the post and provide useful information. Comments usually have a no-follow tag which means no authority will get passed from that website to yours. However, those comments still drive referral traffic, which Google uses to influence your SERP ranking.

  • Contacting Webmasters or the “Broken-Link” Building Method. This involves finding and reporting broken links to a webmaster. At the same time, you recommend other websites (hint: your own) to replace that link.

  • Guest Blogging. By publishing articles on other popular websites, you’ll get your content in front of new readers and gain exposure. This approach doubles not only as a backlink for your website but also helps to increase your online reputation. Searching on Google can be a quick, easy way to find relevant guest blogging opportunities using search queries such as [your market] + “blogs,” [your market] + “guest post,” or [your market] + “contributing writer.” Use creativity in brainstorming ways to search for industry blogs that accept guest posts, and prioritize guest blogging outreach based on domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the better for your SEO. This helps you establish authority as a thought leader, builds relationships within the industry, and allows you to provide content for other websites.

  • Research Your Competition. Know what your competitors are doing, when they’re publishing new content (and what it’s about), and what backlinks they’re acquiring. Then you can potentially replicate their approach. For example, if they seem to be gaining links through guest blogging, then try to become a guest blogger on those same websites. If most of their backlinks appear to be coming from blog commenting, then make sure you are part of the conversation as well (in a tactful, informative way).

Compare these tips against your SEO reports to ensure these tactics are included in your SEO specialist’s efforts. If you don’t currently have an SEO specialist performing ongoing optimization work on your website, it’s high time to find one! Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of choosing someone who understands the home care industry and has specific experience and expertise in that niche.

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We’re Home Care Pulse, a leading provider of experience management & surveys, caregiver/CNA training, and online reputation management.

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