If you want to win the internet, you MUST have a winning backlink strategy. Backlinks are like online “street cred”; they can boost a site’s authority and help move it up the ranks of a search engine results page. Link building is one of the primary ways websites gain Google’s attention — by accumulating votes (a.k.a., backlinks) from other trustworthy sites. The website with more reputable votes from others “wins.” Let’s take a look at how backlink campaigns work and the implications for pharma of employing such a campaign.

Backlink Campaigns Build Relationships
One way to acquire backlinks is through “natural” (i.e., unsolicited) linking. For example, imagine someone is writing a blog post and finds useful statistics or facts to include in their post; they choose to include a link to the site where the stats were found, which creates a natural link.

While websites may naturally link to other sites that are perceived to be highly reputable – i.e., containing quality content – backlink outreach campaigns are another option for acquiring links. Backlink campaigns are all about building relationships. Building relationships with strategic partners (i.e., authoritative sites with content relevant to the content on your site) throughout the web, letting others know what you can do for them (i.e., provide their users with additional resources for information). It’s directly taking your unique value proposition to the streets … or inbox. But keep in mind that it takes some time to see results.

Some advantages backlink campaigns have over other pharma-marketing strategies are:

  • No required regulatory review or code push
  • No visibility limitations of perceived value from search engines
  • Nobody can control who links to your site, except webmasters of other sites

Outreach campaigns are primarily conducted via email. While natural backlinks are accumulated organically, outreach campaigns are strategically carried out by an SEO professional who understands your users, industry and brand. With the right guidance, such a campaign can result in significant growth in the visibility of your brand’s website — a boon in the pharma industry, where other types of tactics may be inhibited by regulatory concerns.

Backlink Campaigns Get Results
Following are some statistics from one brand Intouch worked with that recently implemented a backlink campaign:

  • 146 emails sent, 29 replies, response rate 19.9%
  • Keywords ranking on page 1 of Google grew nearly 200%
  • Keywords moving into positions 1-3 of Google search results grew 300%
  • Website was displayed on page 1 in the top 3 positions 1,039 times.
  • A large volume of top-ranking keywords creates momentum that will naturally pull in more links:
    • Visits increased by 31% and registrations by 75%
    • Organic search entries to the homepage grew 335% (from 1,827 to 7,941)

The Bottom Line
Backlink campaigns are mutually beneficial for branded as well as unbranded sites. In addition to positioning your strategic value, there’s great benefit to building relationships with strategic partners – and campaigning for votes (links) from strategic partners across pharma is ALWAYS a winning strategy. Pharma brands that neglect implementing a link-building strategy are missing opportunities their competitors may not. Ultimately, brands that implement backlink campaigns may just see exponential results. Can your brand benefit from backlink campaign? Reach out to your account team to learn more.

Authors: Jesse Brown & Hannah Gooding are associate SEO specialists in the Kansas City office.