You may have heard from friends, marketers, or colleagues that link building is a good way to attract more customers to your website. And this is certainly true. But it’s important to have a clear strategy to attract the right type of links.
Link building includes actions designed to increase the number of inbound links to your website. Effective link building will improve your website’s profile and enhance SEO. But attracting the wrong kind of links can actually damage SEO and even get you penalized by Google.
What’s a Good Link?
Your website is the foundation for your marketing strategy. Before you start link building, you’ll want to create a website that highlights your firm’s assets and the services you provide.
Google knows how to evaluate a well-designed website that features superior content. That’s why a robust website will attract organic traffic from potential clients.
Links to your website are an important Google ranking factor. Also known as inbound links, hyperlinks, backlinks, or external links, links are direct connections from one website to another. Web users activate links by clicking or tapping on a button, an icon, or a highlighted portion of text known as an anchor text.
Google has four main criteria for assessing the value of the links to your website:
- Location. Is it in your area?
- Relevance. Does it make sense for this site to be linking to you?
- Trust. Is the site reputable?
- Domain authority. How big is the site’s footprint on the internet?
For local SEO rankings, location, relevance, and trust are the most important factors. So receiving links from local websites can boost your SEO even if they have a relatively small domain authority.
Where to Look for Links
A link that comes from a good source is like a vote of confidence. It informs search engines that you’re a true part of the local community. Some of the best opportunities to attract links are right in your own backyard.
Link opportunities include:
- Sponsoring community events, high school teams, and fundraisers for charities and foundations is a great way to generate positive publicity, and these organizations are usually happy to link to your firm when they mention your sponsorship.
- Local associations that you belong to such as Elks, Rotary, and Chamber of Commerce are a good opportunity to solicit links.
- Awards you receive come from organizations that may be willing to link to your website.
- Speaking engagements, presentations, formal dinners, and other local events that you participate in can be a good opportunity to ask for links.
- Writing articles for legal publications will enhance your professional prestige. You can also make contributions to your local newspaper. The people you write for are usually willing to include a link to your website in the byline.
- Legal directories such as Justia, Avvo, Nolo, Lawyers.com, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and Martindale can boost your profile and direct traffic to your site. You’ll want to choose directories that are reputable and well-curated, and make sure your link and NAP information are up to date.
- Your alma mater may be willing to highlight your achievements and the work you do on their behalf, such as volunteering to serve on a committee.
- Hosting a podcast is a great way to build your brand. You can include links to your firm in the profile page and in the transcripts section of the podcast website.
Avoiding Bad Links
Law firms need to be particularly careful about the type of inbound links they attract. Businesses such as medical offices, financial advisers, and law firms receive extra scrutiny because they’re in a special Google category called Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), which includes information that can impact the user’s health, happiness, financial stability, or safety.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who practice black hat linking techniques that use trickery to game the system and manipulate organic traffic. When Google discovers black hat tactics, websites may be penalized or completely banned by Google. A reputable marketing agency like SLS Consulting, Inc. can check to see if you have any bad links and remove them for you.
Disreputable linking practices include:
- Paid content
- “Link farms” that simply link to each other to increase traffic
- Excessive keyword stuffing
- Reciprocal linking
- Hidden text
- Plagiarized content
SLS Consulting—We Do Things the Right Way
SLS Consulting, Inc. is a full-service marketing agency. We can optimize your current website or build you a new site if that’s what you’re looking for. When you sit down with our team, we’ll help you find the best strategy to attract more leads.
Call (323) 745-1806 to schedule a FREE consultation today.
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