Inbound links are sometimes called “External Backlinks” and is an important factor in getting high rankings in search engines. If you own or run a law firm, you are not alone. According to the American bar website: there are 1,315,561 active attorneys in the United States. While this number is split into smaller numbers for specialties such as estate, tax, and personal injury lawyers, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. Today’s prospective clients have more options than ever. Effective strategy and marketing can be leveraged to grow your business. Finding creative ways your law firm can get more inbound links can be an important piece of your marketing plan.
What are inbound links? An inbound link as described by hostway.com, is “a hyperlink back to your site from another Web site. The one constant and reliable strategy in search engine optimization is that sites with a variety of high quality backlinks rank higher in the search engine results pages.” What this means practically speaking is that you want other websites to link to your sites, especially high traffic and reliable sites. The more people and websites that link to your site the better your search engine results will be. This is a reliable way to increase your visibility on search engine results.
Why is this important? As described on hostway.com inbound links can increase the number of potential clients to your website and can be extremely helpful in improving your search engine results. If you enter “I need a lawyer” how many search results do you think are given? Google returns approximately 142 million results. An average client may look at page 1 and maybe pages 2 and 3 and then stop looking. Search engines can be incredibly useful tools for prospective clients and for law firms looking to build their book of business. If you know who your target client is and how to appeal to that client, marketing strategies such as optimizing search engines are key. Research can be done to find out what people are searching for in your industry and tailor your website and social media content to match those searches.
How to get more inbound links for your law firm?
- Cross market: Write articles, guest blogs, and press releases and make sure that in each of these items you reference back to your own website. Work with other industry professionals to guest blog or write useful content or articles and then capitalize on the opportunity to reference back to your law firms site. Don’t limit yourself to just other attorneys or law firms. If you specialize in malpractice suits for physicians consider looking for guest blogging opportunities with local doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals. Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities outside of your industry. The more times your website is linked to on other sites the better.
- Directory listings: Utilize online business directories. Verticalresponse.com has a helpful article titled, “The Top 20 Places Your Business Needs to Be Listed Online“. In this article it gives 20 important directories you can take advantage of to promote your business. Some of the online directories recommended include Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Merchant Circle, and the Yellow Pages. Work with a skilled marketing company to decide which of these directories targets your ideal demographic and is worth your effort. Depending on who you are marketing to and the services you offer you may want to limit the directories that you participate in or you may want to utilize as many as possible.
- Blog Comments: www.hostway.com also recommends utilizing Blog comments to create inbound links to your site. This can work several ways. For instance, if you have multiple websites be sure that you have one site reference the other whenever you post a blog. Also, you can utilize industry specific articles and add meaningful commentary in the comments section. When you post your comment, also reference your own website. This creates an inbound link to your site. To be effective in doing this, you want to comment on articles or blogs that your desired clientele are reading and you need to offer meaningful insight in your comments. Otherwise, you run the risk of shameless self-promotion. You will want to walk a fine line of imparting useful information to your audience and then promoting yourself.
- Utilize social media: If you are not currently utilizing social media it is time to start. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more offer you the opportunity to have a stronger online presence. If the yellow pages are now online, it’s because no one is looking in the hard copy book anymore. You need to be present and visible when people who need your services are looking for you. The best way to do this is to have a strong, well-crafted social media presence. Facebook and twitter will also give you the opportunity to reference your website and generate more inbound links.
- Content is critical. You need to have current and useful content. If you write information that other people want or need, they will link back to your blog or article. You should build a base of information that is helpful, informative, and stands out. Your content should be up to date and you should be adding to it regularly. To improve your inbound links your site should become a resource. To increase your sites value as a resource you could write a series of articles focusing on one topic or utilize case studies that your target demographic can relate to. If you can provide information and keep it engaging, people will reference back to your site and create inbound links to it.
Online marketing is a critical piece of generating new business. If you are looking to build your law firms business create a strategic marketing business plan that includes website design and content, SEO optimization and search results, and generating inbound links. While linking to your site is one part of the overall marketing picture it is an important piece that needs your attention. Don’t neglect these creative ways your law firm can get more inbound links.