Law firms today don't just need to find inbound link sources and get their links listed. In today's fast paced search engine optimization world, that's just not enough—case studies show that a month after you find inbound links and place them, only 20 percent will be indexed by Google. To make sure that the links you find are indexed and that you maintain them for a long time, you might need some guidance. Keep reading this guide to learn not only some great places to find inbound links, but also tips about keeping the links you've worked so hard to get.
Places to Find Inbound Links: Blogs
One of the best places to find inbound link traffic is the blogosphere. Before you start a blog, it's a good idea to start following some legal blogs to get a feel for what their scope is like and how they're using their blog to market their law firm. If you jump into the deep end right away, without even seeing how blogs are done, you could find yourself alienating potential readers by violating conventions.
Once you have a blog, it's easy to find inbound link sources in the form of blog comments both on your blog and on the blogs of others. You can find inbound links by posting comments, including full anchor text hyperlinks to your homepage, on the blogs of other people. Make sure that when you're responding to a blog, it's not a generic response—you'll have much more success with inbound links that are contextually relevant and show some evidence of prior planning and thought.
Places to Find Inbound Links: Social Networking Websites
Websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer significant opportunities to find inbound link resources. If you're not already a member of all three of these websites, you need to be to find inbound links quickly and efficiently. These three sites are all high in PageRank value, which means that links from them are significantly more valuable than if you had just gotten an inbound link from a low PageRank site.
You can not only find inbound links on these websites by posting them yourself, but also by fostering an environment where conversations are likely to take place. You can find inbound link sources in these conversations, just by seeing who's talking about your services and what they're saying.
Places to Find Inbound Links: Local Directories
When you're trying to find inbound link sources that will help attract local searchers—who are much more likely to convert than people who aren't using a location term in their search—you should first look into making your business's voice heard on local directory websites.
By making sure that your law firm appears in local directories, you'll find inbound links are automatically generated to your website. Not only that, when you find inbound link sources in local directories, they're likely to be indexed very quickly and will contribute to Google's “local search” results, which occupy most of the first page when people search for location based terms.
Places to Find Inbound Links: Social Bookmarking Sites
Another great environment for anyone looking to find inbound link sources is the social bookmarking website. These sites first became popular during the “web 2.0” movement, and many, like Reddit, are strong and getting stronger every day. On these websites, anyone can post a link and other people may or may not promote it, increasing its popularity and visibility.
Not only is it easy to find inbound link sources on these websites (usually an account takes only a few minutes to register, and then you can post!), but you'll also find that they can help generate buzz about your website. However, if you're going to post on these websites, you'll need to have really great content. People on social bookmarking sites have seen a whole lot of the internet—you need to get creative to really impress them and get website traffic from your inbound links.
Places to Find Inbound Links: Question and Answer Sites
Because lawyers are subject matter experts, question and answer websites are a natural fit for anyone looking to find inbound link sources. Try answering some basic questions that have recently been posted to a website like Yahoo Answers. By including an inbound link to your own website, you'll potentially draw in new clients and help your search engine rankings as well.
Any time you answer questions on one of these websites, it's important to include a disclaimer about your answers not constituting legal advice. Try to speak only in more general terms about the law, rather than about the specifics of someone's case.
Get Your Inbound Links Indexed
It doesn't help to find inbound link sources if the links you make are never indexed. That's why it's critical to tier your backlinks whenever possible. What is tiering? Simply put, it's making sure that there are links to the webpages that your backlinks are on. Some websites make this easy—most of the time, a website with a site index will be very easy for Google to index and won't require any additional tiered backlinking.
Tiering your backlinks can double or even triple your indexing rate after a month. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get ahead of your competition. Even if they're able to find inbound link sources at the same rate as you, you'll be ahead because the websites you're getting links from index you faster and have better PageRank scores.
Don't Get Your Inbound Links Deleted
In order to minimize the prospect of your inbound link being erased, possibly before it can even be indexed, you'll need to follow the guidelines of any website you post to. Failing to do this is a gamble, and even if it “pays off” and your link doesn't get deleted, your violation of the rules is likely to be noted by other community members.
When in doubt, it's a good idea to just “lurk” as a non-posting member of a new online community before starting to actually participate. This way, you can get a feel for what is and is not acceptable before you do something that would call negative attention to yourself or your law firm.