It seems like every search engine professional today wants to get free backlinks, and that's no surprise. Because Google and other search engines now use backlinking for up to 70 percent of your search ranking determination, you need to focus on getting free backlinks as often as possible. In this guide, you'll learn nine easy ways to get free backlinks that attorneys can start using today.
#1: Blogs and RSS Feeds
Blogging is one of the easiest ways to get a free backlink, and it's not hard to see why. After five to ten minutes of account creation, anyone with an internet connection can start a blog about any topic under the sun, and from then on, it's easy to create free backlinks on that blog.
Having your own offsite blog is a great way to get free backlinks, especially if you start interacting with the owners of other blogs and doing guest posts. You can get even more free backlinks by syndicating your blog with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.
#2: LinkedIn Questions
Because LinkedIn is considered a very high quality website, any free backlink you get from LinkedIn is more influential in your search rankings than many other websites' free backlinks. A great way to multitask your marketing is to start answering questions that have been asked on LinkedIn by other attorneys or people with legal issues.
Not only does answering LinkedIn questions help you to get free backlinks, it also puts your name out there in front of a lot of people who might want to call your office. If you're answering questions for other lawyers, you can increase your odds of getting referrals while you're getting free backlinks.
Even if your law firm doesn't do much marketing to consumers, you should make sure to get free backlinks by filling out a Facebook profile for your firm. Ignoring the free backlink potential of Facebook would be a mistake, because it's by far the most popular social networking website in the United States.
You can create free backlinks on Facebook in a wide variety of ways, both on your profile and in your public feed. Make sure that your posts are set to “public” by default, so that every free backlink you create to your website can be detected and indexed by Google.
“Tweets” are limited to 140 characters long but can still include a link to your website. Twitter links are generally considered to be high quality, so this is a great way to build free backlinks that will really generate results. The most interesting part about using Twitter to get free backlinks is that several studies that have compared the efficacy of every social networking site at raising search rankings, and Twitter seems to come out on top. This may mean that a free backlink from Twitter is worth more than one from Facebook or LinkedIn.
#5: Social Bookmarking
From Metafilter to StumbleUpon to Reddit, social bookmarking websites take a wide variety of forms. All of them can be great for free backlinks, if you're willing to play by their rules. You'll need to make high quality content that people really want to read—and then you can put a free backlink to that content on their websites.
If you try to get free backlinks using these websites but are linking to poor quality content or direct advertising, it's likely that your links will be deleted. This is a waste of your time and effort, so make sure the content is good before you create a free backlink to it.
#6: Press Coverage
To get free backlinks from the press is often easier said than done, but it's still worth trying. If you get news coverage, the newspaper or television station will often include a free backlink to your website as part of their content. Free backlinks can also come from commenting on news stories and including a relevant backlink as part of your comment.
#7: Yahoo Answers
Yahoo Answers has a lot of answers (both good and bad). You can help to improve the quality of those answers while simultaneously getting free backlinks. To get free backlinks on Yahoo Answers that will be in answers rated as “most helpful,” make sure that your link pertains to the topic of the question and isn't just inserted randomly.
Make sure that you provide all appropriate legal disclaimers when you answer any kind of legal question online. No free backlink is worth an ethics inquiry from your state bar, so take every needed precaution before you answer any online questions on Yahoo Answers, a blog, or anywhere else.
#8: Blog Comments
Posts aren't the only place where blogs can provide free backlinks. Another easy way to get free backlinks is to make informative, relevant comments on blogs about legal topics. Every free backlink you get in this way can also help you to make connections with bloggers. Those connections can lead to new business, either directly or through word of mouth referrals.
Make sure that you're only commenting on active blogs, preferably those with moderation policies for comments. This type of comment gives you a higher quality free backlink according to Google than comments on unmoderated blogs. In fact, if you have too many free backlinks coming from unmoderated blogs, you could see your blog incurring over optimization penalties.
#9: Directory Profiles
The last place we'll talk about to get an easy free backlink is in web directories. These directories offer a great way to get free backlinks while making it easier for people to find your website. Every free backlink that you get on these websites will generally be considered high quality, as long as the directory itself isn't full of spam.
You may want to consider getting free backlinks on directories that are specifically for attorneys, or just for local businesses in your area. Investigate all of your options to get the best free backlink arrangements possible.