You've tried reading other articles about getting inbound links for your law firm's website, but you're still left confused and needing the basics. What are inbound links, and why do they really matter? Does your law firm really need to be working on building inbound links, or is there a more productive use of your marketing time and budget? What are inbound links already going to your website saying about you? You can get all the answers to these questions, and more, by reading this guide.
What are Inbound Links?
It's best to start with the very basics of inbound links when you're brand new to finding linking opportunities. What are inbound links? In short, they're just any kind of link to your website from any other website. That's it.
The real question is, what are inbound links doing to your search engine results? It turns out that inbound links are the single most important factor when search engines today determine the rankings of your web pages in search results. What are inbound links doing that makes them so important? Well, the reason that someone posts a link to a website can vary, but usually it's at least a good indicator that someone thinks your website is interesting or informative.
When more and more people think that your website is interesting, search engines tend to rank your results before the results of pages that may not be as interesting. That's why keyword density doesn't matter as much today as your inbound linking.
Who Needs Inbound Links?
Now that you've got the basics (like “what are inbound links?”) down, it's time to move on to the next question. Who actually needs to build inbound links? Should they only be built by law firms that already have very popular websites and an established client base?
The answer to this last question is a vehement no. Remember, inbound links are critically important to search, and search is how over 80 percent of people today look for their lawyer. If you're ignoring your search engine placement, you're leaving money on the table.
Even a very small law firm can begin to build inbound links and start to work on getting to the front page of Google search results for specific niche phrases and keywords. When you're at the front page, you'll see a sharp spike in website traffic and, more importantly, client conversions.
Checking Out the Competition
One of the easiest and best things you can do to improve your inbound links is to analyze your competitors. Think of which of your competitors seems to have the biggest and best online presence in searches for attorneys in your geographic area and practice specialties. Now, what are inbound links that are working for them? When you can find that information out, you can often start to build your own inbound links in the same spaces.
In order to find out what are the inbound links that the competition is using, you'll need to use some sort of backlink checker tool. These are abundant online, and can tell you a huge range of information about the inbound links your competition is using to get ahead. You can tell what are the inbound links that have high value and high PageRank scores, as well as which links are bringing in the most traffic.
When you've looked at the links your competition is building, you can start to look at those websites and figure out how your competitors got linked there. In many cases, you'll find that you can post in the exact same places that they did, which can bring your links dramatically closer to theirs in search rankings.
Where Can I Find the Best Inbound Links?
When people talk about inbound links today, they often want to know what are inbound links that will stay put and really continue to provide value for their website. Many types of links that used to be valuable have since been devalued by Google's algorithms after they proved easy for spammers to abuse.
The best inbound links will be on websites with a high PageRank, .edu websites, or websites that already have a similar context to your law firm site. You should avoid any websites that have no contextual relevance whatsoever to your practice, because Google will often disregard these links outright when computing how authoritative your website is.
Of course, if you really want to know what are inbound links that will be looked at, you need to start building the links completely organically. This means getting people to post your content on their own, without being prompted. The best way to do this is to make sure that your content is so relevant and interesting that it seems more like a giveaway of something great than like an advertisement.
How Can I Make Sure My Inbound Links Work?
If you're unsure that your inbound links are still performing, you can use inbound link checker tools to monitor them. These tools can verify that all of your inbound links are going to valid parts of your website, not a 404 error.
When you check your inbound links, you can also look to see which ones are working best. What are inbound links that work going to look like? Typically they'll be from websites with a high PageRank, and they'll be contextual, which is to say, they'll be about some aspect of the area of law you practice. These are the links least likely to be deleted by a site owner later and least likely to get caught in any of Google's over optimization filters.
Where Can I Get More Information About Inbound Links?
If you're still not quite sure how to build inbound links, or you just want more specific information on where to build new links to your website, lawfirms.laws.com is a great resource for up to the minute information on the latest SEO trends and software. Other articles right here on this site can give you great details on how to build your links from the ground up—without using any automated shortcuts.