Best Practices for Lawyers: SEO for Inbound Links

Best Practices for Lawyers: SEO for Inbound Links

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Best Practices for Lawyers: SEO for Inbound Links

Ten years ago, most of your search engine rankings were just based on your keyword density.  Today, over two thirds of your overall rankings depend on how many inbound links you have.  Now that search engine optimization has moved beyond keywords, how are you going to change your inbound links SEO strategy?  You should be dedicating a solid majority of your optimization time to SEO for inbound links and building new sources for links.  This guide will help you understand why inbound links SEO has become so important and how to make great links with a high value to search engines.

The Anatomy of an Inbound Link

Before you learn the details of how to do up to date inbound links SEO in 2012, you'll need to know a little bit of terminology.  If you already know basic terms pertaining to SEO for inbound links, you can feel free to skip this part and go right to the next section.

Inbound links are links to your website from other websites, and they're important to Google and other search engines because a higher number of inbound links typically means that your website is important and well-regarded.  Anchor text is the text that a person will click on to go to your link, and can be of several types.  Some SEO inbound links will include exact phrase matches in this anchor text for keyword phrases in the article.  Other inbound links for SEO, called branded links, will be words like your law firm's name or an attorney's first and last name.

Crafting Your Content for Inbound Links SEO

The first thing that you need to do to make optimal SEO with inbound links is to make your content great.  Inbound links SEO that takes people to a poorly designed, hard to navigate law firm website is bad, and if its design looks like something straight out of 2002, you'll have a hard time being heard.

Make your content conversion friendly, not only for your inbound links SEO but also for your overall conversion rate.  When people like your website and find it easy to navigate, it's easier for them to share their experience with others and give you organic links back to your website.

You should also make sure that any time you do SEO with inbound links, you have a mobile website ready for anyone accessing the website from a smartphone or tablet PC.  This traffic is unusually eager to convert, but only if you're careful about making a mobile optimized website version.  You'll miss out on the great results of mobile inbound links SEO if you're directing mobile users to a desktop site with tiny, tough to click links.

Making Great Anchor Text for SEO Inbound Links

The anchor text that you use for your inbound links for SEO matters.  If you're using the wrong kinds of anchor text, or using the same kind too often, your SEO for inbound links could end up hitting a brick wall called Google Penguin.  Google Penguin is an algorithm designed to spot websites that have been buying inbound links for SEO or otherwise building a link presence unnaturally.  Penguin basically ensures that if your links are too low-quality or have the same anchor text, no matter how many more you add, you won't see any positive results.

To keep Penguin at bay, you'll need to focus on varying your anchor text.  Not all of your inbound links for SEO should look the same.  In fact, some of your SEO for inbound links should be ordinary phrases, rather than the exact keyword phrases you're hoping for people to search for.  Take a look at blogs and other websites that exhibit a natural-looking link pattern, and try to learn from their example when working on your own inbound links for SEO purposes.

Finding Places to Put Your SEO Inbound Links

Today, there are a multitude of websites that happily host many types of content and links from anyone who creates an account.  When building inbound links for SEO, you need to make sure that the websites you're using are considered authoritative and have a high PageRank value (preferably at least 3 or 4).  The higher the PageRank of your inbound links for SEO, the more your rankings will show results.

Before submitting your SEO inbound links anywhere, make sure that they are formatted correctly for the website you're posting to and that you're not posting anything that would be considered prohibited content.  If your content is very interesting, you may want to try making inbound links for SEO on social bookmarking websites and social networks.  If it's good enough, it will very likely be shared by a large number of users on these sources.

Keeping Your SEO Inbound Links Working

If you've made sure that your links don't violate any written or unwritten rules at the website where you're posting, you've got a good chance of having a link that lasts for years.  However, let's say that you redesign your website a year after building fantastic inbound links, and part of your site redesign included changing the URLs of some of your pages.

Initially, you might think that this means your inbound links for SEO won't work any more.  However, if you run an analysis tool to detect which links are now broken, you can find out exactly which pages are still being linked to.  Then, you can create a redirect page for these pages that will bring the viewer directly to the part of your content they were trying to access.  This creates a much more user friendly experience than a redirect to your home page, which may make it hard to find the right content again.

Monitoring the Success of Your SEO Inbound Links

Periodically, you should check your search engine rankings so that you can tell if you're actually going up in the ranks.  You don't need to check every day or even necessarily every week, because indexing by Google can sometimes be slow.  However, if you're not checking at least once a month, you're missing out on the valuable data that you've gathered by creating inbound links for SEO.

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