Hiring an SEO link building service can seem like a good idea for law firms trying to stand out on today's internet, where over 2/3 of U.S. legal clients look up attorneys online. However, SEO link building services aren't for everybody, and if you're not careful, you could get in trouble with your bar association for unethical advertising techniques. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at what sets a good SEO link building service apart from a bad one, and how to decide whether you need these services at all.
Reasons to Use an SEO Link Building Service
SEO link building services have exploded onto the scene in recent years to solve a problem. It doesn't help to have a website if no one knows how to get there. The vast majority of internet users simply click on one of the first few results for their search, rather than doing extensive research over dozens or hundreds of pages. If your law firm appears too late in the search results pertaining to your legal field, you'll have to pay for advertising to increase your website's visibility.
However, paid strategies have weaknesses. Many people don't read contextual sidebar ads, the type that attorneys are most likely to use. Instead, people prefer to use the “organic” search results—the non-ads. Today, search engine optimization to get to the top of the search heap involves a great deal of link building. This means you'll need to get your website linked by other websites.
But what if you don't know a lot of owners of other websites or blogs? How can you do the link building you need to get the search engine results you're looking for? SEO link building services are staffed by experts who can help you understand several different link building strategies and make a good decision about which one to pursue.
When you use an SEO link building service, you won't have to learn much about SEO or link building yourself. SEO link building services can be crucial to the success of some small firms where no one is able to take on additional web work. Instead of hiring a full time staff member for your link building, hiring an SEO link building service helps you save money.
Reasons to Avoid SEO Link Building Services
Even though it may sound like hiring an SEO link building service is win-win, this is only true for certain services. Some SEO link building services can actually harm your online reputation by associating your website with spammers or worse. If you aren't good at vetting online services, you may want to avoid looking for an SEO link building service unless one has been recommended by another lawyer you trust.
You may also want to avoid SEO link building services if you're trying to keep tight control over your content and how it is used. Some services tend to post your content on many different web pages, which is often of limited use.
There's also the fact that today, no SEO link building service has really figured out exactly what Google's looking for when it comes to website quality. Google's own answers are vague, and SEO link building services are generally having to simply use their best guesses. While it's possible that an SEO link building service in 2012 can help you build your business, it's also possible that you'll throw money at the problem without seeing a solution.
Finding the Best SEO Link Building Services
Your best chance of making a profit by using an SEO link building service is if you can find one that has already been recommended by other attorneys. SEO link building services that haven't yet tried optimizing websites for law firms should be avoided at all costs.
You'll also want to get a handle on some basic new trends and SEO concepts, as well as which concepts are considered outdated (like press release submissions). Any time an SEO link building service uses out of date strategies, it will come straight out of your bottom line.
While the most expensive SEO link building services aren't necessarily the best, the cheapest are unlikely to be worth using at all. A cheap SEO link building service may build your links by posting them in irrelevant places or with misleading blurbs. This is sloppy, and should never be part of the SEO link building strategy for a law firm or any other group of professionals.
Alternatives to SEO Link Building Services
You don't necessarily need to hire a high priced SEO link building service to improve where your website shows up in search results. Instead, consider doing your own link building by building a quality blog. There's really no substitute for the creation of your own, high-quality content that really matters to the kinds of clients your law firm brings in.
You can also direct your link building attention toward social media websites. Social media search engine optimization can be a much better way to have your content “go viral” and increase the visibility of your website than SEO link building services. Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook make it easier to share links than ever before.
Monitoring the Progress of Your SEO Link Building Service
SEO link building services will generally be of use for your mid to long term marketing strategy. In the short term, it's unlikely that an SEO link building service will be very helpful—Google's indexers will take time to notice the increasing quality of your website and the number of inbound links you're receiving.
Just because it takes time, however, doesn't mean that your SEO link building services can make you wait forever for results. No matter what, you should be able to see a difference to your bottom line after six months. If you don't, your service may not be using the best techniques, or you may be having conversion issues that are preventing you from making the most of your new higher search results.