Arrow with the word strategyI’ve had quite a few conversations with attorneys recently about how they can get more backlinks to their site. This is an important topic for a few reasons. First, backlinks still matter quite a bit in search and they will for the foreseeable future. Second, going about it in the wrong way is a good method for getting your site dinged by one of Google’s algorithm updates and making sure that you disappear from search results.  I looked at the subject of links previously in my series on how attorneys can build backlinks the right way. Given the recent conversations I’ve had I think it’s time to give the topic another look. So, let’s take a look at an important thing to understand about links and then dive into three ways for you to get more link mojo to your law firm’s website.

Attorneys need to understand that backlinks are simply the byproduct of a correct strategy and should never be seen as a goal in and of themselves. Why do I say this? Because the only backlinks which are sure to not get dinged in a future algorithm update are the ones which people place on their site because they 1) genuinely find your content useful and 2) they wish to share your content with their readers. Following the steps I’m going to discuss in a moment will help you create that content, get it discovered, and earn links as a byproduct of that strategy. Attempting to “manufacture” links, in a non-organic way, leads to your site getting punished by the search engines and you wind up looking like this guy:

Man frustrated by computer

I’m going to write more later this week on why backlinks should be seen as a byproduct.  For now let’s look at a three-step strategy for getting the good links which will stand the test of time. These three steps are how you implement the strategy above of 1) creating quality content which people want to read and 2) getting it out there for people to see.

Attorneys can build website backlinks by leveraging their analytics

Want to know the best way to determine which content it is people want to read? Simple……leverage your analytics! I wrote on the leveraging of your website’s data in my post on three ways for attorneys to get more clients for free. Let’s look at why I say this.

The biggest mistake attorneys make with their blog is that they write content which they want people to see as opposed to writing the content which people, themselves, want to see. By focusing on what your audience wants you will get more readers. So……how do we determine what it is your audience wants? We use data. First, go into your analytics data and take a look at what your most popular pages and posts have been over the last twelve months. You’ll see that a large percentage of your traffic will come from a small percentage of your posts. You can then write additional content on the same topics as those popular posts. Let’s take a look at how this is put into practice.

We wrote a blog post for a client on how drug use impacts child custody cases. Since writing it, that post has been clicked on 481 times and it continues to get clicks today. Several months ago we looked at our client’s analytics and realized that this one post was performing well – SO WE WROTE ADDITIONAL BLOG POSTS ON THE TOPIC! The result of focusing on the topic? The additional, and much newer posts, have received an additional 286 clicks to date and continue to get clicks. We focused on the analytics to determine what it was that this attorney’s potential client base was interested in and wrote more on that topic. The result has been a success. Most importantly – our client recently received a backlink due to these posts.

Want people to link to your site? They’re not going to unless they find your content interesting. Want to know what people find interesting? Leverage your analytics.

Attorneys can build more backlinks by promoting their content on social media

Facebook emblemsPromoting that quality content, which people want to read, is an important part of building backlinks. You can engage in this promotion through social media. That being said, you’ll effectively promote your content if you approach social media in the right way. This is a way which, to be blunt, is the opposite of what most attorneys do.

First, your efforts at social media should not be to network with other attorneys. Your approach to LinkedIn should be to connect to non-attorneys who deal with your client base (a family law attorney, for example, should be connecting with marriage & family therapists). Your Facebook approach should be to connect directly to consumers. If, for example, a family therapist sees a useful article on how drug use impacts child custody then 1) they may link to it on their own blog as the attorney’s content is a useful resource for their audience and 2) they’ll likely tell their clients, face to face, to read the article (which results in clients for the attorney). Taking a correct approach to social media results in both links and clients.

I recently wrote several posts on how attorneys can better leverage/promote their content on social media and I won’t rehash those subjects here. To read those profound and incredibly well-written articles (patting myself on the back as I write this), check out the following links:

Now you’ve leveraged your analytics to draft content people actually want to see. You’ve also promoted it, through social media, to people who are genuinely interested in it. The result? Backlinks and clients.

Attorneys can build backlinks through face to face networking

People at networking functionA third step to getting links is good-ol’ face to face networking. Remember that from back in the day? It turns out there are still people out there in the world. This is another way of getting links to your site.

First, attorneys should be networking with people other than attorneys. Why? Well, first, it’s a better way to get clients than is talking to other lawyers (that’s a rant for a later article). Second, non-attorneys have use for the type of information an attorney can provide. Examples I’ve seen, more than once, involve attorneys building relationships with other professionals who deal with the attorney’s same potential client base. It was useful for these professionals to have posts/content on their site which deals with the legal implications of a given issue. These professionals will often turn to the attorney, whom they have a relationship with, to write a guest-post or other content on the legal side of things. That content then contains a link back to the attorneys site.

Are you putting your networking efforts into speaking with other attorneys? Well, not only are you costing yourself clients – you’re also costing yourself backlinks.

Want to get more links? The steps above will get you those links and not leave you wondering about Google’s next algorithm update. The result will be good performance in search and more cash in your pocket.