What is link building?
You click on links every time you surf the internet. When search engines read the clicks that take you from one website to another, they store that information away in their database (called algorithms.) When it’s time to determine which websites make it to the top of the search engine pile, the sites that have links that get more clicks tend to get better positioning than those that get fewer.
Where do Clicks Come From?
- Review a list of websites that pop up from a search. Pick one. Click.
- Read a blog post with a link to information you want to check out. Click.
- Find a Facebook post with an interesting video from a company you follow. Click.
How it works
To search engines, all those clicks between sites translate into popularity. When search engine spiders find sites pointing to sites, and transmit that information to search engines, the algorithms give credit to both sides. Warning: algorithms can tell if the content of the information being linked is relevant to both sites and issue hefty penalties that can trash site ranking if it’s not.
To the search engines, links have become just as important as keywords. Keywords and links account for 80% of the criteria used by search engines to determine a site’s popularity. If appearing at the top of organic search results is important for your law firm, a good link strategy helps your website get there.
Why link building is important
If you don’t have a plan of action to build links between your attorney website (or your blog site or your landing pages, or your articles or anywhere else you promote your law firm on the Web) and the places where your potential clients are, you’re losing a lot of traffic.
How to start building links
Link building is a continuous process. It’ll take time to learn the basics and to create the right plan for your law firm website. A comprehensive linking strategy is difficult, but you can start a few link-building activities on your own:
Visit the sites that you like, and look at their link-building strategies. Don’t worry about the industry or whether they’re commercial sites. Focus on the links. Where do they go? Are they relevant to the company’s business? Where are they on the website? Are they simple to follow? Can you easily get back to where you started? Links are meant to improve the quality of visits, not make viewers confused.
If your clients have websites or blogs, ask them to link to you. Do the same for them. Add testimonials.
Check out your competitors’ links. Some of the same will probably help your business.
Link building isn’t a one-shot deal. Just like you have to keep your content fresh, your links need the same updating. Periodically test your links to make sure they still lead to live pages with relevant information. Search algorithms also measure the age of your links. You can’t set them and forget them, and keep a good position.
This post originally appeared in Bixa Media with the title: Lessons In Link Building, Part 1: Build Links Or Lose Business.