Lawyers often ask us how they can tell whether their SEO strategies "are working." Ultimately, it comes down to whether you are earning meaningful attention from organic search that is translating into new client relationships. But before we get there, there are some other metrics that can provide useful feedback about what you're doing. As it relates to content marketing, one of the things you should pay attention to is whether or not people who see your pages and posts decide to link to them.
Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do. Let's start with the free version.
Hopefully you've linked your site(s) and blog(s) to a Google Webmaster Tools account. If you care about your visbility in Google results and you aren't regularly monitoring what Webmaster Tools is telling you, you don't really care about your visibility in Google.
Once you're set up with Webmaster Tools, navigate to:
Search Traffic -> Links to Your Site
Under, "Your most linked content" click the More >> link.
Now you should be looking at Overview >> All linked pages
Now click on Source domains to sort your pages by descending number of source domains linking to your pages.
What do you see?
What page is linked to by the most source domains?
It's likely that it's your home page. That's normal. If you have added your site to major legal directories, social networks, etc, those domains will point to your home page.
Where are those links coming from?
If you've hired someone to do link building to your pages, you might see a bunch of lousy domains that:
And it's likely that most of these will link to your home page too.
If you see a lot of domains like this, you might want to click the Manual Actions link to see whether you have a manual webspam action. You should also check out your Google Analytics traffic that is attributed to google / organic. Expand your date range as far back as it goes and see if your traffic looks like it fell off a cliff. If so, you might have an algorithmic search penalty.
What pages come next? Static practice area content pages? Attorney profile pages? Blog posts?
Pay particular attention to individual blog posts. Are they high on the list of pages that are linked to by several source domains?
If so, that's great! Assuming these aren't spammy domains, this probably means that people are reading your posts, finding them valuable in some way and deciding to link to them.
On the other hand, if your individual posts aren't receiving links from a variety of relevant and authoritative source domains, you should ask yourself why this might be happening.
You can click into any particular linked page and see which domains are linking to it.
In terms of SEO metrics, linking root domains to individual pages and posts can be a really good one because it shows that people are naturally linking to the stuff you publish.