If part of your legal marketing plan involves earning attention from organic search users, you know that links to your site are like votes for your site. You also know that not all links are created equal.
And if you've ever tried to "build links" to your law firm website, you might be asking yourself, "Who really wants to link to law firm websites?"
In other words, what's on your website that other people might actually want to link to?
If your law firm website is like most others, it follows the following pattern of pages:
- A home page
- Attorney profile pages
- Practice area pages
- Contact page
And if the purpose of your website is to serve as an online business card or firm brochure, that might be all you need.
But if it's intended to be a vehicle for attracting visitors and potential client inquiries from search, just by the very nature of your site, you've created some obstacles for yourself.
Unless they're poking fun at you (or you're paying them to), very few people are going to have any desire to link to your law firm website.
Sure, you can (and should) claim local business and attorney profiles and include a link back to your site there. And doing so will help you appear more prominently in local search results. But local citations are often not sufficient, especially in highly competitive practice areas and locations. Even in local search, you still need links.
If you're having difficulty earning links to your website, here are some things to consider.
First, ask yourself whether there is something about the design elements of your site that might be making people reluctant to link to it. Does it feel like an attorney advertisement? Are you marketing your firm in a way that someone is likely to find tacky?
Second, ask yourself whether it's your content. Does your site follow the pattern of pages I described above? Is it basically canned practice area content that many other firms are also using?
If so, are you really surprised that no one wants to link to it? Would you? What value have you provided anybody?
Third, is you are really convinced that you don't have major design or content problems, consider whether you are getting your pages in front of audiences that are ready, willing and able to link to your pages.
As much as we might like it to be the case, great content doesn't always naturally bubble to the top of search results. It needs some nudging. It needs some nurturing.
Identify people online who might be interested in your content. Reach out to them. Not to "pitch" them, but to engage in a conversation. Maybe answer a questions. Maybe volunteer to contribute to something they're working on.
In the majority of cases, lawyers are better-off building a new property (think blog or information portal site) to earn attention in organic search.
If you're committed to using your website as an organic search traffic tool, you had better come up with ways to motivate people to link to it.