Law Firm Web Marketing

    

Partial Linking for Lawyer Web Marketing & SEO

There is no doubt that link building is now the powerhouse to stronger search engine rankings. For law firms with regional SEO focus, or those who are optimizing for locally-targeted practice areas (e.g. "Dallas business litigation lawyer,") the strategies for link building come in many forms. 

It is not only important to consider what sources for link building a law firm should use, but also how links are built. In this article we discuss a great linking strategy for lawyers who have a local SEO focus. To learn more about the general practice of link building, read this post about SEO link building tips for lawyers.

Partial Linking Defined & Described

Before we can define partial linking, we must first define "anchor text." Anchor text is used to define the visible words that are displayed in a link. Using customized (or optimized) anchor text substitutes the need to use the URL for the link. As a result, a search engine spider can better evaluate the keyword relevancy of the anchor text to that of the webpage’s content. This is a big factor in SEO, for it makes websites more popular on certain keyword phrases.

The practice of partial linking means using only a part of the link destination's keyword target in the anchor text. For example, a law firm web marketing blog wants to build an optimized backlink to a website for a corporate lawyer based out of Boston. The blog writer could script the link's anchor text to include all keyword in the targeted search phrase (e.g. "Boston corporate lawyer" or "corporate attorney in Boston.") However from a partial linking perspective, the blog could publish the anchor text to include only the city "Boston," or perhaps only the practice of "corporate" law, in the link.

Why Partial Link Building?

Some might ask, why script the anchor text of link to read only a portion of the true keyword target? For one, SEO is long-term endeavor. Google interprets websites based on single words and the density of those single words. Although keyword phrasing is important, becoming more relevant on single words is sound strategy for local Internet marketing and long-term link building.

The homepage in particular is the most important page of a website when it comes to SEO. The home domain supports a number of keywords, and may be relevant on several un-related terms. Partial link building is highly effective for backlinks pointing to the homepage. This helps to focus the keyword relevancy of site one word at a time. And although this might appear less efficient than linking with a full keyword phrase, the result can support greater, long-term rankings on both local and globally-targeted keyword phrases.

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Top 3 Tips for Law Firm Internet Marketing

Law firm web marketing is one of the greatest channels to gain a competitive advantage in the legal profession.

Internet marketing for law firms places significant focus on search engine optimization, which is essential to be found on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.

Implementing the best practices of law firm web marketing and SEO is one of the best ways capture prospective customers. A high ranking website that is visible on many relevant search phrases can provide incredible opportunities.

Below we've outline the top 3 tips for law firm Internet marketing, and how to get the most SEO benefit from a legal website.

Keyword-Focused Content

The content of a website is an essential element to SEO. By intricately weaving relevant keywords into the copy of your website, you help search engine spiders (or crawlers) index your site according to those keywords. As a result, your website will have more relevance to the targeted keyword phrases that drive you business.

In today's competitive SEO game, it is important to choose keywords that are very specific to your legal practice. Generic keywords, such as "business lawyer," can be too broad and too competitive.

Not only should you consider highly specific keyword targets, such as “business tax attorney,” but also consider local variations, like “Atlanta business lawyer.”

This leads us into our next point about geo-local SEO.

Localized Law Firm SEO

The local search results, such as Google Places, are becoming increasingly important for SEO. Because most law firms represent clients in specific regions, it is wise to reference geo-specific keywords in your SEO efforts.

Be sure to include the local information about your law firm on your website. A solid tip here is to include the firm’s address in the footer of the website. It also doesn't hurt to mention your city or local service areas within the content of the site, such as "contact your trusted family lawyers in Chicago, IL."

Additionally, you can really maximize your local SEO strategy by including geo-references in your link building efforts, which is described in more detail below.

Build Backlinks

Inbound links, or backlinks, are the powerhouse to higher organic search engine rankings. Link building has become very important to compete in SEO, and now there are a number of platforms available to build backlinks.

Some of the most effective resources to build links to you law firm's website are legal directories, forums, and blogs. Whether you want to start your own blog, or surf other related blogs to write comments (and add links to those comments,) the channels are almost endless. They just require a little creativity.

Legal directories are often times the easiest way to earn backlinks. This task demands finding the proper online directories that will allow you to place (or buy) a listing on their directory. Your listing will contain a link back to your law firm website, and thus deem it more credible and trustworthy in the search engines.

Where real strategy comes into play is the link's anchor text, or link name. If the anchor text of the link reads your specific keyword target (e.g. “Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers”) then the webpage being linked to will have greater relevancy to that particular phrase. You can even take this link building practice deeper by executing partial linking strategies.

We hope these 3 law firm Internet marketing & SEO tips will help you on your way to better success in the search engines. Thanks for visiting the Law Firm Web Marketing Blog!

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Local SEO for Lawyers: Part II - (Off-site SEO)

In Part I of Local SEO for Lawyers we discussed the importance of well-optimized content on the website. In Part II, we move into the most significant contributor to higher search engine rankings: off-site link popularity.

Generating links to your website is ever critical for local SEO, especially if your geographic target and/or practice area is highly competitive. Links pointing to your site displays credibility and trust, which is something search engines highly value while determining rankings.

The process of link building must respect two important factors: how the links are build (such as the link name or anchor text is used) as well as where the link are built (on related, high authority websites or unrelated, low authority websites?)

The "How To" on Local SEO Link Building

When building links to your site, it is very important to understand the concept of link names or anchor text. The anchor text is the clickable words that represent a link. For example, read this Wikipedia page for more information on anchor text (note, the word "anchor text" is the anchor text of that link.)

Search engine spiders crawl and interpret the content and links of a webpage. Once a spider hits a link, it reads the anchor text of the link and then takes the link to its respective URL destination. In short, the spider knows whether or not the anchor text of the link (and the surrounding content of that link) is related to link's URL destination.

If a link has the anchor text "Chicago business lawyer," the page being linked to is most likely about (and most likely optimized for) a business lawyer in Chicago. Assuming that is the case, the spider will credit the page with not only greater search engine value, but also greater keyword relevancy to phrase "Chicago business lawyer."

In essence, the best practices of building links is using keyword targeted anchor text. It is also a good approach to mix up your anchor text by using partial linking strategies. An example of partial linking would be to use only select keyword targets as the anchor text, such as "Chicago lawyer" or "business law firm."

The "Where To" on Local SEO Link Building

Where a link is built determines how powerful the link is. Google offers a measure of "webpage authority" called PageRank (PR.) Webpages have a PageRanks ranging from PR0 to PR10, however even a PR5-6 is considered high for link building purposes.

Ideally, you want to build links from sources that have high PageRanks, although that is easier said than done. Find high PR linking sources has become a hot commodity for local SEO. So much so that the business of buying and selling high PR link placements has become major sub-industry to SEO.

There are a number of resources available to build links from a variety of sources. For local SEO, using a blend of locally-focused directories and information sites can be a simple source to establish a few links. In addition, we recommend:

  • Online Articles: Not only are article submission sites (such as Ezine, Amazines.com, or GoArticles.com) great ways to build links, but the content of the article itself is a great promotional tool and can help position yourself as an expert in your area of law.
  • Web 2.0 Properties: These carry a broad definition, but essentially they are external pages built to highlight a specific topic. Some of the most effective Web 2.0's for lawyer linking building are Squidoo, Hubpages, Weebly, and Wordpress.
  • Press Releases: These are by far one of the easiest ways to publish link-infused content for local SEO. Choose a credible press release submission site that offers the ability to customize anchor text. In addition, some press release sites can funnel PageRank to a quality press release, so choose a credible source such as PRWeb, PRNewswire, or i-Newswire.

You can also take advantage of other attorney websites in which you may be affiliated or friends with. In many cases, the most powerful PR links come from friends with a high PR websites who are willing to lend you an optimized link. Just be sure to let them know the specific anchor text and URL destination to get the greatest benefit.

That completes our series on Local SEO for Lawyers. We hope that these points of both on-site and off-site SEO have enlightened you, and that you can now hone in on your local SEO efforts independently. To learn more check out this very insightful 2013 local SEO guide created by one of our writers of the Law Firm Web Marketing blog.

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