Law Firm Web Marketing

    

10 Techniques for Post-Penguin Backlink Building

After Google's Penguin update, the processes of building backlinks for SEO have become even more intricate. Expansive, membership-based blog networks and paid link programs are the primary target, and many of these resources are commonly used by legal professionals.

The Google Penguin Hates Overoptimized BacklinksSo if your law firm website has been over-optimized with too much exact phrase match link building (that is, too many backlinks with the anchor text 'Dallas business lawyers' or 'business lawyers in Dallas') and not enough natural links (links using your domain name), we have outlined a list of tips and techniques to help remedy your case.

In essence, if your site has too many over-optimized backlinks, then you need to balance the ratio of optimized and un-optimized backlinks. To help you do this, we have provided 10 techniques to overcome over-optimization with natural, post-penguin backlink building.

1. Do comprehensive research: Know just how bad your ratio of optimized and un-optimized backlinks really is. We suggest doing a backlink scan to get a lay of the land. These insights will tell you just how over-optimized your legal site really is, and how much natural backlink building you'll need to do to balance the ratio.

2. Do surveys: An industry-specific survey or research that is posted on your website will help you acquire long-term backlinks. Surveys are also important in that they help you in product development since you will know what your customers/clients want. You should also have a page dedicated to the survey's results. This can be a valuable content that people will want to naturally link to, and thus offers an effective technique for website optimization.

3. Target related websites: Do a simple Google search or use software like Open Site Explorer to determine the links your competitors are gaining backlinks from. This is particularly helpful if you target successful competitors. Next, reach out to the people linking with your competitor’s site and trying earning those links for your own legal site.

4. Generate video content: Come up with great video content that promotes your legal practice and your brand. Posting these videos on YouTube, Vimeo or other 3rd party sites can automatically earn you a backlink, in addition to the marketing value videos offer.

5. Try running a contest: Running a contest or competition always helps to gain links back to your site. People who like the competition will share backlinks with friends, colleagues or relatives. This is often most effective when combined with social media.

6. Implement social media badges: Adding social badges to your website is great way to establish a following on your website. These social cues can indirectly contribute to more links via credibility and promoting greater online awareness of your website.

7. Post on forums in your niche: Search for forums in your niche and make several posts. If people have questions, answer their questions and include links to your website, indicating that they can find the products/services they are looking for there. Be sure to do this responsibly and ethically.

8. Join the relevant trade associations: Consider attending trade shows and conferences to increase your sales. When you attend such trade shows and conferences, always ensure you take part as a member of a trade association. This will help to make sure that your company website gets listed on the website of the trade association.

9. Give freebies to bloggers: Guest blogging from renowned bloggers will help with your link building campaigns. However, note that well-established guest bloggers will not participate in your blog for nothing. Give the bloggers overstocked products or other freebies that will not hurt your profit margins.

10. Give interviews: You could find industry leaders and interview them. People who know such industry leaders will link back to the content of the interview.

Other important techniques are finding legal web directories to list your site and URL. Other powerful directories include the BBB (better business bureau), DMOZ directory, and Yahoo! local. These offer some of the most natural sources of backlinks. Link wisely.

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SEO Site Audit: A Sound Marketing Investment for 2016

SEO Site AuditAn SEO site audit is one of the most important tools in identifying your website’s current SEO standing and overall rankings potential. In short, SEO site audits offer insights on how to improve your law firm's website to rank high in search engine results.

In most cases, an SEO audit looks at the technical infrastructure of a website, the on-page and the off-page elements that affects a website’s usability, overall search engine visibility, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Put simply, SEO site audit gives you a comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of your website and the marketing strategies you have out in place.

It's also worth mentioning that SEO site audits should be conducted regularly, at least every year. There are many reasons why your law firm or legal practice should perform regular SEO audits, or invest in an SEO site audit from a professional SEO company.

Adapt to Google Algorithm Changes

Google and other search engines are always updating their algorithms in a bid to better the search results. As an online marketer, you need to be informed of any algorithm changes so you can make the necessary changes to the content on your website.

Respecting Google Panda

Google Panda, which was introduced in 2011, looks at the quality of the content in your site. By quality, Google Panda looks at “thin” content (content that adds little or no value to your visitors), duplicate content (content sourced from other sites) and keyword stuffed content (overused keywords).

Sites with low content are ranked low and they may not be indexed in Google. For a site to rank high, it must have original content – Google has way of checking that you are the creator of the content.

The only way to recover from a Panda hit is to perform an SEO site audit and make necessary changes. Every month Google refreshes the algorithm. If not refreshing, they call an update. To be on the safe, always publish high quality content.

Avoiding Google Penguin

Google Penguin was created in 2012 with an aim of hitting sites that create unnatural backlinks. A link is like a vote to your site. If a popular site shares a link to your site, Google will take it that your site should be highly ranked. If an unknown site shares a link to your site, it is not going to count much – unless many small sites vote for you.

In the past, you could cheat the algorithm by creating a horde of self-made links and using anchor texts. Nowadays, one self-made link may affect your whole site. While a genuine link from a known site is good, getting many links from low quality sites is also effective. Like Google Panda, Google Penguin algorithm updates refresh regularly. Get good links and your site will not be unindexed or ranked low.

Meet Webmaster’s Guidelines

Google, Bing and Yahoo are always changing their webmaster guidelines. An SEO site audit ensures that you always comply with the new tools. Here elements of Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics are key to check a site's health and overall crawl and indexing rates, which indicate trust in a site.

Check for Website Errors, Titles and Meta Data and Outdated Content

These enhance the usability of your website. If your website is returning a 404, 403 or any other error to the visitors, the only way to tell is through an audit. Websites errors may also include broken links.

Performing an audit will identify them and help direct the lost traffic. The meta descriptions and the title tags are the first thing that a visitor will see the moment they visit your site. It is important that they are relevant to your site content. Even a good article becomes outdated, an SEO site audit will identify outdated content.

Conclusion

Basically, a comprehensive audit looks at site accessibility (robots meta tags, robots.txt, XML sitemap, site architecture and performance among others), indexability (whether your webpages are indexed, whether penalized and why), on-page ranking factors (URL, content and HTML Markup), off-page ranking factors (backlinks, popularity, trustworthiness and social engagement) and finally competitive analysis.

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