The following is a guest post from SEMrush.com’s Josh Elkin, a digital marketing strategist who writes about traffic acquisition strategies and link building:
Finding the right way to represent your law firm’s presence online is no easy task. Your team may be adept at handling legal cases on a daily basis, but increasing web traffic is another thing entirely. However, with the right web tools in place and a sound marketing plan, your website authority will grow organically. This will not only increase your authority on the Internet, but you’ll see an increase in website traffic and more inbound leads on a range of inquiries related to your practice’s specialties.
Here is how to increase your website authority in 90 days:
Building a Link Profile with a High Authority Score
Whether you’re starting from the ground up or already have an established web presence, assessing your current link profile is a great way to start the process of seeing what changes need to be made.
A link profile is a series of links that have been directed back to your site. These links could come from a variety of sources, ranging from blogs involving your website’s subject matter, references in papers, old news events, and directories. The more links you have related to your site, the more likely search engines like Google will recognize your website as having a high authority score. Authority scores range from 1-100, and the higher your authority score is the likelier your website will appear on the top of many search engines, and the more inbound inquiries your website will receive.
How can you build a solid base of links to raise your authority score?
Starting From Square One
If your website’s been live for a while, it’s possible that it has some broken links attached to it. Not all links are created equal, and your authority score could be affected by these broken links. Doing a backlink audit will give you a comprehensive list of which websites are referencing your site.
After you’ve collected the list of defunct links, check out the websites they are attached to. Is it still an active site? If so, consider reaching out to the authors of the blog/website and sending them an updated link to your current website. This will not only help your authority score but will be appreciated by the blogs as well, as they always want the most up-to-date information in order to remain authorities in their niche.
Check Other Authority Scores, Too
Sometimes it may feel as though your website is on an island. You’re writing content on your own site, but the only people seeing it are those who are already there. While this is great (and on-site content certainly matters for search rankings), it’s crucial to get your best content on other industry-related blogs as well. The goal here is to write content that positions you as an expert and results in people clicking on your name or your firm’s name, which directs them back to your website to learn more. Not only will this result in higher traffic through direct link clicks, but you’ll gain valuable backlinks – the most important component of organic SEO.
Who can you reach out to in order to get backlinks in a safe way? Finding blogs and websites in your niche where you can provide value is essential in improving your authority score. Think about how you can bring benefit to their page as well as having them showcase yours. Are they looking for blogs to update their blogrolls with? Do they accept guest posts, in which you could garner a link back to your own site? Find creative ways to do this by researching their sites and offering something mutually beneficial. If you’re serving your direct community, start searching for local websites before reaching out nationally.
Local influencers and websites are the most logical place to start, but not all sources are created equal. Depending on what your law firm is trying to promote, you could start by building a list that includes local newspapers and magazines, nonprofit organizations, and local education websites. After you’ve created a potential list of sources, check their authority score to see who to reach out to first.
During your search, you likely came across some direct competitors. Instead of clicking away, check out their SEO keywords, and see what gains them the most traction. You can then incorporate similar vocabulary into your own website and blog as inspiration.
National Lists and Directories
After you’ve begun to build a local online following, it’s time to think bigger. Some of the best resources for law firms to build credibility are national lists and directories. Getting your website on highly reputable lists will build your authority score tenfold.
Want the complete list of national referring domains? Consider downloading this link building guide that shows where the most effective law websites are garnering backlinks.
Create Your Own Marketing Plan
Now that you have people talking about you and several links that go back to your website, what will potential clients be expected to see? Writing content for your own site is just as important as other sites creating content on your behalf.
Having a blog is an excellent way to keep your audience informed and up-to-date on the latest happenings along with meaningful legal advice. Since you are working in the legal field, be sure to balance ethics along with informative and engaging content.
Explore Current Trends
Ideally, you want people coming to your site more than once. Creating email lists by collecting people’s email addresses via a form and then sending out useful information on a periodic basis is a great way to turn your website visitors into eventual clients, so long as you aren’t abusing this and annoying your audience! One of the best ways to come up with potential ways to add value is through monitoring Google trends, which informs you of what people are searching for on a daily basis. If some of the content is relevant to your business, be sure to write about it promptly and use appropriate SEO keywords to promote it.
Creating website authority is a multi-step process. Not only do you have to lay the groundwork, but you need to maintain your standing as an authoritative presence with a steady flow of blog posts that provide real value to your audience – as well as garnering a growing set of good quality backlinks from other authoritative websites. With continuous effort, you will raise your authority score and be at the top of the search engines and get a steady flow of inbound leads to your website that you can turn into new clients.