Most legal marketers are aware that inbound links to their law firm's websites and blogs from third party websites can have a major influence on their search engine rankings.
That said, there are many myths and misconceptions about how link building works. Recently came across an excellent blog post on Yoast.com that summarizes the basics of link building.
The post first explains why inbound links help:
- "It adds value to the "receiving page", allowing it to improve its visibility in the search engines.
- It adds value to the entire receiving domain, allowing each page on that domain to improve its rank ever so slightly.
- The text of the link is an indication to the search engine of the topic of the website and more specifically the receiving page.
- People click on links, resulting in so called "direct traffic"."
These benefits guide the steps a marketer should take (or avoid) when executing a link building campaign. In particular:
- Evalute the strength of a site and/or page to provide the link using criteria such as PageRank
- To the extent you can influence the "anchor text" that will comprise the link, choose keywords related to the topic of your website for which you want to boost your ranking (albeit Yoast does advise not to always shy away from "call to action" anchor text such as "click here," which won't provide any value in terms of identifying the subject matter of your website, but could boost traffic)
- Do NOT get involved with link schemes (Google will eventually penalize you)