Having a user-friendly website is very important for any law and accountancy firm today. If your website is confusing and hard to navigate with any ease, then your prospective clients will soon move on to another site that offers a better user-experience.
However, if you focus all your time and energy on making your website as user-friendly as possible, you must ensure that at the end of the day, your site is more easily discovered by your potential new clients. Ranking well in the search engines is done through relevant keyword-driven content, but you have to be careful to play the SEO game well, and within the rules set out by the search engines. Most law and accountancy companies build their rankings through quality SEO content and link building.
What is link building?
The main search engines will look at how many genuine links you have coming to your site from reputable businesses and established firms. The more relevant links you have coming in, the higher perceived value you have in the eyes of those search engines. Links have always been an important part of the internet, because this is how many people are discovered – through recommendation from others.
Good quality links come in a few different forms. For example, a one-way link back to your website may be included in an editorial or news item, and may be given as a resource for readers for find out more information. These sorts of links are very highly rated for search engine rankings, so are to be encouraged if you want your site to rank well.
Manual or outreach link building is a reciprocal way of building more links back to your site. You will actively approach good link prospects such as online industry press, and offer to include a link to their site from yours, in return for them doing the same for you. More often than not, your link will be a permanent inclusion on their site rather than simply being included in a piece of content.
Self-created links are those that you include in your own writing. There are many industry blogs, forums and guest book signings within the law and accountancy world that encourage expert guest writers to contribute articles and posts. These are seen as lower in value by the search engines, but if you can maintain regular posts with these other companies, the number soon builds up substantially over time to add more weight to your rankings.
What are the benefits of link building?
There are three main direct benefits of link building. Search engine optimisation or SEO is an important benefit. Link building is only a part of SEO, but good quality links are an important part of SEO that cannot be ignored. A large number of quality links over a long period of time will certainly help to boost your search engine rankings, and help to keep your listings consistently high.
The second benefit is through the amount of direct traffic you will attract to your site through your link after people have read your content on another site. If they liked what they read, they are more likely to click through your link to find out more, and possibly to sign up to your email list.
The third benefit of link building is to establish your brand awareness. Every visitor that reads your forum post or guest blog will recognise your web address, even if they don’t click through immediately. The more often they see posts from you appearing in their favourite blogs or being shared on their social media sites, the more recognisable you become. This will make it easier for them to recall your website details in the future should they ever be in need of your services.
The common link building strategies
Here are a few of the most popular link building strategies you can use:
Encourage your existing clients to link to your website. Being that many of your clients will have their own business website or blog, you can ask them to become a referral source to recommend their own customers to take up your services.
Develop your own blog. If you don’t have a business blog, or your existing blog is very underused, then you can turn it into a valuable source of information for your clients. You can create useful and interesting content that included a link to your email opt-in form. Make it as shareable as possible by including social media share buttons so your clients can post it to their own social media accounts to share with their like-minded friends.
Be topical and newsworthy. Create content for your blog and social media accounts that reflect what is trending in your sector at the moment. If lots of people are already talking about a news story that you can make use of, then your comments or opinions about it will be eagerly shared around other sites. You will not only be building trust by demonstrating your knowledge, but you will also be sharing your web links as well.
Link building is a very worthwhile task that should not be overlooked. It is another form of business networking that your company should already be doing, so if it is a bit of a weak area within your firm, now is the time to take action to start including it in your regular marketing routine.
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