When law firms would focus on search engine optimization (“seo”) for their law firm webpage, not that long ago, it used to be that backlinks was the focus. A law firm could pay a company to get them hundreds or thousands of backlinks. Miraculously, the law firm would rank at the top of the search engines.
Law firms who got this, would rank high and get lots of leads. Law firms that didn’t never ranked well and probably always wondered why.
Over time, the search engines have cleaned this up. Through algorithm changes like Penguin and Panda, a law firm cannot rank high simply by having spammy backlinks pointing to their webpage.
In fact, law firms that do this can get penalized if the search engines figure it out. Penalties can range from a decrease in rankings in the best case scenario. Or, in the worse canes scenario, webpages can even be de-indexed (meaning they are punted from the search engines altogether).
This has led to many law firms not working on backlinks at all. Instead, many law firms have a webpage and shy away from any linking. The thought of many is that this is better than risking a penalty.
Many so-called seo gurus and webpage companies encourage this thinking as well. Because of the risks associated with Penguin and Panda, many webpage gurus would prefer that a webpage rank in a mediocre manner than risk a penalty by giving a law firm the advice of obtaining links.
Contrary to this line of thinking, linking is not dead. To rank high, linking is still essential. Sure, a webpage needs good content first and foremost that draws visitors. A good webpage design and solid coding that is up to current standards also helps.
But for any webpage to rank high, links are still needed. If you have no links, the reality is that a webpage is not likely to rank high.
Instead of focusing on getting hundreds or thousands of spammy, non-relevant links, the approach for ranking high is getting a limited number of high quality links. These high quality links can be obtained in numerous different ways. Some can be obtained organically. Some can be through local citations and social media. Some might be obtained through entering in legal directories, through online articles/blogs, press releases and other means. But make no mistake: Your webpage needs backlinks to rank high.
For law firms who want to raise their webpage ranking, its important to understand that linking is not dead. It just has to be done better. It just has to be done smartly and in a non-spammy manner. The approach probably has to be varied and not overdone in any one direction.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.