You’ve heard the expression a million times about internet marketing: content is king. Yesterday’s news, right? But creating educational content on your website is not the only thing that Google wants–search engine optimization (SEO) consists of CONTENT plus LINKS from authoritative websites.
Who links to your site and how they link to it are more important to Google than virtually any other Google ranking formula.
Truth be told, if you master the art of link building, you won’t need to add content to your website on a daily basis. Still skeptical? Here’s the proof.
The Anatomy of an Amazing Website
The law firm of Newsome Mellon in Orlando, Florida has an amazing website, BrainandSpinalCord.org, that contains resources and information for brain and spinal cord survivors in every state. Government organizations from across the country have links to this site.
Here’s a sample of just a few of the websites linking to BrainandSpinalCord.org:
- Mn.gov/mnddc/resources/links.htm (“Minnesota’s Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities”)
- Health.Utah.gov (Utah Department of Health)
- Disability.Illinois.edu (“College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois”)
Where are these links found? Almost entirely in the “Resources” section of governmental agencies and disability providers. The “Resources” for the website of the College of Applied Health Science at the University of Illinois has one link, entitled “Resources for Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Survivors” and guess where that link sends you? Newsome Mellon’s website.
BrainandSpinalCord.org has less than 200 pages, but based upon the authoritative governmental and educational links (and amazing content), BrainandSpinalCord.org ranks in the top 5 for search engine queries for “traumatic brain injury” and “spinal cord injury”. Bottom line, authoritative links are website gold.
12 Simple Tips for Getting Links
BrainandSpinalCord.org is a model of website excellence, but you don’t want to scrap your existing site and start from scratch. No problem, my friend. Let’s get some authoritative links for your website using these 12 simple steps.
#1: Give Testimonials
Write unsolicited testimonials for your vendors (i.e., Trialworks, Advocate Capital) and ask them to post the testimonial on their website with your name and a link to your website. Most vendors are thrilled to receive the testimonial and happily post them on their high-ranking websites.
When you see a website with testimonial links, consider buying their product/service. If you have a good experience with the vendor, give a testimonial and get a link.
#2: Build Your Resources Page
Promote your vendors by sharing their expertise and stories and you’ll earn links from them. List your best resources without asking for anything in return—you will be paid back ten-fold.
#3: Build Relationships with Bloggers
Scour the internet for the top bloggers in your practice area, i.e., American Bar Association’s “Top 100 Blawgs”. Build relationships with the bloggers by sharing and liking their content on social media and let them guest post on your website.
Don’t build links, build relationships.
Send the blogger your book or guide and let them decide if it’s worth a mention on their blog.
Your Outbound Email:
“I enjoy reading your blog for updates on changes in New York law. Awesome stuff!
I just published a new book, The Law Firm of Your Dreams. I usually charge $27, but I took the liberty of sending you a free copy. All I’d ask if that you consider mentioning it on your blog or writing a brief review.
Let me know how that sounds.”
#4: Post Guest Articles
Write articles for county bar association and ask to share your article (with a link) on their website. Many lawyer organizations have online newsletters to which you can submit content. No one wants to link—they want to share valuable content. Link is too technical. Stay away from “link”—use “share”, “mention” or “let your readers know”.
Guest posting is one of the most effective approaches to building links.
Hire a cheap graphic designer to create the infographic on Odesk or Upwork. Reach out to bloggers and offer them the infographic as a guest post and submit the infographic to infographic sharing sites: visual.ly, DailyInfoGraphic.com, and AmazingInfoGraphics.com.
#5: Get Your Competitors’ Links
Use Ahrefs of Majestic to get a backlink analysis of your competitors’ websites. Each of the URLs has qualified itself by doing the one thing you want: link out. Check out what links your competitors have and then go get them.
“Lost links” are links that have stopped pointing to your website in the last 90 days. Reach out to the website owner and get the links back.
#6: Fix Broken Links
A broken link (a/k/a “dead link”) is a link that is no longer working and that doesn’t do the user or the website any good. Too many broken links can have a negative effect on a website.
Find broken links (i.e., “404 not found”) on blogs in your niche area and suggest better content—your own—to replace it. Use DeadLinkChecker.com to find broken links. Send a personalized email, including the website owner’s name in the subject line and use lower case for the subject line.
Broken link building is perhaps the most effective white-hat link building strategy to come along in years.
Give the website owner a hand by letting him know about any broken links that you happen to find.
Your Outbound Email:
“I was just browsing your resources page today, and among the list of great resources were some broken links.
Here are a few of them: [URL #1]
Oh, and I have a website, ProtectingPatientRights.com, that regularly posts quality content related to healthcare and patient rights. If you think so too, feel free to share it on your resources page.
Either way I hope this helps and keep up the good work!”
Broken link building is the easiest way to get links from educational portals.
#7: Link Out to Authoritative Websites
Linking out capitalizes on the principle of reciprocity. Promote the best content of others before they ask for it via links from your website and social media. When you write a post, link to external website pages that contain relevant content.
#8: Create a Scholarship
If you create something that colleges or high schools want to link to, you’re golden. The holy grail is .edu and .gov backlinks.
Step #1: Create a Scholarship Page that describes the scholarship.
Most universities have resource pages, that they link to websites that are helpful for students and faculty.
Step #2: Find university pages that link to scholarships, i.e., “.edu scholarships”.
Step #3: When you find a scholarship page on an .edu website that seems like a good fit, send them an email.
Your Outbound Email:
“We’re excited to let you know about a scholarship opportunity for Saint Rose students. We value education and helping those in need. We also understand that school can be a significant expense.
In an effort to make things a little easier for students and their families, we are pleased to be offering a bi-annual (February & July) $1,000 scholarship for individuals planning to attend college.
We would be honored if you’d be kind enough to add our award to your scholarship page [scholarship page URL].
Of course, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.”
#9: Link Reclamation
Find mentions of your law firm that don’t link back to you. When people mention you in an article, they (usually) like you. Use BuzzSumo to find mentions of you and your firm.
Then, email the person with a friendly reminder to add your link. Proactively reach out and ask them to share (link) your content. These are some of the easiest and most powerful links you’ll ever get.
Your Outbound Email:
“I just wanted to say “thanks” for mentioning me in your excellent article. I really appreciate it.
I’m reaching out today to ask if you could share an article that I wrote on this topic. That way, if people want more information they can easily find us while reading your article.
Either way, thanks for the shout out and keep up the great work!”
#10: Newsjacking for Links
Press releases can plant seeds for new backlinks to your website.
Use newsjacking to create inbound links.
Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business.
–David Meerman Scott
This gets you in front of a breaking news story, interviews by the media and generates inbound links from the websites of highly ranked media companies, i.e., TV, radio, newspaper.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is one the best ways to get backlinks from authoritative news sites. You give a reporter a tailored response and they’ll give you a link.
Medium.com is a self-publishing website that has easy link opportunities.
#11: Listings of Jobs & Events
Post a job listing with the law school with a link to your website. Law schools may be willing to link to pages that feature job openings. Do this with events too.
#12: Content is Still King
Long form content covers a topic extensively. In-depth guides attract backlinks, particularly if they include graphs, charts, statistics, quotes or video that others can use to validate their opinions. Go for the “WOW” factor and spend time and $ creating a powerful infographic.
It’s best to focus on creating and sharing excellent and engaging content. Do this and everything else will fall into place.
–Mitch Jackson, Esq.
Edgy, controversial content gets links, i.e., “Why Structured Settlement Annuities SUCK”. You will receive hate mail and links from structured settlement brokers.