Every so often I have the opportunity to interact with a law firm client or a digital marketing agency that requires some assistance with content strategy as well as development of the actual content. I recently had the opportunity to work with a client who was struggling to make an impact with their emails.Read More
Have you typed into Google recently and noticed that much of the content produces short quick little blurbs as an attempt to answer your primary questions? This is because one of the directions that Google is going in is to give people quick but detailed responses since not every person will be looking for a long form blog post as an answer to their question.Read More
Many years ago, companies popped up seemingly left and right offering linking strategies and targeting many businesses, taking their first dip into competing in the online space for search engine rankings.
Law firms became primary targets for these link for things like linking parties and those offering link building strategies because of their desire and need to compete in the specific geographic market and with highly competitive keywords. Most law firms already recognize that some of the spammiest of tactics will only cause further problems, but it is important to understand the potential for an actual penalty associated with outbound linking strategies.
What’s the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Link Penalties?
You already know that you don’t want other poorly ranking websites or spam links pointing to your own site, but your website could be penalized by search engine rankings like Google for how you use outbound linking strategies. This is known as an unnatural outbound link penalty and can be applied to your entire site or to only portions of your site.
Google webmasters will actually reach out to owners of websites stating that they have detected an unusual or unnatural pattern of linking from your home site to other sites. Google views this as attempting to artificially boost the rankings of other sites in Google search results. Google will manually discount the trust in links on your own website if this applies to you- but you should at least get a head’s up in a message about the situation.
How Can I Avoid A Penalty for Outbound Linking?
It goes without saying that outbound links can still be a great way to grow the quality, trust and overall relevance of your law firm's website. But it’s important to choose the right content marketing partner to work with and to avoid using SEO agencies that promise the world but simply can’t follow through.
Some of the easiest ways to avoid outbound linking penalties include:
· Not allowing any links in user generated content.
· Avoid linking to any low quality or spam websites and explain the quality of sites you wish to have linked to, to your team of freelance legal writers.
· Don’t link out to sites that are paying you for doing so, such as any reciprocal link scheme.
· Create guidelines for content managers and individual writers to explain how links should be used and examples of poor links.
What Can I Do If I Think I Have Already Been Penalized for Outbound Links?
Whether or not it was on purpose or by accident, it’s important to take corrective action if you have been hit with an outbound link penalty as soon as possible. Audit any links that might not meet Google's guidelines. You can create external reports using Screaming Frog to see outbound links on your own website. Google search counsel will also enable you to submit what's known as a reconsideration request.
Stuck on the right way to handle content for your firm? Reach out to a trusted partner in me- I’ve been a legal copywriter for seven years and know the ins and outs!
Today, I lost a potential freelance writing client- a law firm looking to outsource freelance writing. In reviewing their guidelines for the test project, I noticed that they asked for a minimum of 15 links to other sites/resources pages in a blog of 600 words. Wait, what? Am I back in 2006 again?Read More
Have you ever done an analysis of some of the most popular materials on your website? This can be a great way to see what you're ranking for already and where you have the most opportunity to grow. When beginning to work with new law firms on their content strategy, I often take a look at how their site is already performing.Read More
Although I have a track record of working with many clients over a long period of time, occasionally, someone will end their services and decide to bring in an inhouse copywriter. One of my clients made that decision last summer to work with a local copywriter under the belief that this person would be able to come into their office on a weekly basis and discuss content strategy.Read More
Writing a piece of content for your law firm's website requires a lot of forethought and, hopefully, careful planning and consideration with the assistance of a content strategist. As a legal copywriter, I spend a lot of time thinking about choosing the titles for the blogs I write for my clients, as well as drafting these and including all the most important elements for connecting with the end reader and showcasing the firm's level of experience and expertise.Read More
I've worked with hundreds of law firms and the digital marketing agencies who serve them all over the United States and even in Canada and the United Kingdom. Today I want to talk about why second person language in a law firm blogs and website pages tends to work really well.Read More
Every so often I come across a law firm blog that focuses almost exclusively on news relevant to the firm. While it’s a good idea to share updates about outstanding case results or a new award received by someone in the practice, focusing too much on you and your firm makes it difficult for clients to feel a connection with you.Read More
Referencing case outcomes could seem like an easy and simple solution to sharing your firm’s expertise. However, you must be careful when it is sharing outcomes of particular cases on your blog as this could easily come under some of the violations of your state bar or even be considered advertising.Read More