I’ve been updating some Squidoo lenses this week. It had been a while since we had logged in (shame on us!), and noticed that there have been some changes to the Squidoo interface. One of the great things about Squidoo is all of the modules you can use that make the pages dynamic by updating themselves from various information sources (blogs, Google News, RSS feeds, etc.). So a Squidoo lens, if built the right way, will update itself forever.
The new Squidoo interface makes it much quicker to add modules and align modules on your page. Formerly, this was a very slow and tedious process. The new system is much better.
So why should you set up pages in Squidoo to promote your law firm? Because Google really loves it. Often, a page on Squidoo that pertains to your practice area will rank quicker and higher than your own web site. So links from Squidoo carry a lot of weight. And as you know, one of the things you should be trying to do in your law firm seo campaign is build a catalog of links from web sites that Google holds in high esteem.
You should incorporate Squidoo as part of your social networking/content distribution campaign. If you publish a blog for your law firm, you should use the RSS module to stream your blog posts to your Squidoo lenses. And use some of the other modules to stream legal news or other blog posts to your Squidoo pages. It is a simple and quick way to build a high quality industry page that links directly to youf firm.
We have been trying out a product called Neurolinker, which is an online service that facilitates link sharing among its members. It could make it much easier for you to generate links to your law firm’s sites beyond link swaps with other law firms. There are other similar services but we liked this one because of the positive comments we read regarding the developer’s support and its reasonable price.
Neurolinker basically facilitates trading links with other sites through the use of a script that you place on a page of your web site. The script automatically displays your outbound links to other Neurolinker members. Some other members running the script will in turn display a link back to your site. Shortly after installing the script, you will being seeing links pointing to other web sites.
You can configure the links to be more or less relevant to your web site. You have access to reports that show exactly what sites are linking to you, so you can make the determination if the links are relevant enough.
The system also has a social bookmarking feature. Basically, you bookmark the web sites of other members, earning “brownie points” as you do. The more points you accumulate, the higher your sites will appear on the list of sites to bookmark for other members. So the more you bookmark others’ sites, the more your site will be bookmarked.
If you aggressively use the system, you can create many new links to your site, both from relevant content sites as well as social bookmarking sites.
We are trying out some new software called JetSubmitter. It is an article spinning and distribution platform. The idea is that you write a seed article, then mark it up using a special article spinning syntax in order to have the software dynamically create different versions of the article for distribution to its network of article directories.
This particular software gets very poor reviews for its customer support, so if you decide to try this out for use in your law firm, tread carefully, and do not sign up for the one year upfront payment. Try to find the page where you can sign up for $17 per month and try it out for a month. So far, I can tell the software is working, at least partly, although I’ve already seen some things I did wrong because I either misunderstood some of the instructions or the software works a little differently than advertised.
So far, for the price, I am satisfied. However, I have quite a bit of experience with this type of software, so I don’t have much of a learning curve and don’t require much in the way of support (as long as the software works).
If you would like to give it a try for creating and distributing articles to promote your law firm, you can learn more at http://www.jetsubmitter2.com.
Here is an advanced strategy that will give you an edge over your competition: build your own legal information hub. There are a number of good reasons for doing this, such as just attracting traffic, but for this discussion the main advantage is that it gives you a way to guide search engine spiders to pages you want them to find.
If you use social networking, article distribution, or any of the other content-based strategies that we recommend, then you want to make sure those pages get found. But you’d like to make that happen without directly linking to those sites. Otherwise, you’ve created two-way links, when what you want are one-way links.
If you own an information hub site, then you can use it to guide the search engines to any site you want without having two-way links between your main site and sites that link to you. It may become that the information hub itself ends up ranking higher than your main site for numerous long-tail keywords, which is another advantage. Even though the site will be very focused on providing information, it will still feature your brand and a very soft marketing message.
RSS feeds give you an easy way to display content on your information hub that updates itself. We may cover the technical aspects of how to do that in another post (or you can hire Work Media to do it). It’s really not difficult.
Here are some strategies you can begin implementing immediately to build a catalog of links to your law firm’s web site:
1. Create a very useful, informative, or entertaining web site. The more valuable and useful your web site, the more likely it is that others will link to you. As a lawyer, you know all kinds of things that other people need to know. So use your web site as a forum to reveal your awesome knowledge. Don’t worry about giving information away for free. It won’t cost you any clients.
2. Publish a blog. Carefully include specific keywords in your blog posts and link to other relevant blogs.
3. Write and distribute articles. Make sure your articles have a byline with a keyword link back to your site.
4. Build pages on social networking sites. Sites like Squidoo.com and HubPages.com let you build pages about anything you want. Those pages will, of course, link back to your main site.
5. Post comments on other blogs. If possible, locate blogs that allow “do-follow” links.
6. Link swap. This is the classic technique, but it still works. Contact other law firms or companies in the legal industry and offer to swap links.
Link building is hard work, but it is definitely doable if you are systematic and force yourself to spend a few hours per week doing it.