Domain Authority’ (DA) is a term thrown about in webmaster circles that refers to a key concept that can make or break your law firm on the Internet. Developed by Moz, it’s a score (on a scale of 100) that predicts how well your website will rank in search engines. It measures the “strength” of your website over time and judges how well your website fares against its competitors.
Over 40 factors go into determining Domain Authority; most of these depend on your ‘backlink profile,’ that is, how many links from other sites are pointing to your website and how authoritative these sites are. The DA is tough to influence directly by the website owner although there are a few things you can do to up your score using internal actions.
Such actions include enabling website optimization, publishing quality content and maintaining a solid backlink profile. Acquiring backlinks is a difficult aspect of establishing a good DA as it is extremely difficult to obtain high quality links that will rank your website well on search engine results pages (SERP).
However, there are some strategies you can employ to build your backlink profile and reliably bump your law firm’s ranking, all of which are friendly to Google. Here we delve into seven of them.
1.Quality Legal Directories
There are plenty of legal directories with high domain authority that will backlink to your law firm’s website. All are worth it. Some are paid-for while other are (thankfully) free. Findlaw, Hg.org, Lawyers.com, Superlawyers.com, and Justia are all sites you should heavily consider having a profile on if you want free exposure and a higher Domain Authority.
As an added bonus, you can often land high quality referrals and leads as a result of registering with these directories. Justia.com, in particular, charges only $150-$250 per month in fees in exchange for its excellent lead and referral program.
2. Quality Local Business Directories
Quite a few business directories offer backlinks for free when you register a profile with them, which constitutes an easy way to boost your overall rankings and DA. Among these quality directories are: AngiesList.com, Superpages.com, Yellowpages.com, Yelp.com, Bing.com and Localeze.com. Be sure to fully complete your profiles on these websites with all contact information, pictures, etc., because incomplete profiles tend to make the backlinks inactive.
3. Social Media Profiles
Social media pages are great sources of free backlinks for your law firm’s website, in that they are very authoritative websites. The more you post on these mediums, the more backlinks you generate for your website, which is, in turn, wonderful for your rankings.
Open an account for your law firm on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Behance, Dribble, Instagram and Google+, and share your blog posts on these networks.
Not only will sharing your content on social media sites get you quality backlinks, but it’s possible your activity and that of your followers will signal to Google that you qualify for a higher SERP ranking.
4. Writing and Sharing Quality Content
Google has made it perfectly clear to Internet users time and time again that it is looking to reward websites featuring high quality content with a good ranking. The most authoritative sites out there on the Internet are the ones that have high quality content, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Forbes.
Also know that having a well-run, constantly updated blog is the way to acquire influential backlinks for your website. Of course, maintaining such a blog requires more work and elbow grease than other methods, but the payoff can be substantial.
When you share your blog posts on your social media networks and ask to be a guest blog post writer for other sites targeting your client audience, you’re steadily growing your backlinks profile.
A fine-tuned blog (translated and localized in your readers’ languages) can also signal to your readers that they can freely trust and engage with your law firm. Furthermore, the more helpful information you give that’s free, the more predisposed the reader will be in hiring you when they require your services.
5. Found a Scholarship Program
This strategy makes perfect sense when you understand that the end goal is to collect as many backlinks from the powerful and authoritative .edu domain as possible. To go this route, you will need to set up a scholarship fund of a minimum of $500 to be awarded to a college student.
Take the time to develop a proper scholarship page on your website that communicates what your firm does, what the scholarship is for, the application criteria for interested students, the deadline to apply and more.
Once it’s set up, you can start sending requests to colleges to have them feature your scholarship on their websites. You can collect an abundance of .edu backlinks this way, which will significantly heighten the score of your domain authority.
6. Offer an Internship
Running along the same vein as setting up a scholarship, consider offering an internship at your law firm in order to collect some easy high quality backlinks from universities and colleges.
Tip: It’s worthwhile to do some research to find out whether the internship program you develop equals college credit, so that the internship is more valuable to the student and college alike.
The university would then be much more likely to feature your internship on its website and deliver you a juicy backlink.
7. Cherry-Pick Competitors’ Backlinks
Put on your investigator’s hat and find out where your competitors are getting their backlinks. Visit websites: spyfu.com, ahrefs.com or Moz’s Open Site Explorer to dig up a list on which exact sites are back linking to your competitors’ sites. Go through them, and see if you can obtain links from the same websites.
I wish you a happy execution of these top seven strategies for boosting your domain authority. If undertaken properly, you’re certain to see results!
Image credit: phartisan / 123RF