A common principle of online marketing is to create good backlinks to your main web presence. For example, if you practice in bankruptcy law, and a highly-ranked bankruptcy web site decides to mention or feature your web site address on its site, that mention is called a backlink and may help your site go up in the search rankings when someone enters “bankruptcy law” in Google. By being involved in other people’s communities, and taking part in their online conversations, you stand a better chance of getting the people behind the other web sites to take notice of you and make a backlink from their site to yours. The more backlinks that exist from high-quality web sites to your web site, the more highly Google will rank you. And by keeping abreast of other people’s content, you will learn more about developments in your own field, and get ideas to create new content of your own. As you can see from the list of resources at http://www.ericward.com/book/, the topic of obtaining backlinks is constantly re-evaluated by content marketers.
First you will want to gather keywords that you can use to search for relevant content on other sites. By going to a site like http://ubersuggest.org, and entering, for example, “divorce”, you will get a list of many phrases that include the word divorce. Google will also help you come up with a variety of keyword phrases through https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner/Home. Then you can go to http://www.google.com/alerts and try putting in some of those keyword phrases. When you find a few that produce results you’re happy with, you can save the searches as alerts, and Google will e-mail you new results regularly that include the keyword phrases you picked. You can then go any of the web sites featured in those results, and read the stories, comment on them, e-mail the author, or use the content in the article as ideas for your own content. And don’t forget to use the different keyword phrases in your own content, especially the titles of your pages and posts, so Google will associate your site with those phrases too. To get an idea of how creative this process can get, browse the articles at http://www.advancedwebranking.com/blog/google-didnt-want-us-to-use-the-keyword-planner-this-way/ and http://moz.com/blog/31-link-building-tactics-discovered-from-competitive-analysis.
Waiting for new alerts in your e-mail is a rather passive way of finding potential link-building sources, however. You can enter your same keyword phrases at http://socialmention.com and get results ranging from frivolous facebook posts to newspaper articles. You can use this to do everything from finding reporters that write on this topic to finding twitterers that you can contact and build interesting threads (and hopefully followers) with. If you’d rather have a site that takes you to relevant people instead of individual lists of articles and posts, try http://klear.com/. With this site you can put in a term like “family law” and arrive at http://klear.com/skills/Family%20Law, where you can peruse the twitter feeds of legal professionals working in that area, and see the links to relevant articles that they’ve tweeted.
You can add to others’ blogs by leaving comments on their posts or forums (and perhaps sneak in your web site address in your comments, but just don’t go overboard in touting yourself). You can also request to write a guest post on blogs that you would particularly like to get a backlink on.
The advanced searching capabilities of some blog searching sites like http://www.icerocket.com/advancedsearch?tab=blog are worth examining, so that you can just search for your keywords in the titles of blog posts, for example. Keep in mind that the more useful content you have on your own site, whether it be legal guides, explanatory videos, infographics, or just highly informative articles, the easier it is to convince another blogger to mention your site on their blog.
You can also search through link aggregators to look for other sites to work with. Aggregators are simply huge lists of popular links selected by people or blogs rather than by search engines. Ones like http://www.metafilter.com/tags/legal and http://law.alltop.com filter legal stories that are currently in the public interest, and many have an entertaining slant. If you’re looking for a more academic collection of resources, http://libguides.com/community.php?m=s&it=1&search=law and http://www.ipl.org/IPLBrowse/GetSubject?vid=13&cid=1&tid=7037&parent=7038 are good sources for informational legal research.
Generally the favored approach so far when looking for content is to immediately look for legal tags or law-related sub-topics on general sites, and then seeking ways to build ties with those tagged resources. To find sites solely dedicated to legal discussion, go to http://blawgsearch.justia.com/ and in the categories section click on your area of legal practice. Similar to the klear.com search you did, at http://legalbirds.justia.com you can find lawyers in your field that have twitter accounts. If you want to see what legal sites others have popularized, http://www.abajournal.com/blawg100 offers an annual top list, and at http://www.lawsitesblog.com there’s even a lawyer’s blog that keeps track of legal sites that keeps track of the legal field. So there’s certainly no shortage of online lawyers to begin building relations with.
Browsing http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html will make you realize that there are many tactical ways you can approach research, especially if for variety’s sake you want to write a few blog posts about something you’re passionate about other than your chosen field of law. You can also find a nice overview on different types of content discovery at https://content-discovery-tools.zeef.com/robin.good. It’s just a matter of finding material that you can bring a unique and/or expert perspective to, and exploring methods to have that perspective seen by a broad audience. That way you build a trusted brand that is memorable and will lead people to want to connect with you, both for your content on a regular basis, and if they should need to hire an attorney in the future.
The end of our journey is getting near, so next we’re going on a tour of other tools that I couldn’t fit in any of the other sections. And then I’ll give you more resources to continue learning about legal marketing.