The world of blogging has made an impact on just about every industry, and legal businesses can really benefit from joining the blogging community. Backlinking is a great way to join the conversation and market your own firm’s services through useful comments on relevant blogs. Take a look at the points below to learn more about backlinking, how it can be abused, and how your firm can practice it responsibly.

What Is Backlinking?

Backlinking is actually just a fancy term for commenting on another blog and including your website URL. There’s a bit of debate over whether or not backlinking is spam, and if it’s not, if it even matters in terms of search engine optimization. We may never have an absolute answer, but we do know that it can’t hurt to leave thoughtful, useful comments on relevant blogs. Even if it does nothing for you SEO wise, it can get your name in front of thousands of likeminded individuals. Not to mention, you’re law firm’s website will have a few other blogs working to promote it.

How NOT To Backlink

Like most Internet marketing strategies, there’s a right way to do it and a “spam” way to do it. If you’re looking to boost your reputation, improve your SEO, and make solid connections that can turn into new clients, then you should refrain from doing any of the following spam techniques when backlinking.

Comment Without Reading: Alright, this first one isn’t necessarily spam, per se, but it can still get you, your law firm, and your reputation into hot water. If you’re going to take the time to weigh in on a blog post, then take the time to read it and understand it. Nothing will shoot holes right through your expertise better than sounding ignorant, impatient, and incompetent. So you’ll probably end up sitting in front of your computer a little more than you would like, but thoughtful comments can help you in many different ways.

Just Leave Your Website URL: Even worse than writing something unrelated to the blog is not writing anything at all, except for your website, of course. Not only is this disrespectful to the blogger and their dedicated readers, but it is spamming. Google’s search algorithms are designed to detect when comments are irrelevant and simply spam, and while we don’t know what meets those requirements, just a website address is surely on the list. You should definitely leave your website address after a thoughtful comment, but on it’s own, it makes the search engines think you’re spam and the readers think you’re a jerk.

Using A Program: If you’re getting serious about this whole backlinking thing, then you’ve certainly come across a few programs that will crawl the web for you and comment on as many blogs a day as you see fit. But here’s the problem with those programs. First and foremost, they are incapable of producing quality content that even remotely sounds human and interesting. Second, they are unable to tell if their comments are relevant to the blog. Trusting your law firm’s reputation with a program like this will only hurt you in the long run. Furthermore, Google’s search algorithm is designed to penalize these kinds of programs and the websites they work for and many blog forums have built-in tools to prevent comments like these from even happening. Waste of time, waste of money, waste of reputation.

Irrelevant Blogs: As a lawyer looking to develop some new business and cultivate a stronger reputation, commenting on a basketball blog just doesn’t seem right. You’re not providing any useful information to basketball lovers and you’re not getting your name in front of anyone looking for an attorney. Furthermore, if you comment on blogs you follow personally, be careful not to damage your reputation. Perhaps you’re a foodie but you think a food blogger has come up with an atrocious recipe and you just have to berate them. There’s always a chance that a client or a potential business partner sees your name or recognizes your picture, and you’re suddenly one case lighter. If you want people to see you as an expert, stick to what you know.

Responsible Backlinking

While there are plenty of ways to spam your way into backlinks, there is still one strategy that can yield positive results for your firm and potentially your website’s SEO rankings.

Quality Content: The Internet is all about content, and quality content at that. Without useful information conveyed through the written word, the search engines wouldn’t have any way of knowing how to index and rank websites and the web surfers wouldn’t benefit from visiting any websites. So as long as you’re sticking to quality content, you can’t go wrong. When you backlink on blogs relevant to your practice, take the time to craft a thoughtful and insightful comment. Make sure your comment helps the blogger or the readers and that your opinion is valid. Even if you don’t agree with the blog post, being respectful and polite can still earn you brownie points (and link juice!).

The blogosphere has created a community of writers and readers that are willing to learn from each other, share information, and promote authoritative voices. Through responsible backlinking, you can boost your law firm’s reputation in an easy and effective manner.

Pete Wise is a copywriter working for Carr & Carr whom have been serving the people of Oklahoma and Arkansas for decades, and have never shied away from the hard cases. If you’d like the best Oklahoma Lawyers on your side just pick up the phone.