Basically, online reputation management is the process of controlling what shows up when someone Googles your name.
As we all know, the Search Engine Optimization or say SEO (optimizing search result in famous search engines like Google to get higher rank e. g.1st position on Google search) field is booming day to day with new inventions and innovations. People may not know that much of what they have learned yesterday will be out of date by tomorrow. Unless one updates his knowledge by reading SEO news/articles, there is no doubt he’ll lag back in the SEO race. Lawyers can use this to bloom their career as well.
Being an SEO Professional, I hereby suggest some of the factors that deal with off-page SEO. I found this platform to be the best suited place for sharing. Below is a list of some things most people may be familiar with, but I have also added a few advanced things that you may not know. Try these Advanced Off-Page SEO Strategies to market your website, get ranked in search engines, and to build online reputation (branding) for your law firm/yourself as a lawyer, so that you can survive in this competitive branding or SEO world.
Note: These things have to be done after the completion of on-page SEO. Before doing these things you must be aware of your competitors who could build a negative reputation against your law firm/yourself as a lawyer.
1). Community Creation in Social Networking Sites
Also known as online reputation management for lawyers, this is the first and foremost step with which you have to initiate your process. Try to become a member of the most popular social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google plus, MySpace, Ecademy, etc., and create a profile of your own. By doing this you can extend your online network and get connection of lawyers/clients, get connect with your friends, share things with each other, and promote your law firm/lawyers to build an online reputation. This is most likely the same as Web 2.0 (Participatory Web), which means you, has to show your active engagement on a regular basis which is always beneficial for lawyers.
This is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company/website online. Write a blog of your own for your law firm/lawyers website and include attractive and unique content. Be precise in what you’re trying to convey for the users in your blog entry and promote your blog in blog directories and blog search engines. You can also promote your lawyer blog/lawyer website by posting comments in other service-related blogs which allow links in the comments section that are crawlable or easy to examine by the search engines (these blogs are commonly identified as Do-Follow Blogs). If you’re not very good at writing content for blog posts, hire a guest blogger for your blog and ask him/her to write precise and unique content so that your blog can gain more credit from a search engine point of view.
3). Forum Postings
Create a legal forum/online discussion board of your own and start the discussion or share topics with your friends. You can also post/reply to a thread in other service-related preceding forums that allow links in your signature which can be crawled (quickly analysed for getting content needed for listing) by the search engines.
4). Search Engine Submission
Submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, Alexa, Alltheweb, Lycos, Excite, etc., to get listed for free.
5). Directory Submission
Many people may say that directory submission is dead for lawyers. As far as I’m concerned it is still alive. It is purely based on how effectively we are selecting those directories and how efficiently we are choosing the category for submission. Of course, I agree that it gives quite delayed results, but it is worth doing it. Submit your websites to the topmost quality directories like DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, ZoomInfo, One Mission, Pegasus, etc. Nowadays many web directories may offer paid listings but don’t go for it.
6). Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking is yet another powerful way of promoting your lawyer website, but nowadays most of the people are spamming social bookmarking sites without knowing how to use it. Since content in these websites update regularly, search engines like these types of sites and often visit them (this is commonly termed as Tagsonomy & Folksonomy in Web 2.0). Try to do some social bookmarking in popular bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Propeller, etc. You should be very careful while doing this and you must properly handle the tags which are very essential to broadcast your news on a wide area network. This may increase your website traffic based on how effectively you have participated.
6). Link Exchange
Exchange links with service-related websites (this is commonly termed as Thematic Link Exchange) that will help to increase your link popularity, which is a major factor of Google’s Page Rank algorithm (the way Google uses to rank websites). Beware of Black-Hats (unusual techniques of getting high Ranks in Google) while doing exchanges.
7). Link Baiting
Suppose you have copied or published another website’s news or content in your lawyer blog/website. Don’t forget to place their website link as a reference. Do it for others and, if your content is trustworthy, let others do it for you. This is another way to increase your link popularity for lawyers/law firm websites.
Link to internal pages within your site wherever necessary (this is commonly termed Internal Linking). This increases your internal link popularity, which is another major factor of Google Page Rank algorithm. The best known example of successful internal linking is Wikipedia. Also try to get a content link from websites/blogs that are related to your site theme. Try getting a link from within their site content using a targeted keyword as anchor text (clickable text much like Wikipedia does). We know that this strategy can often be hard to implement, but these types of links usually have more weight from a search engine point of view.
9). Photo Sharing
Publish/share your lawyers/law firm website service related pictures and make them public. Let your friends see them and comment on them too, which will help drive traffic towards your website. Do this in major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, Picli, Google photos etc.
10). Video Promotions
Like photo sharing, you can publish/share your product videos, expert opinions, and reviews of your legal service and make them public in YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, etc.
11). Business Reviews
Write reviews about others businesses or ask your friend lawyers/clients to write a review of your business in major business review sites like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder, etc.
12). Local Listings & Yellow Pages
Instead of going global and facing huge competition, make your website local so that search engines like Google can easily view your website and fetch the content. This will help you to reach targeted audience. Submit your website to Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Superpages, Hotfrog, etc.
13). Article Submission
Write legal/law related articles of your own and submit them to popular article sites like Ezine, Go Articles, Now Public, Buzzle, etc. This will help you to attain some deep links for your website (though it’s usually a slower process).
14). Press Release Promotion
If you are a business/service provider then go for submission in popular PR websites like 1888pressrelease, Open PR, PR Leap, etc. This will help you to publish your site in Google News.
15). Classifieds Submission
Do some classifieds submissions to advertise your products for free. Try Craigslist and other major classifieds sites like quikr, Myspace, iMadespace, Olx, etc. lawyers or legal option is also present in famous sites.
16). Social Shopping Network
If you own an e-commerce website, this is a good strategy for advertising and easily branding your service for free. Submit your service to Google business, Yahoo business.
Participate in Answers by asking and answering relevant questions and placing a link to your website in the source section if necessary. If you don’t spam, this is another great way to increase your link popularity (Yahoo Answers, Cha-Cha, Answer Bag, ask.com, PathLegal etc.)
18). Document Sharing
Share your website documents like business documents, information brochures, and slides in Google Docs, Slide Share, etc. This will help you to brand your lawyer website.
19) CSS, W3C & RSS Directories Submission
If you have a web design site or offer services related to web design, submit your website to CSS and W3C website directories which may drive traffic towards your website. Also submit your website to RSS feed directories which, again, will help you to attain more traffic.
20). Widget / Gadget Development
Develop some interactive and innovative widget/gadget applications (such as an online poll or game widgets) for your lawyer website and publish them on your blog/website or in other popular social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Let your friends and others vote/play/use the widget/application, which will help you increase your branding and website visits.
21). PPC Ad Campaign
When none of the above strategies work for you, go for a PPC ad campaign with your targeted keywords. Remember that you have to pay to get more traffic (website visitors) towards your website through PPC.
Note: Always keep in mind that you have to be very careful while implementing these strategies. You should not spam or overdo it. Whatever you do, just plan and execute. Otherwise, you can see adverse effects.