No matter what industry you’re in, link building is important. The more high-quality links you have, the higher you rank. Time and time again, studies prove this.
Each link you get is a vote of confidence from a website and the more votes you have, the better you will look in Google’s favor.
So, link building for law firms is essential if you’re trying to rank your law firm website higher in the search engine and get more traffic.
Having a strong content strategy with well-optimized content is always the first and most important step. You have knowledge that isn’t commonly known to everyone; that’s your sales pitch.
In this guide, we’re going to teach you how you can use that knowledge and expertise to earn backlinks to your law firm website and rank it higher in Google.
What Makes a High Quality Backlink?
The first thing you’ll want to understand if you’re trying to build backlinks to your law firm website is the characteristics of a great backlink.
No one knows exactly what Google wants, and all forms of link building are considered “bad.”
Almost every link builder on the planet uses these methods to acquire links, and while Google tells us not to do this, it still results in positive traction for websites as part of an overall link building strategy.
Long story short, we don’t know what Google wants, but we know that building high-quality links to our websites helps us rank higher in the search engines and ultimately get more people on our website.
Here are some of the criteria that make up a high-quality backlink:
The Link is DoFollow
Whenever you’re trying to get a link to your website, you want to ensure they’re “dofollow” links. This is not something that is precisely common knowledge, and the websites you’re reaching out to don’t exactly plaster whether or not they’re dofollow right at the top.
Dofollow and nofollow are tags used in the code of a website. Examples of nofollow websites are:
These websites will not impact your PageRank so getting links from them does nothing for your website. Think about how easy it is to get links from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
That’s why they’re nofollow.
In reality, most of the websites you’ll reach out to for other law firms, news websites, or blogs will be dofollow sites, and you won’t have to worry. If you’re unsure, you can ask the site owner.
So, why does this matter?
The image above is an excellent representation of the difference between a dofollow and nofollow link.
Dofollow links pass value through to your website whereas “nofollow” links tell Google not to pass value. A dofollow link is a link and a vote for your website. A nofollow link is a link but not a vote.
The Link is Naturally in the Content
When you get a link on someone else’s website, its location and placement matter.
They should be naturally inserted into the text using words that fit and make sense in the sentence.
Ensure that the links aren’t stuffed in where they don’t belong and that the text used as the link makes sense and is related to the destination on your site.
You don’t want the links to be in the header or footer of a website, they shouldn’t be in the menu, and they shouldn’t be on a page that has nothing to do with what you have on the page you want them to link to.
The Link Isn’t Part of User-Generated Content
Examples of user-generated content are forums, blog comments, and user-generated content sites like Wikipedia.
First of all, most of these will be nofollow anyway because you’re basically voting for yourself by posting your own link on this website. The votes need to come from another website owner on an editorial website.
If you’re reading a blog post about something and you feel that you have a useful resource based on something someone said, feel free to leave a helpful link in the comment section; just don’t expect to use that as a link building strategy.
The Link isn’t Automated
The best way to get spammy backlinks is to use automated link building tools or purchase extremely cheap link building services from sites like Fiverr. If you try to automate your link building process too much, you’ll end up with forced links on websites that have nothing to do with your site or the information you provide.
Not only is that harmful to your site’s SEO, it’s also harmful to your reputation.
The example here is from laurakalister.com/. This person is a life coach who focuses on helping women lose weight.
As you can see, the articles in the blog have nothing to do with the website as a whole. This site was likely hacked and then used to obtain links through shady methods.
If you’re using automated tools and sub-par link building agencies, these are the types of links you’re getting.
The Site Has High Domain Authority
The best way to increase your domain authority is by getting links from other sites with high domain authority.
So, what is domain authority (DA)?
It’s a metric we use to determine whether or not we’d want to get a link from a website. A higher score means that the website has more backlinks pointing to it. Thus, the higher the score, the more powerful it would be for you to get a link from that site.
You can check the domain authority or your website using the Moz Domain Analysis Tool.
Just input your domain, and you’ll get a score from 0-100. The example is from publiclawforeveryone.com.
They have a domain authority of 49, putting them in the middle of the pack. Websites like Facebook have domain authority scores in the mid-upper 90s.
This number matters because it will help you determine whether or not you should pursue a link from a website.
If your website has a DA of 25 and the website you want a link from has a DA of 10, maybe you won’t want to get a link from them. Or, if you do, you don’t want to spend too much time pursuing it.
If you have a DA of 25 and have an opportunity to get a link from a DR 80 website, that’s something you would want to jump on right away.
You may also see domain authority referred to as “domain rating.” These are essentially the same thing, but instead, domain rating is a score used by the SEO tool Ahrefs.
The same website that had a DA of 49 has a DR of 44 on Ahrefs.
They’re essentially the same thing and serve as rough indications of the overall quality of a website.
The Site Has Traffic
If a website never gets any visitors, it’s a red flag. If Google is sending traffic to a website, it usually means that the website is seen well in Google’s favor and that they’re doing a few things right.
This website averages around 880 visitors per month, which is good. The traffic looks consistent, it doesn’t just randomly fall off, and it seems like the website has been around for a long time.
These are all examples of good traffic and indicate that this website would be a great option if you could get a link from them.
One thing I’ve talked a little about is that you want to make sure that everything is congruent with what you’re doing on your website. If you have a law website, you want to ensure that the webpage you’re getting the link from actually has something to do with law.
While the relevance of the site as a whole is essential, you want to focus on the relevance of the page you’re getting the link on. For example, if the site is about safe driving and you get a link to your page about negligent driving claims, that would still be related.
Good Quality Content
You want to make sure that the site provides a link to your website has quality content on it. If the site is made up of thin or low quality content, Google might see that as a sub-par link, and your law firm won’t benefit much from it.
The site itself should be well presented and function properly as well. Keep in mind that a lot of the information you’re learning in this article goes hand in hand.
If you’re doing proper law firm SEO and checking that the sites have a high enough DA or DR, then most of these other details will come with that.
The Link Itself is High-Quality
This might be a confusing one because this is something that could be disguised behind what appears to be a great website.
You want to pay attention to the outbound link quality of the website. You don’t want to get a link to your site from a website that exists only to generate backlinks.
These are called “link farms.” They link to anyone who will pay them for a link, and you don’t want to associate with websites like this. Google knows who they are and will think your website is low quality, too if you have links from them.
The picture above is from agentgrow.com. This would be an example of a link farm. When you first look at the website, it checks a lot of the boxes. It has a lot of recent content, all the content is in the same niche, and the site looks good as a whole.
As you dive in a little more, you discover that the website has absolutely no traffic and all the articles on the site are written by different people.
Plus, they have a “write for us” page plastered right at the top.
This site charges people for backlinks (which is fine), but that’s the only reason the site exists. They make their money by charging people with the false hope that building a backlink to this site will do something for their SEO, and it won’t.
Link Building Strategies for Law Firms
Link building for Lawyers is not complicated with the correct link building strategy in place. You shouldn’t take shortcuts because that will result in low quality links, which will only hurt you in the long run.
Create Good Content and Do Outreach
The foundation of law firm link building is right here. You need to create awesome content on your website and get out there and ask people to link to it.
It’s that simple.
The ultimate equalizer is that a lot of law firms don’t know how to do this. We’re going to show you how.
Types of Content
If you create a blog on your law firm’s website, that’s a great way to start generating traffic. There are a number of different types of content you can create on the blog. Some are better at getting links than others, so let’s focus on those.
Useful Resources and Guides
If you can teach someone how to do something or break down a complicated subject in a way that’s easy to understand, you’re golden.
As an Attorney, you likely have a plethora of knowledge about your profession, and there are a lot of people out there with a lot of questions. Answer popular law questions, break down the subject, and write helpful guides that people would want to read.
Dolman Law does a great job of this here by outlining the primary mistakes that people make when suffering a work-related injury. They rank for the phrase “what to do if you get hurt at work.”
They break down the mistakes most people make to try and help others learn from those mistakes. This is useful information for someone who has been hurt on the job, and they rank for relevant search phrases.
This article will naturally gain links because other people writing content will link to it; plus, they’ll generate clients from the traffic they get from ranking on page one in the search engine.
The phrase “average settlement for drunk driving accident” is searched 200 times per month. If you represent clients who were hurt by a drunk driver or defend those involved in the accident, this would be your target audience.
You could create a tool or calculator that helps the victims figure out how much they’ll be eligible to receive in compensation based on various criteria.
A tool like this would be incredibly popular and it would generate a lot of attention around your website resulting in more clients for you in the long run.
An infographic is an image that breaks down complex topics into an easy to digest graphic with pictures and descriptions.
This infographic from legaldictionary.net breaks down various details about a lawyer, how to become one, and the field as a whole.
You could create an infographic in your specific branch of law about details that people ask you most frequently.
Images like this are frequently shared and referred to so they’re great for law firm link building because they attract links. Whenever someone references your image, they’ll give you a link, and that will continue to build more link juice for your website.
This page from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a giant compilation of lawyer statistics talking about how many lawyers there are in the United States, what the average hourly billing rate is, and how lawyers think technology is impacting the industry.
Building data-rich pages like this is a great way to earn links because people are going to look for these statistics in articles they write and use you as a reference.
If you’ve got a bunch of quality content on your website the next step in the link building campaign is to reach out and ask people to link to your law firm websites.
There are four primary steps to this which we cover entirely in our link prospecting article:
- Gather relevant prospects by searching on Google
- Filter those prospects for quality and get their contact info
- Write a nice email or social media template and send it to them
- Send emails using a mail merge tool to speed up the process
When you’re reaching out in search of quality backlinks, there are a few strategies you can deploy.
Finding guest posting opportunities is one of the foundational link building tactics that people have been using for years.
In a recent study, 7% of SEOs said that they reach out to more than 100 blogs per month in search of guest posting opportunities.
That’s more than three blogs per day.
A guest blog is when you write content on someone else’s website in exchange for a link. You have the knowledge and someone else needs that knowledge. As a result, they’ll allow you to write them an article for free and they’ll pay you back by providing you with a link to your website.
The key to writing a great guest blog is providing as much value as possible and including links to web pages that you really want to rank.
Help Journalists via HARO
HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out,” and this is great for link building for law firms.
It works by connecting journalists with industry experts and giving them a platform to collect information from people with knowledge and expertise on a subject.
HARO will send you multiple emails per day (like the one above) with a list of opportunities you can pitch to. The reporter seeks information on a various subject, and you simply send them a pitch with the information they ask for.
This is so powerful for link building for law firms because you can find massive websites on here, like Forbes and Inc, without having to reach out to anyone manually. They come to you.
If they decide to accept your pitch, then they’ll include a link to your law firm’s website.
Here are a few tips I recommend to increase your chances of getting high quality backlinks from HARO.
- Reply quickly as soon as the pitches come out
- Be sure to read the instructions entirely and answer the question they ask
- Don’t ask them to email you for more information; give them everything in the pitch
- Talk briefly about your credentials, don’t go on too long about it
- Keep it as short as possible while still covering all the details
- Don’t limit yourself to law-related topics
Leverage Your Network
Sometimes the best way to get a link to your site is to just come right out and ask for it. You likely have a lot of connections in the industry, so use them to your advantage.
Reach out to someone in your network who has an established website and ask them if you can write a post on their law firm’s website. Tell them that you’re working on your own link building strategy, don’t think of it like a favor; think of it like an exchange.
You’re doing something for them, and they’re doing something for you. Reach out to colleagues, professional acquaintances, and classmates you’ve kept in touch with from college.
Link building can sometimes require you to step outside your comfort zone, but this is a great way to do link building for law firms.
Legal directories are a great source of links because they’re incredibly relevant and rather easy to acquire. There are a number of free directories that you can list your law firm on and get a link from it. Some examples include:
Besides the big ones, you can also find local free directories that will allow you to gain high quality links for free with little effort. A quick google search for “legal directories near me” should bring up a bunch of results that you can use.
One of the best law firm link building methods are link exchanges. This occurs when you get links for a website, who links to another website, who ultimately links to you.
Sounds confusing, right?
Think about it like this – if your law firm’s website is brand new, no one will want to give you a link because there’s nothing in it for them right?
Why would they want a link from you? They probably also won’t want you to write a guest post or do anything for their law firm because you don’t have any clout.
But, what if you said you could get their law firm high quality backlinks from other high search engine ranking websites?
So, you go out and get them a backlink from a high DR site and all of a sudden you’ve provided them with enough value to earn a link of your own.
Link building for lawyers is all about providing more value than the previous guy. While everyone else is reaching out to get links, you’re reaching out to provide value.
Interviews and Podcasts
One of the biggest benefits of link building is that it gets you exposure. You’re putting your name out there by writing guest posts and getting links to your law firms website on other peoples websites.
A great way to get even more exposure while also securing backlinks is by implementing podcasting into your link building campaign.
Their entire job is to get people booked on podcasts and if you have authority in your industry, you’ll have no problem getting on whatever podcast you want.
Once you’re featured on the podcast, most podcasters will include a paragraph or two overview of the interview below and that’s where they’ll include a link to you. This is one of the best link building tactics for those who want to put themselves out there and get known for something.
Create Great Content
If you’re trying to build authority for your law firms website, you’ll do that best by having great foundational content on the site. You can have the best link building strategy in the world but if the content on your site is inaccurate or unhelpful, the rest doesn’t matter.
Aim to rank for top and mid funnel keywords that aren’t necessarily related to your services.
A lot of attorneys want to rank their law firms website for keywords like “best law firm in [blank],” “best law firm for [blank],” and “best law firm for [blank] in blank].”
The problem is, that doesn’t provide value to the readers and it doesn’t help you rank for keywords that are going to generate a lot of traffic.
Instead, aim to write helpful articles like we talked about. Provide information to people who need it and design your link building strategy around that. Doing this will help you rank higher in the search engine and get more traffic.
As you increase search engine rankings, you’ll get more exposure which will help your law firm gain links automatically.
Link building for lawyers is all about providing value because you have something others don’t. You have knowledge and expertise and you can offer that knowledge to people who need it. If you keep that in mind when crafting your link building strategy, the rest will fall into place.
Remember that it starts with great content. Try a variety of the outreach methods outlined in this guide and see what works best for your link building.