The concept of link building for lawyers can be challenging to grasp. But once attorneys start looking at their link-building strategy similar to their client relationship-building strategy, it might make more sense. Backlinks are like a good online client referral program. Not only can they help your law firm website build authority in a particular subject, but they also help increase brand awareness and if they are implemented correctly, backlinks can refer more potential clients to your law firm’s website.
Now that you are aware of just how closely link building is related to your law firm’s online visibility, keep reading to discover how it works, which strategies could be the most effective, and how it can help improve your SEO.
What is link building?
All of the best law firm sites on the web employ a link-building strategy. Link building is the process of strategically placing links onto your website that can boost your law firm’s search engine ranking.
Whether you are working on ways to get other websites to link to your website, or selecting links from other websites, it’s important to be strategic. Depending on the relevance of links, quality of your links, and link equity associated with each URL, this technique can help lawyers remain competitive in search engines.
What are backlinks?
A report by Ahrefs revealed that 55.24 percent of pages don’t have a single backlink. Backlinks in SEO are an important component that can help build your law firm’s ranking power in search engines. These links can be described as any link on your website from a domain that is different from yours.
There are two types of backlinks:
- No-follow links – These backlinks have a tag that indicates to search engines that the link should not be considered in the website’s link profile. As a result, these links can increase website traffic, but they have no impact on your law firm’s SEO and rankings.
- Do-follow links – Unlike no-follow links, these backlinks allow search engines to crawl the web page. These links carry link equity, so they have the power to positively impact your search engine ranking. Typically, no action is required to create a do-follow link. A do-follow is almost always preferable to a no-follow link.
Why would you disavow links?
A disavow is a list of links a website owner is asking search engines to ignore. The links are generally unnecessary, irrelevant links that search engines wouldn’t want to consider when crawling your website. Google may disregard several of them on its own, however, in the event that it cannot, you may need to create a disavow list.
It’s generally not necessary to create a disavow list and submit it to Google. But there are times when it may be worthwhile. It should only be created if there are a multitude of low-quality links directing to your website and or these links can be reported as spam and may result in removal.
How to create a disavow list
- Create a list of links that you would like to disavow
- Upload your list to the disavow links tool page
- Remove all disavowal from a property
Making the decision to create a disavow list or not can be a complicated one for someone who is not very familiar with assessing the quality of backlinks. As a result, we highly recommend that you only proceed with this step once you’ve consulted with a trusted SEO expert. Once a disavow link has been removed, it cannot be reversed and this can have a negative impact on your law firm’s SEO.
Types of Links
Your law firm’s link-building strategies and tactics will consist of two types of links; internal and external links. According to Databox, 50 percent of experts include at least 2-3 internal links and 36 percent believe 3-5 links should be included on your website pages. Although internal links both can be very valuable components to your lawyer SEO.
Learn the difference between these two link types below:
Internal links are hyperlinks that direct from one page of your website to another. These types of links are used to create an information hierarchy for your law firm’s website. There are four types of internal links:
1. Contextual links – These types of hyperlinks direct users to relevant content from your website. This also helps build authority
2. Navigation links – Popular internal links on your website, such as the links that appear in a website’s main navigation, are an example of navigation links. These signal to search engines which pages on your website are the most popular.
3. Footer links – Also known as sitewide links, footer links are located at the bottom of your law firm’s website. These links help build link authority to non-navigational pages. Although footer links boost the user experience by improving navigation for its users, Google views the footer as an area humans hardly interact with, which is why it tends to devalue links in this particular space.
4. Image links – These types of hyperlinks use clickable images to engage users. Call-to-action buttons, image advertisements, and infographics are all good examples of what an image link is and how it works.
External links, also known as inbound links, are links that have been added to your website from a domain that is different from your website. Incorporating them into your link-building strategy can help your law firm improve the credibility of its website. According to a study conducted by Backlinko, 94 percent of the world’s content receives zero external links. Given only 6 percent of websites are implementing external links, this could give your law firm a competitive advantage.
About Your Anchor Text Profile
All of your law firm website’s links will live in what is called an anchor text profile, or anchor text portfolio. Every website has a backlink portfolio. This sums up all of the backlinks on your website and the anchor text that is linked to them. Websites with links that are diverse in nature appear more credible to search engines than those that are not.
How does link building help SEO?
Link building helps attorneys certify themselves as experts in their respective field. The more backlinks a page has, the more organic search traffic it can receive from search engines. This will likely result in search engines increasing your search engine ranking, and more.
If done correctly, there are many link building benefits your law firm can experience as a result.
Increases organic website traffic
Magnifies brand visibility
Boosts website authority
Improves SEO scores
Boosts search engine rankings
Strengthens customer relationships
What are the best link-building strategies?
There are several link-building strategies available, but all of them will not produce the same results for your law firm. That’s why it helps to know which methods the experts are using to experience link-building success.
When SemRush surveyed 850 SEO experts on the most effective link-building strategies, they recommended the strategies below.
Best Link-Building Strategies for Law Firms
Graph data from SemRush.
Start Guest Posting
With 53 percent of SEO experts recommending guest posts, it is the most popular link-building strategy. During this process, an attorney can be featured as a guest blogger to increase the visibility of their own site. In exchange for your contribution, a link will be placed onto your blog that links back to your law firm’s website.
Duplicate Competitor Backlinks
Search engines don’t care which website did it first, they care about which one did it right. That’s why 46.77 percent of SEO experts recommend duplicating competitor backlinks as a top link-building strategy. This process is self-explanatory–you will use backlink checking software (like SpyFu, SemRush, or Moz) that can provide your law firm with backlink profiles of its competitors. This will allow you to continue to track their backlink strategy. Next, you can set up outreach campaigns targeting webmasters that are linking to your competitors and ask if they can link to your website, as well.
Use Resources & Links List Pages
43.55% of SEO experts recommend the resources & links list pages method. This strategy entails researching websites that have resource pages or a list of other helpful links to various legal websites, such as the Florida Bar Association. Next your law firm can ask for a link to a resource article on your website.
If you’re interested in seeing a great example, take a look at this legal resource page from Harrell & Harrell.
Unbreak Broken Backlinks
Broken links on your law firm’s website can have a negative impact on your SEO. That’s why 38.71 percent of SEO experts recommend detecting broken links on your website as early as possible, then either replacing it or reporting it to Google webmasters,
Optimize Business Directories and Local Listings
38.71 percent of SEO experts recommended the optimize business directories and local listing strategy. This strategy will require your law firm to be listed in the top relevant online directories, which usually include a no-follow link to your website. Since many law firms are looking to provide their services to local prospects, this strategy would be ideal for attorneys.
Incorporate Social Media Backlinks
When it comes to sharing your website on social media, sharing is caring. That’s why 38.70 percent of SEO experts recommended incorporating social media backlinks in your link-building strategy. Social media backlinks occur when another account shares a link to your law firm’s content with its social media network.
Although social sharing has no direct correlation to our search engine ranking, it can have an impact on your branded SERPs.
Submit Public Release and Content Submission
For law firms that would like to promote a particular product or service, this could be a very effective method. 35.48 percent of SEO experts have submitted press releases, guides, or other content to platforms and they highly recommend this strategy.
Link Unlinked Mentions
Unlinked Mentions – 35.48%
Any time a website mentions your law firm and fails to link to your website, it’s a missed opportunity for your SEO. That’s why 35.48 percent of SEO experts feel like it may be worth it to reach out to these publishers and ask them to link to your website.
Partner With Opinion Leaders
22.58 percent of SEO experts have had success by partnering with opinion leaders. Whether they used brand advocates or conducted interviews with industry leaders, this option can provide both the brand visibility and the backlinks law firms need to remain visible in search engines.
Add Blog & Forum Comments
Blog & Forum Comments – 22.58%
22.58 percent of SEO experts recommend the blog & forum comment option. This process is similar to the adding a URL technique, except, it focuses exclusively on adding links into comment boxes on relevant blogs and forums.
Try the Skyscraper Technique
14.52 percent of experts recommended the skyscraper technique. This is a white hat SEO strategy that will require you to perform in-depth research on the topic you will be writing about. This includes looking through existing content from competitors that are performing very well in search engines. After taking inventory, this method will require you to write new content that improves upon the existing content, then ask the original publisher if they can replace one of the backlinks on their webpage with yours.
Include Reciprocal Links
The reciprocal link method can provide unpredictable results, which is why only 9.68 percent of SEO experts have recommended this method. Reciprocal linking requires linking to another website, while that website will also link to yours. Since Google prefers an assortment of external links, continuously linking to the same site may not always be able to provide you with the results you wanted.
Optimize Your Link-Building Strategy
Busy law firms like yours must find a balance between being results-driven and effective. Link-building for attorneys helps bridge the gap–it provides the competitiveness that lawyers want and the visibility that they need to run a seamless and successful law firm.