Link Building for Lawyers
Link building for law firms is essential in 2024, just as it has been for several years.
Inbound links from relevant websites continually land atop the list of the most important ranking factors, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
As part of a well-planned law firm SEO campaign, high-quality links are a powerful growth accelerator.
You must have good content, a well-structured website, and a plan for earning valuable links to rank well.
Understanding the key differences between link building for local (GBP/Map Pack) and organic SEO is critical.
In this post, we will cover law firm link building tactics that can help you improve your local and organic rankings.
The exact tactics you use should vary based on what goals you are trying to reach and whether your emphasis is on local SEO, organic SEO, or both.
Here are some practical examples of link building tactics for local SEO, followed by organic link building tactics.
Local SEO Link Building For Law Firms
When building links to improve your local SEO rankings, geo-relevancy is one of the most vital signals you can generate, even if these sites are not topically relevant.
Here are eight link-building tactics you can use to get your law firm’s local SEO campaign off to a strong start.
Build Local Citations
These directories, such as Yelp or Yellow Pages, list your business name, address, and phone number. This is a cheap and easy way to start, with many services offering citations from $3-5 per placement.
Get Listed In Legal Directories
Get listed in reputable legal directories such as FindLaw, Lawyers.com, and Avvo. Since these directories are also niche-relevant, they will provide some organic SEO ranking value and help generate referral traffic.
Join Local Business Organizations
Join local business associations and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. These organizations often have online directories allowing you to create trusted citations that non-members cannot easily replicate. This works exceptionally well if you can find legal industry-related local organizations.
Partner With Other Local Businesses
Build relationships with other local businesses in your area. Since the site topic doesn’t have to be topically relevant, contact people you know in the local area with a website and ask for a link. You can also organize 3-way link swaps between multiple local businesses to return the favor.
Attend Local Events
Attend local events such as legal conferences, community events, and other local gatherings. This can help you build relationships with other professionals in your industry, leading to collaboration opportunities that result in links.
Create Local Resources
Offer local resources such as legal guides, checklists, and other valuable content relevant to your local audience.
You can also create informational guides about your city, which tend to attract natural links from other local sites once they start ranking. Remember, these guides do not have to be about legal topics to work for local SEO.
Get Involved In Local Sponsorship Opportunities
You typically receive a link from their sponsor page when you sponsor local teams, events, and organizations. In addition, if you sponsor events that get media coverage, you may pick up secondary link placements or mentions on reputable websites like your local T.V. station or newspaper.
Use PR Syndication + Local Media Outreach
The days of using syndicated P.R.s to improve organic rankings are behind us. However, when it comes to GBP SEO, this tactic works well as it allows you to create unstructured citations for your business.
In addition, if you do targeted outreach with a locally relevant and newsworthy topic, you could end up with related coverage or interviews from local media.
Many more tactics could be used, but those will give you a strong foundation, especially when paired with organic link building tactics.
Law Firm Link Building for Organic SEO
When building links for organic rankings, three factors impact the value of a link: authority, relevancy, and topical trustworthiness.
Topical relevancy is vital when building links to your law firm’s website to boost rankings and organic traffic. In addition to being relevant, the sites should have authority and trust signals.
Here are some proven tactics that work.
Creating Linkable Assets
Since modern link building for lawyers is heavily content-focused, let’s start by discussing linkable content creation.
Link-worthy assets can be promoted through outreach or attract natural links passively, depending on how aggressive you want to be.
Creating linkable assets for a law firm can be challenging, but here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Create Original Research – Conduct original research on legal topics relevant to your practice area. This can help generate high-quality backlinks from other websites that reference your research.
- Create Statistics Content – If you don’t have the time or resources to conduct first-hand research, you can use data from other sources to create an engaging post. For example, if you are a personal injury law firm, you could use data from nsc.org to put together a post on large truck accident rates.
- Develop Legal Calculators – Develop calculators and other interactive tools to help your audience calculate legal fees, estimate damages, or perform other legal-related calculations. These tools can be highly shareable and generate backlinks from other websites that use them as a resource. Many services will allow you to build such calculators easily without coding experience and embed them into your site.
- Offer Templates or Forms – In order to leverage this tactic, you must first consider what types of sites are likely to link to you. This will allow you to create a template successfully. For example, if you are a real estate attorney, you could create templates for landlords and promote those to sites that offer loans, software, or other tools for landlords.
- Create A Podcast – There are many ways to leverage podcasts for link building, but one of the most effective is interviewing non-competing lawyers. This will give you unique and informative content that can be used to acquire links and give you a point of contact with other legal sites that could link to you.
Haro and ProfNet are both platforms that connect journalists with sources. By being a source, you can land links from high domain authority sites, including some major media publications.
This method is time-consuming but should be part of your link building strategy unless you prefer to buy links on media sites, which is another viable option.
The downside of this method is that you don’t control which website you will get a link from, so the sitewide relevancy could be lower than you would like it to be.
When paired with a tactic like guest posting, the combination of high DA/DR links from Haro and the hyper-relevancy of mid-tier sites found via outreach is very effective.
Blogger Outreach & Guest Posting
Blogger outreach and guest post link building are both tactics in which you contribute content to reputable websites in exchange for a link back to your website.
This tactic is usually part of a law firm link building campaign as it allows you to get legal industry-related links pointing to your site within hyper-relevant content.
Since this type of outreach requires someone from the other site to review and approve your submission, it is an editorial link. This type of placement carries more weight than a directory submission or a sponsorship link, making blogger outreach links a powerful addition to your law firm link building plan.
Resource Page Link Building
Resource page link building for lawyers is a tried and true tactic that continues to deliver high-quality links, especially when paired with assets like tools, templates, and research content.
A lot of resource page link outreach strategies use bulk outreach (a.k.a shotgun skyscraper) to land links. If you plan to use this approach, you must carefully screen your prospect lists to avoid getting spammy links.
When done correctly, you could end up with dozens of links from a single outreach and follow-up campaign.
Niche Edits & Link Insertion
Behind the scenes, most companies offering niche edit links leverage existing relationships with relevant sites, often built over years of outreach.
For this reason, it is generally best to work with a company that offers a niche edit service if you plan to leverage this tactic.
Now that we have covered some effective tactics for law firm linkbuilding, let’s discuss how to combine them into an effective strategy.
Pairing Tactics Into a Link Building Strategy
A strategy is the overall plan of action. Tactics are the individual actions that can be taken to reach the goals of the overall strategy.
To get the best results from your law firm’s link building strategy, you should design it with a clear desired outcome.
Build Link Building Campaigns Around A Specific Goal.
End State Planning is a military planning strategy in which you start by defining what would be considered a successful mission, then work backward to allocate the resources needed to reach the desired outcome.
Applying this method of thinking to your law firm’s website, content, and link building strategy will help you narrow your focus on which elements are most vital to reaching your end goal.
We have found that this results in faster rankings, more efficient SEO spending, and a much more substantial ROI for our clients. Whether you decide to tackle link building on your own or hire an agency to handle it, creating a good link building strategy will pay tenfold.
Link Building for Your Law Firm’s Website – How To Get Started
In this guide, we have covered effective link-building techniques that can help you boost local and organic traffic. We have also touched on the importance of creating a strategy that aligns with your law firm’s goals.
Even so, link building is complex and detailed, so we have scratched the surface today. We have put together some great resources to help you advance your understanding of link building.
Here are some helpful resources to get you started:
- The Definitive Guide to Link Building – this guide dives deep into competitor research, link prospecting, anchor text planning, and more.
- Local SEO Link Building – learn some effective tactics for building links that help with map pack rankings & geo-relevancy.
If you still don’t feel comfortable with link outreach or your internal link building efforts are coming up short, don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your challenges and goals.
Attorney Link Building FAQs
Building links from other websites can be tricky. If you build the wrong type, your traffic from search engines will plummet.
Below, we look at some questions about how to get more high-quality links without finding your site on the wrong end of a Google penalty.
How Can I Build Links Competitors Can’t?
Existing relationships are among the best ways to get links that competitors cannot re-create. Connections you made in law school, other services you partner with, and fellow attorneys could all be a source of do-follow links.
How Do I Know If a Site is Accepting Guest Posts?
A lot of sites advertise that they are accepting posts; however, many of them are of low quality. If you find a site you think would make a great link, take the time to reach out and ask. The worst they can say is no.
Does Linking to Other Websites Help?
As you may know, increasing the number of unique referring domains pointing to your website will help increase rankings and traffic. However, what you might not know is that linking out to other trustworthy websites can also be helpful as a part of your overall strategy.
Do Search Engines Treat Law Firm Websites Differently?
Yes. Since legal questions and advice fall under YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) and E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust), they are held to a higher standard for content and links.
Should I Optimize Internal Links?
Yes, you should link internally between relevant pages on your site. A good internal linking structure can help your law firm website rank higher and attract more traffic. Potential clients will also benefit from this practice as it makes it easier to find related information.
Is it OK to Buy Links?
Paid links are widespread – although frowned upon by search engines like Google. Buying links can help you boost the number of referring domains pointing to your site, boosting your site authority.
If you carefully screen paid link opportunities, you can use them as part of your strategy while staying on the right side of the Google algorithm. A paid link isn’t necessarily going to harm your rankings any more than some of the free directories that have been de-indexed over the past years, so the issue is more about site quality than paid vs free links.
However – it is ultimately up to your firm to weigh risk vs. reward when deciding whether or not to include them as part of your strategy. We can work with both options at Stellar SEO to help your firm get high-quality backlinks.
Are Scholarship Links a Good Idea?
Getting links from scholarship pages can be risky. In one manual action penalty, Google cited scholarship links as part of a link scheme.
If you don’t take the time to ensure you get quality inbound links, almost any tactic can backfire and cause issues for your law firm’s website.
What Are The Top Link Building Tactics for Law Firms?
When it comes to law firm link building, free directories, paid directories, targeted prospecting to find guest posting opportunities, broken links, and content created to naturally attract links can all work together effectively – so long as you focus on getting links from high-quality websites. Remember, site quality isn’t just determined by metrics like Domain Authority. You should consider if the site has a similar target audience, has a lot of low-quality links pointing to it, and if the websites mention selling links.
As mentioned above, your end goal should guide your strategy, and your strategy should determine which tactics are the best fit for your project. A natural link profile is diverse, so don’t try to artificially limit yourself on your journey to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).