A Guide to Link Building for Law Firms
You want to grow your business, right? You want to outperform your competitors, right? You are heavily invested in quality link building, right? Right?
One of the major factors in getting above your competitors in Google (and in ranking well generally) is backlinks. Links to your website from other third-party websites.
The process of acquiring links (link building) is a whole subset of SEO that many law firms are either not doing at all, or doing it badly (and that can often be worse than not doing it at all).
The very simple summary based on major online research and studies is as follows:
If you get links to your site from high authority third party websites, your authority will increase, and your rankings will improve.
When your rankings improve you get more website traffic, you generate more enquiries, and you make more sales. Pretty obvious isn’t it?
Of course, there are a number of caveats in the simple summary above and there are lots of ways you can make life more difficult for yourself if you don’t do link building properly.
Dos and Don’ts of Link Building
You need to consider the following:
- Quality over quantity – a few links from high authority sites is better than lots from low quality sites
- Don’t reciprocate – exchanging ‘reciprocal’ links with a website doesn’t do you much good
- Don’t pay to play – buying or paying for links is a complete no-go
- Stay on topic – focus your link building on sites relevant to your business or content
Link building is often overlooked as it’s probably the most difficult part of SEO – the area you have least control over.
It requires a great deal of time, patience, and persistence – plus a good agency who know what they’re doing and will play by the rules. Don’t get caught out by someone promising hundreds of links a month – they will probably be low quality and irrelevant and will hurt your site when Google notices and gives you a ranking penalty.
If you want to acquire backlinks naturally and from high authority and relevant websites, then it takes a bit of work, but the results will be worth it to the bottom line.
Some of the tactics can include:
- Creating linkable content and assets on your website
- Using a PR agency to generate links from publishers
- Analyse your competitor’s backlinks and approach those third-party websites yourself
Let’s break those three options down in more detail.
Create linkable content (content marketing) and then promoting that content, say on your social media channels for example, can lead to other sites, bloggers, publishers etc writing about your content and adding a link in to your site. This is a passive way of generating links – but there’s nothing stopping you reaching out to a list of target websites to let them know about your content and see if they’d be interested in writing about it on their site.
Linkable content or assets often include interactive infographics or other interactive element, data analysis or reports, or in-depth guides on a particular subject.
You may have used a PR agency in the past to generate media coverage – but what’s important with PR these days is to get the media coverage online, and with a link back to your website. Links from news publishers and industry-related websites are usually high authority links. These help you with referral traffic from those sites, based on their high readership figures, as well as the value of the link to your own site’s authority.
If you’re looking for an agency to use then we would recommend Black Letter Communications as experts in Legal PR services.
You should be constantly monitoring your competitors generally, but keeping tabs on their backlinks will present some opportunities, and could even give you a heads up on their digital strategy.
You can use tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, or Moz (among others) to pull the data on your competitor’s links. Then you can see what domains and pages are linking through to them and what content they are linking to.
It might be that you have a better piece of content on the same subject – so reach out to the owner of the linking website and offer your page as a reference instead of your competitors.
You can also find sites that link to multiple competitors – perhaps someone has written a guide on divorce law and recommends three law firms to use. You could contact them and ask if they would also consider linking to your law firm because you’re better than the ones they’ve linked to (obviously phrase this in a tactful way!)
If you are a bit overwhelmed with where to start, or your concerned about a lack of links, or previous bad practice in link building has created you a bunch of toxic links from low quality sites, then let us know and we’ll advise you on the best course of action.
We can even create you some content and help you start building those links.