Link building is an important part of your law firm’s SEO strategy. It’s helped legal clients of ours to increase free search engine traffic from Google by over 900%. The more quality, relevant websites that link to your website content, the greater the chance that you’ll appear higher in search engine results.
By getting high quality, relevant links from other websites, you can show search engines like Google, that you are authoritative and should be ranked nearer the top when people are looking for your services.
What's link building?
The entire Internet is connected through links. This is why it's referred to as the "worldwide web" - it's a giant "web" of links.
Search engine “spiders” crawl websites and follow links from one webpage to another both internally on your website and externally from website to website.
If you have more quality links coming to your legal website than your competitors, you stand a better chance of ranking highly.
The higher you rank, the more website traffic you’ll get.
The more website traffic you get, the more enquiries you’ll have.
Why build links?
Let's say you're a divorce solicitor based in Birmingham.
Wouldn’t it be delightful if there were loads of people searching for “divorce solicitors Birmingham” in Google?
The good news is that there are. And lots of them.
Google - since it wants to provide the best user experience it can - will try to provide results only to high-quality, relevant websites.
So, how will it know if a site is high-quality and relevant?
One of the main ways is through - you guessed it - link building.
Link Building and SEO
Successful SEO for solicitors comes down to three factors:
Making sure Google can crawl all the relevant information on your site efficiently.
Are you providing relevant, valuable content that matches Google search queries? (the things people type into Google). Create content that adds value, builds authority and trust.
That’s what we’re talking about here. Get the first two right and then start building quality links from other websites. You’ll be onto a winner.
Once you have addressed the technical - making sure that Google can crawl your website, you can focus on content.
A proper link building strategy signals to Google that your law firm's website can be trusted to help the person who made the search. It'll reward you by boosting it on the search engine results page.
The higher you are on the search engine results page, the more likely a person is to click it and "convert" into a paying client.
What’s the down-side to link-building?
A downside to link-building is that it can take a lot of time and effort. It can also take a few months for your link building efforts to kick into effect.
One or two links to your site simply won't make it shoot to the top. You need to invest in getting the right type of links, from the right places, over the right period of time.
If you invest too much time in building the wrong types of links, you could get penalized as search engine journal describes here.
Bad links include a number of outdated tactics such as links from blog comments and discussion forums as well as obvious press releases.
What makes a good link-building strategy for law firms?
Imagine there's a very popular, high-quality website in the legal sector.
It's considered authoritative and plenty of other sites link to it. This signals to Google that it's trustworthy.
What if you could get a link to your site placed on that popular site?
Not only might visitors be driven to your site through the link, but, since Google already trusts that site, the presence of your link helps it to trust your site as well.
Additionally, the fact that the link is from a relevant site helps Google determine that your site is part of the legal niche.
As a result of both of these factors, Google will rank your site more highly for appropriate search terms, and suddenly you've got more potential clients on the hunt for a solicitor, coming to your page.
In a nutshell, you want have as many links from other quality websites in the legal sector as possible.
Link building checklist
How do we measure website authority?
There are a few tools that can help us to establish the authority of other websites and also help us identify potential link targets.
Moz uses “Domain Authority” (DA) as an overall grade for how authoritative your site will be in search engines.
Ahrefs is another great tool that uses “Domain Ranking” and “URL Authority” to determine how likely a website is to rank in Google.
Both of these tools can give you some insight into:
- How many links your competitors have
- How many links you might therefore need
- Who is linking to your competitors’ website
By seeing who is linking to your competitors websites, you can also see if there are any opportunities to build links to your own. For example the data may throw out business directories that you could list your law firm on.
What types of backlinks are there?
With guest posts, you'll write about a specific topic you're well-versed in. This post will be placed on a high-quality website's page - they get a high-quality post, and you get a backlink to your site, making for a win-win situation.
Another type is editorial backlinks. This is where an article might have a link to one of your posts embedded in the text.
Web directories can give your website it’s own entry (link an old telephone directory). There are some directories that are high quality and still drive traffic to your site as well as providing a quality backlink.
Do you partner with estate agents, medical firms or insurance providers? Any partners are likely to have websites that can link to yours. So just ask.
This is where you’ve created really valuable content and other websites have seen it and linked to it. For example it could be independent research or a guide that is worth referencing.
How to Get Backlinks to Your Legal Website
Write an "Ultimate Guide"
As a solicitor, there are specific legal topics that you know very well.
You may have heard the same questions from clients, over and over again, and understand their "pain points."
Use this knowledge to create an "ultimate guide," or even a “simple guide”, exploring the issue in-depth and answering peoples' frequently asked questions.
There's a good chance that relevant sites will eventually start linking to that page.
Alternatively, you could also reach out to other legal websites. There are many are looking for expert content that is relevant to their audience.
Go on a Podcast
Podcasts are very popular these days and a good way to get exposure. If you can get on a popular podcast and address a legal issue you're well-versed in, you will not only get visibility to plenty of potential clients but also get a powerful backlink.
Replace Outdated Links
Ever click a link on someone else's site, only to find it doesn't work?
If you find a so-called "dead link" on a legal site, one that would link to a topic you've written about or want to write about, notify the site owner and ask if they can replace it with your link.
Dead links are a negative ranking factor for SEO, so this is another win-win situation: the site will move up a bit in the search results, and you'll get a solid backlink.
Make it visual
A picture speaks a thousand words...
Infographics are highly-shareable pieces of content that explain a concept using pictures.
You may be able to explain a complex legal topic using an infographic, making it much easier to understand in a way no one else has done before.
If you can do that, you'll see many shares across social media and backlinks from other sites.
To find out how link building could work for you, get in touch here.