Link building is essential for law firms that want results from their websites. Virtually no other SEO practice can move the needle as much as link building.
But how can you start building links to your website — and how can you do it the right way so that you get maximum benefits?
This guide will help you understand that. We’ve outlined what we’ve learned during 8 years in this industry. Let’s dive in.
“How does link building help law firm websites?”
The best way to answer that question is to check the results law firms are currently getting from link building.
We’ll analyze a site owned by Cordell & Cordell, a law firm that specializes in domestic litigation.
The website has over 72K backlinks from almost 4,000 referring domains:
Above, you can also see that the website gets 87.8K monthly visits and ranks for 49.1K keywords. That includes highly competitive keywords, such as:
In fact, the website ranks on page #1 of Google for all these competitive keywords — and is among the top three results for three of them:
We can’t attribute these results to just link building. They’re probably also related to good on-page SEO.
Still, we know for a fact that backlinks help sites rank higher and get more organic traffic. That’s how we know that link building is responsible for at least a part of the results we’ve analyzed.
TL;DR: Law firm link building results in higher rankings for (competitive) keywords and increased organic traffic.
Want to get maximum SEO benefits from your link building efforts?
Then consider these five things when building links.
Inbound links are links that point to your law firm’s website from other websites.
They’re different from outbound and internal links.
When talking about link building, we’re talking about building inbound links. These links have the most impact on your SEO, but they’re also the hardest to build. We’ll refer to them as “backlinks” or simply “links” in the rest of this guide.
TL;DR: Your link building campaign should revolve around building inbound links.
Your backlinks can be do-follow or no-follow, depending on whether they have a nofollow tag in their HTML:
Do-follow links will help you see SEO results faster than no-follow links.
So, ideally, the majority of the links you build will be do-follow.
TL;DR: Shoot for getting do-follow instead of no-follow links.
Every site has a domain authority (DA) score.
Domain authority is a metric that indicates a site’s quality. High-quality sites have high DA scores; low-quality sites have low scores.
But DA can also tell us a lot about link quality — i.e., how likely it is that a link from one site will help improve another site’s rankings.
In fact, DA of linking URLs seems to be the strongest predictor of ranking positions:
In other words, links from sites with high DA are worth more. They have a greater and faster impact on your SEO and will help you increase your rankings asap.
That’s why we suggest you build links on sites with DA scores of 40 or above. These are average or above-average DA scores, and you can expect your links to reflect this.
TL;DR: Focus on building links on sites with DA scores of 40 or above.
Anchor text is the clickable text of a hyperlink. It’s what you see instead of a URL.
👉 This is an example of an anchor text.
Its purpose is to give search engines and readers context about a link’s destination. And how well it fulfills that purpose can make or break your link building efforts.
So, how can you write anchor texts for maximum impact?
According to Google, there are two correct ways to go about it:
Try to follow these rules when writing your anchor texts.
Also, always include your target keyword (or its variations) in your anchor texts. That will help search engines connect the link destination to a keyword more easily.
TL;DR: Make your anchor texts descriptive and ensure they contain your target keywords.
The more relevant your link is to the website it’s coming from, the more benefits you’ll get from it. And vice versa: if your link isn’t relevant, it won’t greatly affect your SEO.
For example, your law firm’s website wouldn’t really benefit from a link in a beauty blog. Your link simply wouldn’t be topically relevant to the website it’s coming from.
So, you should try to build links on sites related to law and more specific, niche-related topics. E.g., a law firm specializing in business litigation can benefit from links in publications like Entrepreneur, Inc., or Forbes — and not just websites strictly related to law.
TL;DR: Build links on sites that are topically relevant to your own website.
Here are the 11 best link building strategies we’ve used ourselves to build links for dozens of law firms.
Listing your business in legal directories is probably the easiest way to get links.
You can find many paid and free directories for law firms online. Here are a few to help you get started:
You’ll usually have to submit your business info to get listed, including your name, address, phone number, and website.
Make sure you submit the same info to all the directories you contact, or you may confuse Google and other search engines. For example, if you submit different addresses to different directories, Google may not know which is right and which to show to users. This may cause the search engine to ignore your listings altogether.
Overall, this strategy has multiple benefits. And they go beyond SEO.
Here’s how HG.org explains the benefits of listing your business on their website:
However, directories usually have low domain authority, and their backlinks are often nofollow. Also, most directories don’t let you choose your anchor text yourself. In most cases, you can expect the name of your law firm to be used as your anchor text.
With that said, we wouldn’t skip this method if we were you. Despite being low-quality, links from directories can still help you achieve your SEO and marketing goals.
If you’re looking for a good link building strategy that will never get you penalized — this is it.
Creating linkable assets is the most natural method you can use to build high-quality links. It’s more about attracting and less about actively seeking links.
You attract links by creating useful assets that other sites want to link to.
Three types of assets generally work the best: guides, studies, and tools.
For example, Quittance opted for creating a tool — an injury compensation calculator:
This page alone currently has 165 backlinks, 48% of which are do-follow:
The upside of this strategy is that it can help you get high-quality links — links that are do-follow, have optimized anchor texts, and come from high-authority sites.
The downside is that this strategy may take a lot of time, and the results can be unpredictable. That’s why we suggest coupling it with blogger outreach — i.e., promoting the assets you create to bloggers that can link to them.
Many websites promote student scholarships. So, by offering a scholarship to law students, you could get a mention and a link from another site.
You can build links on scholarship websites:
But you can also build them on sites owned by colleges and universities:
Sites owned by educational organizations typically have .edu domains. And links from .edu domains have more weight than regular links from .com, .net, or .co domains. So, gaining an .edu link can be a huge win for your site.
Overall, scholarship link building is a good link building strategy. But it does require quite a bit of effort.
For starters, you’ll have to define the contest rules:
You’ll then have to reach out to other websites that could promote your scholarship.
Try googling these query strings to find suitable sites:
These queries should help you find multiple sites open to linking to you:
From there, you can reach out to your prospect sites and ask them to link to you. Explain how that would benefit their audience (i.e., students).
Lastly, ensure you actually go through with the scholarship. You should analyze the submissions, compare applicants to one another, and choose the best one as the winner. Publish the results on your site and try to award the promised money as soon as possible.
Most site owners struggle with images. They know they shouldn’t use stock photos, but they don’t have the time or money to create unique images from scratch.
So, imagine if you created unique graphics that other site owners could use for free. Most would probably be happy to use your images. And they’d probably be willing to link to you as the source.
Infographics seem to work especially well for this purpose. Here’s an example of an infographic created by one law firm:
According to TinEye, this same infographic appears on 17 different websites:
So, this infographic potentially helped its creators get 17 backlinks.
You can get the same or even better results. Just make sure you create something other people want to share.
Unlinked brand mentions are mentions of your brand across the web that aren’t linking to your site. You can easily turn them into links because your website is relevant to the context.
All you have to do is find your unlinked mentions and ask the site owners to link to you. You can use a brand monitoring tool to find your brand mentions more easily:
Just enter your brand name to start tracking it. You’ll automatically see all mentions of it on other sites and social media.
HARO, which stands for “Help A Reporter Out,” is a platform that connects journalists with expert sources.
Journalists often need experts to verify their claims.
For example, if a journalist claims that Elon Musk can’t back out of buying Twitter, they may need a lawyer to explain why. In that case, the journalist can look for a lawyer through HARO.
This is one HARO email we received with a similar requirement (some information is omitted for privacy reasons):
When you join HARO, you’ll receive emails like this in your inbox every day. You can then choose if you want to apply to give an opinion. If you get picked, the article may feature a link to your law firm’s website.
The biggest pro of HARO link building is that it can help you build links on reputable sites like HuffPost, Business Insider, and even The Wall Street Journal.
Guest posts are blog posts you publish on other sites. They can help you build high-quality links and attract qualified traffic.
You can include a link to your law firm’s website in your guest post — if it fits the context — or in your author bio.
But you can also instantly connect with readers through your post. That’s a big pro since most other link building tactics don’t give you a chance to stand out in front of the audience.
You can find guest posting opportunities by googling query strings such as:
Try including iterations of the keyword “law,” too. You may want to replace it with “lawyers” or “divorce” to find even more guest posting opportunities that would better fit your niche.
To give you a head start, here are a few websites accepting guest posts from lawyers:
Once you find a website that seems like a good fit, it’s time to come up with an idea for your guest post.
You should write about topics you want to become known for or associated with. But you should also check if your desired topics have already been covered on your prospect website before pitching it.
And don’t forget that how you pitch your topic is almost as important as how well you cover it. Your guest post may seal the deal, but your pitch will help you get your foot in the door.
So, in your pitch, try to explain how your guest post is relevant to a particular website. Mention how your idea will help a site’s audience and why you’re qualified to write about it. Or use our template for pitching to bloggers.
FAQs are “frequently asked questions,” or the questions people often type into a search engine.
Answering these questions can help you land a featured snippet — which is basically the top position in the SERPs:
But how will answering FAQs help you build links?
Well, the idea is that many people will see your answers because you’re answering frequent questions + you may end up at the very top of the SERPs. And some people may find your answers useful if you write them well. Because of that, they’ll want to link to you in their own content.
Fortunately, there are many questions people have connected to the legal industry.
You can find them by entering your target keywords into Google. Just scroll to the People Also Ask section and click on the questions that seem relevant. When you open one question, more questions will appear:
If you need more questions, try using specialized question research tools like Answer The Public or AlsoAsked.
All that’s left to do is answer the questions. You can copy&paste the questions, and then give straightforward answers in your content. That way, you’ll give yourself the best chance to rank.
Getting on podcasts can have multiple benefits for your law firm:
Many podcasts link to their guests’ websites from the episode pages:
You can use Google to find a podcast that would be interested in featuring your law firm.
Here’s an example of a query string that helped us find two relevant podcasts for law firms:
Feel free to use variations of this string to find more opportunities.
Roundup posts are posts that list multiple items in the same category. Two types of roundup posts can be especially useful to law firms:
The easiest way to get featured in roundups is to find existing posts and ask to be included subsequently.
We searched for “lawyers share” to find expert roundups:
Then, we googled “best law firms in texas” to find law firm roundups:
You can use variations of these keywords to find results that are more relevant to your business: “best divorce attorneys,” “best immigration lawyers in Houston,” “top 10 lawyers in Houston,” etc.
From there, simply reach out to the authors and ask to be included.
That won’t always work, but you’ll still form connections with writers and journalists. So, even if you don’t get included right away, you may get considered the next time the authors are writing about a similar topic.
Broken link building is a straightforward link building strategy. It comes down to finding so-called “broken links” and replacing them with links to your website.
Broken links (or dead links) are links that lead to 404 pages — pages that don’t exist or can’t be accessed. When you click on them, you’ll usually see a message like this:
Your goal with this link building strategy is to find broken links on other sites. That can be pretty time-consuming, as you may have to browse multiple sites before finding any dead links.
Still, the results can be worth your efforts. Most site owners will be happy to replace dead links with yours because they don’t want to send their readers to 404 pages.
And that brings us to the next step: reaching out to site owners.
Once you find broken links, you should notify the site owners or webmasters and offer them a link to your site as a replacement. But keep in mind you want your link to be super-relevant to the context.
For example, if the original anchor text said something like “how to file a wrongful death lawsuit”, don’t just send the site owners a link to your home page. Send them a link to your guide on this topic instead.
“But what if I haven’t already published a suitable guide?”
In that case, you want to create it. There’s no getting around it. A high-quality site will simply never link to an irrelevant page.
It’s true that creating a new piece of content is time-consuming. But it’s worth the effort. Once you’re done, you’ll get a link and a brand new piece of content that can attract more readers to your site.
Building links on your own can be demanding, especially in competitive niches like law. That’s why you may want to hire someone to do it for you — a link building company.
Link building companies can do all the heavy lifting for you, from finding the best link building tactics for your business to putting them to practice.
Many link building companies (like ours!) will also write your guest posts for you and won’t charge you unless they build you the links you want. That way, you don’t need to spend money or time on something that doesn’t yield results.
If that sounds good…
Our agency will help you build the links you want, or you don’t pay us a single cent. And if the links we build for you ever go down, we’ll replace them with new ones or give you a full refund.
Want to get started? Schedule your free consultation today.
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