Legal practice is in one of the most competitive digital marketing niches. Nationwide, law firms spend tens of millions of dollars on law firm marketing SEO advice each year. However, this doesn’t mean your law firm should shy away. It’s all the more reason to throw your hat into the ring and develop a forward-thinking online marketing strategy that cultivates sustainable digital growth.
In digital marketing and building a brand, attorneys like you have plenty of options. There’s content marketing, social media marketing, PPC marketing, and search engine optimization–just to name a few strategies for marketing a law firm. However, if there’s one key element that ties all these together, it’s link building. And for lawyers that master the art of link building campaigns, significant link building opportunities await.
If you're looking to enhance your link building process and boost your search engine rankings, the SEO experts at GoEngine can help you with your link building campaigns. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our linking building experts today at (864) 300-0344.
What is Link Building?
If you’re a visual learner, it's imperative to picture the internet as one enormous map. Each web page on the internet is a city or town. Some are rural and small, while others are buzzing urban cities with millions of residents and visitors. External links and internal links are the streets between these web pages. The more links pointing to a particular web page, the more opportunities there are for potential clients to visit. And when these links come from relevant websites, including other big cities, then the popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are more likely to encourage their users to visit.
Search engines, such as Google, have proprietary algorithms, which they use to discover new web pages, crawl websites, and determine which web pages should be ranked highest in their search engine results. Search engines use a good deal of metrics to rank pages–including the content of web pages. But they also like to see tons of high-quality links pointing to the web page from reputable websites. Thus, law firms use link building strategies to create organic traffic patterns that satisfy search engines and pull prospects in.
Related: How Does SEO Help Law Firms?
The concept of a link building service is built on the notion that valuable links can bring increased visibility, organic traffic, and leads. Typically, it involves getting hyperlinks from linkable assets, such as other websites, blog articles, and web pages that trace back to web pages on your website. However, it’s not as easy as spraying a bunch of links on your web content. There’s a science to building links and only law firms that follow these laws of nature will be effective.
What Makes for Authoritative Backlinks?
It's imperative to note that your link building efforts won't be effective unless you can track them. And thus, authoritative law firm backlinks aren’t some pie-in-the-sky idea. The key metrics for tracking authoritative backlinks are link diversity, link velocity, trust flow, citation flow, page and domain authority, link relevance, and anchor text ratio.
How do these metrics impact your chances of creating winning legal backlinks that command power and respect?
Search engines value diversity in backlink profiles. Thus, your search ranking will improve if you have links from authoritative news websites, law firm directories, social media sites, and other law-related high-authority websites with strong SEO metrics, such as government websites and university websites.
This is the rate at which your backlink profile is growing with time. This entails how fast other websites are linking to your website. For instance, if your new website gets 200 backlinks a month, depending on where backlinks are coming from, Google may view them as low-quality links or high-quality backlinks. It's ok to have many social media sites and legal directories linking to your law firm's site within a short period of time. However, if you’re putting out something like 100 guest posts a month with backlinks to your website, Google may perceive that as excessive and spammy.
Citation Flow and Trust Flow
These two metrics go hand in hand. Citation flow tracks how authoritative your website is based on the number of sites linking to it. The metric ranges from 0 to 100, with any score over 30 considered being good. It’s a brilliant idea to check frequently on the quality of metrics of the websites you’re getting backlinks from, to ensure your backlink profile is as authoritative as possible.
Trust flow predicts your website’s trustworthiness based on the reputation, relevance, and popularity of the sites linking to yours. This metric also ranges from 0 to 100. Many top-ranking legal websites in the market have a Trust Flow score of between 34 and 37. Thus, any score above 37 would match or put your law firm's website ahead of your competition.
Page and Domain Authority
Page Authority predicts how well specific web pages will rank on Google. Domain Authority tracks how well a site will rank. Both metrics range from one to 100. You want to gain lawyer backlinks from relevant domains with high Domain Authority and pages in those domains with high Page Authority. A good benchmark to aim for is having law firm websites with Domain Authority above 30, and web pages with Page Authority above 40, linking to your legal blogs and site.
Anchor Text Ratio
An anchor text is a visible word and characters, which hyperlinks display when linking to another blog article or location on the web. The ratio of exact key phrases that match all your anchor texts should be 4% or fewer. Above this percentage, search engines will penalize your site. If you have 2,000 backlinks to your website, for instance, and your website’s primary keyword is “personal injury attorneys,” you want a maximum of only 80 of those 2,000 backlinks carrying the exact keyword match in their anchor texts. Other anchor texts should carry your law practice’s name, your website URL, your name, and other generic keywords to avoid appearing spammy.
This powerful metric measures how relevant your links are. To create relevant backlinks, you must attract links from authoritative and relevant websites. Further, to rank your web pages for highly competitive keywords, 80% of your legal backlinks should come from legal directories and authoritative law-related websites. Think of legal websites with trust flow of 25 or higher.
How Can I Build Law Firm Backlinks?
Here are four link building tactics you can leverage to build relevant links to your legal firm’s website. These are link building strategies we know work because of our experience of improving law firm search visibility and keyword rankings through building backlinks.
Related: Local SEO For Lawyers
Guest Blogging on Other Websites
Creating guest articles is a brilliant way for attorneys to get backlinks over time on high-authority, relevant websites. Attorneys can leverage their expertise to offer a unique perspective on many legal issues. Guest posting is writing a blog post for another website and including a relevant link to your website. This not only helps you get a backlink, but exposure from quality guest posts can improve your authority and reputation in the industry.
The goal is to have a list of websites to target and then think of interesting topic ideas. Publishing interesting stories can help you get high-quality backlinks from high-authority sites. For example, you could:
- Discuss industry opinion on law-related websites and blogs.
- Discuss legal questions on other legal blogs.
- Blog about relevant topics on publications for other industries.
- Discuss interesting stories on general interest websites
Become a Source For Journalists
Bloggers and journalists are always searching for expert opinions to give their stories authority. If you can offer this, you may get a backlink. Normally, journalists have a relationship with a source and reach out whenever they need input. For instance, if they need quotes in a news article about the implications of a court case in the news currently or new legislation.
Forming relationships with bloggers or journalists is still a brilliant idea. However, websites, such as JournoRequests, Help a Reporter Out (HARO), and Qwoted have made it easier for anyone to contribute to stories by offering a platform that connects journalists and sources.
Get Backlinks From Free Directories
Free directories are perhaps the easiest way to earn backlinks, and there are many legal directories that law firms can list on, including Avvo; Justia; and Find Law. Local news publishers, colleges embassies, or blog posts may have sections where you can list your law firm. The best way to find backlinks is to check out your competitor’s backlink profile using Ahrefs.
The downside to this link building strategy is that directories provide little link power. Often, the links will be marked as nofollow links, which means Google’s algorithm doesn't consider them when calculating where your web page ranks. Regardless, backlinks from free directories are easy wins, which you should leverage. No matter backlink potential, they can also be an excellent source of potential clients.
Take Advantage of Events and Meetups
You can use local events to win almost all types of hard-to-win legal backlinks. First, set up an event or a meetup that’s held at least once a month. Be sure to set up the event around a topic that your target audience cares about, or that targets law professionals in your city or law school students. The event aims to bring people together around a common topic or theme.
By promoting your event the links will follow. This isn’t just a link building tactic; however, it’s worth the trouble if you're looking to gain authoritative legal backlinks alone. If you do local events well, they can help you establish authority in your law practice, giving you a voice and influence and a constant stream of clients.
Take Your Strategy to the Next Level!
At GoEngine, we specialize in link building and law firm SEO, to improve online visibility and scale up law firms sustainably, which maximizes short-term results while simultaneously building a firm foundation for future growth. We write the content, handle the link building strategy, secure the placement, and deliver high-quality links that maximize your budget.
We've worked with dozens of law firms to offer high-quality white hat link building solutions for them and we can help you too. To schedule a free initial consultation with our digital marketing experts, contact us today.