White-Hat Link Building For Law Firm Websites
Why is link building important for law firms?
First, from an SEO perspective, search engines like Google and others view backlinks, especially those from authoritative domains, as votes of confidence in a website. Essentially, if a webpage has something worth linking to, it likely provides some valuable information, entertainment, helpful resources, or some other kind of positive user experience.
Beyond the SEO considerations, links to a law firm’s website and the process by which they are earned, have other positive effects. First, they provide additional exposure for a law firms brand, and potential traffic to the firm’s site from relevant sources. The process of link earning can also introduce the firm to individuals who could potentially provide referrals, ideas, networking opportunities or other value to the firm’s marketing efforts.
White-hat vs. black-hat link building
When Google was still fairly new, its algorithms looked more at how many links a website had pointed to it, vs. how authoritative or relevant they were. After website owners realized that it was, at that point, a numbers game, the race was on to get as many links as possible, regardless of how.
Google, again in an effort to provide its users with the best possible experience, soon began making updates to its algorithm in terms of how it treated links when ranking web pages. More value was seen, over time, from links that came from relevant and authoritative sources, and “link-spam” was devalued and in some cases manual actions have been issued by Google that affect the search visibility of websites.
Black-hat SEO essentially involves anything that is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines A few examples of black-hat linking techniques include:
- Buying links
- Participating in link-schemes
- Using or buying links from link networks or link farms
- Great, helpful blog posts
- Informative pages with unique content and perspective
- Creative assets
While white-hat linkbuilding is far more laborious, in the long run it will keep law firms out of trouble, and yield the best results. It is difficult, but worth it.
Why is link building hard for law firm websites?
Link building, in general, is not an easy activity in which to find success. When it comes to a law firm’s website, it can be especially difficult. There are several reasons why:
- People and organizations can be skeptical about law firms and the content of their websites.
- Many important law firm website pages are “commercial” or promotional in nature. Linking to a promotional page is often not highly desirable.
- It takes a lot of time and resources to create great content for a law firm website, and to do proper outreach to build links.
- Some websites, such as non-profit or health-related websites may say that they don’t want to show preference to a specific law firm by linking to them. They want to remain “neutral”.
What kinds of links have the most benefit for law firm?
Links are not all equal in value in terms of referring traffic, or SEO value. Some of the best links to secure are:
- From “high authority” domains (websites that have been linked to by other trusted domains)
- From domains with local relevance. Local businesses, organizations, colleges, etc.
- From domains relevant to your business
- .Gov & .Edu links (These are especially are sought after as signals of trust and quality)
- Those that have “anchor text” (i.e. the highlighted words that are clicked) that is relevant to the page or website. “Car accident lawyer” may be good anchor text for a law firms auto accident page, however too many links with the same anchor text can appear to be “overoptimized” and can be a negative signal.
How can a law firm build good quality, high authority links?
A typical law firm’s practice-area pages will not organically attract great links. However, by adding some exceptional content on their site and using proper outreach to potential linking sites, a law firm can have a much better chance of building a strong backlink profile and improving their rankings. Some potential sources of strong links for law firm websites include:
- Operating a scholarship competition.
- Connecting with organizations that the firm supports.
- Writing guest blogs for other authoritative sites.
- Cross-promoting content with other non-competing attorneys.
- Links from online profiles that are on reputable legal business directories, such as Avvo, or other sites based on the firm’s or lawyers’ affiliations.
- Small business citations (https://www.brightlocal.com/local-citation-sites-for-attorneys/)
- Writing truly unique content that illustrates the firm’s authority and expertise.
- Creative Assets
What should a law firm focus on when building a linkable content asset?
First, always have your audience in mind. Are you developing a resource that has a powerful impact on the potential audience? Who are they and what types of information are they currently seeking? In addition to your website audience, you need to think about the linking audience. What kinds of organizations, businesses, schools or other entities might be interested in linking to your content asset.
Think about interaction. Can the information you are providing be found elsewhere? Is it full of large blocks of text or something more engaging? Does your asset provide ways for people to interact with it, to share it with others, or to promote it?
Lastly, does it cover a trending topic that might naturally generate shares and links? Developing an asset that digs into a future trend or forces your audience to think outside of the box can be a great way to earn links as well.
White-hat linkbuilding can help bring success to law firms online
As an important part of a successful holistic SEO campaign, link building is a necessary activity in order to get solid value out of your firm’s online marketing investment. If you are currently running an SEO campaign without a plan in place for ongoing link-earning efforts, it would be wise to allocate some time and budget to developing linkable assets and working to share them with the right people and organizations.
Link building expertise takes time to develop. Consultwebs has an expert team that has refined its approach to earning links for law firm websites, and can get better, more efficient results than most law firms can on their own. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you build links, get better visibility in search engines, and get more cases from the web.