Link building is a staple of law firm SEO. Successful link-building campaigns can elevate your brand to the top of Google’s search results for the most lucrative keywords.
For example, the first Google result holds a 28.5% click-through rate. Understandably, reaching these top spots can deliver more eyes and business for your law firm.
So, how do you run a successful link-building campaign?
Link building means getting other websites to insert links pointing to your content. It’s a critical signal Google looks for. It is thought, based on data through many studies, that the more backlinks from reputable websites, the more trustworthy a page is.
From a law firm’s perspective, link building is one of the key performance indicators for their SEO campaigns. Solicitors across the UK build links to boost their rankings and attract more traffic.
However, it can also be used to build and solidify relationships within the industry, which can support their businesses in other ways.
Backlinks accomplish a range of goals. The obvious benefit of attracting backlinks to your website is bolstering your SEO efforts. According to Search Engine Land, backlinks are one of the top two criteria Google looks at when determining their rankings.
Not all backlinks are equal, though. It’s all about quality over quantity. This is why a backlink from the BBC News website will always outweigh backlinks gained from local UK newspapers.
Besides rising up the Google SERPs, why should your law firm invest in link-building campaigns?
Expand Your Reach – Naturally, the higher you rank, the greater your reach. Hit the top three spots, and you’ll get the most traffic from that search term. A more extensive reach means more business.
Build Industry Relationships – It’s also a chance to enhance your site’s credibility and forge relationships with others in your line of work.
Open Collaboration Opportunities – Every time sites link to each other, a professional relationship is launched. This can result in future collaboration opportunities online and perhaps even in the real world.
In short, if you consider online to be an essential channel for attracting clients to your practice, you cannot afford to ignore the role of backlinking in digital marketing.
Unfortunately, link building takes time and patience. Approximately 41% of SEO experts agreed that link building was the most challenging part of optimising a business for the web.
Whether you’re managing your link-building campaign in-house or outsourcing it, it’s important to know specific terms. Here are the top 10 link-building terms with definitions.
Backlink – A link from one website to another.
Anchor Text – The clickable text of a hyperlink.
Link Juice – The value passed to a website through a backlink.
Internal Linking – Links that go to other pages on your website.
NoFollow Link – A link tag that tells a search engine to pass no authority to the page you’re linking to.
DoFollow Link – A link tag that tells a search engine to pass authority to the page you’re linking to.
Link Building Outreach – Connecting to other websites to acquire backlinks, such as through pitching post ideas and networking.
Broken Link Building – Gaining new backlinks by finding broken links on other websites and offering your content as a suitable replacement.
Domain Authority (DA) – Developed by Moz, DA predicts a website’s ranking potential based largely on link profile. The higher your DA, the likelier you are to rank higher.
Natural Link – A backlink acquired organically without any intention on your part.
Most marketers begin by examining the domain authority. According to Aira, 65% of marketers begin their journey by assessing a website’s domain authority to evaluate the quality of a backlink.
However, remember that Google hasn’t developed the “authority” metric. On the other hand, since link-building works, we know that Google definitely evaluates authority, somehow, within its algorithm.
Nevertheless, five factors should be used to evaluate the strength of a potential backlink:
- Organic Traffic – Large amounts of organic traffic indicate that Google believes a website to be trustworthy and reliable, making it more valuable.
- Relevance – How closely related is the subject website? As a law firm, a link from another law firm is more valuable than one from a cleaning company.
- Anchor Text – Anchor text is part of what Google looks at when ranking a page. In short, anchor text should accurately describe the page a link is pointing at.
- Placement – Where is the backlink placed? More prominent locations in a piece of content increase the likelihood of users clicking on it, which makes it more valuable in Google’s eyes.
- Destination – Obviously, you want to win more business, so a link to your contact or home page is incredibly valuable. The same goes for content-rich pages that can prove your authority and professionalism.
Generally, you should aim to get links from websites that already rank highly. Lots of backlinks to no-name websites won’t offer much in the way of value.
Link building techniques for law firms
Building backlinks is a time-consuming process, and SEO experts claim that the process is taking longer than before. In fact, 46.4% of SEOs said the process now took one to three months more than it previously did.
Commit to the ongoing process, and you’re likely to get the results you want. Let’s examine some actionable strategies for building backlinks.
Build quality content
Build the content that people want to link to. Link-worthy content in the legal business is often relevant and newsworthy.
For example, many UK lawyers published content in 2023 about the UK government’s courtroom loss on their Rwanda asylum seeker plan. Obviously, ensure that anything you create relates to your speciality.
Get into legal directories
Invest in guest posting
Writing content for another site in exchange for a link is a prominent strategy solicitors use for getting backlinks when their online presence is small.
Choosing reputable, high-quality websites is the key to making the most of guest posting. If you’re struggling, consider tapping your professional network for potential guest posting opportunities.
It’s also a great chance to get other industry figures producing content for your site.
Get in the news
Appearing in your local newspaper for a major case or because you did something noteworthy is an excellent way to build backlinks quickly.
Some law firms with a budget have even launched programs like scholarships or apprenticeships just to get into the local newspaper.
Be a professional resource
Suppose you don’t have time to build your content, be a resource for someone else. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is one such network that connects experts and reporters worldwide.
In exchange for providing your legal knowledge, you’ll get the chance to have your name and link appear on the publication’s website. HARO regularly attracts big-name websites, including Forbes, so it’s worth doing this.
The above five strategies will enable you to set the foundations for a successful link-building campaign; but, you can employ hundreds of different strategies and ideas to build up your profile.
Here are just some of the other ways to build backlinks:
- Get interviewed as an expert.
- Appear on a podcast.
- Leverage your university connections to produce content in educational settings.
- Do something newsworthy.
- Answer questions on Quora.
- Hire a link-building specialist.
How do you know if your link-building campaign has been a success?
Since we don’t have access to the innards of the Google algorithm, measuring link-building success isn’t an exact science. Generally, you can expect to focus on six key metrics, including:
- Quality of backlinks
- Anchor text optimisation
- Quantity of backlinks
- Link position
- Referral traffic
- Return on investment (traffic, clicks, social media interaction, increase in business)
Finally, you can use the same tools to measure your website’s DA to see how your link-building campaign has impacted your business.
However, successful link-building begins and ends with execution. If you demand excellence in execution (and why wouldn’t you?), connect with the brand that increased one law firm’s leads by 174%.
Reach out to us about link-building by contacting our team now!