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Link building for law firm websites is an essential part of any successful marketing plan. Links provide positive exposure for your law firm, and can introduce you to potential clients, referral opportunities and other bonuses. Creating links can lift your law firm up in the search engine results, increase your traffic and build great connections. However, the task of link building is also soaked in myths and warnings. The right links are essential, but the wrong ones are dangerous, and should law firms just leave link construction up to the paid experts? It is important to understand how link building works, how links help your business, and how to attract good links and avoid bad ones.
What is Link Building?
Just as roads, streets and highways link cities and towns, online links connect websites together. The more existing links to a website means the more chance that website will be visited. When these links come from reputable authorities (such as Google) then people will more likely be prompted to visit. One website can create links to another website, but how do you get other people to link to yours? There is a science and an art to link building for law firm websites and there are traps to avoid along the way.
Good and Bad Links
There is such a thing as good links and bad links, and they are often called “white hat” and “black hat” links. White hat links are the coveted high-quality links that make your law firm look good to Google. Earning a link from a trustworthy website translates into one of these good links, and you can earn white hat links by creating great content that readers will want to pass around and share. In contrast, black hat links are links that are not simply unhelpful, they can damage your standings and reputation. If your website is linked to by another website that is spammy, overstuffs keywords, or contains plagiarized content, that link acts as a damaging black hat link. Even if you have a top-quality website and follow the rules, you still may suffer because you are linked with inferior sites. So, when link building for law firm websites, anyone should confirm first that the acquired links will be helpful, not harmful.
The best links for law firms are secured from:
- “High authority” sites. These websites have typically been linked with other trustworthy domains that carry time-tested authority.
- Domains that are relevant to the region, such as local businesses, organizations and schools.
- Businesses and organizations that have a logical connection to your law firm.
- Websites that have .Gov, .Org and .Edu addresses. These sites are premium and the most sought after in terms of quality and trust.
- Places that use “anchor text” (highlighted words which are clicked) that fits within the website or webpage. “Defense lawyer” may be a sensible anchor text for a law firm’s page, but too many links with the same repeating anchor text may qualify as “over optimized” and could end up being a negative sign.
Why Link Building is a Challenge for Law Firm Websites
Link building for law firm websites can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Many large and visible law firm websites are highly promotional or commercial, and linking to any promotional website can be risky.
- Individuals and organizations are often skeptical or distrusting about the nature and content of law firm websites.
- It takes time and effort to build up a stash of valuable content for a law firm website, which is one of the key ways to develop links.
- Reaching out to acquire links can seem tedious and time-consuming.
How to Start Link Building for Law Firm Websites
Building a network of quality links is less mysterious and daunting than it appears, but it does require some effort. To ease the brainstorming process, consider the following ideas;
Create quality content
One of the most important things you can do is create quality content for your law firm’s website that is meaningful, share-worthy, and valuable to the public. For content to be worthy of links, it should not be simply promotional. The best content is either highly relevant, referring to current issues in the news, or it is highly durable and will continue to be useful in a year or two.
Add a blog to your law firm website
Adding a blog is THE ideal way to accumulate quality content and promote link building. Consider the following tips when developing a blog for your law firm:
- Direct blog posts to your target audience, focusing on their issues and speaking their language
- Post unique and relevant content consistently.
- Build internal links, which direct readers to similar material in another section of your website.
- Make posts and articles easy to read and add images.
Try guest posting on another website
This will require you to reach out and collaborate with colleagues, associations and fellow business owners who may be glad to exchange links with you.
Contribute something to your law school
Alumni have a unique opportunity here to share their stories and thoughts on key issues that will benefit law students and other lawyers. Offer to provide an article, interview or resource to your law school in exchange for a link back to your website.
Use legal directories and social media
Free and low-cost online directories such as Yelp.com, FindLaw.com, Avvo.com, Justia.com and Nolo.com can provide links to your law firm, and they are an easy place to start. If you have not delved into social media, it may be time to claim profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Social media is a powerful tool for lawyers, and a simple way to build your brand, promote connections and establish links.
Be noteworthy and newsworthy
Although there is nothing that quite compares to the development of valuable content, it does take time to build a substantial supply of quality material. To jumpstart your link building efforts, it may be helpful to do something that really stands out. Some law firms sponsor community events, commit to volunteer efforts or launch scholarship programs. All of these will get your law firm’s name out there and enable you to harvest more quality links.
Host interviews and podcasts
As an attorney, you have a key position, because people want and need to hear your expertise. You can maximize this by using HARO to connect with journalists and podcasters. This can increase your visibility and attract and diversify your arsenal of quality links.
How Law Quill Can Help
Link building takes time, but it is a crucial part of a successful marketing campaign. In order to boost your law firm’s rankings and acquire new leads, reaching out for links is a solid investment of time and effort. Organic leads to your quality content is the bread and butter of link building for law firm websites, but there are more ways to gather links. Benefiting the community and other colleagues is a choice way to secure new leads, build your law firm’s brand and promote positive connections. Getting involved in legal directories, interviews, podcasts and social media platforms is a smart way to add links to your stockpile as well. Remember that not all links are created equal, so while considering many creative outlets for your link building, be sure to avoid the inferior links that will bring you down.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at [email protected]