Law Firm Backlink Building Guide

In today’s world, it is next to impossible for a law firm to rank on Google without backlinks. As a matter of fact, the average #1 result on Google has approximately 300 referring domains.

Referring domains

In this blog post, we will go over backlink building strategies that attorneys should consider when creating their online marketing plan. We will also review the importance of SEO and its effect on the legal industry as well as provide actionable steps you can take today in order to get your website ranked higher on Google.

You can also watch our video on this topic.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links on other websites that point to your blog or website. This is why they’re extremely important for SEO and increasing online visibility; if you don’t have backlinks, it’s like nobody can find your site. As a law firm, it’s crucial that your legal practice consistently acquires high-quality links to outrank competitors and increase organic traffic. 55.24% of pages have zero referring domains/backlinks.

Amount of domains with no referring domains

Why are backlinks important for law firms?

Backlinks are important for law firms because they help rank your website higher on Google, which will make it easier to attract new clients and increase online visibility.

To see great results from backlink building strategies, you need a plan of attack that includes the right tools and is backed up by data about SEO and backlinks. If you don’t have time or resources in-house, we recommend hiring an expert digital marketing agency like WiseMedia who can do all this work for you.

We’re one of the best SEO companies specializing in legal practice websites that have a proven history of helping attorneys with their digital marketing needs. Learn more about our law firm SEO services.

How to build backlinks as a law firm

Next, let’s discuss how you can begin acquiring backlinks to increase the authority of your practice’s website.

Acquire natural backlinks by publishing content

The most effective way to build backlinks is by publishing content. Other websites will find your articles and link to them naturally, which helps you rank higher in search engine results pages for queries related to the topics covered in your posts.

Here are forms of content that can help create natural links:

  • Blog posts.
  • Press releases.
  • News and updates.

You should also try promoting your blog through social media channels like Twitter or Facebook since these networks have millions of users who could potentially see your work. You may even want to pay for advertisements using services like Facebook Ads so that people visiting those platforms will be exposed to your brand message as well.

Over time, these pieces of content will receive backlinks for being a useful resource to other webmasters. Keep in mind that content with a wordcount between 3,000-10,000 generate the most backlinks.

Long form content and backlinks

This is because long-form content offers more value and information to readers, making it a better resource. Don’t write more words for the sake of it though. Ensure that each section of an article has a purpose and helps the reader, otherwise it becomes fluff and can create a negative impact.

Guest post on other websites

Many websites accept guest posts from industry experts, bloggers, and webmasters. These can be a great way to expose your brand as well as create some natural links back to the website you’re promoting. In fact, 60% of businesses write 1-5 guest posts per month.

You should always read through these opportunities first before submitting content so that you understand what each site is looking for in terms of contributions.

Just make sure not to spam by simply including links back to your own blog; this practice will get flagged easily and could potentially damage any chances you have at building up a credible reputation within the online community.

The best thing about writing articles on other sites is that it allows you to tap into different audiences who share similar interests with yours but may reside elsewhere across the global network of the Web. You can discover guest posting opportunities by searching Google for phrases like:

  • Law + guest post
  • Legal + guest post
  • Law firm + guest post
  • Practice area + guest post
  • Etc.
Searching for law guest post websites

This will display related websites that are open to external article submissions. Click a website and read the guidelines very carefully. It will explain what the publication expects in terms of quality, word count, voice, and other factors. You can submit a completed article or pitch the website ideas you have before you commence writing.

Legal guest post guideline example

A great benefit of guest posting is that it doubles as a PR strategy. Your name and face will be placed on the article, generating brand awareness.

Broken backlink building

A broken backlink is when a link no longer points to your website. This happens because the linked page or host has been removed, made non-existent, or changed into something else. For example, if you had an article on your law firm’s blog that was later moved under another URL, it would have all of its original links pointing to the old site instead of the new one.

We can use this to our advantage as a backlink building strategy by finding broken links on other websites and proposing they swap the broken URL with one of our own. Of course, this implies that you must have a high-quality piece of content that is worth linking. If you produce the different types of content we discussed earlier, this step will be taken care of.

For example, if you find a website that has a broken link that originally pointed to an article on family law, you should have a similar (but better) page.

You can use a website like this one from Ahrefs to discover broken links on a web page. Enter a URL of a legal-related site and click “Check broken backlinks.”

Using Ahrefs backlink checker

This will display all of the broken links it found on the domain.

Ahrefs broken backlink results

You can then visit this website and use the contact form (or find their email) and send them an email with the following template:

Good morning,

My name is {Name} and I’m the {Position} at {Firm}.

I found a broken link that could be impacting your SEO on this page: {URL}. You can find it at {Location}.

If you need an updated resource to replace it with, we have one here: {URL}.

Warm regards,

{Name}

Use Help a Reporter Out

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a journalism website that law firms can use to get PR opportunities. Most, if not all of these, will net you a backlink as a result. They will email you Monday–Friday with opportunities. Click “I’m A Source” on the homepage to get more details.

HARO 1

Then, click “Sign up” and fill out the form.

HARO sign up page

On the dashboard, select the query categories you would like to receive.

HARO preferences

Fill out all of your contact information as well. When you pitch a journalist, it will be displayed and increases your chances of being accepted.

Perform backlink outreach yourself

Another strategy for building backlinks that is scalable and measurable is outreach. This involves having your marketing team reaching out to relevant websites and asking for a link to one of your resources. As we’ve discussed before, this implies that you must be performing content marketing and have link-worthy assets. These include articles, studies, papers, etc.

The first step is finding websites that you will reach out to with a link proposal. A simple Google search with keywords related to your practice areas will work.

I suggest using a tool like Hunter.io to find the contact information of webmasters afterward. Enter the URL of a website or use Hunter’s bulk feature to upload more than one.

Using Hunter io

This will scrape individuals within the company along with their contact information; it provides their name, position, email, phone number, and social media profiles.

Hunter io results

Using a CRM like HubSpot (to stay organized), contact the webmaster with an email that:

  1. Introduces yourself and your firm.
  2. Makes a custom observation about their business/website.
  3. Discusses that you would like to share a valuable resource with them.
  4. Mention that they can share or link to it if they believe their audience would benefit from it.

The second step is crucial. Don’t skip it. While it takes some extra time and energy to research a business, it adds a personalized touch to the email that boosts conversion rates.

Similarly, follow up. Many marketers make the brutal mistake of only sending one email and quitting. You will miss out on backlinks if you do this.

Claim local citations

Local citations are directories that list your company and its information for prospects to discover. They are also one of the most fundamental and effective steps in link building for law firms. These directories are, for the most part, free and net you a backlink and potential clients. Here are some of the citations we suggest claiming as soon as possible.

Google My Business

This is a free Google service that helps you manage your online presence, and it includes the ability to claim business listings. It also allows for verification of ownership with a quick phone call or email from them. In fact, 49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 views on Google Search every month with Google My Business.

Click “Manage now” to begin creating an account.

Signing up for Google My Business

You will have to fill out information about your business including its name, services, and location. Then, Google will mail you a physical card and code to activate the listing.

Yelp

This website offers an easy way to add multiple pieces of data about your law firm into one place on Yelp. With over 184 million reviews worldwide, it’s a priceless asset for attorneys looking to generate backlinks and visibility. Visit here and claim your listing today.

Claiming Yelp listing

You can add up to five locations per account on this site as well as client reviews and even videos! All of these elements will boost SEO value while building more trust in potential clients who are researching local lawyers on Yelp.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is another way to increase the number of backlinks that your law firm receives. Once you’ve added all relevant information into Google My Business, Apple will automatically pull this data for use on their maps service as well. Register your business here.

Apple Maps

This site has very similar benefits to Yelp in terms of SEO and building trust with potential clients—but it does have one major difference: location tracking through GPS coordinates! These can be placed directly onto an iPhone or Mac computer so visitors are able to see exactly how far away they are from your office when looking at a map.

Get listed in legal directories

No law firm link building strategy would be complete without legal directories. These are very similar to local citations in the sense they list your firm, practice areas, and contact information. However, these also list other firms and legal practices. There are dozens of legal directories you can sign up for, all netting you a backlink, referral traffic, and leads.

For example, you can submit a new listing directly on the Canadian Law List website by filling out this form.

Submitting a legal directory listing

The bottom line on law firm backlink building

It’s essential for all law firms and attorneys to acquire authoritative backlinks to their websites. However, remember that it’s about quality over quantity. One quality link could be the equivalent of 1,000 lesser quality links. For this reason, we suggest focusing on the strategies outlined in this article. That primarily consists of:

  1. Publish content on a regular basis to naturally attract links.
  2. Guest post on other websites.
  3. Discover broken backlinks on other websites and have them replaced with your own URL.
  4. Use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to boost your firm’s PR and generate links.
  5. Perform manual outreach to legal-related websites and ask for a link to your content.
  6. Claim all of your local citations like Google My Business.
  7. Get listed in as many legal directories as possible.

If you need legal marketing professionals to manage your firm’s SEO, contact us today and get a free consultation.

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