WHAT IS LINK BUILDING?
Link building is a component of off-site search engine optimization where your law firm website earns links on other websites. Earned natural links directly improve the reputation of a website and its search engine rankings. In link building, a natural link is a freely given editorial link and an unnatural link is a link you make yourself. Both affect rankings in Google.
Link building used to be easy – the more links, the better your website ranked. Until the Google Panda and Penguin updates, when quality began to matter far more than quantity, and quantity could even get your website penalized. Along those lines, Backlinko.com notes that it is better to get 10 links from 10 different sites than 10 links from one site, because Google sees each site as an individual endorsement of your website’s credibility.
WHY IS LINK BUILDING IMPORTANT FOR LAW FIRM WEBSITES?
Google views your site as authoritative when other sites link back to it. In fact, a website cannot rank in organic search results without links. While Google uses hundreds of ranking signals to determine which websites it serves up in search results, getting and keeping a variety of different independent high-quality links to your website remains one of the most important factors in getting organic traffic in competitive niches like the legal industry.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH LINK BUILDING
First you should build something “linkworthy,” meaning that your website content should be valuable to your target audience. Then, seek to connect your relevant, valuable, awesome content to what it should be connected to. In doing so, make sure that the links you build all have three characteristics: (1) authority, (2) relevance, and (3) locality.
Eight Easy Link-Building Strategies
- Citations: Make sure your law firm name, address, and phone number remain consistent across every digital citation that mentions your company. Also, get a link back from the citations that allow one. You should focus on the top citation sites in your country, your industry, and your city. (e.g., YellowPages, Yelp, and Google My Business)
- Business Associations: Prominent business groups like your local Chamber of Commerce and state Bar Associations provide links with authority, relevance, and locality.
- Donations/Sponsorships/Scholarships: Often doing good in your community serves multiple purposes – it allows your firm to show that lawyers care, obtain passive positive public relations opportunity, AND it can help build quality links.
- Great Content: Quality content drives the organic link building end-results Google claims it wants to reward with visibility in its SERPs.
- Research Your Competitors: Find out which of your competitors have great backlink profiles and then reach out to the sites that link to them.
- Legal Directories: There are plenty of high quality directories that can be very beneficial to your link-building campaign (e.g., Martindale and Avvo)
- Related Sites: Find articles you’ve written that match up to the content of another relevant site and pitch it for a link.
- Social Signals: You should do everything within your power to maximize your social signals, starting with including social sharing buttons on your website. (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter)
For more in depth reading on how to build links, Point Blank SEO has compiled a comprehensive list of link building tactics that is worth a read.
Our legal marketing team at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. handles content marketing, search engine optimization, and other digital marketing strategies for law firms and legal industry vendors across the country. Contact us today to see if we can help your law firm “take it to the next level.”