As you’ll no doubt know, a law firm’s backlink portfolio is a critical element of SEO. Naturally, the on-page optimisation element of SEO is far more straightforward, largely because that is something that is entirely in-house or within your control. Building backlinks however, requires an entirely different strategy. Your law firm is solely reliant on other sources to determine the success of your domain authority.
Building backlinks isn’t easy. Fortunately for law firms though, they have access to something no one else does. Expertise and insight. Information is something that people will always want, so your task is to find a way to leverage that information you have, and turn it into meaningful results.
Let’s take a look at the steps to building a backlink portfolio.
Assessing The Value Of A Backlink
It is important first and foremost to understand what links are valuable, or worth chasing, and what links aren’t. We don’t want to spend our time chasing dead ends. Ultimately you want to be building a backlink portfolio of reputable, authoritative, and relevant sources.
Reputation is key within your portfolio. A site like BBC news is going to have far more reputation and weight than a site like ‘WeSellBacklinksToYourBlog.com’.
Relevance is a second key factor. If you’re a law firm, you’re more than likely writing and creating content around law. You want the sites that are linking to you to have a degree of relevance to this topic. A backlink from an online legal journal for example, would be far more relevant, and therefore valuable, than a backlink from someone who posts food reviews.
Quality is another key category for building backlinks. You want the content that is linking to you to be of a certain quality. Ideally something that is written well, is original, and is well researched/read into your area of legal expertise.
Finally, we want our sources to have a degree of Originality. If you’ve already got 4 backlinks from 1 site, there’s little value in chasing a 5th. It is far better to obtain a 1st backlink from a brand new site, than invest resources chasing several from 1 site.
Tactics: Building Backlinks For Law Firms
1) Creating Content (Statistics, FAQ’s, Guides, Resources)
This one isn’t much of a secret but the best way to obtain relevant backlinks is by creating great content about your area of expertise. If you show knowledge, authority, and originality about a certain subject your content will naturally attract links once it ranks on Google. Displaying unique information is a great way to obtain backlinks naturally.
Using statistics from your own research, or reporting your own findings is a great way to generate backlinks. People are far more likely to cite statistics to back up their own research.
2) Guest Posting
Guest posting is when you upload content on another website and include a link to your site (and vice versa). You get the added benefits of exposing yourself to a new audience, and growing your authority. Be sure to create a list of whom you would like to feature or guest blog with. Be careful however, that you do not have a tight circle of blogs that only point to one other. This would be picked up on by Google crawler bots, and can harm your authority.
3) Become a Source
Journalists always need sources, stories, and expert opinions to provide context or proof to their work. Forming relationships with a few people in the news could be a good way to improve your authority. It will also open you up to a network of experts from a huge variety of fields that you can lean upon.
4) Leverage Your Network
Sometimes asking others is the most simple and productive way. You might have a huge, or a tiny network, but there will almost certainly be someone in there who has a relevant and authoritative domain that could help out. Ensure you offer some value in return, because ultimately no one likes to do something for free.
Directories, big and small, can be hugely useful places to list your business. Again it’s obvious, but make sure any directories you approach are reputable and relevant. Look for niche directories too. These could be for local businesses, subject specific directories, local schools, colleges, or news publishers.
A Strong Backlink Portfolio
There are a few final things you need to ensure that your backlink portfolio is as strong as possible.
The basic gist of cataloguing backlinks is this. Google has automated robots, or crawl bots, that scour content looking for backlinks, amongst many other things. These links will appear exactly identical to any person, and behave the same way if you click through, taking you to the desired destination. The difference comes in how Google sees these links.
Of these backlinks, some are do-follow links. What this means is those crawl bots I mentioned are aware of said backlink, and will ‘count’ it. They then index it as part of your backlink portfolio. Do-follow links contribute to SEO in a positive way. These are the links you want. No-follow links are simply not counted in any way towards your SEO, or domain authority rank. They won’t do any harm, but Google will essentially ignore the fact that they’re there. You can still click through via the link and get to the same page, but if you’re looking purely at their net result on SEO, they don’t exist.
The final key calculator is your anchor text. Anchor text is essentially the location within content a backlink is embedded. The more relevant the words are to the linked URL, the more weight the backlink will carry. If we want backlinks to our blog about ‘piano lessons for children’, we ideally want our backlinks to be embedded, with anchor text, that relates to those keywords. Anchor text provides context to the linked page. See in bold below:
- Average (As random text): Find out about piano lessons for children ‘here’.
- Good (As a URL): Find out about piano lessons for children here: www.pianolessonsforchildren.com
- Best (Relevant anchor text) Find out about piano lessons for children here
These are some of the key components to building backlinks for law firms. Understand the value of your backlinks first, and ensure you’re dedicating resources to credible, relevant, and authoritative sites. Of course one of the most powerful methods is simply creating powerful content. Do also use your network, participate in guest blogging, contribute your opinion, and leverage the power of directories.