If you’ve worked with an SEO agency in the past, you’ve probably heard the term “link building.” This strategy has been used for years as a way to boost a site’s rankings. The premise is simple — get links to your firm’s website from other sites that rank (fairly) well, and it benefits your site. Think of it as a popularity contest of sorts; if the search engines see inbound links to your site, it must be a valuable resource.
Today, reputable agencies, like Omnizant, have moved away from “link building” which has become associated with building link profiles to manipulate search results. Today, our recommendation to law firms is to focus instead on “link earning.” This strategy centers around building high-quality content that provides value to your website visitors and earning links from relevant, authoritative sites where your prospective clients are consuming information during the attorney selection process.
Getting Started: Develop Comprehensive Content
To earn links, you need to produce high-quality content that is worth linking back to and that will resonate with your audience. The information should address the questions you most often receive from prospective clients, and it should be comprehensive with links to relevant articles to encourage further engagement.
Always use descriptive anchor text. If you are linking to an asset on your website, make sure the link text tells the visitor what to expect when they click on it. Instead of “Click Here,” try something like “Get our free Startup Checklist” or something equally specific.
Earning Links from the Right Sites
If you produce high-quality content and your site can be found in the SERPs, you’ll likely find that you organically earn links back to your law firm’s website. But it never hurts to spread the word when you add new, helpful information. In identifying your audience for content distribution, consider the following:
1. Do my prospective clients visit this website?
Link earning is only effective if the people reading that post fit your prospective client profile. For example, let’s say you are a business law attorney with a focus on helping startups. Your prospective client is someone who wants to start a business. It makes sense for you to publish a post about the difference between LLCs and LLPs with a local entrepreneurs’ networking blog.
Remember to provide value to this audience, which is a key determinant in the attorney selection process. You could provide a start-up checklist where the link destination is a page on your law firm’s website.
2. Is this website relevant?
Relevance is credibility, according to search engines. A divorce attorney (or his outsourced SEO team) may be able easily to publish a blog on a coffee distributor’s website, but this will not build Google’s confidence in the firm’s area of expertise. Instead, a better choice would be a backlink from the matrimonial section of a local bar association’s website.
The Role of Link Building for Law Firms in 2022
It’s important to note that not all link-building is bad and, in fact, some should be expected when you’re looking to increase your firm’s visibility. Take legal directories, for example; these sites are undoubtedly a popular destination for prospective clients and, for the most part, links aren’t earned, regardless of the quality of your website’s content. Legal directories like Justia, HG, Avvo and Lawyers.com are all popular directories and you should expect that your SEO company will help with those placements.
Link building can be helpful when done correctly, as one component of a much larger strategy. Unfortunately, far too many agencies still rely too heavily on it for SEO, wasting time and money on an outdated tactic that won’t produce long-term results.
If you are questioning the right approach for your firm, get help from a reputable agency and avoid investing time and money in a flawed strategy.