Attorney Link Building: The Trust Builder
Backlinks are still the primary variable that help your page to the first page of the Google search results. Several studies have shown that there is a clear correlation between referring domains and the search traffic a website receives.
Ahrefs Referring Domains Vs Search Traffic
In this chapter of our SEO for Lawyers Guide we’ll be covering a variety of ways to build backlinks to your site and the methods that work are constantly evolving.
What is Linkbuilding?
In case you haven’t read previous chapters, linkbuilding is the process of obtaining links from external websites.
Links may exist on other blogs, directories, forums, social media sites you belong to, and a number of other places. For our purposes we’ll be focusing on blogs in this article as they’re the ones that carry the most weight.
Guest Posting for Law Firms
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is the process of writing and publishing articles and content on another website or blog. It often involves collaborating with publishers you already have connections with who your content and expertise would be beneficial for.
Guest posting is one of the most common forms of linkbuilding employed by SEOs and PR specialists and as such, has developed quite a poor reputation amongst many.
That being said, when employed ethically and correctly, and can be immensely effective. The first thing you should do is reach out to your pre-existing connections and business relationships. These will be the people most likely to accept posts on their site with you as the author.
Guest Posting Best Practices
Reach out to fellow attorneys who do not practice personal injury. For example, reach out to firms that specialize in criminal law, estate law, family law, etc. A mutual exchange can be established between both of you.
Some folks may recommend reaching out to sites that openly allow guest posting. They’ll list common ways to find these opportunities but we don’t like taking the same route. It’s far too overdone and will burn many bridges with people that could potentially become solid relationships down the road.
Plenty of people still take this approach though. So it’s not explicitly forbidden. If you take this route be sure you’re offering some value on your part as well — not monetarily.
Resource Page Linkbuilding
Many websites out there have pages dedicated to providing people with resources that will benefit them in some way. Getting these sorts of links is a tried and true method. Pages that have done this have already shown a clear indication that they have no problem linking out to other sites.
There are a few things to take into account when choosing resource pages:
- Ensure the resource page is a quality page with authority.
- It’s preferable that the page have some sort of relevance to your practice. Even if it’s another local business who has a list of other local businesses they recommend.
- It’s better to get links from resources pages with fewer outbound links. If it looks like they’ll just link to anybody then it’s probably not worth that much effort. The link equity it passes on will be immensely diminished.
If you want to find resources easily you can use Ahrefs. If you input a competitor’s domain into Ahrefs Site Explorer, open the Backlinks report, set the link type to Dofollow, and then search for “resources” you can see if any opportunities are available.
You can use a tool like Hunter.io to locate the website administrator/owner’s email address. When you do reach out, give them a good reason why they should link to you. If your resource is better, make that known. If you’re a local business, bring that up as well.
Legal and Lawyer Directories
There are a variety of legal directories available online and we encourage you to get listed on as many quality directories as possible. Be aware that many of these directories do charge a fee for being a member.
We’ll be building out a directory for people to use in the next week. If this has been updated yet you can sign up to the list below to get notified when our list goes live.
Think about all of the tools you use and businesses you have pre-existing relationships with. Reach out to them about being featured in a testimonial. Provide them with a testimonial and receive a link in exchange.
You can use advanced search operators like the following to find opportunities via Google:
site:domain.com intitle:”our customers” OR intitle:”our clients”
Also, it should go without saying but you should only reach out to company’s if you really love their product/service.
Reclaiming Unlinked Mentions
If a website mentions you but doesn’t link to you, that’s a perfect opportunity to attempt claiming a link.
If someone has already mentioned you or your business they likely already have positive feelings about your business. Simply reach out and ask them if they’d mind updating the web content to include a link back to your home page (or another relevant page).
An easy way to do this is within Ahrefs Content Explorer. Simply search for your brand name. You can enable an option in Content Explorer that will automatically highlight unlinked domains.
You can then export the list from Ahrefs and check the box that will only export unlinked domains.
Find Pages that Link to Competitors
Finding pages that link to multiple competitor’s is something you should capitalize on immediately. Think about it, if a website is linking to a few of your competitors then there’s often a good chance that they’ll link to you as well.
To do this in Ahrefs you can open up the Link intersect report in Ahrefs, input your competitor’s domains, add yours to the bottom field and run the report.
Once you find these opportunities, export them and send them an email asking them if they would consider linking to you as well.
Bonus: Data Driven Studies
This is probably the most effective form of link building available. Coincidentally it is also one of the hardest to execute. It will require that you have someone do a bit of research and data science but it’s worth it.
Find something you can perform original research on. Use open data sources available to everyone to find unique insights that you can wrangle into a meaningful and interesting narrative. Include a lot of statistics (reporters love statistics) and be willing to challenge the status quo a bit. Don’t be afraid to be polarizing — it will generate buzz.
After doing so, reach out to the press and other websites that might be interested to see if you can get a bit of virality going. The more people who are aware of it the more likely you’ll earn additional links.
We would recommend even throwing some of your advertising budget toward getting the word out there on social media. Again, the name of the game here is spreading the word.
We’ll be adding more strategies over time to this guide along with more in-depth tutorial videos on how to execute the tactics described. Be sure to check back in the future for updates to this chapter and the addition of new chapters.
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An avid advocate for small business owners and victims of personal injury. Committed to helping the best attorneys help others.
Founder of Ardent Growth. CMO of RunDoyen. Author of the #1 Guide to Google My Business.
B.S. in Computer Science & B.S. in Philosophy from MSU (with honors).