If you look at all the attorneys ranking on the first page of Google, they share one commonality as it relates to SEO: They probably all have a decent amount of authoritative links pointing at their websites.
Links and content are the top factors Google’s algorithm uses to rank web-pages. Many other things are taken into account, but acquiring high-quality inbound links is one of the most impactful activities lawyers can spend their time on when it comes to SEO.
Here are 10 strategies that have helped propel numerous firms to the first page of Google. Improving their rankings has helped them get more exposure in Search which translates to more clients.
1. Guest posting
When it’s done right, getting posts published on another organization’s website is one of the best ways to get links. Here’s why:
- You often get to choose the anchor text you want to use (which is also powerful for SEO).
- Link placement on the page is optimal (you can get a link within the body copy of content).
- You have the opportunity to choose sites that are relevant to your practice area and the legal industry.
- Links tend to be do-follow.
Select the sites you guest post on wisely and avoid using guest posting services. These are sites that maintain lists of other sites that accept guest posts.
A special note on guest posting: Google just renewed a warning on guest blogging for link building, however, there are some important things to point out. There is more to the story than ‘guest blogging is bad no matter what.’
Attorneys should not avoid guest posting but instead be careful about how they execute their campaigns. Google is looking for patterns of massive manipulation and pure attempts at manipulating rankings for nothing other than to rank well.
These are things that we do not advocate for. One of your primary goals should be to create content that your audience or the audience of another site would find useful. Link out to things that are truly supporting references. As long as you create quality stuff that people want to read and you are not aggressively promotional, you will be fine.
2. Law firm directories
Legal directories like Avvo are no-brainers when it comes to link building. Not only can you get a link to your website, but the directories offer more benefits for online exposure as well.
Avvo, for example, allows attorneys to create profiles and answer questions on its platform. Participating in Avvo’s free Q&A helps build authority for your firm and increases the likelihood that your profile will show up in common searches.
3. Personal Injury niche directories
Select local and niche directories for personal injury lawyers are good sources of links. Below is a list of directories that have high Domain Ratings and are paid:
- FindCarAccidentAttorney.com: basic listing $49.95/month, DR47
- Enjuris.com: free entry-level listing and sponsored listing for $100/year ($200/year with territory protection), DR42
- HG.org: $195/year, DR63
- Lawyer.com: $99/month, DR60 (article submissions stay live after cancellation)
There are tons of other directories for lawyers. On many of them, if you find the service valuable, you can continue to subscribe, but should you cancel, they may leave the links live on the internet.
4. Scholarship programs
Scholarship programs are a way that successful firms can give back to their communities. The cost of education has skyrocketed causing many people to start a career already burdened by loads of debt.
If you’ve never done a scholarship before, here’s the basic outline:
- Create a scholarship, award ($1,000 – $2,000 is good), and application process. Get as creative as you want with your scholarship topic.
- Create a page on your site that explains the scholarship.
- Do some outreach to local and national schools to let them know about your scholarship.
Your primary purpose should be to provide some ‘social good’ for your community but educational domains are also very powerful sources of inbound links. Not only can attorneys have a positive impact on their local communities, they can get some good links and PR in the process.
5. Social syndication
Links from social media posts and account profiles are not always authoritative (with a few exceptions), but they have many other benefits.
Social syndication on sites like Scoop.it can create do-follow links all over the internet in less time than it would take to build those links manually.
Assuming your content is good, syndicating it through Scoop.it can create a wave of links as people find and share your content.
Sharing on social can also do the following:
- Get your content exposed to people who may not have seen it otherwise, creating opportunities for links
- Drive traffic to your website
- Diversify a link profile with no-follow links
6. Infographic link building
Infographics are a fun way to share data, and they are also among the web’s most sharable pieces of information. You don’t need to hire a designer to do one, either.
Sites like Piktochart, Canva, and Infogram have low-cost services that allow subscribers to create professional-looking infographics on the cheap.
7. Blogging for links
Writing blog posts alone won’t get you links; however, a blog can be used as a vehicle to attract links to your site. To do that, your content must do some or all of the following:
- Be well-researched, informative, and useful
- Be easy to read and visually appealing
- Cite outside sources that support facts and opinions
To seal the deal, mentioning other people in your posts makes earning links later much smoother. When citing a source, mention the author.
Once your post is finished, go to work emailing any people you mention in the post. Let them know you used their stuff and hopefully they will link to it on their site.
8. General-use directories
Besides legal-specific directories, there are hundreds of sites that allow all sorts of businesses or individuals to submit sites. Be careful about which ones you submit to, though. They should:
- Have decent Domain Ratings (30-40 and up)
- Be relatively inexpensive or free
Overall, do your homework and make sure the site is reputable. For example, are your colleagues or competition listed there?
9. Building citations
Citations are simply mentions of your law firm name on other sites. Yext is by far the most comprehensive citation site, and the service can push out data to dozens of websites in a matter of days with one click.
10. Forums and groups
There are attorney-specific forums and groups, such as on Avvo or LinkedIn, where lawyers can be active members. You can contribute comments and add links when appropriate. Quora is another authoritative site where attorneys can contribute to legal discussions started by users.
The key to success is to be helpful. Don’t spam the forum or group. No one will pay attention to your content if it’s useless or self-promotional.
Building links is more than just configuring hyperlinks on other sites. It’s about collaboration, being helpful, and developing a consistent presence across the internet.