Link Building for Lawyers: Improve Your Visibility and Net the Clients You Want

by | Marketing

As a lawyer looking to grow your practice, you’re always on the hunt for your next big client. That big, trophy-sized account that will be the stuff of office legend. (Or, more realistically, a reliable revenue generator.)

But those kinds of clients don’t just wander through your door. In today’s legal marketplace, getting the attention of leads means increasing the profile of your firm so that you’re seen quickly and positioned authoritatively. 

There are dozens of ways to approach this, but one popular method is link building.

Put simply, link building is the practice of getting other sites to link to your site. This is valuable because external links signal trust between sites, which helps boost your domain authority and therefore your site’s visibility.

More confident in your ability to build cases than links? Let’s delve into link-building techniques to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), get to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and expand your audience.

Not all backlinks are alike: differences between types of backlinks

There are several types of links that can be used in link building, and they’re not equally valuable. Here’s a quick comparison of different types and the value they can create for your link-building strategy. 

  1. Backlinks vs. referring domains: When another website links to yours, that’s a backlink. The site the link comes from is its referring domain. Though both are helpful, having diversity in your referring domains is helpful. Think of it like this: if one client submits five reviews, that’s nice… but it’s better if you have five different clients submit reviews. 
  1. Do-follow vs. no-follow backlinks: While both links function as usable links, do-follow links are links you “do” want to “follow” as they pass on link juice (or, more technically, link equity) and can help generate traffic to your site.
  1. Natural vs. paid links: As you connect with different sources, you may find some require purchasing a spot on their site. Though this could be an opportunity to reach a larger audience, Google frowns upon this and often bans these links. We recommend using natural links to increase organic traffic as much as possible.

5 law-firm-friendly link-building activities

Regardless of your industry, link building can deliver a lot of SEO value. But how you approach that link building can differ. Attorneys can benefit from several specific methods of gaining high-quality links to their site.  

1. Legal directories

National, local, and citation legal directories can be a great way to reach a larger target audience than you would have access to otherwise. These platforms share key information about your law firm, increase visibility, and, for the purposes of this blog, are a great source of backlinks. 

Most legal directories offer do-follow links and have a high domain authority that can boost your SEO—especially national platforms like FindLaw, Avvo, Justia, and the like. 

Another benefit: legal directories also offer legal article contributions where you can create content that answers questions about legal issues and link any relevant content you have on your site.

2. Journalist sites

As a law firm, you have a lot of expertise to offer journalists and writers who want to strengthen their arguments and write about impactful content. Sites such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO), ResponseSource, and Qwoted connect journalists with sources, such as lawyers, for input on their upcoming news stories. 

Once published, you will get a mention as well as a backlink to add to your portfolio.

3. Scholarship and awards programs

Reach out to schools to post a scholarship, which requires minimal time compared to other tactics. Though it can be more expensive than other methods, reaching out to various schools will help you reach potential law students and will reflect positively in the community. 

Earning your own recognition can also shine a positive light on your organization. Consider applying to relevant awards that you can reference on your own site.

4. Sponsorship opportunities

Sponsoring organizations, teams, and charities can often be costly, but it can help build and strengthen relationships within the community. Building off existing relationships can help reduce costs and resources during this process.

5. Niche edits

This is a quick, easy way to increase traffic. See an article that could use your expertise? Reach out to the site and ask if they can reference your site in their article. Through this method, you don’t have to create new content and can generate backlinks almost instantaneously.

Using content in your link building strategy

We often see other blog articles stating that “creating content” or “doing content marketing” is a link-building strategy. To a degree, we agree—content can be an important part of link building. 

However, grouping it in with the items above can lead to underestimating the work involved… and that can result in lower-quality content.

Content is an investment. Link building is a trust-building exercise, both with search engines and readers. If you can’t back it up with quality content, that trust will quickly sink. 

High-caliber content, on the other hand, is an excellent trust builder. It provides information that people are looking for and demonstrates that you understand the concerns of your audience.  

What kinds of content work best in link building? How-to guides, infographics, resource lists, expert interviews, and data-driven research pieces are great link magnets—they’re user-friendly, clickable, and shareable. Incorporating these into your content plan (which is a whole other topic!) can go a long way toward positioning you as an authoritative source of information. 

Ways to use content to build links

Need a few ideas for how to use this expert-level content once you’ve written it? Here are a few of our favorites.

Guest posting 

Find a reputable website that appeals to your target audience and offer to write a guest post. This will help build your network and allow you to reach your ideal clients. Ensure the post focuses on in-depth, valuable information so your audience will want to click through to your site to learn more.

If you aren’t offered the opportunity to write a full post, consider reaching out to write a review or testimonial on a site and leave a link to your site.

Content syndication

Content syndication is the process of getting your content published on a third-party site—think Medium and LinkedIn. 

You can use these platforms to publish your material, including a link back to your website within the content or the author bio. This method increases your visibility, helps gain links, and—the best part—doesn’t require a lot of extra work on your part. 

Linkable outreach

Do you have a lively online network already? (Or do you want to have one?) Go old-school and simply reach out to other website owners or bloggers to offer them your content as a resource. If they find it helpful, they may link to it from their website or share it with their audience.

This is a great chance to build up your relationships with referral partners, as well!

Content partnerships

Another collaborative link-building activity? Content partnerships. Work with other attorneys or professionals adjacent to your practice area to develop content together—for example, write a guide on divorce and retirement with a local financial advisor. 

These partnerships can attract links from both your partner’s audience and your own, and it can also increase your credibility.

Create links worth clicking on

Though it might take some trial and error to figure out the best strategy for your law firm, the right law firm marketing agency can help tailor your campaign to your specific needs.

FocusWorks Marketing helps law firms and other businesses in compliance-regulated industries create effective campaigns to increase your traffic and optimize your SEO. Schedule a call with us and learn how FocusWorks can help your law firm.