Link Building and Why Your Law Firm Needs it Now

link buildingHaving great content is a huge step toward driving more traffic to your website, but you also need to be link building if you want your firm to rank higher in search engines.

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. The links themselves are called backlinks.

You can publish phenomenal content, but if you don’t have any backlinks pointing to that content, your site will get trounced by your competition.

Why Link Building Matters

Links have always been one of the biggest ranking factors for Google and the other major search engines. They look at links as proverbial thumbs-ups indicating the quality of your site.

If a lot of well-respected sites are linking to yours, there’s a high likelihood that yours is also top-notch and worthy of a high placement in search engines.

It’s worth noting that quantity of links should never be stressed over quality of the site linking to you.

After all, acquiring hundreds of links from irrelevant sites (i.e. your law firm getting a link from an animal shelter) or putting your URL in tons of spammy web directories will likely result in lower placement in search engines or even a Google penalty.

That said, getting links from other attorneys within your niche, news outlets, and even well-known bloggers or influencers will help your site get to the top.

Link Building Terms to Know

In the world of link building, there are some really important terms you need to know. Below are a few of the most important ones you should be familiar with.

Anchor Text – The visible words you click on in a hyperlink. (For example, the text “Promo Power Depot” is the anchor text for the following hyperlink: Promo Power Depot.)

Domain Authority – A score developed by Moz (the industry leader for all things SEO) that predicts how well a website will rank in search engines. Each website receives a score between 1 and 100 (where 100 is the best score).

Page Authority – A score developed by Moz that predicts how well a particular page will rank in search engines. Each page (not domain) receives a score between 1 and 100 (where 100 is the best score).

Link Juice – A colloquial term used to describe the ranking boost received from a backlink.

Link Bait – Content designed to attract attention while encouraging viewers to link to that page (e.g. informative blog posts, helpful e-books, how-to guides, viral videos, etc.).

Do-Follow/Follow Link – This type of link allows Google to give link juice to the linked page and is considered a thumbs up from the linking site. This link increases your page rank and helps increase traffic.

No-Follow/Nofollow Link – This type of link tells Google not to follow the linked page or give it link juice. Receiving a no-follow link is definitely not as beneficial as getting a do-follow link. However, a no-follow link helps increase traffic and diversify your link profile. A no-follow link is indicated by typing rel=“nofollow” in the link code.

Internal Link – A link from one page of your site to another page on your site.

External Link – A link from your site to someone else’s site. Some choose to make them no-follow links in order to prevent them from receiving link juice.

If you remember all of those, you’ll probably know more about link building than 97% of the attorneys at your next CLE course.

Black Hat vs. White Hat Link Building

Several years ago, ranking highly on Page 1 was as easy as getting hundreds of spammy backlinks and dropping your URL into tons of shady directories. However, those days are long over.

After all, black hat link building––which involves gaming Google, violating search guidelines, and relying on unsavory links––is being met with severe punishments from Google (including completely delisting an entire site and all of its content).

white hat link buildingToday, if you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need to be building natural links in an honest and professional way. That’s where white hat link building comes in.

White hat link building refers to link building tactics and techniques that strictly adhere to search engine guidelines and focus on a human audience as opposed to fooling search engines with tricks.

White hat link building will almost always involve several of the following:

Remember, not all links are good for your site. Getting links from low quality sites will make Google think that your site is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Get too many of these links and Google will start thinking that your site is part of that crowd and treat it accordingly.

To avoid all of this, make sure you have a diverse link profile and use branded anchor text often. To give you an idea of what we mean, the following is an example of branded anchor text: Maryland Pain Centers.

The world of white hat link building can be quite complicated and is constantly evolving. Getting backlinks can take tons of time and effort, but the end result is no doubt exponentially rewarding.

Getting Easy Backlinks in 2017

Is getting easy backlinks in 2017 possible? After all, yesterday’s black hat quick wins are taboo today. Implementing the wrong link building strategy can result in irreparable harm to your brand and business.

Can it be done in a white hat way? Of course. You just need to think outside the box.

For example, your law firm can create a scholarship for a local college or law school near you. It really won’t cost you as much as you think.

Reach out to the school and tell them that you’d like to sponsor a scholarship for an incoming student. As long as you pitch it properly, most universities will jump at the offer.

Aside from being an incredible PR opportunity for your law practice, you’ll be able to put a link to your site on a .edu website. These sites almost always have incredibly high page rank and domain authority, making .edu links that much more beneficial.

Another method is to look for broken links on other sites offering content similar to yours. Contact the site owner, let them know that they have a broken link, and explain to them that you have a page that fits in perfectly as a replacement. You’d be surprised how successful this is.

However, these methods for getting easy backlinks obviously need to be used in tandem with the timeless strategy that has worked for years and years: writing high-quality content that people naturally want to link to.

Where More Clicks More Clients Fits In

More Clicks More Clients is a full-service online marketing company that helps drive traffic to your site and boost your web presence through link building and law firm SEO. Call us today or request your free online marketing consultation.