5 Tips to Improve Your Law Firm's Link Building Success
When it comes to building links for your law firm’s website, it is important to have a sound link-building strategy in place before getting started in order to improve your site’s domain authority.
Taking the time to gather competitor data and formulate a plan based upon your specific keywords and competitors is by far the most effective way to build out a campaign.
Getting quality backlinks is important, but so is knowing where to send those links and what anchor texts to use. Instead of following generic best practices, I challenge you to take a deep dive into the data around your top keywords and use it to build a custom plan.
The tips below will help you uncover that information while putting you on track to outperform competitors who aren’t using data to inform their decisions.
Law Firm Link Building Tips
Today, we are going to cover 5 tips that will help you when researching, strategizing, and launching your law firm link-building campaign that will push your website up in the search engines.
#1 Make Sure You Have a Solid Foundation
Even the very best links won’t help you rank if your website isn’t properly optimized. Before you even consider starting a link-building campaign, you need to stop and make sure that both your technical SEO and content are in good shape.
To determine the technical health of your website, an SEO audit is needed. A manual audit completed by a professional is the best option, but if you don’t have the budget for it, you can use tools to get a quick overview of your website’s health.
Once you complete the initial audit, it is a good idea to set up monitoring to quickly identify new issues that may arise.
Tools like Agency Analytics’s site audit offer a quick way to keep tabs on your site health and identify new issues. Paid tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush also all you to complete relevant metrics for site audits.
Auditing your content will also require a manual review. If your site is on equal ground with your competitors from a technical standpoint, the content on your site is the next point of comparison. Look at the content ranking for your top keyword and review their content. Is your content as good as or superior to theirs? If you can’t answer yes, spend some time improving your content before you begin link outreach.
#2 Review Your Existing Links
As with technical SEO & content issues, a poor link profile can negate the benefits of acquiring new, high-quality links. Even if your site hasn’t gotten a manual link penalty, it could be losing traffic and rankings because of how Google’s algorithm rates your existing links.
If you have thousands of referring domains, auditing your link profile can turn into a huge undertaking. In many cases though, a quick link audit can help you identify issues and take corrective action preemptively.
In addition to reviewing your link profile prior to launching a new campaign, you should review it every couple of months at a minimum to keep up with your digital marketing relevance.
#3 Analyze Your Current Anchor Text Profile
The third part of your pre-launch checks should be to review your anchor text profile. In some cases, even links that were naturally earned can result in an over-optimized anchor text profile.
For example, if your main keyword is “Chicago personal injury lawyer” and 25% of all the links to your website use that as an anchor text, your anchor text needs to be diversified to include non-keyword variations.
As a general rule of thumb, using diverse and natural anchor text is a good idea.
A more accurate way to plan out your strategy is by reviewing the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. Look at what percentage of keyword-based anchor text they have, as well as the percentages of branded, long-tail, and generic anchor text. Use this data to plan your own anchor text strategy.
In this example, you can see the two main keywords “personal injury attorney” and “personal injury lawyer” are both used 3 times to link to the site. In this case, each of those accounts for 5% of the total links to the page.
#4 Pinpoint the Optimal Rate of Link Acquisition
SEO is a competitive sport. Think of link building like a race. If you are in 10th place, you need to be going faster than the 9 cars ahead of you to catch up with the leader. The same is true for link building.
For example, let’s say you have a page targeting “construction accident attorney”. After ensuring that your technical SEO & content are on par with the top-ranking sites, you should ask yourself four questions:
- How many unique referring domains on average do the top-ranking URLs have to their page?
- How many new links is that page getting each month?
- How many unique referring domains do I have to my intended URL for this keyword?
- Based upon the current gap and the expected growth of their page, how many links should I build each month to catch the leader?
In this example, the number of unique referring domains increased from 32 to 57 over the past 12 months, which comes out to roughly 2 links per month. If your page had 20 RDs for example, you would look to acquire 37 as a baseline. You would add 2 links to that total for each month needed to reach your link target of 37 to account for competitor link growth.
These same questions should be repeated for every page on your website that you are trying to rank. In doing so, you will be able to accurately determine how many links each targeted landing page will need to catch and surpass your competition.
Once you know that, it is simply a matter of getting the right type, quality, and volume of links – which will require an in-house link building team or partnering with a link building agency to achieve.
#5 Pair Your Link Building Tactics to the Desired Outcome
Link building is simply a means to an end. When it comes to building your strategy, the specific tactics included should help you reach your desired outcome.
Here are four practical examples.
- If your primary goal from getting link placements is to create brand awareness within your target audience, guest posting as yourself on popular websites within your niche is a good way to do so.
- If on the other hand, your desired outcome is simply to rank your landing page, tactics such as blogger outreach or broken link building can work well.
- Is referral traffic that turns into leads one of your main goals? If so, getting listed in the top ranking directories for your primary keywords can work well. Simply search your main keyword, look at what directories rank in the top few spots and make sure you are listed.
- Are you trying to rank locally in the Map Pack? If so, Google will give extra weight to sites that are in your community. Reaching out to local news sites, community-themed blogs, and sponsoring community events are all ways you can generate links from local websites. Ensure your Google My Business page is up to date.
These are just a few examples, there are several link-building tactics, each of which can work great when used in the right scenario.
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Pulling It All Together
Link building is hard, but that is exactly why good quality links carry so much weight as a ranking factor and act as an integral part of a targeted content strategy that focuses on good links that are high authority with a solid level of domain authority.
Take the time to ensure that you have a solid foundation, collect first-hand competitor data, and focus on the tactics that best serve your needs. This will allow you to make the most of the time, effort, or investment you put forth to launch a successful link-building campaign.