One of the keys to a successful SEO campaign with lasting results is the process of link building, which, as the name implies, is focused on building links that point back to your website from different locations across the internet. 

When Google sees that there are a number of authoritative pages that link to your site or specific piece of content, this is a great indication that your website is reputable and that the content is worth presenting. 

Google’s PageRank algorithm looks at a variety of factors when determining the quality of a website and whether or not to direct a searcher to a specific page that starts with the content but extends beyond simple content relevance. If a website hits all of the relevant keywords but has few or no inbound links, this is a good indication that the site is either: a) new, or b) not actually helpful or worth sending traffic to. You’ll quickly find, though, that the quality and authority of the site linking to your page has a significant impact on whether or not your link building strategy is effective. Links from low authority sites will do little to improve your own site’s standing, so creating high quality content that authoritative pages direct their own users to is just as important — if not more important — than the number of links overall. 

In the following sections, you can get a sense of what link building is, how it works, and why it is such an important element of a successful SEO campaign. The team at On The Map has been focusing on link building for as long as we have been in the business of search engine optimization, and have developed tried-and-true techniques that can help you reach a wider audience with optimized content as well as a stream of inbound links pointing to your site from other pages on the internet. 

What is Link Building for Attorneys? 

Link building is one part of search engine optimization, and has a significant bearing on whether or not Google and the other search engines recognize your website as a valid authority worth directing search traffic towards. The PageRank algorithm analyzes many variables while indexing a website and determining search rankings for certain keywords, industries, or niches, and a great indicator of a worthwhile website is the number of other websites on the internet that point back to a site. More links back to a specific page or website means that the site is referenced often and one can therefore assume that the content on the site is high quality. 

However, effective link building goes beyond the quantity of inbound links and accounts for the quality of these links as well. Just as Google will rank your own website’s authority based on the number of links directed at your pages, the algorithm also factors authority into the importance or value of each link directed to your site. Thousands of links sent from a blog that receives no traffic, has a significant bounce rate, or otherwise scores low in terms of authority will have little to no impact on your rankings, while a smaller number of links from high-quality and reputable organizations will have a substantial impact.

Working with a reputable SEO agency like On The Map is one of the best ways to ensure that your SEO campaign is taking a holistic approach to running a comprehensive and successful digital marketing campaign. When your SEO firm is focused on the quality of links over quantity (or, more importantly, quantity and quality!), you can be confident that your efforts to capture high value traffic will pay off.

Metrics to look at and where to find them

As with all things digital marketing, quantifying the results of a link building campaign is essential for determining whether or not your SEO campaign is achieving maximum results, and if not, where improvements can be made. The following metrics are important parts of tracking link building results and continuously improving your law firm’s website’s position on the search engine results pages.

Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA), or Domain rating (DR), is a score that ranges from 1 to 100. The metric was developed, and can be found on SEO tools, like Ahrefs and Moz. It measures a site’s authority based on the number of linking websites, as well as the total number of backlinks directed to the domain. This measure is exponential, meaning that it is much easier to build your website from a DA of 10 to 20, than from 50 to 60. 

While Domain Authority does not tell a complete picture, it can give you a great idea of how well your backlink profile stacks up against competitors. 

Even small increases in a site’s domain authority can have a great impact on how high your website appears in Google and other search engines. In general, sites with higher scores have a greater likelihood of ranking. Not only can they target more competitive keywords, with higher search volumes, but they can typically achieve these rankings faster than a new site would.

Typically, a domain authority between 30 and 50 is considered average. Anything between 50 and 60 is considered good, while anything over 60 is excellent.

onthemapmarketing site domain rating

Page Authority

Page Authority is another measure of authority, but this focuses on a specific page versus an entire domain (your domain is every page that falls under your main URL). As with domain authority, your page authority is determined through a combination of factors that include, but are not limited to, your backlink count and the number of websites liking to the page. This metric does not account for on-site content like keyword relevancy or site optimization, so as with domain authority it is meant to provide you with a portion of the overall indicators about how your site and specific pages are ranked. 

PageRank

PageRank was once the central topic of all SEO campaigns, and while it no longer has the same degree of attention on it that it once did, is still an extremely important factor that an experienced SEO firm will consider while building a strong and diverse campaign for a client. Since Google removed the ability to see a website’s PageRank in 2016, the actual metric has been a mystery, but experienced SEO experts still understand how to factor this benchmark into their work. 

Simply put, PageRank uses a formula that accounts for things like inbound links, outbound links, and the PageRank of each of the websites that those links point to (and from) in order to assign a logarithmic number between 1-10 to signify your website’s ranking. While we are no longer able to pull the exact number for this metric, our best practices will continuously improve your PageRank by focusing on high-quality connections to and from other sites.

Anchor Text

To further complicate things, not only does the quality of the linking site matter, but so does the clickable text that contains your link, known as “anchor text.” When analyzing anchor text, it is important to look at two things: topical relevance and anchor diversity.

In the case of topical relevance, if a reputable website links back to a page on your law firm’s website about “Statutes of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases” but the anchor text is “hot dogs,” then there is a major discrepancy between what the user clicks and the information they will see when your page loads. Relevant phrases (there are ongoing debates about the importance of exact match keywords versus broad keywords when choosing your anchor) like “meeting your lawsuit deadlines” or “statute of limitations” will give a user a clear idea of what to expect when they click through the link and arrive at your page. 

The more links using relevant anchor text, the better Google will understand what your site is about. Therefore, the higher it will rank. However, this statement comes with caveats: anchor diversity must also be factored in. When building links, it’s important to make it look natural. If you use the same anchor text for every link, Google will identify this as an attempt at manipulating the algorithm and your site may be penalized or removed from the Google results entirely.

This is just one of the many pitfalls that someone may encounter while working on their own link building campaign, and why hiring an experienced firm is one of the best ways to get the results you are hoping for without running into any issues like this.

Number of links

The number of links pointing back to your domain are important, although quantity alone will do little to improve your rankings (and link spam will actually have a negative impact on your positioning). We will closely monitor the number of links directing back to your domain and individual pages as another piece of the overall link building puzzle to ensure that you are receiving both high quality links as well as a considerable number of these links in order to improve your standings with the search engines. 

As with each other metric, the number of backlinks is not meant to stand alone as an indicator of success, but will give us another target to focus on as we fine-tune your campaign and increase your reach.

Linking root domains

A diversity of root domains linking to your site is a major benefit, and while there is some benefit to a multitude of links from a single domain, we will focus on spreading your reach across as many reputable domains as possible.

Technically, 10 links from a single domain (especially a reputable and valuable site) will have an impact on your campaign, but diversity is a major factor in a great link building strategy. 10 links from 10 different root domains will often carry more weight than 100 links from a single domain because of the diversity of content and sources that your site benefits from, so it is important that a number of authoritative sources are directing users to your website. While we 

Link juice

Link juice, officially referred to as “link equity,” is a metric that quantifies the “power” of a backlink. If the maximum “link juice” is 100%, then a single link from that page will have 100% of the juice; however, 5 links to 5 different website on that page will each distribute ⅕ of the power to each target page, or 20% each. (Note: As with all things SEO, this is only true when the link is topically relevant, the linking page is in good authoritative standing with Google, the sites are properly formatted and optimized, and more.) Our focus is on capturing the maximum link juice from any given page, meaning that we work to build links from pages that are not linking to a number of other sites as well.

As the number of linking root domains and total links increase, we will continuously track the overall link juice provided by these links and work to adjust our strategy accordingly. By focusing on maximizing your link juice by providing informative and useful content that many authoritative sites want to share on their own pages, both you and the other sites will benefit from this sharing of information and increased connectivity.

Backlinks types

There are two different types of backlinks, each of which provides a specific benefit that helps improve your site’s visibility and prominence on the organic search engine results pages. Understanding these nuances and focusing efforts on each will help maintain a balanced approach to the link building aspect of your overall SEO campaign. The following are brief explanations of each type of backlink, and how it can help improve your SEO rankings.

Do-Follow Links

Dofollow links are the ones that help improve your “link juice” by passing authority from the linking site to the linked site. When the origin site of a dofollow link has high authority, this authority will result in a boost for your domain’s authority, and in turn will help improve your SEO and contribute to increasing your search engine rankings. 

Dofollow links are a great reward for a law firm that is dedicated to producing fresh and informative content that many other domains choose to link to in order to expand on their own information on their site. When you are working with a law firm SEO company like On The Map, you can be confident that the content you are publishing is worthy of dofollow links that will help improve your rankings and increase your authority. 

No-Follow Links

A nofollow link is one that does not share authority between the linking domain and the linked page. These first became popular in the mid-2000s when SEO was in it’s infancy and black hat SEO firms were spamming the comment sections of blogs, newspapers, and other discussion forums in order to increase the link counts back to their target websites. By setting all links left in comments as “nofollow,” legitimate commenters were still able to share links that added to the discussion while spammers did not benefit from the link juice these sites were previously providing. 

Nofollow links have less impact on your SEO performance, but they have a legitimate benefit in that they increase link diversity. Link diversity is extremely important, because building too many dofollow links at once can look unnatural (which can get a site penalized on Google).  In addition, they increase traffic to your site that can give you valuable insights and improve your visibility — not to mention that Google will still read and recognize this link. As with all other aspects of SEO performance metrics, link juice is one small piece of the overall puzzle, so a good mix of dofollow and nofollow links are a sign of a well-performing website.

Co-Citation and Co-occurrence

Sites co-citation illustration

Co-citation is, in a sense, link building without using links. This is because co-citation refers to the connection between two otherwise unrelated sites due to the fact that they both mentioned (not linked) another site while discussing similar topics. When Google recognizes that your site has been mentioned by two other sites in discussions about related content, the search engine recognizes your brand as important due to the fact that it is recognized and referenced by the other two sites. 

Co-occurrence is similar to co-citation in that it focuses on connections without links, but co-occurrence catalogs overlap in content between numerous sites as opposed to specific brand or site mentions. Co-occurrence is the overlap of key phrases that different websites utilize, as well as their relevance to search phrases used to find content about the specific subject matter, as well as similar terms that occur when these central queries are utilized.

An example of co-occurrence and topical overlap may be as follows: “personal injury lawyer for slip and fall accidents” and “fall accident lawsuits” are both focused on premises liability cases, and as Google recognizes the co-occurence of “fall accident” and “personal injury” or “lawsuits,’ the algorithm will recognize that searchers are typically not looking for accidents that happen in the fall season. This simplified example shows how Google and the other search engines are able to build connections between associated concepts without requiring exact phrasing or keywords in order to do so.

Why is Link Building Important for a Law Firm?

Any law firm SEO campaign must include link building in order to maximize reach and climb to the top of the search engine results pages. If you want to improve your reach and connect with new potential clients, simply focusing on keyword-optimized content may help improve your rankings slightly, but by working with a law firm SEO firm that understands the entire SEO ecosystem, you will start to enjoy significant increases to traffic and your brand visibility across the major search engines. 

Link building is just one of the numerous important factors that go into building and maintaining a search engine optimization campaign for your law firm, and under the umbrella of link building lies many additional factors that must be considered, targeted, and tracked in order to achieve the results you expect. 

Best Law Firm Link Building Tactics

The following tactics can give you a general idea of how you can start your link building journey today. No single tactic will result in meaningful improvements, so it is important to approach each of these strategies as an individual piece of your overall link building effort. 

Start with the easiest ones to acquire: directories

Legal directories such as Avvo, Findlaw, Justia provide referrals for law firms and attorneys across the country. These marketplaces can serve multiple benefits by both increasing your chances of getting traffic directly from your listing as well as adding inbound links to your site from reputable sources. 

Create or update your directory listings so that your opening hours, contact information, URL, location, and other relevant information is available to ensure that users on these directories get up-to-date and factual details about your law firm. Missing information can have a major impact on a user’s likelihood of clicking through to your site.

Explore available local links

When your law firm sponsors a local event or business, lands an article in a local newspaper, or gets a spot on their website, you can almost certainly count on the number of quality backlinks to your site increasing and boosting local SEO. Each additional mention and link on event pages, write-ups, blog posts, or other online content outlets will help by increasing the number of overall links and will improve your standings with the search engines. 

Be active on social media

Social media is a useful marketing tool as a way to keep your current and previous clients updated on your firm, and can extend your reach if an article, blog post, or content page is shared throughout your network and beyond. By sharing well-written and thoughtful articles or posts on your social media channels, you increase the chances of someone linking back to your article as a reference on their own content channels.

Look for guest posting opportunities

What is guest posting?

Guest posting on legal websites is a great way to increase your visibility, establish your authority with readers and the search engines, and generate links that direct back to your domain and specific relevant pages. This practice involves creating content to be published on other websites, which is a win-win for your law firm and the hosting site in that they get free and informative content while you gain backlinks and link juice.

Guest Posting on Relevant Websites

If you are focusing on guest posting, it is important that you work with websites that are relevant to the legal field. A guest post discussing misdemeanor vs. felony charges won’t make much sense on an antiques website, and since there is little co-occurrence between the two sites the search engines will not give much weight to these links.

Where do links appear?

The key to an effective guest post is, of course, the links themselves, which should use relevant anchor text that focuses on specific keywords. These links will appear in the body of the content.

Good vs bad guest posting websites

Remember that your law will be associated with the website hosting your guest post, so without even discussing the technical SEO pros and cons of guest posts on low quality websites, stay mindful of the message you are trying to send to potential clients. Partnering with a reputable site will give you a boost through increased traffic as well as added link juice, so again, prioritize quality over quantity to keep climbing the search engine results.

Create and Promote Quality Content

At the heart of a successful SEO campaign, including link building, is high quality content that informs readers, establishes trust, and shows your authority. By approaching your SEO campaign with a premium on useful and engaging content, you will be rewarded with notable improvements to your search engine rankings. 

Think of your area of expertise and what content gaps exist: how can you provide information to the public that will help them make sense of some current event or cultural topic? By creating content that answers topical questions, you will have SEO-friendly articles that you can promote and share with those who will benefit most from the information provided. Not all pieces of content will go “viral,” but any time a subject matter expert provides information from their unique perspective, readers benefit and your website’s SEO rankings will improve.

Share your content with relevant publications to improve visibility, and consider programs like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to partner with reporters looking for legal experts to help provide expert sources. These are just two of the many different ways you can extend your reach and get your well-written content in front of more readers (while adding valuable backlinks and co-citations to your SEO portfolio). 

When is time to start thinking about Link Building?

Link building takes time, and the best approach to this strategy is to start today. Stay focused on small and steady goals, and before you know it, your link counts will start to steadily rise. As you have more content shared and backlinked across the internet, the process will become easier. Many people become overwhelmed with trying to gain high backlink counts, but consistent output and a long-term strategy will help you achieve these goals over time. 

The short answer? Start today. Initiating a conversation with other websites about guest posts, producing content specifically written for another publication, and building relationships with industry content aggregators can help establish a pipeline for publishing guest posts and increasing the number of links and domains pointing back to your law firm’s website. 

Another great way to start link building is by starting with broken link practices. This process involves finding relevant articles that link to broken or expired URLs, writing your own article to fill that gap, and sharing your link with the original publisher. Most content publishers will be happy to know that you found a broken link in their article, and may be willing to update the link to send readers to your website. This is a great way to come up with topics and expand your backlink portfolio all at once.

Who Can You Trust With High-quality Link Building For Attorneys?

Working with an experienced law firm SEO firm like On The Map is one of the best ways to consistently and reliably expand your backlinks while you remain focused on providing your law clients with exceptional service. 

Link Building Services for Law Firms

On The Map has been providing exceptional link building services for law firms for over 10 years, and during that time have developed numerous best practices designed to reach a wider audience with engaging and informative content. Our link building efforts are only a small part of the overall suite of SEO support you will get while working with our team.

On The Map Marketing Professionals Will Plan And Execute Link Building For You

Link building can easily turn into a full time job, and as your reach expands, so does the time required to keep moving forward with your goals. The SEO and link building professionals at On The Map will plan and execute a comprehensive link building campaign on your behalf in order to increase your SEO rankings and support the other areas of search engine optimization that we are running for you.

FAQs about Link Building for Attorneys 

One of the keys to a successful SEO campaign with lasting results is the process of link building, which, as the name implies, is focused on building links that point back to your website from different locations across the internet. 

When Google sees that there are a number of authoritative pages that link to your site or specific piece of content, this is a great indication that your website is reputable and that the content is worth presenting. 

Google’s PageRank algorithm looks at a variety of factors when determining the quality of a website and whether or not to direct a searcher to a specific page that starts with the content but extends beyond simple content relevance. If a website hits all of the relevant keywords but has few or no inbound links, this is a good indication that the site is either: a) new, or b) not actually helpful or worth sending traffic to. You’ll quickly find, though, that the quality and authority of the site linking to your page has a significant impact on whether or not your link building strategy is effective. Links from low authority sites will do little to improve your own site’s standing, so creating high quality content that authoritative pages direct their own users to is just as important — if not more important — than the number of links overall. 

In the following sections, you can get a sense of what link building is, how it works, and why it is such an important element of a successful SEO campaign. The team at On The Map has been focusing on link building for as long as we have been in the business of search engine optimization, and have developed tried-and-true techniques that can help you reach a wider audience with optimized content as well as a stream of inbound links pointing to your site from other pages on the internet. 

What is Link Building for Attorneys? 

Link building is one part of search engine optimization, and has a significant bearing on whether or not Google and the other search engines recognize your website as a valid authority worth directing search traffic towards. The PageRank algorithm analyzes many variables while indexing a website and determining search rankings for certain keywords, industries, or niches, and a great indicator of a worthwhile website is the number of other websites on the internet that point back to a site. More links back to a specific page or website means that the site is referenced often and one can therefore assume that the content on the site is high quality. 

However, effective link building goes beyond the quantity of inbound links and accounts for the quality of these links as well. Just as Google will rank your own website’s authority based on the number of links directed at your pages, the algorithm also factors authority into the importance or value of each link directed to your site. Thousands of links sent from a blog that receives no traffic, has a significant bounce rate, or otherwise scores low in terms of authority will have little to no impact on your rankings, while a smaller number of links from high-quality and reputable organizations will have a substantial impact.

Working with a reputable SEO agency like On The Map is one of the best ways to ensure that your SEO campaign is taking a holistic approach to running a comprehensive and successful digital marketing campaign. When your SEO firm is focused on the quality of links over quantity (or, more importantly, quantity and quality!), you can be confident that your efforts to capture high value traffic will pay off.

Metrics to look at and where to find them

As with all things digital marketing, quantifying the results of a link building campaign is essential for determining whether or not your SEO campaign is achieving maximum results, and if not, where improvements can be made. The following metrics are important parts of tracking link building results and continuously improving your law firm’s website’s position on the search engine results pages.

Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA), or Domain rating (DR), is a score that ranges from 1 to 100. The metric was developed, and can be found on SEO tools, like Ahrefs and Moz. It measures a site’s authority based on the number of linking websites, as well as the total number of backlinks directed to the domain. This measure is exponential, meaning that it is much easier to build your website from a DA of 10 to 20, than from 50 to 60. 

While Domain Authority does not tell a complete picture, it can give you a great idea of how well your backlink profile stacks up against competitors. 

Even small increases in a site’s domain authority can have a great impact on how high your website appears in Google and other search engines. In general, sites with higher scores have a greater likelihood of ranking. Not only can they target more competitive keywords, with higher search volumes, but they can typically achieve these rankings faster than a new site would.

Typically, a domain authority between 30 and 50 is considered average. Anything between 50 and 60 is considered good, while anything over 60 is excellent.

onthemapmarketing site domain rating

Page Authority

Page Authority is another measure of authority, but this focuses on a specific page versus an entire domain (your domain is every page that falls under your main URL). As with domain authority, your page authority is determined through a combination of factors that include, but are not limited to, your backlink count and the number of websites liking to the page. This metric does not account for on-site content like keyword relevancy or site optimization, so as with domain authority it is meant to provide you with a portion of the overall indicators about how your site and specific pages are ranked. 

PageRank

PageRank was once the central topic of all SEO campaigns, and while it no longer has the same degree of attention on it that it once did, is still an extremely important factor that an experienced SEO firm will consider while building a strong and diverse campaign for a client. Since Google removed the ability to see a website’s PageRank in 2016, the actual metric has been a mystery, but experienced SEO experts still understand how to factor this benchmark into their work. 

Simply put, PageRank uses a formula that accounts for things like inbound links, outbound links, and the PageRank of each of the websites that those links point to (and from) in order to assign a logarithmic number between 1-10 to signify your website’s ranking. While we are no longer able to pull the exact number for this metric, our best practices will continuously improve your PageRank by focusing on high-quality connections to and from other sites.

Anchor Text

To further complicate things, not only does the quality of the linking site matter, but so does the clickable text that contains your link, known as “anchor text.” When analyzing anchor text, it is important to look at two things: topical relevance and anchor diversity.

In the case of topical relevance, if a reputable website links back to a page on your law firm’s website about “Statutes of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases” but the anchor text is “hot dogs,” then there is a major discrepancy between what the user clicks and the information they will see when your page loads. Relevant phrases (there are ongoing debates about the importance of exact match keywords versus broad keywords when choosing your anchor) like “meeting your lawsuit deadlines” or “statute of limitations” will give a user a clear idea of what to expect when they click through the link and arrive at your page. 

The more links using relevant anchor text, the better Google will understand what your site is about. Therefore, the higher it will rank. However, this statement comes with caveats: anchor diversity must also be factored in. When building links, it’s important to make it look natural. If you use the same anchor text for every link, Google will identify this as an attempt at manipulating the algorithm and your site may be penalized or removed from the Google results entirely.

This is just one of the many pitfalls that someone may encounter while working on their own link building campaign, and why hiring an experienced firm is one of the best ways to get the results you are hoping for without running into any issues like this.

Number of links

The number of links pointing back to your domain are important, although quantity alone will do little to improve your rankings (and link spam will actually have a negative impact on your positioning). We will closely monitor the number of links directing back to your domain and individual pages as another piece of the overall link building puzzle to ensure that you are receiving both high quality links as well as a considerable number of these links in order to improve your standings with the search engines. 

As with each other metric, the number of backlinks is not meant to stand alone as an indicator of success, but will give us another target to focus on as we fine-tune your campaign and increase your reach.

Linking root domains

A diversity of root domains linking to your site is a major benefit, and while there is some benefit to a multitude of links from a single domain, we will focus on spreading your reach across as many reputable domains as possible.

Technically, 10 links from a single domain (especially a reputable and valuable site) will have an impact on your campaign, but diversity is a major factor in a great link building strategy. 10 links from 10 different root domains will often carry more weight than 100 links from a single domain because of the diversity of content and sources that your site benefits from, so it is important that a number of authoritative sources are directing users to your website. While we 

Link juice

Link juice, officially referred to as “link equity,” is a metric that quantifies the “power” of a backlink. If the maximum “link juice” is 100%, then a single link from that page will have 100% of the juice; however, 5 links to 5 different website on that page will each distribute ⅕ of the power to each target page, or 20% each. (Note: As with all things SEO, this is only true when the link is topically relevant, the linking page is in good authoritative standing with Google, the sites are properly formatted and optimized, and more.) Our focus is on capturing the maximum link juice from any given page, meaning that we work to build links from pages that are not linking to a number of other sites as well.

As the number of linking root domains and total links increase, we will continuously track the overall link juice provided by these links and work to adjust our strategy accordingly. By focusing on maximizing your link juice by providing informative and useful content that many authoritative sites want to share on their own pages, both you and the other sites will benefit from this sharing of information and increased connectivity.

Backlinks types

There are two different types of backlinks, each of which provides a specific benefit that helps improve your site’s visibility and prominence on the organic search engine results pages. Understanding these nuances and focusing efforts on each will help maintain a balanced approach to the link building aspect of your overall SEO campaign. The following are brief explanations of each type of backlink, and how it can help improve your SEO rankings.

Do-Follow Links

Dofollow links are the ones that help improve your “link juice” by passing authority from the linking site to the linked site. When the origin site of a dofollow link has high authority, this authority will result in a boost for your domain’s authority, and in turn will help improve your SEO and contribute to increasing your search engine rankings. 

Dofollow links are a great reward for a law firm that is dedicated to producing fresh and informative content that many other domains choose to link to in order to expand on their own information on their site. When you are working with a law firm SEO company like On The Map, you can be confident that the content you are publishing is worthy of dofollow links that will help improve your rankings and increase your authority. 

No-Follow Links

A nofollow link is one that does not share authority between the linking domain and the linked page. These first became popular in the mid-2000s when SEO was in it’s infancy and black hat SEO firms were spamming the comment sections of blogs, newspapers, and other discussion forums in order to increase the link counts back to their target websites. By setting all links left in comments as “nofollow,” legitimate commenters were still able to share links that added to the discussion while spammers did not benefit from the link juice these sites were previously providing. 

Nofollow links have less impact on your SEO performance, but they have a legitimate benefit in that they increase link diversity. Link diversity is extremely important, because building too many dofollow links at once can look unnatural (which can get a site penalized on Google).  In addition, they increase traffic to your site that can give you valuable insights and improve your visibility — not to mention that Google will still read and recognize this link. As with all other aspects of SEO performance metrics, link juice is one small piece of the overall puzzle, so a good mix of dofollow and nofollow links are a sign of a well-performing website.

Co-Citation and Co-occurrence

Sites co-citation illustration

Co-citation is, in a sense, link building without using links. This is because co-citation refers to the connection between two otherwise unrelated sites due to the fact that they both mentioned (not linked) another site while discussing similar topics. When Google recognizes that your site has been mentioned by two other sites in discussions about related content, the search engine recognizes your brand as important due to the fact that it is recognized and referenced by the other two sites. 

Co-occurrence is similar to co-citation in that it focuses on connections without links, but co-occurrence catalogs overlap in content between numerous sites as opposed to specific brand or site mentions. Co-occurrence is the overlap of key phrases that different websites utilize, as well as their relevance to search phrases used to find content about the specific subject matter, as well as similar terms that occur when these central queries are utilized.

An example of co-occurrence and topical overlap may be as follows: “personal injury lawyer for slip and fall accidents” and “fall accident lawsuits” are both focused on premises liability cases, and as Google recognizes the co-occurence of “fall accident” and “personal injury” or “lawsuits,’ the algorithm will recognize that searchers are typically not looking for accidents that happen in the fall season. This simplified example shows how Google and the other search engines are able to build connections between associated concepts without requiring exact phrasing or keywords in order to do so.

Why is Link Building Important for a Law Firm?

Any law firm SEO campaign must include link building in order to maximize reach and climb to the top of the search engine results pages. If you want to improve your reach and connect with new potential clients, simply focusing on keyword-optimized content may help improve your rankings slightly, but by working with a law firm SEO firm that understands the entire SEO ecosystem, you will start to enjoy significant increases to traffic and your brand visibility across the major search engines. 

Link building is just one of the numerous important factors that go into building and maintaining a search engine optimization campaign for your law firm, and under the umbrella of link building lies many additional factors that must be considered, targeted, and tracked in order to achieve the results you expect. 

Best Law Firm Link Building Tactics

The following tactics can give you a general idea of how you can start your link building journey today. No single tactic will result in meaningful improvements, so it is important to approach each of these strategies as an individual piece of your overall link building effort. 

Start with the easiest ones to acquire: directories

Legal directories such as Avvo, Findlaw, Justia provide referrals for law firms and attorneys across the country. These marketplaces can serve multiple benefits by both increasing your chances of getting traffic directly from your listing as well as adding inbound links to your site from reputable sources. 

Create or update your directory listings so that your opening hours, contact information, URL, location, and other relevant information is available to ensure that users on these directories get up-to-date and factual details about your law firm. Missing information can have a major impact on a user’s likelihood of clicking through to your site.

Explore available local links

When your law firm sponsors a local event or business, lands an article in a local newspaper, or gets a spot on their website, you can almost certainly count on the number of quality backlinks to your site increasing and boosting local SEO. Each additional mention and link on event pages, write-ups, blog posts, or other online content outlets will help by increasing the number of overall links and will improve your standings with the search engines. 

Be active on social media

Social media is a useful marketing tool as a way to keep your current and previous clients updated on your firm, and can extend your reach if an article, blog post, or content page is shared throughout your network and beyond. By sharing well-written and thoughtful articles or posts on your social media channels, you increase the chances of someone linking back to your article as a reference on their own content channels.

Look for guest posting opportunities

What is guest posting?

Guest posting on legal websites is a great way to increase your visibility, establish your authority with readers and the search engines, and generate links that direct back to your domain and specific relevant pages. This practice involves creating content to be published on other websites, which is a win-win for your law firm and the hosting site in that they get free and informative content while you gain backlinks and link juice.

Guest Posting on Relevant Websites

If you are focusing on guest posting, it is important that you work with websites that are relevant to the legal field. A guest post discussing misdemeanor vs. felony charges won’t make much sense on an antiques website, and since there is little co-occurrence between the two sites the search engines will not give much weight to these links.

Where do links appear?

The key to an effective guest post is, of course, the links themselves, which should use relevant anchor text that focuses on specific keywords. These links will appear in the body of the content.

Good vs bad guest posting websites

Remember that your law will be associated with the website hosting your guest post, so without even discussing the technical SEO pros and cons of guest posts on low quality websites, stay mindful of the message you are trying to send to potential clients. Partnering with a reputable site will give you a boost through increased traffic as well as added link juice, so again, prioritize quality over quantity to keep climbing the search engine results.

Create and Promote Quality Content

At the heart of a successful SEO campaign, including link building, is high quality content that informs readers, establishes trust, and shows your authority. By approaching your SEO campaign with a premium on useful and engaging content, you will be rewarded with notable improvements to your search engine rankings. 

Think of your area of expertise and what content gaps exist: how can you provide information to the public that will help them make sense of some current event or cultural topic? By creating content that answers topical questions, you will have SEO-friendly articles that you can promote and share with those who will benefit most from the information provided. Not all pieces of content will go “viral,” but any time a subject matter expert provides information from their unique perspective, readers benefit and your website’s SEO rankings will improve.

Share your content with relevant publications to improve visibility, and consider programs like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to partner with reporters looking for legal experts to help provide expert sources. These are just two of the many different ways you can extend your reach and get your well-written content in front of more readers (while adding valuable backlinks and co-citations to your SEO portfolio). 

When is time to start thinking about Link Building?

Link building takes time, and the best approach to this strategy is to start today. Stay focused on small and steady goals, and before you know it, your link counts will start to steadily rise. As you have more content shared and backlinked across the internet, the process will become easier. Many people become overwhelmed with trying to gain high backlink counts, but consistent output and a long-term strategy will help you achieve these goals over time. 

The short answer? Start today. Initiating a conversation with other websites about guest posts, producing content specifically written for another publication, and building relationships with industry content aggregators can help establish a pipeline for publishing guest posts and increasing the number of links and domains pointing back to your law firm’s website. 

Another great way to start link building is by starting with broken link practices. This process involves finding relevant articles that link to broken or expired URLs, writing your own article to fill that gap, and sharing your link with the original publisher. Most content publishers will be happy to know that you found a broken link in their article, and may be willing to update the link to send readers to your website. This is a great way to come up with topics and expand your backlink portfolio all at once.

Who Can You Trust With High-quality Link Building For Attorneys?

Working with an experienced law firm SEO firm like On The Map is one of the best ways to consistently and reliably expand your backlinks while you remain focused on providing your law clients with exceptional service. 

Link Building Services for Law Firms

On The Map has been providing exceptional link building services for law firms for over 10 years, and during that time have developed numerous best practices designed to reach a wider audience with engaging and informative content. Our link building efforts are only a small part of the overall suite of SEO support you will get while working with our team.

On The Map Marketing Professionals Will Plan And Execute Link Building For You

Link building can easily turn into a full time job, and as your reach expands, so does the time required to keep moving forward with your goals. The SEO and link building professionals at On The Map will plan and execute a comprehensive link building campaign on your behalf in order to increase your SEO rankings and support the other areas of search engine optimization that we are running for you.

FAQs about Link Building for Attorneys 

What is Attorney Link Building?

Link building for attorneys is the practice of using a range of tactics to increase the number of links pointing back to your law firm’s website. Search engines give more weight to websites with a high number of links directing back to the site from other reputable sites on the internet, and there are many different approaches to this process. 

The number of links that point back to a site from other domains is just one of the many factors that search engines consider when determining the ranking order of websites on the search engine results pages. This process can be complicated and time consuming, but partnering with an experienced SEO firm is one of the best ways to generate consistent results and reach a wider target audience searching for your valuable legal services.

Is link building for attorneys a must?

If you are looking for ways to increase your law firm’s visibility on organic search results, you already know that SEO is one of the most effective marketing techniques to reach new customers; however, you may not realize that link building is an essential part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. By prioritizing link building as part of your SEO campaign, you can reach additional customers through inbound links while increasing your search engine rankings and benefiting from the “link juice” provided by other authority sites linking to your website.

On The Map can provide a wide range of SEO services due to our large team of professionals, each with a different area of expertise that they bring to your campaign. While our developers are working on optimizing your website and our content writers are producing great content for your law firm, our backlink specialists will be working on outreach to establish new channels for guest posts and identifying the best ways to increase the number of backlinks and unique domains directing visitors back to your site. 

What Is The Best Way To Do Link Building for a Law Firm?

Realistically, working with an experienced SEO firm like On The Map is one of the best ways to get the results you expect for your law firm link building efforts. As you can see from the information provided on this page, there are countless specifics that go into determining something as seemingly-minor as which page has the most “link juice” to benefit your site, as well as the importance of choosing correct anchor text and more. While engaging in your own outreach to high-value sites may seem like a fairly simple process, it is essential that you understand each step leading to your final goal and that all of your effort is contributing to this goal.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your law firm with a comprehensive link building campaign, contact us now to speak with an account manager. There is no set path towards a complete campaign, which is why working with an SEO firm is one of the best ways to stay focused on working with your legal clients as your website continues to rise in prominence and benefit from increased visibility.

When is Link Building needed for the Law Firm site?

Any law firm focusing on search engine optimization will benefit from incorporating a link building strategy into their overall campaign. While there are many different elements to an SEO campaign that may feel as if they are siloed from each other, the reality is that each separate effort contributes to the ultimate goal of dominating the search engine results pages and reaching the most searchers possible with your organic rankings. 

If you are preparing to start or are currently working on an SEO campaign that you are hoping to improve, it is absolutely essential to incorporate link building into your work. Partnering with an experienced firm like On The Map is one of the best ways to get the results you deserve and reach those who will benefit from your services the most while staying focused on your own work and providing clients with exceptional service. 

Who can do Link Building for Attorneys?

Anyone can do link building, but doing link building correctly requires the work of an experienced and seasoned SEO specialist. Link building incorporates many different metrics, strategies, and methods, each of which contributes to the same overall goal of increasing SEO rank through a diverse and robust backlink portfolio, and each of which has countless pitfalls that can result in penalties or outright bans from the search platform, even when your goal was to follow the rules and increase your website’s visibility. 

Contact us as soon as possible to discuss the types of support that On The Map can provide you as you look for ways to improve your law firm’s visibility and start reaching new customers. We are confident that after our initial conversation you will have a clear understanding of your SEO journey and how partnering with our firm can help make a major difference in your results.

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