Link Building for Law Firms: A Complete Guide


Link Building for Law Firms: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Website

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an important marketing channel with significant returns — like ranking high on Google.

But to experience those returns, you'll need to learn how to run a successful law firm SEO campaign. A big part of this campaign is creating a good link-building strategy.

To help you stand out in the legal industry, we'll discuss everything you need to know about link-building for law firms in this article.

10 Strategies to Build Law Firm Backlinks

Below are ten strategies that improve link-building for law firms, allowing your firm's website to drive business opportunities to you:

1: Make a Profile on Legal Directories

Legal directories are sure and easy ways of getting backlinks. They are incredibly convenient for entirely new law firm websites.

However, Google has been targeting and de-indexing many low-value directories across industries. As such, you should identify which directories among the many out there are reputable enough to make a profile on.

Some free directories to use include:

  • Justia
  • Avvo
  • FindLaw
  • LawGuru
  • LawyersandSettlements

You might also want to consider paid directories, such as:

  • NOLO
  • SuperLawyers

Remember to make your details (like name, address, contact details, and website) consistent since this confirms to Google that you're a real business.

There are two other things you should know before you utilize legal directories:

  1. Links are typically nofollow, so they don't pass authority to your site. However, being listed on these directories can still give you referral traffic. This helps you strengthen your natural link profile.
  2. Links are normally low-value. Links that are easy to build aren't very valuable. As such, this strategy should only be used to start your law firm link-building strategy. You'll need to use the other link-building tactics on this list to make your law firm more visible to Google.

2: Get Listed on Your Alma Mater's Website

Check if your law school has a website with a dedicated section for alumni — including a list of their law businesses and websites.

If yes, submit a request with your information, asking if they can also put your business on the list.

See if there are other things you can do for your alma mater too. These can be contributing to their blog, sponsoring events, or joining committees.

Being involved with your law school gives you plenty of opportunities to earn mentions. Another plus is that links from a .edu website are some of the most valuable links you can get.

3: Be a Source for Journalists

Journalists, bloggers, and content creators always seek expert opinions. This ensures that their stories are factual, giving them more authority too.

Backlinks from media organizations are especially very valuable.

Some websites you can check out are:

  • Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
  • ResponseSource
  • Qwoted

HARO is especially useful since you receive three daily emails requesting input. Big names like Reuters, Fox News, and Time also use their content.

Here, you can also choose if you want to receive all requests or just certain ones related to a particular industry or field of study.

You can also look through social media sites and contact journalists, initiating contact when your legal expertise or opinion in your specialty is needed.

To have a higher chance of getting quoted, reply to requests quickly while ensuring that your answer will need as little editing as possible.

You won't automatically be informed if your reply is used, but you can use the Ahrefs backlinks report to check your mentions.

4: Guest Post for Industry Publications

Take time to find guest posting opportunities on websites related to your field or have the same target audience.

Of course, it would be ideal to guest post for a reputable site with a lot of traffic.

For instance, if you have a personal injury law firm, you can write about car accidents or filing accidents in the workplace.

Some options you have are:

  • Give an opinion on law-related sites
  • Talk about topics within your field that you can relate to other industries on other websites
  • Tell interesting stories on general interest sites

Even a one-time guest post can give you one or two backlinks from your author bio. You'll also be allowed to put a few links in your article.

Aside from getting backlinks to help your law firm's website rank higher on Google, users will also perceive you as an industry authority.

Some websites mention explicitly that they're accepting guest posts. If they don't have a "Write For Us" page, you can contact the editor instead.

You can guest on different sites. But remember not to repeat the same anchor texts over and over.

5: Create High-Quality Sharable Content and Resources

Another way of making your site more reputable is to fill it with relevant, high-quality content.

Below are some ideas you can use:

Make Your Own Blog

Starting your own blog is a great way to attract links — as long as you provide valuable and relevant content.

Writing different articles can help you rank for more keywords. Meanwhile, backlinks will increase your authority, pushing those posts higher on search engine results pages.

All this can greatly increase your site traffic.

Create Visual Media

Visual media includes videos, infographics, posters, and the like. These help the user better understand the topic you're talking about.

While it may be tricky to put some law concepts into an easily-digestible graphic format, making them engaging also makes them sharable. This can help you build links.

While not a piece of visual media, you can also consider podcasts, which offer a similar level of exposure.

Feature FAQ Pages and Statistics

Having a page for statistics and FAQs can also give you good backlinks.

People like researchers and reporters need to flesh out their papers and stories involving legal matters.

If there's something you want to expound on, you can discuss it in a separate blog post. It's also an excellent chance to link internally — which can help your site rank higher.

Users will also find it helpful since it makes finding related content easier.

Write Professional Papers

These include:

  • Books/eBooks
  • Reports
  • Guides
  • White papers

Admittedly, writing these kinds of resources will take a lot of time. They're not something you'd do just for the sake of backlinks, either.

But if you do get published, other publishers, media outlets, and sites might want to feature your work.

This can result in multiple high-quality backlinks from high-authority domains.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is a great way to share content.

If you're sharing blog posts, use related graphics to catch users' attention.

You can also interact with other users by commenting on topics related to your field and dropping backlinks as well. But make sure not to overdo it, which can get your account banned or restricted.

6: Fix Broken Links

Broken link building is a whitehat strategy where you perform the following:

  • Recreate content that contains a dead or broken link
  • Replace the broken link with a live or corrected link

There are around 1.13 billion websites worldwide — and only 18% of these are active. That's because some websites and webpages have become disused or inactive due to poor ranking.

These outdated sites and pages become dead links.

7: Be a Sponsor

Give back to the community and sponsor local events or charities. These are usually promoted online, which can help your site get mentions.

Strike up partnerships to get mentioned on their resource pages too.

More specifically, you can help your local community through your legal expertise. For instance, you can offer free legal services or counseling for a particular day.

Another good (though more expensive) option is to sponsor a scholarship.

Advertise the scholarship on your site first. Then, reach out to educational institutions and other relevant publications so they can advertise your offer too.

These sites will be happy to link back to your site — and remember, backlinks from .edu sites are very valuable to Google.

8: Look For Unlinked Mentions

As the name implies, unlinked mentions are when a website mentions your site without linking to it.

You can sign up with Google Alerts to get an email whenever an article mentions your law firm. From there, you can check if the article links to your site.

If it doesn't, you can message the author or webmaster, thank them for mentioning your firm, and say you'd appreciate it if they linked to your site.

9: Utilize Niche Edits

A niche edit essentially adds a link to an already-existing piece of content. Niche edits are paid links since you're paying a webmaster to put your link in their content.

When contacting a webmaster, ensure that the link you want them to insert is related to their content. Though you'll be spending on niche edits, they can quickly give you a large number of backlinks.

This strategy is beneficial for pages that won't usually attract links — such as service pages.

However, the biggest downside to utilizing niche edits is that Google doesn't like paid links. Your search rankings could fall if Google thinks you're just paying for links.

You could reduce the chances of that happening by using this alongside other link-building efforts.

Remember that organic ranking through high-quality content is still the best way to go.

You should also be careful which sites you'll buy links from. Some sites might have higher rates than other website owners, but they're worth it if they're reputable.

10: Ask for Community Mentions

Sometimes, you need to ask for a mention to get it.

Approach people or businesses you personally know and ask if they'd be willing to link to your site.

As usual, ensure that the links you give them relate to their content. Otherwise, Google will mark it as a link scheme.

Do something for them in return too. This can include asking if they accept guest posts and sharing their site on your social media accounts.

You can also ask for backlinks from others you have previously worked with. Some instances can include:

  • Giving a testimonial to someone you've worked with
  • A client writing about working with you

What Is Link Building?

Link-building is essentially increasing the number of links pointing to your website.

When other websites link to yours, the Google algorithm takes that as someone else vouching that you're a reputable site. This helps you rank higher on Google.

Why Is Link Building Important?

The more backlinks you have — especially from relevant and high-quality websites — the more reputable your law firm's website becomes too.

This improves your SEO, boosting your ranking on Google and other search engines.

Aside from that, law firm link-building has other benefits too. These improve the following:

  • Domain authority
  • Referral website and organic traffic
  • Brand visibility
  • Conversion rate
  • Revenue
  • Relationships in your industry

Essential Link-Building Concepts You Need to Know

Link-building is a relatively complicated but effective SEO tool.

To better help you create a link-building strategy, below are some concepts you should first know about:

Anchor Text

The anchor text is the clickable text of a hyperlink. It should ideally include the keywords the page is trying to rank for.

That's because the anchor text gives search engines an idea of what the linked page is about.

Despite that, it would be best to not use the same anchor texts across all the pages that link to your law firm's website or certain webpage.

Unfortunately, it might be hard to control anchor texts for inbound links unless you can specify to those websites how to link to your website.

Domain Rating

Domain rating is a metric created by SEO software developer Ahrefs.

The domain rating ranges from 0 to 100 and measures how strong a domain's backlink profile is.

This is different from domain authority — which is a search engine ranking score by Moz, another SEO software.

However, both domain rating and authority are not official metrics used by Google.

Nofollow Links

Nofollow links are hyperlinks with a rel = "nofollow" tag, which tells Google's bots to ignore the link.

This means Google won't include it in its map of the web, so it won't improve your website ranking.

Because of that, many websites consider a nofollow link as valueless.

However, it's helpful when you want to link to a particular site but can't vouch for the accuracy of the information on the site.

However, it can still give you other benefits of exposure and potential referral traffic, eventually increasing your inbound links.

Do-follow Links

A dofollow link is the default state of a backlink.

It's what Google counts as a "vote" that a linking website finds your website an authority on a specific topic.

This tells Google that the information you provide is accurate and trustworthy. Because of that, do-follow links help your site rank.

Black Hat Link Building

Black hat SEO involves shady tactics that utilize loopholes to cheat the system and rank faster.

Some black hat SEO tactics that will hurt your law firm's website include:

  • Buying low-quality links
  • Guest posting off-topic content
  • Exchanging links
  • Commenting on forums or blogs only for the sake of leaving a link
  • Having low-quality or spammy links unrelated to your law firm website

To ensure you're not engaging in black hat SEO, remember that links should always be helpful to the user.

Google can end up banning your site if you're involved in black hat SEO.

Link Building Campaign

A link-building campaign involves finding relevant websites that can link to your site.

This involves tactics such as guest posting and link reclamation.

Link Velocity

Link velocity is the pace at which a site generates backlinks over a certain period. It shows you the progress of your link-building campaign.

It's important to have a steady pace when building links, so you don't get flagged for abnormal activity.

What Are Some Factors Law Firms Need to Consider When Link Building?

You can't control every site that links to your own website.

However, if you're the one doing the outreach, you'll have to be quite picky with the sites you do business with.

To ensure that you're making the most of your link-building strategy for your law firm, below are factors you should always remember when looking for websites to build links from:

The Site's Authority

The higher the authority of a site, the more significant its effect on your website ranking.

Tools like Ahrefs let you see how high a site's authority is. A score of 40 to 60 is considered average, so that would ideally be the lowest you would want to go when looking for a website.

The Site's Relevance

First, you should understand that links from every type of website can help your site land high in the search results.

However, the more relevant it is to your field, the better.

For instance, being linked by a law news publisher or law school is better than an actual business site for law firms.

But that business site would be much better than an arts and crafts site — even if it has high authority.

The Target Site's Content Quality

You'll want to put your link on reputable websites.

Thoroughly check the content of the site you're eyeing. Notice everything about it — from the grammar to the whole site's layout. Ensure they don't publish plagiarized content either.

Also, see if they have low-quality or spammy links.

The Profile of the Links

You should always ensure a natural link profile when link-building for law firms.

Free directories, niche edits, and similar methods can give you some success. However, you should also aim to acquire natural links and mentions on other websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Law firm link-building can be confusing. To help you understand it more, we've answered some frequently asked questions below:


Link-building is one of the more complicated law firm SEO tools.

However, good link-building tactics — like guest posting and utilizing niche edits — can help law firms get organic traffic. Remember to always aim for high-quality links too.

These can improve your ranking on search engines and attract more clients.