Link Buildling Dos and Don’ts to Ensure SEO Success for Your Law Firm
Links are extremely important in your SEO efforts.
You want to make sure you have enough links and that the ones you have are high quality. That is how you can ensure that your content will attract the right people and get more ideal clients through your doors.
We recently went through a situation with one of our clients at GNGF where they did some things they should’ve have with their links. We were able to help them through the situation and get them back on track but it taught us a good lesson.
Today, we want to share more about this situation and explain what our client should have done instead.
Take this cautionary tale and apply the things you learn today regarding link building do’s and don’ts and you will be well on your way to massive SEO success!
The first thing you need to understand related to link building is local SEO. Local SEO is non-branded searches for a firm in a local area (aka, your city or region).
Non-branded searches are terms like “divorce attorney near me” as compared to, “Melanie Leonard lawyer.” There is no brand name in the search. The potential client is just looking for a divorce lawyer.
One way to improve your local SEO is by improving your link building. Link building means trying to get links pointing to your site from other websites. These are called backlinks.
For example, if your firm sponsors an event and that event puts your link on their website, that’s a backlink. Having lots of quality backlinks like these improves your local SEO ranking.
A Cautionary Tale
At GNGF, we recently worked with a client who made some big mistakes with their SEO and specifically their link building.
Our team had worked with this client for just over a year. They delivered a brand new website, created the website structure, included all of the search engine optimization, created a strategy based on the firm’s practice and competition, cleaned up their Google business profile and directories, and did some some professional social media management.
After a year, website visitors was up over 110%. The strategy was leading to the right users, as well. The firm’s conversions and leads had increased by more than 500%.
The problem is that this client fell into the trap that many law firms fall into. They viewed link building as a silver bullet. They believed that getting tons of links for their website would solve all their problems.
This belief led our client to purchase a package of over 40,000 links that were “guaranteed” to be high domain authority. They didn’t tell us that they made this purchase. We found out while we were doing regular auditing and reporting of all their metrics.
Having 40,000 backlinks was problematic for this local law firm. It was a nine times increase in 30 days. There’s no natural way for a local law firm to drive that type of increase in backlinks. This is something Google would find suspect so we were worried they were going to deindex the company.
We started tracking the client’s metrics and, over a 60 day period, their search impressions increased by about 15% and their leads grew by 22%. This was similar to the increases we were already seeing from the original strategy we had done. Therefore, the benefits that these high domain authority links promised never materialized.
Fortunately, Google didn’t penalize the client. For the most part, they ignored the purchased links and moved on. But ultimately, it was a big waste of money for the client.
The Right Way to Do Link Building
There is a right way to do link building, though. The same client actually had a massive success by getting high quality local links. Earning links from your local area like this will always bring the best results. This includes speaking at local events, getting covered by local media, and other similar methods.
This client, in particular, won a high profile case that had significant implications for consituencey nationwide. Their site suddenly benefited from super high quality links (from The Press, The New York Times, NPR, and Forbes). Their total link profile actually grew by 50% in a single month.
Our team also worked to extend their PR benefit through features on the site, email campaigns, and social media. For three months following this victory, their search impressions increased by 40%, their traffic increased by 50%, and their leads increased by 45%. They tripled their previous month-to-month growth.
However, this press coverage gave them only a short-term benefit. The long-term SEO benefit wasn’t as significant as we might’ve hoped. By doing link building the right way, it still only moved the needle a little bit.
What you should take away from this is that your other marketing efforts are much more important than link building. For example, with this client, we had a strong content strategy, we were continuing to target new and more niche keywords that matched their ideal client profile, and we focused on conversion rate optimization so that the right visitors convert more often.
In the old model, links drove a lot more traffic. In today’s new model, the quality of your website and the quality of your links is what really helps drive traffic.
The higher quality your content, the easier it is to find, and the more frequently it will be linked to in a natural way. This will get the right visitors to your site.
If you want to learn more about SEO, check out Episode 073: Link Building the Right Way.