In terms of SEO, your law firm’s domain authority (DA) is a great baseline that can help you to measure how your site is ranking. It’s essentially an overall assessment of your site, in terms of authority and value to people who might be searching for related topics. While lots of different factors impact your domain authority, backlinks for lawyers can have a huge impact on law firm SEO rankings.
Your firm isn’t likely to have the domain authority to compete on a national level with the biggest law websites, but you may actually have an advantage in the local market. To really maximize your local search rankings, you need to focus on lawyer backlinks that come from other local sites, not on your pure domain authority.
About Domain Authority
Domain authority is a score from 1 to 100 that predicts how well your site will do when someone searches for relevant, related terms on a search engine. Huge, national sites might have a DA of approximately 70+, while a small law firm might only be able to get to a score of 25 or so. For this reason, you need to think about more than just boosting your overall DA ranking when designing your marketing strategies.
It’s important to understand that while knowing your site’s domain authority can be helpful in determining how well your site is likely to do in national search results, that number isn’t actually factored into your SEO rankings. Google’s algorithms are complex and take a huge number of factors into consideration, including location.
Your DA can’t really capture how well you’re doing in your region, for the simple fact that it’s an overall rating—it’s not dynamic. That’s where backlinks come in. Link signals from local sites can act as tags for Google, showing your authority in a specific geographic area and boosting your SEO ranking in local searches.
What Is A Backlink
A backlink is simply an inbound link to a page on your site from another site. When someone links to a blog post or video you’ve posted on your website, Google recognizes it as an indicator of quality and authority and will respond with a boost in your site’s SEO ranking.
Google’s algorithms value high-quality, relevant content. Sites that can prove that they offer this kind of content will see their domain authority grow over time and will show up in a higher position within Google searches for related keywords. Lawyer backlinks can help to increase a law firm’s website DA because they show that real people are linking back to the firm’s content and sharing it.
Local Backlinks: How to Compete with High DA Sites
If you know anything about SEO and marketing, then you know that lawyers face an uphill battle when it comes to SEO and domain authority. It’s a crowded market that includes lots of high-authority sites with more SEO clout than just about any individual local firm.
It’s not really worth trying to compete with sites like Avvo and LegalMatch in Google’s main search results. By being strategic with your backlink strategy, however, you can compete with high DA law sites on a local level. If you can prove that your site offers content that is more valuable to searchers in your local area, then you may be able to rank above even the most powerful law websites.
This means that your link-building strategy should be to get strong, local backlinks that establish your presence in your area ahead of the big national sites. By implementing this organic search strategy successfully, you’ll be able to get in front of local leads who are ready to pick up the phone and hire a local law firm.
Building Backlinks for Lawyers
So, what’s the best way to get high authority local sites to link to your law firm’s website? First, you need to make sure that your website is set up properly and SEO-optimized. If you’re not producing quality content already or your site loads slowly, backlinks won’t be much help in getting you to rank higher.
Once you have that baseline, there are a few strategies your firm can use to get more local backlinks. The first is sponsorship. If you commit to sponsoring a local sports team or community organization, they will typically provide you with recognition that could include a backlink. Depending on your budget, this can be a great way to get backlinks because it not only gets you a link, but it also shows community engagement.
Another way to build local links is to reach out about guest blogging opportunities. Have someone from your team find high-authority local sites, such as colleges, and see if they would like your firm to contribute a blog post for their site in exchange for a backlink. By writing a post for another local site, you’ll get access to that audience and you’ll get a high-quality backlink from a .edu domain, which tend to have a high DA.
Google’s Goals in Rewarding Backlinks
So why do local backlinks make such a big difference in a site’s search ranking? Mainly because Google’s goal is to provide searchers with the most helpful, relevant results possible. They want to discourage people from buying links and gaming the system to get a boost in their SEO ranking.
With each update, Google’s algorithms get better at detecting attempts to trick the search engine. If they detect anything that seems off, websites using inauthentic authority-building tactics will be penalized in the search rankings. That’s good news for your law firm because what you really want to do is bring in the most qualified leads—not people who have been tricked into seeing your site.
Building Backlinks—a Long-Term Strategy
While there are SEO tactics that can boost your search rankings pretty quickly, lawyer backlinks take quite a while to have an impact. It takes some time for the search engines to “catch up” and recognize the new links on your site. However, building backlinks is an effective long-term strategy that really pays off over time.
If you’re having trouble getting any traction in local search results, SMB Team can help you with your backlinking strategy. We have extensive experience in building backlinks for lawyers and can help you reach your SEO goals. Call us today at (866) 747-1336 or visit our website to get a free consultation.