By Lindsey Busfield.
This article is based in the transcript from the podcast ‘All About Backlinks for Law Firms’
Lindsey covers the basics to backlinks, the most important Google ranking factor for law firms. Who needs them? Who does not need them? Should you buy them?
Welcome to the personal injury marketing minute where we quickly cover the hot topics in the legal marketing world. I’m your host, Lindsey Busfield.
When I go out to the pickleball courts and start talking about SEO, I can usually feel my captive audience start to fade out about the time I mention backlinks. Their eyes glaze over and I start to sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown “wanh wanh wanh.”
But if you want your website to rank better, you need to dig deep and focus while we talk about backlinks.
What are they? How do you get them? What do they cost? And most important, do you really need them?
What is a backlink?
In essence, a backlink is a reference to your website from another website. On their website, they quote your content and link back to it. Hence backlink.
Google likes when you have backlinks because it can give your website more credibility. Just as when someone quotes you in real life, you get more street cred from Google when someone does it online. The more backlinks you have from well-respected sites, the better.
The best ranking websites have hundreds – if not thousands of backlinks, so a handful here and there aren’t going to cut it in saturated markets.
That being said, there are good and bad backlinks.
The best backlinks are going to come from the most highly-respected sites – like .edu, . gov, and other subject matter authorities. News websites are also great sources, but these are harder to get into than simply submitting a press release. We have another podcast on PR campaigns if you want to grab some of those links.While those sources are amazing, they can be a challenge to break into without a major story or a major bankroll.
Should You Buy Backlinks?
For starters, it is officially against Google’s guidelines to purchase backlinks, but personal injury attorneys need to obtain links one way or another if they want their site to rank well.
In some cases, we’ve created relevant and interesting content which attracted links naturally.
In other cases, we’ve used media outlets where we can submit content that references a law firm’s website.
That being said, in personal injury we’ve never seen a site on page 1 that isn’t actively buying backlinks.
So, if you do decide to be competitive and purchase them – here’s a buyer’s guide:
There are some other good backlink sources that cost anywhere from $75-500 each. These sources are blogs, websites, journals, and smaller news publications. You will want to make sure these sites are legitimate and that the content you are submitting is relevant to both your legal sector and the website you are linking from.
For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer who is developing a backlink campaign around bicycle accidents, you could find a bicycle blog and submit an article about new bicycle safety initiatives that links back to your bicycle accident page.
However, there are bad backlinks out there that can be seriously problematic for your website in the long run. If you get a link from a trashy, spammy website, Google could ultimately drop you in the search results.
Here are a few red flags to look for:
don’t buy backlinks from a company that just sells backlinks. They use the dozen for a dime websites that are typically cheap networks.
don’t buy backlinks from websites that also link to casinos, locksmiths, or porn.
don’t buy backlinks from websites that are 100% sponsored content. You want to make sure they have some real content on their site.
you want to make sure that the link you purchase is directly to your website and doesn’t use a redirect.
you want to make sure that you are buying a permanent backlink and not one that will only last 6 months.
if this is too much effort, just give us a call and we will include backlinks in your whole SEO package – but only if you need them.
Not Everyone Needs to Buy Backlinks.
If a law firm is already getting lots of media coverage, they will get the backlinks naturally and won’t need to buy them. We have worked with a few clients who have taken on major cases that were covered in the news. As such, they had incredibly powerful websites and really didn’t need to buy more backlinks.
Now, that was a lot of information. If you still have questions about backlinks – or pickleball – feel free to reach out to me.
Lindsey Busfield is Director of Operationsan at Optimize My Firm She is a PMP Certified project manager and SEO expert with a background in legal marketing. She closely monitors each client’s portfolio and develops strategies based on current SEO trends. Lindsey develops and executes the content management, backlink, and client data reporting initiatives. Additionally, she hosts the Personal Injury Marketing Minute podcast where she quickly covers the hot topics that all personal injury law firms need to know.
In her spare time, she loves inventing board games, playing pickleball, and talking about pasture raised chickens.