June 23, 2020
The Importance of the Linkback in Legal Marketing

Even after your law firm has researched the best media outlets, selected the ideal story to pass to a journalist and delivered a successful pitch, you’re still missing a key component: the linkback. This is where another website (a publication or news outlet) links to your website within the copy of its story. While the recognition and thought leadership are still valuable benefits, the linkback is what takes your media mention to the next level by driving traffic to your website and improving your rank in search engine results. 

Types of Linkbacks

Referring to any time a page links to a different page, a linkback is a broad term that includes both internal and external links. Internal links are from one page to another within your own website, while external links are when an outside source links to your site. They are each beneficial for your law firm and should be used concurrently to achieve maximum results. 

Internal links keep visitors on your website longer, driving them to other related content to improve your reputation as a thought leader, establish a relationship and generate new business. When you include internal links in your content, visitors click, which leads them deeper and deeper into your site. You can use specific calls-to-action with your internal links, such as to read or learn more, download content, or contact you for a consultation.

The value of external links varies based on a few determining factors. 

  • Domain authority of a host website. External links from high-ranking sites (think big publications with a large following vs. a local, niche site) can improve your firm’s SEO, or search engine optimization, and put you closer to the top of the results page in search results . 
  • The “nofollow” tag. In an effort to reduce spam, some external links will be given a “nofollow” tag by the publisher, eliminating any potential SEO value for your law firm. However, if the source has a large audience, a nofollow link can still generate traffic to your firm’s site as people will open a search bar and find you. It just doesn’t provide much credit to your firm’s overall SEO capabilities.
  • Relevance of the linking website. Similar to your own content production, the goal of a linkback is to have it reach your target audience. Having your firm linked on an unrelated site won’t do anything detrimental, but being tagged by a respected source in your industry is much more likely to generate traffic with prospective clients or business partners.
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Benefits of Linkbacks

While increasing the visibility and authority of your own domain along with traffic and improved search engine ranking may be the most notable benefits of a linkback, there are other advantages this practice can provide for your law firm. 

  • Networking. Much like a pitch is necessary to earn a story from a journalist or media member, getting an external link requires some outreach by your firm. Even if your efforts don’t lead to a linkback, it’s another way to build a relationship with a fellow member of your industry that could lead to a partnership down the road.  
  • Brand awareness. Every time a linkback is included in a news story, journal article, blog post or other form of content, it reinforces your firm in the minds of those in your target audience. Those who click on the link are doing so voluntarily, making them more likely to stay on your site, consume more of your content and think of your firm first when the time comes time to do business. 
  • Thought leadership. When your firm’s website or content is linked from a well-respected source, that recognition is also attributed to you. The more linkbacks your firm gets from those high quality domains, the more credibility and trust you generate with your target audience. 

How to Earn Linkbacks

The most beneficial linkbacks for your law firm are those that are earned rather than bought. Search engines can detect purchased links and the ensuing penalties greatly diminish your ranking. The good news is that your firm has the tools to earn those valuable linkbacks on its own. 

  • Create relevant content. Before you can reap the benefits of a linkback, you must first provide a reason for it. Producing high-quality content that answers a question or provides insight into a relevant topic increases the likelihood that another site will include a linkback to it. 
  • Use your partnerships. Any business partners that your firm has worked with can also be sources for a linkback. Sending a partner badge to signify your working relationship or writing a testimonial of their company are easy ways to have your firm featured with a link to your website. 
  • Community outreach. Sponsoring a local event, providing pro-bono services to an organization or hosting seminars or workshops are just a few of the ways that your firm can give back to your community while also providing opportunities for a linkback. 

Link building can seem like a daunting task to a beginner. If your firm is interested in the benefits that a linkback can provide but you don’t know where to start, our team is here to help. We’d love to start a conversation with you about how we can create results for your firm. 

Mitchell Williams Law

Legal Content Marketing

We helped this growing mid-size law firm better position its attorneys as experts in key practice areas by delivering curated content.

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