If your law practice services local legal services consumers, you should probably consider the local search marketing channel. If you’re already familiar with local search, you have undoubtedly seen David Mihm’s (Moz’s) Local Search Ranking Factors Survey.
According to the 2103 survey, link signals make up 14.4% of the ranking factor pie:
So while getting a quantity of quality, consistent local business citations is very important to local search visibility, local links still matter, a lot.
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One of the first steps in acquiring local links is to identify local sites/businesses/organizations from which you actually want to acquire links. On slide 37 of Don’t You Know I’m Local, I offered a couple suggestions:
Relationships with local bloggers can be exceptionally valuable to your web presence. Here are some ideas for finding local blogs:
- Google Blog Search
- Old-fashioned topical searches
- Blog rolls of local blogs you already follow
- Twitter searches
- Local blog directories
Local Community Organizations
Participating in local community organizations is not only great for links, it’s great for meeting people. And some of these people will have legal issues or know other people who have legal issues. Here are just a handful of examples:
- Political organizations
- Local charities
- Volunteer opportunities
- Spiritual organizations
- Local counseling groups
- Neighborhood Associations
Getting involved with local schools can be a huge opportunity for lawyers. Whether you volunteer for a student organization, coach a team or participate in a career day, working with local schools is powerful for building awareness for your practice and earning local links. We’ve found speaking and scholarships to be particularly effective.
Depending on your location and practice, getting involved with local government can help you build name recognition, as well as, local links. But start hyper-local. Think municipalities first. Work your way up through counties to state government. In our experience, you’re going to get better results in terms of engagement at the hyper-local level.
If you have something newsworthy to share, local reporters are on the constant look-out for interesting stories. Links from local news sites will not only help you build search authority, they’ll actually drive local visitor traffic. In fact, for all your link building activities, you should concentrate on finding sites that are active and are likely to drive visitor traffic.
Hopefully, you’re active in your local legal community. This means getting involved with local bar associations and other lawyer groups. Building relationships with local lawyers is part of the foundation of growing a professional referral network. Further, you might find that some local lawyers are blogging or otherwise publishing stuff online. Many of these sites and blogs will be both locally and topically relevant to your practice. These can be some of the most helpful links in terms of building search presence.
These are just a handful of ideas for finding local sites for links. Of course, once you find the sites, you have to do the work to earn the links.
Start by building the relationship. Shoot an email. Make a phone call. Grab some coffee.
Always remember, it’s people who decide whether or not to link to your site.