Sign for free of charge itemsThis is the next post in my series on how lawyers can build backlinks – the right way. My last discussion focused on how a law firm can get links through “how-to” discussions. In this article I’ll dive into a method that a fair number of attorneys try, and some even do it well, and that is giving away a free product or service.

It’s important to remember that the best way to get links is to provide something of value that people want to link to. The type of content that people want to link is that which they feel their readers will find useful or interesting. Once you’ve determined what that item of value is then you need to have a way to make it stand out. There are two good ways to do this. The first is a quality, and free, eBook and the second is to provide a free legal service to the public.

Lawyers can build backlinks by giving away a high-quality eBook on their website

Again, people link to resources that are useful. A free book, addressing a legal situation that many people are facing, is certainly useful. That being said, simply generating a free eBook and putting it on your website isn’t enough. You need to write it in a way that comes across as actually solving people’s problems while being easily digestible. I’ve read quite a few eBooks, which attorneys give away on their websites, which read more like a treatise on a given legal topic. People are going to find much more value in an eBook that has the following:

  • Concrete examples – Instead of explaining bankruptcy law in the abstract, for example, give meaningful hypotheticals that people will relate to their own financial situations
  • A recurring character – Come up with a character and give him a name. Keep using him as the person in your hypotheticals. Having your fictional character walk through the legal process makes it much easier for layperson readers to digest your content
  • Personality – Don’t be shy to tell jokes and use humor throughout your eBook. This is something that’s almost completely missing from the manifestos eBooks which I see attorneys putting on their websites

Providing this value will go a long way towards making your eBook something people want to link to. Why? Because it will make your book stand out from the pack; there’s no reason for someone to link to something that provides all the exact same information/experience as every other lawyer eBook. Making your product different, and livening up, will go a long way.

The other thing to consider is the need to make your eBook look nice. People link to things of high quality. Would you be more likely to link to an eBook that looks like it was professionally published or to something that looks like it was done by a teenager, in their parent’s basement, on Microsoft Word? Hopefully you answered correctly. Hire a professional graphic artist and do it right. The value of what you will receive, and the links it can garner, are far more valuable than the few bucks you’ll pay for art and formatting.

Giving away a free service to the public will build valuable backlinks

When I started my firm there were many attorneys in town handling people’s traffic tickets for free. Why did they do this? Because it was a way of building good will so that those ticket clients would bring the attorney their case when it was time to retain someone. Providing a free service, such as handling tickets or something else you can do in bulk without much time involved, is huge in terms of the number of people that will link to you. Few things garner backlinks as does “where to get something for free.” Those links will go light years for your SEO efforts. If a few hours a month exponentially grows your web traffic, due to increased page rank, then it’s one of the best investments of your time you can make.

Why don’t more lawyers use the two steps above to get links? First, while many attorneys are willing to throw together a fast eBook and put it on their site for download, few are willing to take time and effort necessary to do it right. Second, most attorneys fail to see the value in doing something for free. To put it simply, it’s not that other attorneys can’t do these things, they simply don’t. If you’re willing to take the time and effort necessary then you can build links, and reap huge benefits, through these two methods.