Skip to main content


Local SEO Link Building Guide

Written by Gary Honold on . Posted in .
Home > Blog > Local SEO Link Building Guide

Key Takeaways:

  • Link building is the process of getting backlinks from other websites to your website.
  • Local links help to improve local SEO, a method of attracting clients to your website within your local area.
  • Numerous strategies exist for creating high-quality links to your website, including guest posting on blogs, using link directories, social network links, and review sites.
  • Engage only in white hat link-building strategies.
  • Tiered link building is a type of structure that can enhance SEO efforts and results.
  • Link building can be complicated, but Array Digital can handle this task for you.

Array Digital can assist with local link building, which packs a powerful punch. Contact us to learn more about implementing this strategy to improve your local SEO efforts.

What Is Local Link Building?

Link building refers to getting backlinks from other websites to your website. These backlinks should be industry-specific links. This strategy helps boost your SEO by showing the search engines that your website is valid and worth ranking well.

Going deeper, local link building refers to building backlinks that have a local SEO focus. You look for links that are not only specific to your industry but also specific to your local search area.

By focusing on local link building, you can drive targeted search engine traffic to your law firm’s website. This strategy is more effective than general link building because it focuses on reaching the people you can actually serve with your law practice. Thus, it is an effective and valuable part of your overall search engine optimization strategy.

Guide to Building Links Locally

Local links are vital to effective local SEO, but they do not happen by accident. There are multiple ways to do so, and using each of these strategies will help you get backlinks that improve your ranking factors for local search terms. Here are the strategies to employ.

Create Local Content

When answering local search queries, Google wants to see a site that sends many signals that it is relevant to your local market. To do well in the search engines, write content that mentions the towns you serve.

You should have local content on your main web pages, but you can also have this as part of your blogging strategy.

  • Does your local community have a festival coming up in the near future? Build a blog post around it.
  • Do you have a favorite local business you want your clients to support? Write up a review.
  • Are you participating in local charity events? Share that.

Even on posts that are not about events or local businesses, use local content where you can by talking about landmarks or items specific to the community. Keep the content on your blog as local as possible, and other business owners in your area are going to be more likely to link to that piece of content.

If content creation is difficult for you, consider hiring this service out to a professional writer. If you work with a skilled SEO team, like Array Digital, content creation is managed for you. Do not neglect content if it is something that challenges you because you have many options to get that content written outside of your own efforts.

Build a List of Local Citations

Next, build a list of websites where you can add local citations. These are any places online where you can list your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). These can show up in many places, and you need to create a list of where you might find them. Some places to look include:

  • Business directories
  • Social networks
  • Review sites
  • Local business listing sites
  • And more

Brainstorm the different types of citations available to make a list, and then start adding your contact information to those sites.

Keep in mind that there are two different types of citations:

  • Structured citation: one that has the name, address, and phone number of the business. These citations are in the directory and social media profile listings.
  • Unstructured citation: includes mentions of your business in a context, like on a list of the “best law firms” in the community. These show up as forum posts and blog posts, most often.

Both structured and unstructured citations help your local linking profile if they include links. Try to build both types, but remember that structured are the type you have the most control over as you build your links.

To get listed on the structured citations, you can use data aggregators. These companies collect business information and distribute it to the various local citation options. According to, the three data aggregators that serve the United States are:

  • Express Update
  • Neustar Localeze
  • Factual

Get listed with these, which is free to do with the first two and costs a small amount with Factual. Your site will get listed on many of the local citation locations. Using these tools could save you time as you build your link profile.

Guest Post on Blogs

Kevin Daisey and Erik J. Olson

Another way to get local inbound links is with guest posts on local blogs from influencers and local businesses. If you know of local websites that rank well, reach out and ask if you can blog on a legal topic for them. Many are in need of content to help their own ranking, and if your topic is relevant to their target audience, they will be happy to post it.

Sometimes, you have to get creative in the subject matter because it should relate to both your business and the page where you guest blog.

  • Brainstorm topics that the blog’s target audience would want to read.
  • Pitch the idea to the blog’s owner.
  • The more helpful the blog post is, the more likely it will be that the website will be willing to post your blog and your link.

When you get the opportunity to guest blog, make sure you make it a linking opportunity. You can ask for a link back to your website in your bio or somewhere in the blog post, and that can serve as a local linking opportunity.

When Google sees that local bloggers have links to your website, they reward you with a better rank for local search terms. Be willing to return the favor by allowing guest posts from non-competitors in your local market.

Guest blogging also benefits you by boosting your overall branding in the local community as a content area expert. When potential clients see your name frequently on blog posts in your legal area, even when they are browsing other local business sites, they start to trust you. When they need legal help, they will come to your firm to get it.

Do a Backlinks Exchange with Local Businesses

If you are not interested in guest blogging, or if you need more links than you can get with a guest blogging strategy alone, you can simply swap links with local businesses in your area. Many will be willing to link to you if you link to them, and this can help you build local backlinks quickly.

Remember, they need the links just like you do, so this is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Keep in mind that these local sites should not be in the legal industry because that makes them competitors, but they should be in complementary areas of business.

This local link-building tactic is easy to implement:

  • Create a “recommended businesses” page on your website.
  • Find a local website that is potentially a quality link opportunity.
  • Ask to swap links.
  • If they are willing, you can quickly add their link to that page.
  • You both benefit.

Keep in mind that these links to your local business partners should not be on your homepage, as you want that page to focus entirely on your business and its services. Also, make sure that the websites you partner with are not spammy but are actually beneficial to your website and its readers.

List on Your Chamber of Commerce Website

Ahrefs overview page

If your local community has a Chamber of Commerce website, make sure your business gets listed. You may have to join the Chamber of Commerce, but this is a valuable thing to do because a business website link on the Chamber of Commerce page has a lot of value in local search rankings.

Look for Local Business Directories

While general business directories are helpful, make sure you also look for all of the local directories that may not be using the aggregators. These have less impact on local rankings than other options, but they are a good idea and do not hurt your overall local SEO strategy. Also, like the Chamber of Commerce page, local business directories are often the first place people look when shopping for a lawyer. Keep in mind that you want to look for high-quality directories, not those with spam content, to improve your overall branding.

Some local business directories:

  • Yelp
  • Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
  • Higher education (Look for schools to get .edu links like law schools)

Some examples of local legal directories for lawyers are:

  • Justia
  • Avvo
  • FindLaw
  • LawInfo
  • Superlawyers
  • LegalZoom

Be Active in Your Local Community

Find ways to be active in your local community. Not only does this get your name and image out there for people to see, but it also gives you opportunities to potentially get organic links on local sites. Here are some examples:

  • Attend local charity events
  • Sponsor charity or awareness events
  • Invite the local news to the event, and you may get a link to your site on their website

You will also get in front of your local audience out in the community, which may not have a direct impact on your link-building campaign but will have a direct impact on your overall branding goals.

Claim Your Google Business Profile

If you have not already done so, now is the time to claim your Google Business Profile listing (formerly called Google My Business). This listing gets you a backlink with Google, and you already know how important Google search is to your overall SEO strategy. It is also free to claim, so you have no reason to ignore it.

If you claim your GBP listing, you also improve your chances of getting the coveted placement in the three-pack, which has one of the highest values of your local link-building strategy and overall SEO. Make sure your NAP is accurate in the GBP listing and matches your listings on other pages so your link profile is consistent.

Claiming your Google Business Profile is tedious but important.

  • Sign in to your Google account on Google Maps.
  • Search your address in the search bar.
  • Click “Add your business.”
  • Follow the instructions to add your business.

Once you have done so:

  • List as much information as you can on the page.
  • Add photos of your practice location.
  • Include photos of your office.

Give as much information as possible to ensure the listing is complete. 

Before your listing is live, Google will ask you to verify it. Verification usually occurs through a postcard that has a verification code sent to your business address. Without verification, your listing will not go live.

Publish Press Releases

A press release in the newspaper

Press releases with your local newspaper are another way to build backlinks and potential conversions. Whenever something new happens with your firm, such as bringing on a new associate or closing a big case, type up a press release and submit it to the local news sites. They may not choose to put it in their print newspaper, but they will often put it up online. You then can weave in the link to the press release and your “about” section, and that gives you another way to show the Google algorithm that your firm is valid for your local community.

Once you have your press release written, submit it to as many places as you can.

  • Each local news source
  • Online and local publications
  • Community-events pages
  • Local legal associations
  • Social media pages

Make sure the press release is newsworthy, but make the most out of it once you have it written.

Sponsor Local Businesses or Charities

Even if you cannot attend local events, you can build links by sponsoring local businesses or charities.

  • Giving a donation to a local small business startup or a charitable local organization
  • Find a way to give back within your local community, and they will usually thank you with a link on their page.
  • A town sports team that you sponsor may create a linking opportunity on the league’s website.

Local sponsorships help brand you as a helpful business and also give you backlink opportunities with a strong local focus.

Ask for Testimonials on Local Review Websites

lawyer testimonials

You can also add to your local link profile by asking your clients to review your firm on local review websites. The key here is to look for local review sites that have high domain authority and then ask your clients to visit those sites and leave their reviews.

Reviews are a great way to get a referral. They help build trust. They also can help with your local SEO if you find local review sites, so take advantage of these when you can find them.

If you cannot find local review sites, do not neglect national sites like Yelp, as these can still impact your local ranking since they give you a place to leave your NAP.

How can you encourage your satisfied clients to leave a review?

  • First, you need to ask.
  • At your exit meeting, ask them if they would be willing to leave a review.
  • Send a postcard with a QR code that links to your chosen review site.
  • Email them and request a review with a link to the site you want to have them add their review.
  • Text them with a link.

What is Tiered Link Building?

Tiered link building is the process of building a linking structure to get more juice out of any backlinks you obtain. In short, with this method, you are creating backlinks for your backlinks. The goal is to increase not just the number of links but also the amount of impact better backlinks have on your site.

In this type of link-building structure, you have tier 1 backlinks. These are the hardest to get and the most impactful. These point to your main website. You then have tier 2 backlinks that point to your tier 1 backlinks. Typically, you’ll also have tier 3 backlinks that point to your tier 2 backlinks, creating a web-like structure.

This strategy helps to ensure that you are getting the most out of any investment you make in those top tier 1 links. Let’s consider how this works.

First-tier links:

  • These are regular backlinks that point to your website directly.
  • These are the highest-quality links.
  • The content on these links should be highly specific and beneficial to your target audience.
  • Turn to established websites within your industry to obtain guest posts for these links.
  • Create blogs on platforms with do-follow links as a secondary way to build these backlinks.
  • Aim for 2 to 5 tier 1 links.

Second-tier links:

  • These links are a bit more relaxed and should be within your other guests’ posts, though still on a high authority website.
  • Use anything that is not spam-related, including profile links, directories, and social bookmarks.
  • Each of your first tier backlinks should have several second-tier backlinks pointing to it.
  • Work to ensure you have diversity in the context as well as in the anchor texts you use.
  • Aim for 5 to 10 tier two links.

Third-tier links:

  • It’s less important to choose high-quality third-tier links.
  • Be creative about where you get them, such as blog comments and social media posts.
  • Your third-tier links should point only to your second-tier links – never to your main website or first tier link partners’ websites.
  • Google will index very few, and that’s why you need a lot of them, 5,000 or more.

Creating a robust backlink profile will help to build the success of your website and increase organic traffic. Even if some of these are not high-quality backlinks in the third tier, the links themselves are working as a type of support system. Those hyperlinks are not going to hurt you as long as you structure them properly.

Evaluate Your Backlink Profile for Data About Your Local Linking

Google analytics referral traffic report

Learn to use analytics to ensure everything is working for you and not against you. Your backlink profile is a good place to start.

  • Make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate on all of your local listings and links.
  • Fix all errors. This data is important to the search engines for showing consistency and your local location.
  • Evaluate the quality of the links. You will have better overall outreach if you have high-quality links, and your ranking will suffer if you have several low-quality links that link to your site.

To build quality backlinks, focus on establishing E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).


Ensure that your link structure is easy to follow and not spammy.


Does your site demonstrate that you are a legal expert?


Authority is similar to expertise, but it is slightly different. Authority is measured based on backlinks and mentions of the site, each of which serves as a vote for that site as valid and trusted. A site with good authority in the eyes of Google is a valuable link for your website.


Finally, you want to get links from sites that Google deems trustworthy. Signs that indicate a site is trustworthy include having a large number of organic reviews, easy contact information, an actual physical location, terms and conditions, and a secure HTTPS domain. Content that is relevant to the site’s topic is another way it can establish credibility.

Checking Your Link Profile

So, how can you know how your local link profile is working?

  • Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer
  • Use Majestic SEO

This gives you insight into your backlink profile. You can then use the analytics provided through these tools to analyze your profile to pinpoint areas of opportunity. Remember, the total number of links is far less important than the quality of those links.

In addition to the linking quality, check the linking domains. Linking domains are the individual websites that link to yours. You want it to be a fairly even ratio because Google gives little value to having the same site link to yours multiple times. In fact, this metric could hurt your local link profile because Google could view it as a red flag that you are trying to work the system.

Once you learn how to monitor your link profile, check it regularly. You want to make sure that you have not received any no-follow links on the list and clean them up if you find them. Websites, including those that link to you, change regularly, so make sure you keep an eye on your link profile.

White Hat Link Building vs. Black Hat Link Building

black hat versus white hat

White hat link building and black hat link building are strategies for getting links placed on other locations online to support your legal marketing efforts. You may find link building services that offer both. Both are not beneficial to your website.

When investing in law firm SEO, you can expect to find plenty of effective strategies. However, a webmaster who engages in less-than-good strategies may actually hurt their ranking. As a website owner, you need to know the difference between white hat link building and black hat link building.

White Hat Link Building Services

  • These link building strategies drive traffic to your website from a search engine using proven strategies.
  • They incorporate sharing links on relevant websites.
  • They help improve law firm SEO through Google and are considered a good link building strategy.
  • They are on relevant websites, typically with high-quality content, this is going to be a very good investment in your website.

White hat link building helps search engine rankings because it allows you to focus on adding value to the content and enhancing your reader’s user experience. These methods enhance what your clients learn about the topic.

Black hat link building services

  • These link building schemes incorporate the placement of links where it does not benefit the reader.
  • The referring domains are low-quality and ineffective.
  • They are not natural links that make sense.
  • These strategies can impact your domain rating if they are considered spam.
  • Free directories not related to your law firm could be one example.

Why Law Firms Partner with Array Digital

Have you listened to our podcast? Have you explored some of the reputable websites and attorney’s website success we have had? When choosing the right digital marketing company to help you with everything from link building for law firms to creating high-quality infographics, you have to choose an organization with a proven track record.

We utilize the most effective methods and create custom strategies for our clients. Our expertise, specifically in facilitating the best SEO for law firms, allows us to stand out from the wide range of other providers available.

Consider reviews from our clients.

“Frankel & Newfield is a national firm representing people whose long term disability insurance claims have been denied or are being challenged by insurance companies with limitless resources. We have an extensive network of attorneys across all practice areas who recognize the complexity of disability insurance claims and refer their clients to us for help. […] We chose Array Digital after a lengthy review process and are pleased with our team and their responsiveness.” — Justin F.

“Kevin and the Array Digital team are exceptional at what they do! If you are looking to grow your law firm, look no further. Array is the expert team that you need to take the complexities of digital marketing off of your plate and bring customers that need you to your doorstep.” — Greg T.

“Highly recommend Array Digital. Prior to bringing them on board, I tried to manage all the different marketing aspects of my firm by myself. As a result, my marketing was all over the place. Since hiring Array, everything is under one roof and organized. They communicate very well and genuinely care about their clients.” — Chris S.

Link Building for Lawyers Q&A

We recognize link building for law firms is important but hard to do and time consuming. Whether it’s reaching out for guest posting opportunities or navigating practice area content that’s link-worthy, we can help you. Consider some common questions we receive.

How Important Is Local Link Building for SEO?

Local link building is critical for SEO. It aids in ranking high on the search engine results page. It can help improve your local ranking. Most importantly, it drives highly targeted searchers to your website.

Should I Prioritize Local Link Building Over General Link Building?

Both local link building and general link building are important strategies to prioritize within your law firm marketing. Balancing both local and general link-building efforts to create a comprehensive SEO strategy provides a much better outcome than just a single strategy.

What Role Do Customer Reviews Play in Local SEO Link Building?

Customer reviews play a valuable role in local SEO link building. Positive reviews build trust in readers and add credibility indirectly, which influences link-building.

Get Trusted Help for Optimization of Local Listings and Reliable Results from Link Building for Law Firms

Local listings and links can be challenging to build, and sometimes you need professional help to do it well. Array Digital is here to provide that. Because we focus our SEO work on law firms entirely, you can trust that we know what your firm needs to do to find success in the crazy world of search engine optimization.

If you are struggling to create a local link profile that works for you, our team at Array Digital has a dedicated department of SEO experts who understand local linking and its impact on your overall SEO plan. We also have unique insight into how SEO works for law firms specifically and what you need to do to reach your target audience.

We will come alongside you to help you build quality local links that will point to your business website. We will aid with the creation of geographic-specific landing pages that will make those backlinks more effective. We take on the hard work for you, freeing you to focus on serving your clients more effectively.

At Array Digital, we do not just build your link profile and leave you to figure out the rest. Analytics and link profile evaluation are big parts of our service. We will ensure you are doing a good job of targeting local links by providing the analytics you need and tweaking your link profile as needed to make it as effective as possible.

When you partner with Array Digital for your online SEO optimization and link building, you work with a team of true experts. We are passionate about helping you find online marketing success, and our team is ready to launch your success in the online marketing world.

Request a Quote for Local Link Building Help from the Experts at Array Digital

Local link building is challenging, and we are here to help you make it effective. To request a free consultation today, call 757.333.3021 or complete the online contact form to speak with an experienced digital marketing expert at Array Digital today!

Written By Gary Honold
I am a digital marketer and SEO manager with 30+ years’ experience driving web traffic, leads, and conversions for clients in highly competitive markets.

Everything you need to know about hiring a digital marketing agency:

This 30-page guide covers:
  • The four pillars of digital marketing
  • Digital marketing options and costs
  • The pitfalls to avoid
  • What to expect when working with an agency
  • The qualities to look for in a digital marketing agency

Related Articles

Extraordinary Results

  • “Erik and the Array Digital team are top notch in the digital marketing spaces, particularly for SEO. Their understanding of Google, the algorithms, and the work involved to get websites ranking on the first page is unparalleled. Thank you Erik!!”

    Andrew Zihmer
    Zihmer Law Firm
  • “I had a chance to consult with Kevin Daisey for my law firm’s marketing needs. He is knowledgeable, kind, and helpful. He provided me with a great marketing analysis. He also invited me to their podcast as a guest speaker. Thank you Array Digital!”

    Merve Kati
    ZMK Law
  • “The legal profession needs more architects and designers…folks who are thinking about the future of the profession and who are assembling a tribe of like minded lawyer leaders. Erik and his team are certainly ‘that’.”

    Ben Glass
    Ben Glass Law & Great Legal Marketing
    Stop wasting your money on agencies that can’t get it done.
    HawkLaw Google Search Results on Phone