Placing articles on another person’s website can bring your law firm numerous benefits. Let’s discover what it means to guest post, how to find the best guest posting opportunities, and how to create a guest blogging campaign as part of your law firm’s SEO marketing strategy.
What is Guest Post?
A guest post is a blog or article created by your business but published on someone else’s website. Generally, you keep the byline for the article so that it’s posted under your name.
While not all sites accept posts from guest bloggers, finding those who do will help you build credibility for your website and establish yourself as a thought leader.
How Can Guest Post Blogging Help Your Law Firm’s Online Presence?
Guest blog posts benefit your digital marketing efforts in three key ways:
- Building your website’s domain authority
- Increasing the number of referring domains and backlinks to your website
- Getting your content in front of more people
Publishing great content on another high-authority website helps you build credibility and authority in your practice area. This is a great way to become a thought leader in your industry.
Guest posting also builds on itself since showcasing previous links to quality content guest posts makes it easier to pitch bigger and better sites as you go.
Increasing Referring Domains and Backlinks
Backlinking refers to the hyperlinks in your guest post that make a formal connection between your website and the site publishing the guest post.
For search engine optimization, this helps to improve your rankings because it sends signals to Google’s algorithm that other websites see you as a trusted source of information.
With backlinks, you might only be allowed one relevant hyperlink to your law firm, so choose wisely. If the website administrator doesn’t allow links in the content of the article, your author bio is another good chance to link to your law firm.
Not all backlinks are created equal. Google treats dofollow and nofollow links differently with regard to PageRank. Google uses PageRank scores to determine the value of a website in their eyes for ranking purposes.
Dofollow links add SEO benefits because it signals a stronger association between the two websites. For example, the lower-ranked site in the guest post exchange will gain PageRank points when a dofollow link is included.
A nofollow link is a tag the owner adds in WordPress or their other CMS when posting, but that link has no “SEO juice.” Nofollow links were created to prevent blog spam from coming in through comments, but some web owners use them in regular posts, too. For that reason, a nofollow link is not really a “backlink.”
Guest posting on sites that offer a dofollow link is preferred, although both kinds of hyperlinks in the content will function the same for a reader who clicks them.
Reaching a Broader Audience
Posting on someone else’s website gives you the opportunity to pick up followers for your law firm in the form of referral traffic or to be contacted for more opportunities like news stories or podcast interviews.
This builds on the “authority” created above by being featured as a guest expert on another person’s site.
Instant exposure to targeted traffic is valuable. Think of it as renting an audience from someone who already put in the work to attract followers.
Be aware that national websites with a bigger following than more niche sites might still make sense for guest posting based on the SEO benefits. However, a smaller percentage of the readers might fit your target audience.
When Does it Make Sense for Your Practice?
If you have an established website, guest posting gives you the most benefits. Google and other search engines see a guest post of yours on someone else’s site as a signal that you’re an authority and credible source on the subject matter.
If you don’t have a website launched yet or if your site has very little content on it, now isn’t the time to branch into guest blogging.
Where Should You Post Guest Blogs?
When selecting where to pitch a guest post, the relevance of the site is most important. Other key metrics to look at are domain authority and domain rating as well.
You’ll want to find websites that are relevant to your firm’s practice areas, that have a high authority, and also provide dofollow links from their blog to external sites.
For example, other legal websites, software that serves the legal industry, as well as tangential industries like chiropractic, physical therapy, automative, etc.
Domain Authority is a score developed by Moz to predict a website’s likelihood to rank in search engine results pages. The higher the score, the better. Sites with a DA score lower than 30 shouldn’t be targeted for guest posts because this is a cutoff point for what Moz sees as “lower authority” sites.
Look for relevant, high-authority sites in your niche. Make sure the topics covered on that site are close to your practice area.
For example, a defective product lawyer might seek out websites providing advice to new parents with a post pitch on the most dangerous toys for kids. It’s relevant and highlights the exact kind of cases that lawyer wants.
Guest posting on legal blogs makes sense in some scenarios, but it depends on the total readership, the volume of guest blogs posted overall, and how many other attorneys within your practice area and region have posted there.
Ahrefs, an SEO tool, maintains a database of websites to help calculate a page’s Domain Rating. The tool looks at data points across all the other sites in the database and produces a score between one to 100. Much like domain authority, the higher the number, the better.
At Rankings.io, we like to use Domain Rating (DR) as our primary metric instead of domain authority—though each are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing.
If you use Ahrefs, you can find relevant websites by using the Content Explorer tool.
Type in a keyword that’s related to your niche and hit the magnifying glass to search. Ahrefs will then return a list of all the pages in their index about that term.
You can see the DR for each of the sites in the results in the highlighted column.
Next, select “One page per domain” to limit the results. Since you’re only looking for sites that write about the topic and not all of the pages on those sites about that topic, this will help you eliminate duplicates in a later step.
Note that this takes the page count down from 123,000 to 63,000 results.
Next, you can add a filter to remove low DR websites by clicking on “Add filter” then selecting “Domain Rating” from the drop-down.
Then select the minimum DR that you want to see on your list. You can also set an upper boundary since some high-DR websites do not accept guest posts.
You can also set a filter to only show content that has been published recently by selecting the “First published” filter. This can help eliminate sites that are defunct or do not publish often.
Here, we’ve selected only pages published in the last 12 months.
You can also select “Highlight unlinked domains” and enter your domain name in the dropdown to show you sites that are not linking to your domain.
Next, you can select the “Websites” tab to view a list of the top 100 sites posting on the topic.
You can sort this list by the number of authors to show you which domains may accept guest posts. More authors may indicate that the site is open to outside writers creating content for them.
From here you can export the list as a .csv file which you can use in Google Sheets or Excel.
Once you have exported the list to Sheets or Excel, you can more easily sort, filter, and refine your list.
As you’re finalizing your list, check that each site is actually relevant to your niche and take into account the DR and traffic for that domain.
There’s one exception to making your decision around domain authority and domain rating. You can get in front of more of your geographic target audience with local businesses.
For example, a personal injury lawyer could offer to write articles about common car accident injuries for a local chiropractor’s website.
What to Look for in a Site that Accepts Guest Posts
Here’s what to look for when trying to create a spreadsheet of possible guest post options:
- High domain authority/domain rating (DA 30+ or DR 25+ is ideal)
- A decent amount of website traffic per month (1000+ traffic per month)
- Other high-quality posts and guest posts are already on the site
- Clear guidelines for submission
- A decent following on social media if the site owner shares their posts there
You can hire a firm or freelancer to help you with various aspects of this process to maximize your time, such as:
- Researching a shortlist of possible sites relevant for your niche
- Drafting post titles
- Creating the posts directly
- Proofreading your posts before submission
Who Should Write the Posts for Your Law Firm?
Although you can write the posts in-house, working with a ghostwriter is recommended. There are two main reasons why: your time is best spent practicing the law and growing the firm, but guest blogging also requires expert SEO knowledge.
Your ghostwriter should have familiarity with the target market and will be able to communicate clearly and concisely.
Whether writing on your own or outsourcing, keep these writing tips in mind:
- Don’t be too promotional, such as including direct calls to action at the end of your post.
- Lead with value and education so that any average reader would benefit from the post.
- Tailor the post to the specific audience of the website. Ask the site owner if you’re not sure about the average reader.
Should Attorneys Pay to Guest Blog or Buy Links?
Due to the SEO value of guest posts, a new market to place paid guest posts has emerged. Google assesses penalties for your site based on low-quality links and link schemes detected by Google could harm your SEO ranking.
Google Webmaster Guidelines prohibit any form of paying for links. This includes exchanging goods and services, sending “free” products, and purchasing links on someone’s site.
Similarly, do not buy link or reference opportunities in places like Forbes, Business Insider, or Entrepreneur, since this is usually against their contributor guest post guidelines.
Using a guest posting service, however, is a legitimate practice. Many SEO agencies or content marketing companies offer backlinking support in ways that do not violate search engine rules. If you go this route, look for companies with experience in legal guest posting.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Create a spreadsheet for your guest post opportunities so that you don’t accidentally repeat topics and to make it easier for following up.
Ahrefs has great resources on how to find guest posts for legal professionals. Search queries like [practice area] “write for us” or [topic] “guest article” are good for getting started.
You can use the table below for a couple of examples of places that accept guest posts.
|Unique News Online||52||High|
|Above the Law||80||High|
Pitching Guest Blogs to Site Owners
Be thorough in your research and professional in your outreach to site owners for the best chance of getting a guest blog accepted. Knowing what site owners do and don’t want will help you make the most of your time and theirs.
Review Their Submission Guidelines
The DivorcedMoms blog would be a good fit for a family law attorney, and their guidelines make it very simple to determine what kinds of topics are relevant for them.
Start by reviewing the posts by the site owner and guest posts on the site. It looks careless if you suggest something covered on the site three months ago.
Instead, find a few great examples of complementary content and explain in your pitch why your idea would work well to expand on those comments.
This makes it easy for site owners to see a gap in content offerings and reduces one step in their process because you’re telling them their internal linking opportunities if they accept your post.
Some websites will have clear rules for what to include with a guest post pitch. Follow these instructions to the letter or your guest post pitch will be deleted.
For example, some might request that you propose an article title first, whereas others might want to see a full outline or a completed draft of the piece.
It should go without saying, but if there’s a note on their site that they’re not accepting guest posts, respect it.
Connect on LinkedIn
One of the best ways to get a guest post is to connect with and follow the site owner on LinkedIn first.
If they post content on LinkedIn, share it, comment on it, and like it to build name recognition. Then you can ask later on when the time is right. There are fewer opportunities overall, but you might end up on sites with more authority.
Guest Post Outreach Emails: What to Include
Using a template to contact bloggers is not recommended because many receive generic and very similar emails asking for the same thing.
The only way to stand out in a blogger’s inbox is to write a thoughtful pitch. You want the email to feel personal and not as though it’s a copy/paste guest post pitching being emailed to 50 people at once.
Start by telling them how you became aware of their site. It’s always nice to open with a legitimate compliment if you’ve followed their blog for some time. Reference their guest post requirements (if applicable). Explain why you think your post would make sense for their readership.
There are guest post outreach templates out there but aim to create a personalized list and pitch for the best results.
When done properly, guest posting is powerful. Creating a strategy that involves regular outreach and follow-up can help you place 1-2 guest posts each month to benefit your SEO.
Guest posting is most helpful when you’re using other marketing strategies like creating your own content and optimizing your own site simultaneously. If you’re ready for legal marketing campaigns built for law firms, contact us at Rankings.io — we’re 100% focused on SEO for the best law firms in the U.S. and have the results to back it up.