The Effect of Outgoing Links on Your Law Firm’s SEO

Before you link your high-quality legal website to another site, it is vitally important that you look carefully at the caliber of the site. The web pages your website is linked to form the “neighborhood” of your site. It follows, then, that if you link to spam websites, whether intentionally or not, search engines may think your important legal website is also spam. It’s sort of like your mom telling you that you are who you hang out with, but take this warning a bit more seriously than you took mom’s! Consider the following:

** Your website is put into a much larger context by virtue of the websites you are linked to. If your site is linked to superior quality sites with useful content, then web surfers associate your site with the that quality
** You wouldn’t send your friends to a car mechanic you didn’t trust, so don’t send your web visitors to a website you don’t trust. Equally true, you wouldn’t put down a job reference who was going to say negative things about you, so make sure no negative information about the legal services your business offers will appear in any context on a linked website. Links add value to your site in that they show your potential clients that you have confidence in business and services.
**Some people feel that offering links to other pages is like sending potential clients down the street to another attorney. Not true. The links you provide your clients will bring you more clients and will bring repeat visitors to your site. All web surfers will leave your site sooner or later, no matter how fabulous it is—the question is what they do once they leave.
** It is something like a very polite dance; you offer your web site visitors links so they don’t have to go back to their search engine, and the other websites send you visitors in return—like a “thank you” note!

For maximum legal SEO on your important website, outgoing links should be:
1. Similar quality style and only associate with higher quality content
2. Keywords in anchor text—integrate links with content
3. Develop your content first rather than randomly placing outgoing links and keywords
4. Don’t get carried away—not too many links per page; it can be confusing and distracting for your clients.

Outgoing links can add important credibility to your own legal website and could potentially provide your prospective clients with in-depth information about similar topics. Outgoing links can show that you have thoroughly researched your content and that you have experience and skill in everything users find on your website. Good links to other websites can make your visitors return to your website again and again for more information on future legal topics. As a final note, according to Google, you should not be overly concerned about the PageRank of your outgoing link so long as it is a link you believe will benefit your visitors. Even if the linked website has a lower PageRank than your own, if it is logically linked to your legal website, it will remain a common sense way to give extra value to your potential clients.