Backlinks for Legal Help Websites

Who links to your legal help website?

Backlinks from .gov, .edu, .org, and .com websites can boost your website’s online rank & traffic.

The more other websites that link to you — especially government or educational ones — the higher your website will climb on search results.

This is called a ‘backlink’ strategy. Search engines look to the web of who is linking to whom to determine which sites are valuable, relevant, and authoritative. If a website ending with a domain like .gov, .org, or .edu is linking to a legal help website, these ‘backlinks’ make search engines more confident that your site is worthwhile & authoritative.

To that end, we encourage legal help website administrators to spend some time crafting a local Backlinks Initiative, to get more robust links among authoritative government and educational institutions.

Our cohort members had advice on how to make an effective backlinks strategy in the public interest space:

Backlinks Strategy for Legal Help Website

Step 1: Identify Your Regional Ecosystem of Legal-Related Websites. 

Who are the websites that are helping people with issues related to legal and court issues? You can map who is providing services generally, and also run some Google Searches to see what is showing up for people online. Some of the common actors in a local ecosystem will be:

  • Governor’s office
  • Mayor and/or City Council
  • Attorney General, particularly the consumer protection division
  • Legal aid providers
  • Court main website
  • Court self-help/ ‘for the public’ website
  • Housing agency
  • Consumer protection agency/division
  • County law librarians
  • Law school librarians
  • Law school clinics
  • Local news outlets

You can use a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Audit, if you have one for your region, to identify which websites to connect with. Reach out to the websites that are most popular with your audience.

Step 2: Reach out to the leaders & web admins for each of these orgs 

This could be an email or a call to the organization, in order to

Introduce your legal help website & your team

Ask if their team might be willing to link to your overall website, or even to specific pages within your website that might help their websites’ visitors

Step 3: Offer them more info on your website & copy for their site

Offer a link exchange, where you would post their website for your visitors who might benefit from their services

Offer pre-formatted text or code that they can use right away. You can borrow from the text our Lab has already written that lists out & explains the legal help websites in each state.

Hopefully, the other website teams will be responsive, and you can work with them to get the links set up. Ideally, they will not just be posting a link to your site, but also including text to describe it & its value to their visitors.

Here is a sample set of copy that you could provide to the other web team. Find more examples, for each state, at this resource page from Legal Help Online Dashboard.

If you’re an Arizonan in need of legal assistance regarding housing, family matters, finances, or other legal issues, there are several websites and organizations available that can provide you with free, non-profit help. These resources are offered by legal aid groups, the courts, and other trustworthy organizations dedicated to providing support in Arizona.

Legal Information Websites

AZCourtHelp: AZCourtHelp provides information and resources related to Arizona courts. It offers court forms, map of courthouse locations, a video library, legal clinics, a legal glossary, and instructions to help individuals navigate the court process. Visit the website at: hosts an online system to apply for free or reduced cost legal services in Arizona. It also provides legal information about various topics and provides resources specific to Arizona laws. You can find more details at:

AZEvictionHelp: AZEvictionHelp provides guidance and resources for tenants experiencing an eviction in Arizona. The website offers information for residential, mobile home, and recreational vehicle tenants before, during, and after the eviction process. You can find more details at:

LawForVeterans: LawforVeterans provides legal information and resources for active-duty service members, retiring service members, veterans, and military families. This includes information on the Arizona Veterans Treatment Court locations and processes. You can find more details at:

AZCrimeVictimHelp: AZCrimeVictimHelp provides legal information and resources for people that have been victims of crime. Information discusses a variety of legal issues that may have happened because of the crime an individual experienced. You can find more details at:

LawForSeniors: LawForSeniors provides legal information and resources for those approaching retirement, those over 65 years old, loved ones, and caregivers. It covers a variety of topics, such as Social Security and laws protecting vulnerable adults. You can find more details at:

AZCourtCare: AZCourtCare provides information and resources related to mental health court in Arizona. The website explains the Title 36 civil commitment process and guidance for families of those in crisis. You can find more details at:

Arizona Supreme Court Self-Service Center: The Arizona Supreme Court’s Self-Service Center provides resources and information for individuals who are representing themselves in legal matters. Their website offers forms, instructions, and guides on various legal issues. You can access this resource at:

Legal Help Programs

Community Legal Services: Community Legal Services is a non-profit law firm in Arizona that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, and Yuma counties. Their website offers information on various legal topics, self-help resources, and information about the legal services provided. Visit their website at:

DNA People’s Legal Services: DNA People’s Legal Services is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in Coconino County, Arizona and the Navajo and Hopi Nations. Their website provides information about the legal services provided and community outreach programs. Visit their website at:

Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc.: Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc. (SALA) is a non-profit law firm in Arizona that provides free legal services to low-income individuals in Apache, Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, Navajo, and Santa Cruz counties as well as in 11 tribal communities. Their website offers information about the legal services provided and a calendar of legal clinic events. Visit their website at:

Step Up to Justice: Step Up to Justice is a non-profit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals in Tucson, Arizona. Their website offers information on the legal services provided and community resources. Visit their website at:

Arizona Free Legal Answers: Arizona Free Legal Answers allows Arizonans to ask civil legal questions and receive answers from volunteer attorneys. It provides a platform for individuals to seek basic legal guidance on a range of civil legal issues. To post a question you can visit:

These websites and organizations are intended to provide assistance, information, and support to Arizonans seeking legal help. Whether you require guidance on housing matters, family law concerns, financial issues, or other legal problems, these resources can be valuable in obtaining the information and support you need.

Strategies around backlinks

Here are some of the strategies & experiences that our cohort members reflected on about backlinks:

Do it early, but also refresh later on: Many websites do a backlink outreach campaign when they just launch. But it’s important to refresh both your landscape analysis & your outreach to get more links every year. Check in on where else people in your jurisdiction might be visiting, and approach these sites to link to you.

Be aware that some links may cause trouble: Your website might do a link exchange, where you are linking out to the organizations that link to you. Usually this is a net positive, when it comes to increasing your apparent authority to search engines. Sometimes, though, court or legal aid websites may have security flaws — like invalid security protocols — that makes search engines distrust them. If your site is connected to this site, the search engine might lower your rank. You can try to reach out to these sites to help them improve their security features, so this problem is resolved.

If you update your site, be sure to keep your previous URLs. If you are going through a site overhaul, especially when you are transitioning to new URLs for your content, you don’t want to lose out on all the incoming links you may already have. There might be lots of sites that are linking to your old URLs. That both drives users to your site, and it increases your authority to search engines. If you keep your old URLs intact, but then redirect through 301s to the new content/URL, you can preserve this authority & ensure that the old links don’t break.

You can also ask other sites to include your logo, and can give them pre-made code to help them do this easily.

Some possible partners, especially courts, might ask to see if your website is ‘unbiased’ and has resources for both sides of a conflict. They may only be willing to link to your site if it can demonstrate this lack of bias. Not all courts will have this requirement, but it is worth preparing for.

Getting links up can be slow, but if you are persistent, you can find the right person on the team who controls the website & then work with them to get it online.

Keep track on your data analytics! Can you confirm when the backlinks were put onto the site? Watch to see if your visitors or rank change in Google Analytics or Search Console. Then you can communicate back improvements to the partners, reaffirming the value of the backlinks & also decide where else you might do more links.

Prepare the right links for the right partner. For some backlink partners, you might just want their visitors to come to your homepage. This might be true for someone coming from a library or a general legal aid page. But if the backlink partner might have someone with a particular issue — like it’s likely the visitor has a debt, employment, landlord-tenant, or family law issue — you can ask if the partner will link to specific guides, FAQs, or media for this issue. That way the link could be more relevant to the visitor — so they go straight to the most helpful resource without having to navigate your site.