Law Firm SEO – An Attorney’s Guide to Optimization Success
What does your law business need to stay afloat during these competitive times? Visibility. Recognition. Conversions. You know that. But how do you achieve all this? The answer to that would be law firm SEO.
You must be thinking:
Why SEO for attorneys in particular?
Do I really need to be putting in ANY extra effort at all?
What will SEO do for my business that I’m not achieving already?
We understand your concerns and we’re going to address all of them in this blog post.
Making a decision about whether to opt for SEO for an attorney’s business or not can be confusing.
But we can help you get clarity so read on!
We’re Convinced You Need Law Firm SEO – Are You?
Did you know that 96% of people, when they need legal advice, carry out an online search? (Source: Google Consumer Survey)
But that’s not all.
74% of people visit an attorney’s website before they take any action.
What does this mean for you?
Well, if your legal business website is not optimized for search engines, you’ll find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
And the reason is simple: Your business won’t be the one that the 96% of people we just mentioned will see when they type a query into Google.
Or any other search engine for that matter.
When it comes to attorneys, there are many things a well-thought-out, custom-tailored SEO strategy can achieve.
But before we give you a short lawyer SEO guide that can help you maneuver the world of optimization,
Here’s How You Know You Need SEO
So how do you decide if you should spend time and effort – and it can take a lot of each – on search engine optimization. That is something that SEO for attorney businesses has in common with SEO for all nearly all other kinds of businesses.
The best way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions:
Is my website ranking AT ALL for the relevant keywords?
Carrying out a quick analysis of how you rank for certain keywords will reveal exactly where you stand right now.
If you’re not even on the first page of search engine results, the situation is, without a doubt, alarming. Law firm SEO is no longer an option for you at this point – you NEED it.
Now, let’s suppose you rank on the first page; just near the bottom. Most people don’t look past the first few results on the page. So you should be higher up – something attorneys’ SEO can help with.
And if you are at the top of the page, well, then you’re likely already using SEO!
What does the traffic on my site look like?
Are you able to get visitors to your site?
How long do they stick around?
How many of them end up converting or taking some other action?
If you’re not getting a lot of traffic to your site (from Google and other places), you need to put some of the best SEO strategies into action.
These steps will also bring more focused audiences to your site – which means more conversions!
Do mobile searchers get an experience worth remembering on my site?
Mobile dominates search nowadays – let’s face it, handheld devices dominate ALL aspects of life.
Don’t believe us?
31% of all traffic that has to do with law firms comes from mobile consumers (Source: FindLaw Aggregated Hosted Site Data).
So your site needs to optimized for mobile – after all, if a visitor doesn’t have a good experience browsing your site, how will they think they will when it comes to legal matters?
What is my reputation in the local community?
Most people look at online reviews before they opt for a brand or its services.
If the general opinion is that you are mediocre at best, no one will come to you for legal advice that their life may depend on.
But there’s something worse – yes, worse than bad reviews!
You may have no presence at all.
With online reviews, you can build your credibility and authority online, and leave a favorable impression on people who come across your company online.
So it’s decided – you need law firm SEO.
And here is how you can get started!
Lawyer SEO Guide – Equipping You For Success
Focus on Local SEO
Most often, when someone is searching for an attorney or any other professional from the legal niche, they are going to look for someone in their region – a local.
This is why a large chunk of your SEO strategy should focus on a local target audience.
While all SEO efforts can contribute to local SEO, there are some things you can do in particular to reach local audiences:
- Use Local Keywords
Local keywords are keywords that people in a particular region search for – they are location-based.
If your law company is based in New York City, you want to clinch the top spot for the keyword “best attorney in New York City,” for example.
Your keyword discovery process should be done keeping this in mind.
- Google My Business
A Google My Business, or GMB, listing helps you manage your presence on Google’s search engine and map.
It is also a way for you to share a summarized description of your law firm with searchers at first glance. All the important details are right in front of them.
Oh, and we almost forgot – it helps people find the company office easily as the GMB listing also shows the location.
A great place to start, thus, is with your GMB listing.
Set it up, optimize it correctly, and keep it updated for the best results.
Choose the right keywords
Keyword research is one of the important aspects of an attorney’s SEO strategy.
If you don’t do this right, a lot of your subsequent steps (such as website content and meta tag optimization) are wasted effort.
For example, if your firm specializes in criminal law, it is of no use to you to rank highly for a general law services search.
Here are some things to focus on:
- Consumer profile
It is crucial to understand who your target audience is and what it is that they want.
Only when you understand the demographics and the psychographics of your audience will you be able to determine what they search for and how to reach them.
- Search Intent
Identify what you want your keywords to achieve.
There are different kinds of keywords that have different search intents – the searchers want to achieve different things.
For example, informational keywords are used when – you guessed it – one is looking to learn more about a topic. For instance, “how to file an assault complaint.”
The person searching for this keyword isn’t looking for any services – they’re looking for guidance. Writing an informational blog post around this keyword would hit the right spot.
A commercial keyword, on the other hand, reflects the searcher’s intent to make a purchase. An example could be “best lawyer in Sacramento.”
Someone who searches for this is definitely looking to hire legal services. Incorporating this keyword into your website content, as well as in blog posts that aim to generate leads, would be the way to go.
- Ease of Ranking
Good things don’t come cheap.
When a keyword is more popular (it has a high search volume), it is harder to rank for as there is a lot more competition.
And when we say harder, we mean it’s going to be more expensive and time-consuming to achieve a good rank.
If you have resources and the capability to rank for that keyword, great! But if you don’t, it would be a good idea to go for keywords with lower competition.
A good way to figure out what keywords you should be using is to study your competitors, preferably in the same region.
The keywords they’re ranking for are the ones you want to ace. Why? Because you know they are working – they are attracting clients.
Here are some resources that can help you get started with the keyword research process:
Ensure Keyword Optimization
Once you have determined the keywords you can easily rank for and that will be beneficial for your law business, you need to put them into action.
Your law firm SEO is only as good as the level of optimization of your content.
This is why you need to enhance your current content to ensure it contains keywords your target audience is searching for.
- Optimize all your content, including web page copy, blog posts, and so on.
- Optimize your meta tags – title tags AND meta descriptions.
- Use relevant header tags to structure your webpage and incorporate your keywords where you can.
Review Your Content Strategy
First things first – all of the techniques we shared for optimizing your existing content apply to future content too.
So keyword optimization is a given.
Here are a few tips you need to be mindful of across content channels and types:
- Create meaningful content that the audience actually wants to consume.
- Keep it simple – even though it’s attorneys’ SEO, you don’t want too much legal jargon.
- Be relevant – specializing in administrative law and writing about equities is just going to confuse and push away your audience.
- Do NOT plagiarize – if your content isn’t original, what is the point of it anyway?
- Focus on ALL aspects of the content, from the body to the headings, meta tags, and everything in between.
- Use the correct content length for different content types – a blog post is better when it is long and covers a topic completely but a social media post should rather be short and sweet.
Here are some kinds of content that have a lot of impact:
- Website pages – Each of your legal services should have a dedicated page that covers all the information a potential client may need.
- Blog posts – According to DemandGenReports, six out of 10 people admit that blog posts have an influence in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey. As a top law firm, you can write informational blog posts that answer questions your target audience may have and provide them value.
- Infographics – Whether posted on a blog or a social media page, infographics, when done right, grab the attention of your audience.
- Video – Videos providing guidance and, again, answering the questions of your consumers using your knowledge and expertise can establish your authority.
- Reviews – You don’t “create” reviews but you should focus on attaining them online. Reviews and feedback from clients play a massive role in your online reputation management and building credibility.
Before we move on, do you want to learn about creating more meaningful content? These resources will give you all the information you need:
You want search engine spiders to be able to crawl and index your site in a better way so that you witness an increase in ranking.
And you can achieve this through some technical SEO best practices.
Use SSL or Secure Sockets Layer – the security technology spotted through a https:// URL instead of a http:// one.
It allows for encryption and reassures the user that they are surfing the site safely.
This is a particularly important aspect of law firm SEO because you want to show potential future clients that their security is non-negotiable.
The best way to lose website visitors is to have low page speed – don’t let that happen.
After all, if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’ve lost 40% of your visitors then and there.
There are many things you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. This guide discusses them all:
While we’re on web pages, dead ones are much worse than slow ones – be sure your website visitors don’t come across any of those.
Nearly a third of your traffic, as a law firm, comes from mobile search – we already told you that.
What we didn’t tell you is how you can prepare for it.
There are many aspects of mobile optimization you need to focus on. For example, you need to make sure you have a responsive website design – the layout of the site should adapt to the screen size of the device on which it is being displayed.
These two guides will give you a much better idea of the options you have when it comes to mobile optimization, and which one to go for:
Read about these factors and others like structured data, XML sitemaps and more here:
Emphasize on Link- and Citation-Building
Link-building is a very good way of increasing traffic to your site – an attorney’s SEO strategy can’t do without it.
Look at it like this: Focusing on getting traffic solely from search engines is like putting up a flyer in one building. Only the occupants of that particular building will see your business and visit your office.
Obtaining backlinks is like putting up flyers in buildings all over town – you get visibility and “traffic” from all these different sources as a result.
It is important to make sure that the backlinks you obtain are from trusted, credible sources.
Here are some great places to get backlinks from in the beginning
- Other law businesses and professionals (through collaborations)
- Guest posting sites
- Law schools
- Social media profiles
Once you have managed to get an interested reader on the site, you want them to stick around for as long as possible.
Spectacular content, great graphics, and a responsive website design can all help you achieve that.
And so can internal links. Lead visitors from one webpage to the other through carefully placed links that beg to be clicked.
Building citations is an incredibly effective way of increasing your presence around the web, obtaining more traffic, AND ranking higher.
How? You get traffic from reputed and trusted legal business directories. The cherry on top? You build authority and credibility in the process too!
For a list of some great citation sites for lawyers, click here!
Track progress, make improvements – rinse and repeat
Regular reviews of the law firm SEO strategy implementation are a must.
Keep a strict eye on metrics such as website traffic, bounce rate, ranking positions, shares, online reviews, leads acquired, conversions, and others.
By doing this, you will know which of your game plans is working and which ones aren’t bringing about the kind of results you hoped for.
Once you have this very valuable information, you will be able to make informed decisions about the changes you need to introduce.
An Attorney’s SEO Strategy – Is It for Your Business?
We think your legal business can definitely use an SEO strategy to gain more visibility, traffic, and conversions.
You should be convinced of the same by now too.
And it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the time and resources to go all in and implement a grand law firm SEO plan. You can start small, and take it one step at a time, building on it as you go.
And as always, if you need any assistance, our experts are a few clicks away!