Looking to grow your legal practice? Then look into SEO marketing and SEO services. Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to any successful online marketing strategy. By targeting the right keywords and optimizing your website content, you can bring more qualified leads to your practice.
Most law firms fail to realize the power of SEO and utilizing their website for lead generation. While social media seems a bit attractive and helps boost your brand awareness, it is a fact that those who are highly interested in a service or are looking for legal information go directly to Google for answers. We always use the search engine for our queries, and that’s why SEO is so important for law firms.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the basics of SEO for lawyers & law firms and provide tips & best practices for getting started.
You can’t just SEO your website nd be done. It’s a foreer moving goal post.
What is Law Firm SEO?
Law Firm SEO, or “attorney SEO” and “legal SEO,” is the practice of optimizing a website and its content to rank higher in search engine results for law-related terms. SEO helps you reach potential clients who are searching for legal services online.
Similar to SEO in any industry, it all starts with in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis, wherein you’ll figure out the most relevant keywords you should target for your website. Once you know the list of keywords, it can be used to optimize your website content, including titles and meta descriptions.
With law firm SEO, the focus is on getting yourself found by the right people, those who have a problem that your firm can solve, as well as those ready to take legal action. You want to look into the types of keywords that your target audience is typing in search engines and then use those to create content for your website.
Why is SEO for Law Firms Important?
Google gets almost 93% of all search traffic. It runs about 99,000 search queries per second or 8.5 billion daily searches. Meanwhile, an average user conducts at least 3-4 times of Google searches daily. Even potential clients search for a law firm online. In a study, 96% of people seeking legal advice turn to Google to find a law firm.
These figures show how much potential traffic there is online. But the challenge is that most of these users only go through the first few organic results in SERPs. As a law firm, you want to rank higher in SERPs to drive more visitors to your site—this is where a dynamic SEO strategy comes into play.
- Increased Visibility
Remember the Yellow Pages? When you wanted to look for a local business in the past, that was the way to do it. But today, people seeking a business or a service primarily turn to Google. A well-optimized website increases your search visibility and maximizes your potential to rank for your targeted keywords.
- Higher Click-Through Rate
Most users today click on the first search result and hardly scroll further to see more. Even fewer are users clicking on the second page. A 2021 study shows that the first search result has an average of 31.7% click-through rate (CTR) on desktop and 25.68% on mobile. Because your rankings are directly related to your site traffic, appearing on the first page of SERPs allows you to drive more visitors to your site.
- High-Quality Leads
High-quality leads are users that are interested in your legal services and therefore are more likely to convert into clients. The better the quality of a lead, the more likely that the user is well-informed about your service and is ready to reach out to you. Appearing on the first page of SERPs helps you attract more qualified leads looking for legal services in their area.
- Improved Credibility
A site that ranks high on SERPs is usually perceived as high-quality and authoritative by search engines. This, in turn, boosts the credibility of your business. When visitors click through your site and find the initial information they are looking for, they are more likely to reach out to you to learn more about your business.
Lawyer SEO encompasses strategies targeting users actively looking for legal services. It builds your site’s authority, content, and visibility in search engines over time—and these consistent efforts will bring in site traffic for a long time. It is unlike paid advertising where you stop getting results as soon as you exhaust your budget.
- Long-Term Results
SEO can be quite a significant investment and can take a while to see results. But a well-executed lawyer SEO strategy continues to provide benefits over the long term. The content you create will continue to drive organic traffic even for a long time after publishing it, and what’s great is that you don’t have to pay for each click you get.
Case Study: Florida Lawyer Gets 110% more Organic Clicks
This Florida Lawyer reached out to It’s a Writer’s World to help boost her website’s organic search, keyword rankings, and overall site improvement. Through local SEO efforts and Google My Business Optimization, It’s a Writer’s World was able to increase their organic clicks by 110% throughout the span of the campaign vs. the previous year.
Components of an SEO-Optimized Law Firm Website
To grow their client base, law firms must enterprise a tactical and imaginative approach. That’s why an optimized website for search engines is essential.
As I’ve mentioned, all digital marketing campaigns start with good keyword research. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it is the process of finding out what words and phrases people use when searching for the services you offer. Once you have a list of keywords, you can use them to create content for your website. You’ll want to include these terms in page titles, headings, meta descriptions, body copy, and more.
Your target keywords will also be your baseline for how well you’re doing with SEO. You can use these keywords to measure and track your website performance in SERPs and compare your rankings against competitors.
However, one common mistake of law firms when selecting keywords is that they focus so much on the search volume and not the user intent. For example, if you’re a family lawyer, it would be more effective for you to target terms like “divorce attorney” or “child custody lawyer” rather than generic keywords such as “family lawyer.”
A good website design is key to getting more organic visitors. It should be easy to navigate and understand, with clear calls to action (CTAs). Your website should also be mobile-friendly since more people use mobile devices for online searches.
I vividly remember a previous customer whose firm’s website was painfully outdated in design. The website was so cluttered with text that it appeared there wasn’t any open space! The forms were not responsive, and the loading time was slow. After giving it a fresh new design and optimizing the code, we saw an impressive improvemen
Branding & Authority
While branding may only apply to commodities, services like legal representation also need branding. In fact, it’s even more critical for law firms since the competition is much higher. A strong brand will help you stand out from other attorneys in your area, and it’s something that potential clients will remember.
Building trust with your audience is also important by becoming an authority figure in your niche. You can create helpful content like blog posts and videos and engaging in social media conversations. This will help you gain a better professional reputation and boost your authority.
Technical SEO is optimizing a website’s architecture, loading speed, and markup to make it more visible to search engines. This can be done by improving the structure of your URLs, making sure your site is secure (with an SSL certificate), or adding structured data to webpage elements.
These technical changes may seem small, but they can significantly impact your website performance in SERPs. It’s important to ensure that all these elements are optimized to increase your visibility and ranking potential.
On-page optimization is all about ensuring that the content on your website is optimized for search engines. This includes optimizing page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and image alt text and creating quality content to target keywords.
It’s important to ensure that all of these elements are set up correctly so that search engine crawlers can understand what your page is about and better index it in SERPs.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. This is a crucial part of SEO for law firms as it helps boost their rankings and increase referral traffic.
The best way to build links for law firms is through content collaborations and resource link building. This involves creating helpful content and resources to which other websites can link. You can also create relationships with influencers in your niche to get more organic links and referrals.
These are some key SEO strategies every law firm should use for their website. By targeting the right keywords, having a good website design, optimizing technical elements and on-page content, and building links – you can increase your visibility in SERPs and attract more organic traffic.
Conversion optimization is about improving the user experience and increasing your website’s conversion rate. This includes optimizing page elements such as headlines, CTAs, images, and forms to make them more compelling and easier to understand.
You can also create A/B tests to compare different versions of a page and see which one performs better. This is a great way to identify changes that can significantly impact your website’s performance and increase conversions.
SEO Ranking Factors for Lawyers
There are at least four primary ranking factors that you will have to prioritize with your law firm SEO to rank higher in SERPs.
Freshness and Relevance of Content
We’ve heard it time and time again—content is KING! But what makes it ultra important in this day and age of marketing is that:
- Customers are a whole lot smarter—since information is readily available online, consumers are more critical of their purchases. They take time to learn more about your law firm and the services you offer. This is why creating content that speaks directly to them is essential. Not only does this make them feel more confident in reaching out, but it also helps them stand out from other firms in the industry.
- Google rewards fresh, relevant, and well-written content with higher-ranking positions—Google wants helpful content that’s relatable to the users’ queries. With fresh and relevant content, you can demonstrate your expertise in the legal field and drive more traffic from organic searches.
Technical SEO and Overall Site Health
Technical law firm SEO is about optimizing your website to boost your search rankings. Some of the technical factors of your site directly influencing both user experience and search engines include the following.
- Page Speed: Your website must load quickly for a seamless user experience. The ultimate goal should be for mobile sites to load in 1-2 seconds or less.
- Title Tags: Title tags should contain your target keyword and must be within 50 to 60 characters or 575 pixels. This ensures that your page titles are clear and concise for search engines to understand the page’s content.
- Meta Descriptions: Your meta description should be within 150 to 160 characters, roughly two sentences, so it can also fit on mobile devices. It should explain the page and entice people to click through from SERPs.
- Site Structure: To make your website crawler-friendly, it is essential to have an organized structure where all the pages are connected and easily accessible.
- XML Sitemap: An XML sitemap lists all the URLs on your website that you want search engines to crawl for indexing. It allows them better to understand your site’s structure and index your webpages more effectively.
- Mobile-Friendliness: As most of the searches are now coming from mobile devices, your website needs to be optimized for desktop and mobile. Core web vitals are also now a ranking factor for mobile searches, so it is essential to have your pages optimized for those as well.
- Duplicate Content: Having duplicate content on your website can have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. It is essential to keep an eye out for any unintentional or intentional cases of duplicate content and resolve them promptly.
- Broken Links: Broken links hurt user experience and can harm your website’s ranking. It is critical to use tools like Screaming Frog or Ahrefs to find any broken links on your site and resolve them as soon as possible.
Local Search Visibility
When it comes to a legal website’s SEO, you should focus on organic search results and local searches, as most of your clients are expected to be within the geographical vicinity of your office. This stresses the importance of local SEO—a type of SEO that helps businesses appear in local search engine results. It involves optimizing your website’s visibility on SERPs and implementing strategies like citations, localized content creation, and reviews to increase your site’s authority.
Local SEO allows you to optimize your site for local search and rank higher in Google, particularly in the Local Map Pack. The Local Map Pack is a set of three highlighted Google-Maps-based results. When someone clicks on any of the listings situated beneath the map, they will be brought to a detailed business listing page.
Proximity plays a crucial role in serving attorney services, so having solid local visibility can increase your chances of bringing in more clients. Optimizing for Google Business listing is a great way to boost your local SEO.
Google Business or more popularly known as Google My Business, is a free tool where you can add and manage your business information on Google. It is an essential part of local SEO for lawyers, helping to increase visibility in the local map pack and driving more traffic to your website. You can use it as a social platform to generate reviews and post updates about your business or services.
Another way to achieve this is to invest in citations. Citations are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number in an online directory or platform. To optimize for business citations, you need to make sure all your information is accurate and consistent across the web by submitting it to the most relevant directories.
In today’s age where Google search is the primary way people search for businesses, much of your law firm’s success relies on having a well-optimized website that can be found online.
Google’s ranking factors constantly change, but what’s guaranteed is that the first page results will always get the bulk of the traffic. Appearing on top of the organic SERPs is an ongoing effort. Working with a law firm SEO service will help oversee these efforts to improve your site’s visibility, drive more traffic, increase CTRs, and boost conversion on your site.
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Law Firm SEO FAQs
What is the most important SEO factor for lawyers?
The most important SEO factor for a lawyer’s website is creating valuable content that meets user needs and also follows best practices such as optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and image alt text. Other factors to consider are having an optimized site structure, mobile-friendly design elements, keeping duplicate content to a minimum, and having a good backlink profile.
How much does law firm SEO cost?
The cost of law firm SEO services will depend on the size of your website and the complexity of services that you need. Generally, most law firms can expect to pay between $500-$5,000 per month for SEO services.
How long does it take for SEO to work?
It typically takes anywhere from 4-9 months before you start to see results from SEO efforts. It’s important to be patient and understand that SEO is a long term investment, but with the right strategies in place, it can pay off in the long run.
What are the main benefits of law firm SEO?
The main benefits of law firm SEO include increased site visibility, more traffic to your website, improved search engine rankings, and higher conversion rates. These can all lead to an increase in revenue for your business. Additionally, having a well-optimized website can help you build trust and credibility with potential clients.