When people have a legal issue, they need help immediately. As a result, 75% of searchers don’t look beyond the first page of a search. They’ll choose a law firm listed at the top of the page instead. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can optimize your website content for these searches. Without SEO, however, you’re likely falling behind competitors. Your would-be clients will turn to another law firm for help instead. With SEO for law firms, you can get ahead, boost your brand, and expand your reach. As you attract more traffic to your website, you can increase leads as well. In time, your ROI will improve, putting your law firm on top.
Developing a thorough SEO strategy for attorneys can take time, though. After all, law firms are in a very expensive, competitive niche. You need a strategy designed to succeed from the very start. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about attorney SEO. With this guide, you can develop an SEO strategy that will put you ahead of the competition. Improve your SEO and start attracting new clients with these tips today!
What is Attorney SEO?
First, let’s answer an important question: what is SEO for law firms?
Attorney SEO involves using tactics to help attract online users to your law firm’s website. When prospective clients search for relevant keywords, your law firm should appear. A higher ranking will position you in front of more potential clients. With SEO for lawyers, you won’t have to rely on word-of-mouth for people to learn about your law firm. Instead, you can reach them when clients need you most.
In order to develop an effective SEO strategy for attorneys, the right set of techniques and tactics is essential. Google’s search engine algorithm changes throughout the year. If you’re not up-to-date with the right techniques, your efforts could go to waste.
Instead, you can keep up-to-date with the latest tactics to get ahead. Without attorney SEO, you could miss out on prospective clients. Meanwhile, your competitors will rank higher and higher. Consumers will begin to see them as the go-to law firm in the industry. By improving your ranking, you can generate more website traffic and generate new clients.
Why Does SEO Matter?
Think about how consumers find law firms today. Remember, about 90% of activity on the internet starts on a search engine like Google. Consumers head online when they need to find businesses, brands, and products. If your law firm’s website doesn’t appear in a Google search, prospective clients might not even realize you exist. If you’re not ranking on the first page, they’ll likely click on a competitor’s website instead.
Without SEO, you’re not appearing in front of prospective clients. They’ll never find the website content you’ve created or blog posts you’ve written. Each time someone searches for your law firm, you have an opportunity to attract a new client. Don’t waste those opportunities! Here are a few other reasons SEO for law firms is essential.
1. Improve the User Experience
What design and development decisions did you make when creating your law firm website? With SEO, you can make choices with your customers in mind. User experience (UX) design makes it easier for people to interact with your website. When your website is easier to click and explore, people are more likely to stay. Your dwell time will increase, which can boost your ranking.
UX design can also make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for on your site. For example, do you offer a range of different legal services? Do you cover different branches of law, such as auto accidents and medical malpractice suits? Your navigation bar should make it easy for potential clients to find these services.
If they can’t find your services with ease, they’ll look at a competitor’s website instead. Every part of your website, from the color palette to page hierarchy, can affect the user experience. If your pages are cluttered or text is difficult to read, people will leave. Google wants its users to have an easy online experience. By improving your website with UX and SEO in mind, you can provide that experience. Google will take notice and improve your ranking.
2. Reduce Bounces
When people click around and explore your site content, your clickthrough rate will increase. When they linger on a page, your dwell time improves. Google considers both metrics when determining page rankings.
If visitors leave without clicking around, your bounce rate will rise. A high bounce rate could have a negative impact on your search ranking. After all, Google wants to choose websites that offer visitors what they need.
Google also prioritizes websites that focus on the user’s search intent. By appealing to the search intent, you can keep people on the page. Then, you can improve your bounce rate. Once your bounce rate drops, you can improve your search ranking to reach more customers.
3. Boost Your Brand
Remember, consumers prefer websites that appear at the top of a search page. These search results appear more credible. Improving your search engine ranking with attorney SEO can help you rank above competitors. The higher you rank, the more likely you’ll get clients before they can. As a result, using SEO for law firms can help you remain competitive.
Better yet, it can help smaller law firms keep up with larger law firms. The websites that rank higher usually provide consumers with the relevant information they need. By appealing to the reader’s needs, you can show them you’re a credible resource in the industry.
In time, you’ll develop brand trust. Your clients will return to your law firm when they need your services in the future. Brand trust can become brand loyalty, which can improve your retention rate. Your ROI can rise as a result! By providing clients with the information they’re looking for, you can prove your value in the industry.
4. Attract Valuable Leads
It’s not enough to attract random people to your website. Instead, you want to focus on the visitors most likely to become leads. With SEO for law firms, you can create a strategy to attract those clients. You can focus on appearing for the keywords you want. As your ranking improves, you can attract more of these high-quality leads to your site.
As your web traffic improves, Google will see you offer its users the information they need. Your ranking will improve even more. Then, you can use conversion opportunities like forms to convert these visitors into leads and clients.
You can also develop a local SEO strategy, too. Local SEO could help you increase foot traffic in your law firm.
5. Increase Conversions and Your ROI
Remember, SEO for lawyers is a competitive, expensive niche. A well-thought-out strategy can help you find a competitive edge. By using the right techniques and tactics, you can improve your conversion rate and ROI.
6. Set Yourself Up for Long-Term SEO Success
Once you start improving your ranking for a range of keywords, you can maintain that ranking for years to come. While some marketing strategies are fleeting, SEO is long-lasting.
You can attract hundreds of clients with a single blog post once it’s optimized. As a result, SEO for lawyers could set you up for long-term success.
According to Google’s Matt Cutts, Google updates the search algorithm between 350 and 400 times each year. As the ranking factors change, it’s important you change your SEO strategy, too. Before we dive into the search algorithm, it can help to understand Google’s priority: its users.
For example, Google considers user intent when it determines rankings. Search intent indicates what consumers are expecting from a search. We split search intent into three categories: informational, navigational, and transactional.
With informational searches, users are looking for answers to their questions. With navigational, they might look for a specific page on your website. For transactional searches, they’re likely looking for products and searches.
Commercial and local intent is common as well. An example of commercial intent is “the best law firm” or “auto accident lawyer.” Local searches usually include the term “near me.”
Understanding the search intent will help you create content with different types of searches in mind. It will also ensure you appear for relevant searches. By appealing to the search intent, you can show Google you want to provide users with the information they’re looking for.
When creating content, make sure to write with the user in mind, not the search engine. Here are a few ranking factors you’ll need to consider when developing your SEO strategy for attorneys.
Google has used links within its search algorithm from the very beginning. You’ll need to consider the quality and quantity before adding links to your content.
Choose high-quality links from authoritative websites. You can use links to reference journals, statistics, or news that’s relevant to your industry.
Make sure the websites you link to have a high authority. You can use tools such as Ahrefs UR metric to determine a website’s authority. Look for websites that have many outgoing links, too.
Prioritize “do-follow” links. The “nofollow” attribute tells Google not to crawl and index the site.
When developing an SEO strategy for attorneys, think about your target audience. What content are they looking for? What information do they want?
Prioritize creating high-quality, informative content over numerous posts. Each post should have a purpose. If it’s not topically relevant, the audience likely won’t care.
You’ll need to consider your target keyword placement, too. We’ll go into keyword placement later. At the same time, you want to over-stuffing one post with the same keyword. Keyword stuffing is frowned up by Google, and will likely negate your efforts.
The post should provide value to the reader while appealing to the search intent. You can add supporting sources from articles to backup any claims you make.
If you write longer blog posts, make sure they’re easy to read. Readability can include paragraph and sentence length, hierarchy, and font choice. Consider using imagery and bullets to break up your next.
Make sure your content is worth sharing, too!
Google’s machine learning algorithm, RankBrain, allows it to determine which posts are relevant to the user. RankBrain uses the information it gathers when analyzing search results. With RankBrain, Google can better interpret and predict the user’s search intent.
You can optimize your content for RankBrain by organizing your content under parent topics. Look for ways to improve your click-through rates on Google, too. For example, you can use engaging, attention-grabbing titles and meta descriptions. Improving your dwell time and bounce rate can show Google you’re a relevant resource as well.
Audience and Keyword Research
Now that you understand a little more about how Google’s algorithm works, let’s discuss your SEO strategy. The first step to effective SEO for law firms is research.
Remember, you want to appeal to the search intent and show up for relevant searches. First, you’ll need to understand who your clients are. Then, you can determine what they’re searching for online. By gathering your audience and keyword research, you can increase traffic to your website and focus on high-quality leads.
Who are your clients? Can you organize them into segmented groups based on demographics, behaviors, and interests?
For example, you can focus on demographics like age, location, and gender. Maybe you want to attract clients who make a higher household income. What about the law services they’re interested in?
Creating segmented audience groups will help you develop an SEO strategy for each group. Otherwise, you could neglect a chunk of your clients.
Now that you know who your customers are, you can learn what they’re searching for.
You can complete keyword research using tools like:
- Google Trends
- Keyword Planner
- Answer the Public
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Keywords Explorer
Attorney SEO is highly competitive. The more competitive a keyword, the more difficult it is to rank for that keyword. Try to develop a list of keywords that are long- and short-tail. Long-tail keywords include four or more words. These keywords are usually more precise.
Organize your list of keywords into topic clusters. Clustering your topics will make it easier for readers to find the blog posts they need. It can also help Google when it crawls and indexes your website content.
Before you can rank for the keywords on your list, you’ll need to create content for your website. Focus on high-quality content that appeals to the user’s search intent. Try different formats, including vlogs, infographics, polls, and quizzes. Interactive content can help boost your clickthrough rate.
Organize your content using headings and subheadings to improve readability. Give each post a single focus. What value can readers get from the post?
The web pages on your website count as content, too. You’ll need to optimize these pages with keywords to help clients find your site online.
You’ll optimize each post and page by including your keyword in the:
- Page heading
- Opening paragraph
- Body text
- Alt text
If you want to create great content, focus on EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). Show Google you’re a credible resource by demonstrating your experience. Then, build authority by linking to credible resources, such as a legal journal.
Developing a link building strategy can strengthen your authority and SEO ranking. Consider guest blogging on high-authority websites. Link your law firm’s websites within these posts. As people click on the link, your web authority can improve.
Add internal links to your website content as well. Internal links send readers to other pages on your website. For example, you can link readers to a service you offer or your contact page. Adding internal links can improve your clickthrough rate and dwell time.
As you use this SEO for law firms guide, make sure to keep up with the latest SEO trends. For example, almost 60% of consumers use voice search to find local businesses. Another 40% use voice search daily.
You can optimize your content for voice searches by using long-tail keywords. What questions are your clients asking in a search? Use that query as your target keyword.
Zero-click searches are becoming more popular, too. A snippet of your content can appear at the top of a search to answer the user’s question. They won’t have to click to your website to find the answers they need.
Appearing for zero-click searches will help you rank above competitors. You can appear for zero-click searches by structuring your content properly.
On-Site and Off-Site SEO
Google will crawl and index your website to determine where you rank. Your on-page SEO can include:
- Title tags
- Page content
- Url structure
- Alt text
- Page speed
- Internal linking
- Localized content
You can also improve your SEO ranking with outside sources. Off-page SEO includes:
- Backlinks (links that send people to your website)
- Domain authority
- Social media promotion
- Local SEO
Complete a regular SEO site audit to improve your ranking. Your audit should include:
- Removing unnecessary pages
- Checking browsability
- Fixing indexing issues
- Removing broken links
- Initiating a crawl
- Analyzing the data
Optimizing your on- and off-page SEO can improve your ranking.
SEO Web Design and Development
The search results that appear in the top three rankings on Google attract 75.1% of all clicks. If you’re not ranking at the top, you’re likely losing clients.
You can improve your web design to boost your SEO ranking by:
- Improving the navigation
- Speeding up load times
- Improving readability
- Removing clutter and using white space
- Improving your site’s security
- Ensuring your mobile-optimized
Your website’s speed is important when determining your ranking. How long does it take for your web pages to load from a mobile device? A one-second delay in mobile load times could hurt conversions by up to 20%. If web visitors have a negative experience on your mobile site, they’ll become 62% less likely to visit in the future.
More people access the internet from a smartphone than their desktop devices. With that in mind, Google updated its algorithm for mobile-first indexing in March 2016. With mobile-first indexing, Google looks at mobile sites first to determine rankings.
Now that we’ve transitioned into a mobile-first world, it’s important for law firms to consider their on-the-go audience. If your law firm’s website isn’t mobile-optimized, clients might find it difficult to use. They’ll fail to navigate your pages or explore your services. They might struggle to use a website form to contact you, too.
Visitors might leave your website if it’s too difficult to use on their mobile devices. When they leave without clicking and exploring your content, your bounce rate will rise. Your search engine ranking will drop, giving your competitors the top slot.
About 97% of search engine users are looking for a local business. In fact, almost 50% of Google searches are looking for local information. Nearly 80% of the people who search for something nearby visit a business that same day.
Do you want to attract more people to your law firm? You need to consider your local SEO strategy. Local SEO will help you focus on potential clients that are already nearby.
To improve your local SEO, start by updating your Google My Business listing. Use relevant, accurate information about your business. If you’re in any law directories, make sure the information matches. Start creating localized content for your website. Use location-based keywords to appeal to nearby clients.
Gaining online reviews can benefit your local SEO strategy, too. In fact, about 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Ask happy clients to support your law firm by posting their reviews on your Google My Business listing.
SEO for Law Firms: Your Guide to a Higher Ranking
Optimizing your attorney SEO campaign will help you increase website traffic, leads, and clients. With SEO for law firms, you can become a top resource in your industry. Instead of falling behind, you can reach the top of a search page and remain competitive!