How To SEO-Boost Your Law Firm Listing To A Heat-Seeking Client Attractor
When choosing the best SEO service for your law firm there is an abundance of choice. But none of that is helpful when you are looking for a service that will best suit your firm.
The best SEO for any law firm is going to help get to page 1 rankings, which should be the objective or SEO strategy for any law firm’s practice area or geographic location. (You can check our Best Law Firm SEO Guide here).
There are a couple of key criteria you need to have a firm handle on before checking the seo service for your firm –
First, what sort of law firm are you? Big? Small? Boutique?
The size of your firm and its focus will determine what sort of potential clients you will be looking to achieve from the search engines.
Second, what budget do you have for law firm marketing?
Once again, big? Small? The budget is important, but so too is the value-for-money proposition that will see your firm achieve the marketing results it is seeking.
Why SEO Beats Other Market Methods
The reality is that if you are using radio, pay per click (PPC) ads, newspaper or directory listings to gain your new clients, but not focusing on your search engine optimization, you are simply missing out on garnering new clients.
Most clients seeking a lawyer will go online. The fact is that 80 per cent of people seeking a service or product use the internet. Even right back in 2013 a Google Consumer Survey showed that 96 per cent of people seeking legal advice use a search engine, while more recent statistics show that
When they are ‘search mode’ they are literally heat seeking your law firm. When they go online seeking a lawyer they are in active mode and a properly optimized website can capture that interest and that new client.
Check this article from SEO guru Brian Dean to see how important Google is for searchers. The results were from 2020, but if anything they are even more enhanced in significance today with the post-pandemic environment where even more users are online, searching and using the Internet to find anything – including lawyers.
First, What IS Law Firm SEO
Search engine optimization for law firms is obviously greatly different from SEO for any other business, but there are some unique considerations that can make or break your law firm’s SEO efforts to get a bigger online audience and profile.
As we have written here and here, the essence of law firm SEO in particularly is authority.
If you have Google recognizing that your are authoritative in your practice area, or in your geographic locality, then you will be rewarded with higher organic search results.
This means your law firm’s website can rank on page 1 and achieve a much higher potential client take than would be the case for even those further down page 1, let alone on the other pages in Google’s ‘Siberia’.
The key is not to reach Siberia with your rankings so that you are able to reach your target audience effectively.
Law firms have some very specific and unique requirements when it comes to understanding law firm SEO and developing a good strategy to achieve the results you’re seeking, including issues like –
- Knowing the best practices for law firm websites and what they need to comply with and achieve;
- Being aware of the best use of PPC or Adwords to obtain the best return on the marketing spend;
- Knowing the best keywords to use for an SEO campaign for your law firm.
- How best to acquire quality backlinks for an SEO campaign.
- Knowing the best legal directories to achieve the best online results
- Understanding local seo for law firms and how to apply it to your law firm.
These and other factors all play a key role in achieving SEO results for your firm.
So too is the layout and architecture of your law firm, as outlined in this recent article from Search Engine Journal which outlined the key factors for your law firm site, specifically the presence of –
- A homepage.
- As many main service pages as necessary to describe what your law firm does.
- An informational content section.
- A contact page.
- An “About Us” section where you profile your attorneys and profess your firm’s values and mission statement.
The essence of good law firm SEO is to have a law firm website that is set up to clearly permit both Google and searchers (ie prospective clients) navigate the site on multiple devices and understand easily what you do – and make contact easily, too.
Sounds simple and it largely is simple.
Does SEO Work For Law Firms?
Absolutely it does.
In fact, achieving organic rankings for your law firm’s profile (being its practice area or areas, its geographic location and so forth) is the single most effective law firm marketing efforts you can make.
Legal industry statistics show that 96 per of those seeking legal advice will go first to the search engines to locate a lawyer or law firm.
Even a figure half, or a third of that astounding fact would warrant using SEO to boost your law firm’s online profile. But at almost ALL online searchers using the search engines to locate lawyers puts the argue well and truly to bed.
A law firm SEO expert can help those objectives and many lawyers in smaller firms or in sole practice can work on much of the necessary elements to achieving good law firm SEO even without SEO experts.
The same stats show that those who do not seek referrals from a third party and choose to ‘go it alone’ in their search for lawyers but 74 per cent of consumers will also visit a law firm’s website to actually take action.
Why Is SEO Good For Law Firms?
The question hardly needs asking. With the vast number of people using online searches to find the lawyer they hire you need to be visible and preferably in a high ranking on the search engines.
Law firm marketing takes many guises, but using search engine optimization for high, organic ‘reach’ on the search engines is a simple and relatively fast way to generate business easily.
Following the tips here you can achieve those high search engine rankings and develop an SEO strategy that will generate business for your law practice.
Apart from the more technical SEO matters raised here, there is much that you can do using blog posts and great content to lift your firm’s relevance and trustworthiness – and your rankings.
What’s required for your law firm SEO?
First, you need to ensure your on-page SEO is set up correctly to achieve –
- good, natural keyword usage
- good and user-friendly website design
- fast-loading site
- mobile-friendly site
If you can get those factors set up there is then the ‘killer’ for Google: great, authoritative content.
With great content and the necessary elements to your on site SEO in place you will generate the links and authority that will help your law firm site reach Page 1.
There are other factors too that we outline below, but the focus should be on getting these on page elements in place.
Don’t Game Google
If you want to achieve great rankings for your law firm’s website and our practice areas then you must abide by Google’s rules.
There are plenty of articles about the key rules and what to do, such as this content from SEM Rush, but many of them are common sense and require you to maintain a fast and easy-to-use website, with genuine (not bought or low quality) backlinks and quality content.
A good SEO agency will know these and should apply them properly to your site, if you are going via the SEO agency route to obtain the rankings you seek.
What Is The Best Law Firm SEO Agency
There are a large number of search engine optimization agencies and companies who operate in the main jurisdictions and offering how to get first page search results.
A sample selection from the US can be seen here, for instance.
But there are any number of agencies handling SEO. Do your own checking using some of the tips we have outlined below.
The main thing you need to do is to satisfy yourself that the agency can deliver what it promises (which requires your own clear understanding of deliverables) at the price you can afford.
But communication, a good agreement benchmarked with KPIs and a great track record would be the three key factors we recommend.
Many SEO agencies will do a fine job and you need to make sure, before retaining their services, that you are very clear about your law firm’s objectives with the SEO work and to have your budget organized.
InBound Marketing outlined the 7 main tips to selecting a law firm marketing agency, which included –
- Establish your marketing targets, goals & priorities, the major objective, as outlined above. You need to have a good well thought-through roadmap of what you seek to achieve with your marketing strategy.
- Establish whether they have a track record of success with law firms. As we have said (above) law firms have some unique requirements so make sure your prospective agency has experience in successfully handling them.
- Establish whether they have the capacity to meet your goals. You need to know what capacity they have to deliver what you want in your law firm SEO services.
- Check their work processes & reporting procedures, so that you know precisely what is to be delivered and what sort of contact you will have with them on an ongoing basis.
- Check contract conditions & fee structures. This involves checking KPIs, seeing what money is involved and whether you can do a monthly fee deal or something similar.
- Request proof of results for similar clients – actual statistics and ‘hard’ information about building your online presence.
- Start small and grow your partnership with the agency. In other words, see how the two of you are getting on and what the results are.
What A Good Law Firm SEO Agency Should Be Able to Do For Your Law Firm
A full service law firm SEO agency should be able to assist your firm to come up with winning SEO strategies best suited to your practice, location and other requirements.
Among the tools that they will provide will be a range of checks that can let you know whether you are set for success in your marketing goals in getting Google’s search results that get the best attorney seo and locate good clients.
Some of the things provided by the agency will be what you can do yourself, such as quality website content, but among the services they should be able to provide are –
- A website audit, which will be a good assessment of your website’s functionality and how it can be improved in terms of appearance, speed, layout, ease of use, mobile functionality etc.
- Good competitor research and analysis to show who your competition is and how you can outrank them;
- Keyword research to see what keywords you should be targeting for the best online reach;
- Link building tactics and strategies so you can build the authority and visibility online of your law firm website, including internal link building;
- Social media management to ‘spread’ the online word about your content;
- PPC marketing efforts, if required;
- Video marketing, if required;
- Local SEO to ensure your maximize your geographically-located optimization on Google.
The better law firm SEO companies or agencies will mix-and-match the strategies that best suit your requirements and budget. They should also be able to assist with technical aspects of your website’s optimization such as the on-site optimization (above) and other matters that affect your online presence.
Local SEO For Lawyers
One of the easiest and most effective online marketing strategies for law firms, particularly local firms seeking top-rankings on Google, is to get great local SEO.
Appearing in the search results for any law firm’s locality is usually a critical requirements and so local SEO is one of the keys towards achieving top results.
Local SEO will involve setting up a Google My Business page and having your law firm site optimized for the local keywords, as well as using client reviews to lift your authority ranking and organic listing on Google.
The local SEO 3-pack is different from the general understanding of SEO, yet it is commonly overlooked by law firms when optimizing their websites.
It focuses on local intent queries, where the searcher is typically looking for “a personal injury lawyer near me”, or similar.
Interestingly around 60 per cent of those searching for lawyers will do so using ‘non branded’ search terms, such as ‘personal injury lawyer, Miami’, rather than searching a lawyer or law firm by name.
The local search queries are some of the most important you can obtain.
These ‘local searchers’ will trigger specific search results focused upon the local area. Hence the local maps will show up, for instance.
These results are critical for law firms seeking high local rankings with ranking terms like ‘bankruptcy lawyer near me’, or ‘personal injury lawyer in Tucson’. There are multiple variations but good
The key ranking factors for top results in local search include –
- The relevance of your law firm to what the searcher is looking for
- The proximity of your law firm to the searcher
- The reputation of your law firm
The main tool for local SEO for lawyers is Google My Business (GMB).
GMB will assist in achieving the top, local ranking if completed properly by providing a proper business page completed with name, address, phone number etc so that all the relevant information can be provided by Google to those people searching for local lawyers like yourself.
Google Reviews – Achieving good reviews is another key to boosting your first page of search results and good rankings. We have a report here on how to achieve Google client reviews for your website and the best practices, which is easily one of the best things any lawyer seeking top local rankings can and should be dong.
The Main Law Firm Content You Require
The content that Google will rely upon to provide your law firm with the authority and ranking you’re looking for will generally be attorney-written, or written to your specific requirements by a freelancer or other writer.
And while such content is vital to achieving great, page 1 organic rankings there are other content types your law firm needs to have online as well.
These include –
Practice area details – these pages are effectively ‘landing pages’ for the searchers and will show the areas of practice that the searchers is looking for, with contact information or links provided;
Attorney bios – the pages outlining the lawyers who comprise the firm and their details, focused on their areas of practice and helping to provide the authority necessary to achieve rankings and attract potential clients;
Frequently asked questions – these can be very helpful to assist the searcher to have queries answered easily and quickly and to help build the authority you’re looking for;
Video and podcasts – Another important addition to building authority, providing effective and high visibility online legal news, views and information that a searcher can find and digest.
The ‘Make or Break’ Factor in SEO Service for Law Firms
Increasingly it is absolutely vital to make sure that your law firm’s website is fast loading and mobile-friendly.
Google’s algorithm place great weight on speed and its mobile-first approach to web loading and web design.
The reason is simple.
Over 69 per cent of all website visits were from mobile devices in 2020, which is a continuing trend. (Desktops accounted for almost 29 per cent).
Desktop computers are obviously still vital as the US statistics show they drive over 53 per cent of the total time on site and not much less globally.
All this means that you need to make sure that your law firm site is properly set up and responsive on different screen sizes – laptops, tablets, mobile devices – and that the speeds should be fast, preferably less than 2.5 seconds’ loading time.
Google looks at the mobile version of websites when indexing pages so any SEO service for law firms requires the mobile device and load time factors to be prioritized.
Video Marketing For Law Firms
Video is a massive growth area for law firms to exploit in their marketing, as well being (in the case of YouTube) the second largest search engine online.
We wrote about some video marketing tips in this article, but the video editing and making tools are such today that it is increasingly easy to access this massive market effectively.
If you want a fast and easy, AI-generated video that provides unbelievable quality given the time it takes and the advances in artificial intelligence, you can check Pictory (affiliate link) to test what we believe is the fastest and easiest of the many video editing software programs out there.
However by all means check the video programs to find out what best serves you and for firms who have more money to spend you can of course obtain those highly produced videos involving more hands-on involvement or professional videographers.
Don’t Over Look Law Directories
Law directories should certainly be used to generate quality citations to assist with back link’s to your law firm’s website. We have outlined details about directory listings in our Law Firm SEO Guide.
There are a large number of directory links you can use and where possible take some time to cast your directory listing with as much detail as you can.
Many of the directories are free and some which are shown below with their domain rank (DR).
If you wish to obtain Google news ranking and assist your law firm profile you can also contact us at LawFuel.com with quality content about your firm (we can assist with content-type), which will provide you with a significant online boost also as LawFuel has a DR of 56, placing us between SuperLawyer and Lawyer.com.
The principle directories are listed below –
You can also place your law firm information into other key citation sources to build your online ‘reference points’ and back links, including-
Undertaking SEO is a variable process with multiple moving parts. But while SEO agencies can do the job, so too can your own competent marketing department or operators or even lawyers who have an interest in building their own search engine optimization processes.
But it is also a changing feast with evolving Google requirements. Staying abreast of them can be demanding or even frustrating, but focusing on a fast loading and efficient web delivery combined with quality, authoritative content will provide the foundation for SEO service that will continue into the future.