Law firm SEO (search engine optimization) is a crucial element of any legal practice digital marketing strategy. Doubt its effectiveness? Let’s dive into the success story of a Canadian law firm in 2020. Initially struggling with minimal website traction and an outdated online presence, the firm turned things around dramatically.
With the assistance of a dedicated SEO specialist, a website redesign, and an organization-wide commitment to blogging, the law firm witnessed a remarkable 600% surge in weekly traffic within a year, using Dise Media. The outstanding results achieved by this Canadian firm highlight the potential impact of SEO in transforming a law practice’s online visibility.
Curious about replicating these results for your law office? We’ve collaborated with seasoned Law Firm SEO professionals who’ve achieved significant success with legal clients to bring you this comprehensive guide.
What Is Law Firm SEO?
Law firm SEO, also known as lawyer SEO, involves strategies to enhance a law firm’s website visibility and overall online presence on search engines. This includes optimizing website structure, creating quality content, fixing errors, engaging in link building, and more. Whether you already have an SEO strategy in place or have been dissatisfied with past SEO providers, understanding the basics empowers you to make informed decisions.
The Necessity of SEO for Law Firms
In an environment where the American Bar Association estimates 1.3 million lawyers in the US alone, the need for SEO becomes evident. A simple Google search for legal services, such as “personal injury lawyer,” reveals the fierce competition in local markets, with pay-per-click ads, “Google screened” results, and local competitors vying for top positions. Law Firm SEO emerges as a cost-effective strategy, offering the potential to outperform competitors with a lower long-term investment compared to pay-per-click advertising.
The Importance of SEO for Law Firm Websites
Statistics from Backlinko underscore the significance of a robust website for law firms:
- Nearly half of all Google searches relate to local products and services.
- Brands with active blogs receive 97% more linked mentions from other domains.
- Websites with blogs enjoy 55% more traffic compared to those without.
- The top organic search result can garner up to 27.7% more clicks than lower-ranked results.
These insights emphasize that a well-optimized website can position a law firm competitively against larger counterparts, offering a cost-effective alternative to search ads with the potential for a significant return on investment.
Lawyer SEO 101: On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical Tactics
Law firm SEO encompasses three main categories of actions:
- Technical SEO: Influences user experience and a search engine’s ability to crawl and index the site.
- On-page SEO: Involves creating website content that appeals to visitors and search engines.
- Off-Page SEO: Encompasses online actions from external websites that impact the website’s ranking.
When engaging Law Firm SEO services, expect your vendor to address elements within these categories to enhance your law office’s online visibility.
On-Page SEO Essentials for Attorneys:
Your Money Your Life (YMYL) and Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT):
Google applies strict guidelines, especially to YMYL websites providing critical information affecting financial stability, safety, happiness, and health. As a law firm, Google evaluates YMYL sites based on EAT criteria. While creating all content in-house is ideal, outsourcing is acceptable as long as content aligns with legal expertise.
Lawyers often serve multiple areas, and location pages help convey service areas, making it easier for both visitors and search engines to understand and rank the website for location-based keywords.
Creating well-organized service pages linked to a main page facilitates website navigation and ensures that essential information about your legal services is easily accessible.
Law Firm’s Blog:
Blogging, though initially daunting, proves its worth over time. Utilize keyword research tools like Topic Research and Keyword Magic Tool for topic ideas and relevant keywords. Engage your legal team in content creation, and over time, the law firm’s blog can become a valuable resource attracting online traffic.
Optimize Your HTML:
Heading tags play a crucial role in on-page Law Firm SEO success. Strategically place target keywords in h1, h2, and h3 tags to signal Google about the page’s content. Meta titles and descriptions should also include relevant keywords to enhance visibility in search engine results.
Off-Page SEO for Attorneys:
Google Business Profile and Local SEO:
Ensure accurate information on your Google Business Profile (GBP), as Google extensively searches the internet for data about your business. Consistent Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) information across various directories enhances local visibility.
Link Building for Lawyers:
Backlinks, or links from other domains to your site, are crucial for ranking. Law firm SEO can acquire backlinks through PR press releases, sponsoring local events, contributing guest posts, and creating link-worthy resources on their sites. Use a tool like Backlink Audit to monitor your backlink profile and keep it healthy.
Social Media & Reviews:
Maintain an active social media presence to market content and connect with the audience. Positive reviews on social media and Google can boost SEO efforts, showcasing the law firm’s credibility.
How Technical SEO Benefits Attorneys:
Efficient site navigation and architecture are vital for user experience and search engine crawling. Simplify navigation and keep it focused on core pages to concentrate internal link equity for better Law Firm SEO.
Optimize link equity by ensuring an appropriate number of web pages on your site, preventing orphan pages, and promoting interlinking.
Core Web Vitals:
Google’s Core Web Vitals, including Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and First Input Delay (FID), impact page experience. Regularly check your site’s health using tools like Site Audit to maintain optimal performance.
Clean and Helpful HTML:
Clean HTML, structured with headers, paragraphs, meta tags, links, and images, aids both search engines and users in understanding your website’s content.
Structured Data for Your Law Firm Site:
Implement structured data or schema markup to provide search engines with key information about your law firm, potentially leading to rich results, review ratings, and additional site links.
Ready to Elevate Your Marketing Strategy?
Measuring Your Results:
Tracking with Google Analytics:
Google Analytics helps measure campaign effectiveness, track visitor behavior, and set up conversion tracking with goals to identify valuable content.
Tracking with Dise Media:
Dise Media’s Position Tracking tool allows monitoring keyword rankings and SERP positions, providing insights into when to optimize for specific terms.
Finding the Right Lawyer SEO Specialist:
Select an SEO specialist with experience in your specific field of law. Different practice areas require tailored content strategies, and choosing an agency familiar with your niche enhances the likelihood of success.
A Final Word on SEO for Law Firm Websites: Law Firm SEO
Understanding the fundamentals of law firm SEO empowers you to make informed decisions, whether outsourcing or managing Law Firm SEO in-house. Dise Media’s suite of tools offers a reliable resource to assess an agency’s work and progress. Whether you opt for DIY SEO or collaborate with experts, you can confidently harness the power of search engines to attract new clients to your legal practice.
- What is Law Firm SEO? Law Firm SEO, or lawyer SEO, involves strategies to enhance a law firm’s website visibility and overall online presence on search engines. This includes optimizing website structure, creating quality content, fixing errors, engaging in link building, and more.
- Why is SEO Necessary for Law Firms? In a highly competitive legal landscape, Law Firm SEO is crucial for standing out amidst the numerous law firms. It provides a cost-effective strategy to outperform competitors in online visibility and offers a significant return on investment compared to pay-per-click advertising.
- What are the Key On-Page SEO Essentials for Attorneys? Key on-page SEO essentials for attorneys include optimizing content for Your Money Your Life (YMYL) guidelines and emphasizing Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT). Location and service pages, along with a well-maintained blog, contribute to a robust on-page strategy.
- How Does Off-Page SEO Benefit Attorneys? Off-page SEO for attorneys involves actions outside the website that impact its ranking. This includes activities like optimizing Google Business Profile, getting Google Screened, link building, and maintaining a positive presence on social media.
- What Technical SEO Tactics Benefit Law Firms? Technical SEO tactics for law firms include optimizing site architecture for efficient navigation, managing link equity, addressing Core Web Vitals for a better user experience, maintaining clean HTML, and implementing structured data or schema markup.
- How Can Lawyers Measure SEO Results? Lawyers can measure SEO results using tools like Google Analytics to track campaign effectiveness, and visitor behavior, and set up conversion tracking. Dise Media’s Position Tracking tool is also useful for monitoring keyword rankings and SERP positions.
- Why is Structured Data Important for Law Firm Websites? Structured data or schema markup provides search engines with essential information about a law firm, potentially leading to rich results, review ratings, and additional site links. It enhances the visibility of key information on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- How Can Lawyers Optimize Link Building? Lawyers can optimize link building by acquiring backlinks through various methods such as PR press releases, sponsoring local events, contributing guest posts, and creating link-worthy resources on their sites. Maintaining a positive online reputation through reviews also contributes to effective link-building.
- Why is Google Screened Beneficial for Lawyers? While not free like organic Law Firm SEO, getting Google Screened can significantly boost online visibility for lawyers. It rewards law firms with the top position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), providing a trust signal to potential clients.
- How Can Lawyers Choose the Right SEO Specialist? Lawyers should choose an SEO specialist with experience in their specific field of law. Different practice areas may require tailored content strategies, and selecting an agency familiar with the legal niche enhances the likelihood of success.