The success of your law firm depends on you landing new clients and delivering an amazing service to existing clients. But attracting clients – especially in a competitive market – is not always easy.
You need a way to stand out from other law firms and reel in clients who are already searching for services like yours.
Enter: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO works to capture people who are using search engines – namely Google – to find information, products, and service providers. Law firms can use SEO to their advantage when it comes to generating website traffic and attracting new clients online.
In this guide, you’ll learn what law firm SEO is, the fundamentals of law firm SEO, and how to start (or improve upon) your legal SEO strategy.
Law Firm SEO Defined
Law firm SEO (also referred to as “attorney SEO” or “legal SEO”) is the practice of increasing your law firm’s visibility in search engines.
The associated law firm SEO strategies and techniques are used to get your law firm’s website ranking at the top of the organic search results to help you attract more prospective clients.
Many lawyers want to obtain first page and especially first spot rankings in search engines like Google or Bing, but struggle to make this happen without effort.
With SEO, you employ a variety of tactics to increase your rankings, generate traffic, and turn that traffic into new clients.
How Legal SEO Works
Most of us have used Google at some time or another to search for information or businesses online. People also do this to seek out legal services.
With SEO, you improve your law firm’s chances of getting found by people searching for the services you offer.
SEO works to make your website easier to “read” by search engine algorithms.
You essentially make it easier for these algorithms to scan your website for content, make sense of the content, display it in the search results, and show the right page to the right user at the right time.
An effective law firm SEO strategy employs a variety of methods, tools, and tactics to increase your search engine rankings. Some of these include:
- Targeting the right keywords (search terms) on your website.
- Optimizing your website, so it’s easier to navigate by search engine “bots.”
- Creating SEO-friendly content to generate traffic.
- Ensuring your website is optimized for mobile users.
- Building high-quality links back to your website.
- Optimizing your local listings to attract local clients.
- Generating positive reviews for your law firm.
Some elements of legal SEO have the ability to compound their benefits over time.
For this reason, most experts recommend having a holistic, ongoing SEO strategy to either sustain or increase traffic and keep your client pipeline full.
Why Is Law Firm SEO Important
Once they understand the principle of SEO, most lawyers determine that they do want to increase their rankings in organic search.
But the benefits of SEO go far beyond just rankings. SEO can serve your law firm in many ways.
Law firm SEO is important because it not only increases your law firm’s visibility in search, but it increases your brand authority and reputation overall.
This can help you attract even more clients online and off.
The benefits of law firm SEO include but are not limited to:
- Increasing keyword rankings in search engines.
- Driving organic traffic to your website.
- Improving your website’s authority overall.
- Generating positive PR.
- Attracting positive client reviews.
- Improving your website traffic.
- Increasing conversions/lead generation on your website.
- Attracting new partnerships and networking opportunities.
- Landing features, interviews, speaking events, and more.
The Fundamentals of Law Firm SEO
If law firm SEO seems complicated, fear not. There are many steps you can take to improve your law firm’s rankings, increase traffic, and land more clients for your law firm.
It all starts with the fundamentals.
Most SEO strategies start with keyword research because you need to figure out what terms your target audience is using to find law firms like yours.
While you may have a good guess as to what prospective clients are searching for, it’s always best to look at the data.
You can use keyword research tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to find keyword suggestions, compare search volume (how many users are searching for this term), and analyze competition level (how many sites are ranking for this term/your likelihood of ranking for this term).
This will help you determine which keywords are worth targeting in your content.
Once you’ve determined what keywords your potential clients are searching for, it’s time to optimize your site for these terms while making it easy for search engine algorithms to analyze and index your website.
This involves a mix of both technical and on-page SEO, which may involve tasks like creating a sitemap for your website, using your keywords in your page titles and descriptions, optimizing your site for mobile search, improving your site’s load speed, fixing broken links (404s), and more.
You can perform many of these tasks yourself or you may hire a professional to help you.
Especially when it comes to technical SEO, it may help to have a web developer and skilled SEO specialist on your side.
Most law firms serve a specific service area, limited to a certain location. For this reason, legal SEO is necessary when it comes to targeting searchers within your service area.
You want to reach prospective clients who are actually able to work with you. Local SEO involves both optimizing your website for geo-specific keywords and building out profiles in local listings.
Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places are just a few examples of online listings where you can update your business information and attract clients from local search.
Submitting your law firm’s information to legal directories is another part of this step.
Content is a powerful tool when it comes to improving your site’s ranking and turning passive readers into paying clients.
While content alone won’t carry your site to SEO success, it’s important to have engaging, SEO-friendly content if you want to drum up new business for your law firm.
Your content marketing strategy will most likely involve creating service pages, web pages, and blog articles for your website. The goal is to optimize each piece of content with a target keyword in order to attract users who are searching for these terms.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO content, so be sure to see Chapter 4: How to Create a Law Firm Blogging Strategy.
Search engines look at inbound links (backlinks) to help to determine a website’s authority and trustworthiness. One way to look at backlinks is as votes of confidence from other sites that your website is a source of great information for users.
Some websites will link to your website naturally, while other times you will want to be more intentional about building links.
Your goal is to attract high-quality, relevant links to your site via articles, guest posts, interviews, infographics, directories, and more.
Reviews are super important for law firms – not only when it comes to SEO but also in building trust with prospective clients. It’s common sense that the more positive reviews you have, the more likely it will be that other people will want to work with you.
Many law firms ask their clients to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., but you can always get more intentional with your review generation efforts.
There are a few ways to get reviews out of clients to improve your SEO, which we will talk about in Chapter 6: 5 Ways to Generate Positive Client Reviews for Your Law Firm.
Complete Guide to SEO for Law Firms
We’ve put together in-depth guides on each of these six essentials so you can take the steps needed today to see SEO success.
From content marketing to local SEO to link building, you’ll have the tactics and tools you need to improve your law firm’s presence online and create a steady stream of new leads for your business.
Download Law Firm SEO: The Complete Guide now.
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita