In today’s world, people turn to search engines such as Google to find the services they need, including legal services. In fact, according to Google, “near me” or local search queries have grown by 150% in the past two years.
This means that if your law firm is not ranking well on search engines, potential clients may not even know you exist. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase your visibility online and attract more new clients and prospects to your law firm.
Difference Between SEO and Other Law Firm Marketing Channels
While there are many marketing channels available to attorneys, SEO offers unique benefits that cannot be achieved through other channels. For example, print advertisements and billboards have a limited reach and are often only seen by people in a specific geographic area. On the other hand, SEO allows you to reach potential clients who are searching for legal services online, regardless of their location.
Additionally, while social media and email marketing can be effective marketing channels, they rely on building a relationship with potential clients over time. SEO, on the other hand, allows you to reach potential clients who are actively searching for legal services and are therefore more likely to convert into paying clients.
So, what exactly is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of refining a website to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing a website’s content and structure, law firms can increase their visibility in search results and attract more traffic to their site.
Keyword research involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential clients use when searching for legal services online. Lawyers should start by brainstorming a list of relevant keywords and phrases, such as “divorce lawyer,” “estate planning attorney,” or “Immigration law firm.”
They can then use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner to see how frequently these keywords are searched and identify related keywords that they may have missed. Other tools available to help attorneys identify relevant keywords for their practice area include:
- Ahrefs – A comprehensive SEO tool that allows you to analyze your website’s search engine rankings, track your competitors, and identify relevant keywords.
- Moz Keyword Explorer – A keyword research tool that provides detailed insights into search volume, difficulty, and opportunity for each keyword.
- Ubersuggest – A free keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions and related terms based on a seed keyword.
On-page optimization refers to the various tactics that lawyers can use to optimize their website for search engines. This includes optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, using header tags to structure content, incorporating keywords into content, and ensuring that the website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. Lawyers should also create a blog and regularly publish high-quality, informative content that incorporates relevant keywords.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks, or links from other websites that point to your website. Backlinks are an important ranking factor for search engines, as they indicate that other websites consider your content to be valuable and informative. Lawyers can acquire backlinks by creating high-quality content that other websites will want to link to, by reaching out to other websites and requesting a link, or by participating in relevant online communities and forums.
Local SEO focuses on improving a website’s visibility in local search results. Lawyers can optimize their website for local search by creating a Google My Business listing, ensuring that their NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all online directories and listings, and including location-specific keywords in their content. Lawyers should also encourage clients to leave reviews on their Google My Business listing, as positive reviews can help improve their visibility in local search results.
Monitoring and Analysis
Monitoring and Analysis of SEO is an ongoing process, and lawyers should regularly monitor and analyze their website’s performance continuously to identify areas for improvement. This includes tracking keyword rankings, analyzing website traffic and engagement metrics, and reviewing backlink profiles. Lawyers should also stay up to date with changes to search engine algorithms and adjust their SEO strategy accordingly.
Poor SEO Will Cost Your Attorney In The Rankings
One of the biggest reasons why you need to take legal SEO as seriously as your next client’s case, is because it directly affects where your website will land when it comes to the search engine result pages, or SERPs for short. About 75% of online consumers say they never bother to go past the first page of search engine results.
Even if you’ve worked hard to create a website that’s easy to navigate and informative, if it’s not designed with SEO in mind, all of your hard work will be for nothing. Additionally, SEO for law firms is all about outranking your competitors. You want to be certain that your law firm’s website shows up in the SERPs before your biggest competitor’s site does.
But it’s not just about choosing the right keywords and hacking your way to the top of the first page of Google. Remember that a strong SEO strategy is also influenced by your website’s loading speed and design.
It’s obvious that a user won’t bother to spend much time — less than three seconds, to be exact — on a website that’s slow to load. A potential client also won’t think much of a law firm website that’s full of spammy pop-ups, broken links, and aggressive, unprofessional graphics.
You won’t just lose a client — a poorly-designed website also impacts your site’s dwell time. This is the average length of time that a user stays on your site.
Sites with higher dwell times are recognized by Google and other search engines as providing useful, relevant information. So, they rank higher than those that have lower dwell times.
Remember, it’s not just your law firm’s reputation that’s on the line. It’s also about how SEO affects your site’s overall visibility.
The Right SEO Strategy Puts You In Front Of Your Target Market
Another reason why SEO for lawyers directly affects your firm’s success?
Because the right keywords and link strategies can shorten the time it takes for your target market to find you online, and without a proper legal SEO strategy that target market might not be able to find you online.
There are currently more than 1.5 billion websites on the Internet — and that number is increasing every minute. And while all 1.5 billion of them might not be related to the legal industry, a good portion of them will be.
Keywords, or what people type into search engines to help them find what they’re looking for online, are an essential part of SEO for law firms.
First of all, your keywords should include references to the specific type of legal work that you do. For example, if you specialize in divorce law, you might choose a high-ranking keyword like “divorce attorney” or “hiring a divorce lawyer.”
But something is missing from those keywords — your location. Location-based keywords are the bread and butter of legal SEO. They don’t just help you find people who need your services. They ensure that the people who need your legal services and live within your practice area end up on your website.
Including location-based keywords like “Charlotte NC divorce attorney” or “Divorce attorney Myers Park” will get you exactly the kind of traffic you’re looking for.
SEO Establishes You As An Authority In The Legal Industry
As a successful attorney, you’ve spent years earning your degrees, creating your network, and establishing a reputation in the courtroom.
Now, you need to make sure that your SEO strategy is working to effectively translate that reputation and work to the digital world. Superior legal SEO helps you to establish yourself as the go-to legal authority within your niche and service area.
It does this by allowing you to join the digital conversion, whether that conversation is taking place on your blog, your YouTube channel, or even on a third-party site.
Remember that an effective SEO strategy isn’t just about what’s on your website.
It also includes your social media profiles, any guest posts that you write for legal websites and online journals, and even third-party review sites where past clients can discuss their experience with you.
In other words, to get attorney SEO done right, you need seamless integration between all of your different online accounts and presences.
Looking For Professional Guidance On SEO For Lawyers?
We hope that this post has helped you to understand why SEO for lawyers is such an important part of your overall marketing strategy.
Remember that SEO doesn’t just help you to outrank your competitors and show up in front of the right people. It also creates a sense of authority and trust between your firm and your target market.
To get an even better understanding of how not just SEO, but our services can help your law firm to grow, check out our case study.
When you’re ready to put the right kind of legal SEO strategy into place for your firm, reach out to us to chat.
Effective Use of SEO Creates Competitive Advantages for Growing Law Firms
While there are many marketing channels available to law firms, SEO stands out for its long-term impact, cost-effectiveness, and ability to build trust and authority. By focusing on SEO strategies like keyword research, content and website optimization, link building, optimizing for local search, and monitoring performance, law firms can improve their visibility in search results and attract more new clients.
Is your google profile set up to attract your ideal clients? Is your firm’s visibility maximized in search results? Optimize your google profile to bring in more cases with this helpful checklist.
GoBeyond, a full-service marketing agency, is ready to answer any questions and support your practice whether you are new to using SEO strategies or an expert practitioner. Contact us to discuss your needs and visit us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.