Lawyer SEO: How Your Firm Can Rank #1 on Google
In today’s world, everything from ordering coffee to chatting with a therapist is available at the click of a button. There’s no denying that people are turning to the internet to find legal services.
A quick Google search of the phrase “lawyers near me” will pull hundreds of pages of results. Your best bet to acquire new clients and grow your firm’s bottom line is to make sure your firm’s name is as close to the top of that first page of Google search results as possible. And the way to do that is through lawyer SEO.
Legal SEO is all about making sure your law firm’s digital presence is finely tuned to attract potential clients and guide them straight to your website. When done correctly, law firm SEO should result in more leads, more clients, and ultimately, more revenue growth for your firm.
Let’s unpack lawyer SEO in more detail to give you everything you need to build a magnetic online presence. With a few key SEO strategies, you’ll be on your way to dominating the Google rankings and creating a nationally recognized legal brand.
What Is SEO for Lawyers?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is like a digital language that helps search engines like Google understand what your business is all about. It’s all about making your law firm’s website more discoverable for potential clients who may be desperately seeking legal advice.
Easier said than done, right? If you’re new to legal marketing and wondering what steps you need to take to make yourself more visible online, it all starts with creating website content that showcases your legal expertise. Once you’ve created high-quality content, you then need to ensure that potential clients can actually find it in their time of need.
Key Components of Lawyer SEO
There are a few key elements that you’ll need to understand if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website. By developing an understanding of these components and how they work together to boost your online visibility, you’ll increase the chances of your firm ranking higher in organic search results.
Keywords are specific words or phrases that potential clients might use when searching for legal services. They can be short tail keywords consisting of one to three words, such as “family lawyer” or “DUI attorney,” or they can be long tail keywords such as “affordable personal injury lawyer Los Angeles.”
With lawyer SEO, your job is to identify and both short and long tail keywords related to your practice area. Your target keywords should both reflect the services you offer and align with user intent (i.e., what someone who needs your services would be Googling).
By incorporating these keywords strategically into your website content and web pages, you’ll increase the odds of your site appearing higher in search engine results pages (or SERPs) when someone searches for those words or phrases.
Website content refers to the content such as the headings, text, blog articles, images, and other information found on your website.
We cannot stress this next point enough: The best SEO strategy is to create high-quality, keyword-rich content that adds value to your target audience. Not only does great content ensure that you’re putting your best face forward to potential clients, it also showcases your legal expertise and will motivate people to contact your law firm for their legal needs.
On-site SEO involves optimizing various elements of your website to improve your search engine rankings. You can tweak elements like your headings, meta tags, URLs, and even your website design to make them more search-engine friendly.
The benefit of including on-site work in your SEO strategy is that it not only drives more traffic and leads for your law firm, but it also improves your overall user experience.
As the name suggests, off-page SEO, or off-site optimization, involves boosting your website’s credibility and reputation outside of your own website.
Off-site SEO is most commonly done by securing high-quality backlinks from reputable websites in your industry or niche. Backlinks from other websites signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and authoritative. Off-page optimization also includes activities like social media marketing, guest blogging, and online reputation management, which help build trust with your audience and increase your visibility.
If your firm already has great content and is ready to start climbing the search rankings, check out this guide for 4 signs that you’re ready for SEO link building.
Why Do Lawyers Need SEO?
As a law firm operating on a national scale, you need to take your online marketing seriously.
The legal industry is becoming increasingly competitive, especially at the national level. As your law firm grows and expands your physical presence, it’s imperative that you have a strong online presence to support that upward momentum.
By implementing SEO strategies as part of your digital marketing, your firm will be able to:
Increase Online Visibility and Brand Awareness
In a 2022 survey, 48% of respondents said that if they needed to hire an attorney, they would begin their search online. This presents a huge opportunity for brands who want to capitalize on search traffic and get more eyes on their brand.
Optimizing your website content for SEO will lead to higher rankings and therefore increased visibility for your legal services. By positioning yourself in front of potential clients during their search process, you ensure that they can easily find and engage with your firm.
Attract Targeted Traffic and Qualified Leads
By creating web content that’s optimized for search engines, you’ll not only attract more organic traffic, but you’re also more likely to attract website visitors who are actively seeking the legal service you offer.
For example, if your firm services clients who are looking for help with managing their estate, you might create blog content around topics such estate planning basics, choosing the right executor or trustee, and estate planning pitfalls to avoid. That way, when potential clients search for these topics, it will be your website they find and your number they’ll be calling when the time comes to hire legal assistance.
If you’re having writer’s block when it comes to your content marketing, an SEO agency is the perfect solution. At Growth Machine, we help our clients attract more traffic and leads with a comprehensive content marketing strategy. We’ll do everything for you including keyword research and weekly article writing and posting. You can have your time back to focus on your clients.
Establish Trust and Credibility
One of the best ways to build your law firm’s online reputation is by creating educational content that demonstrates your legal knowledge. The more content you’re able to write about your specific area of practice, the more likely your web pages will appear in organic search results when prospective clients search for answers to their most pressing legal questions.
But that’s not all. When a law firm consistently appears in top search results, it conveys a sense of authority and professionalism. This is because web searchers tend to associate higher search rankings with expertise, which can positively influence their perception of your business.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Lawyers are highly competitive by nature, so lean into it. If you want to get ahead, you’ll need to ensure that you’re ranking higher in organic results and that potential clients connect with you before they even hear about the competition.
The best way to set yourself apart from the crows is to provide website visitors with content that’s valuable, easy to understand, and encourages them to contact your office for their legal needs. Pair that great content with a website that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate, and you’ll dominate the competitive landscape (and the SERPs) in no time.
Unlock Opportunities for Growth
A lesser-known benefit of lawyer SEO is its ability to unlock opportunities for significant growth.
With high-quality website content, your firm can expand its reach beyond a single geographic area and attract clients from various regions. Expanding your client base and opening up the ability to service people all across the country (or even the world) drives business growth and has the potential to grow your bottom line faster than ever before.
6 Best Practices for Lawyer SEO
We’ve already touched on why optimizing digital content is critical for search engine algorithms, but let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to get your firm noticed online.
By implementing these best practices for lawyer SEO, you’ll be able propel your business to that #1 Google search spot and fill your appointment book with qualified clients faster than ever before:
1. Conduct Keyword Research and Incorporate Relevant Terms
Keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy.
To figure out which keywords your firm should target, start by researching commonly used search terms for your specific legal niche and location. These can include keywords like "best family lawyers in New Mexico" or "corporate lawyer in New York."
Once you’ve identified the relevant keywords, keep them handy in a spreadsheet or list that you can easily access or hand off to an SEO agency. Make sure you’re regularly updating this list to stay relevant with search engines, and incorporate them into your website content and website pages in titles, meta descriptions, headers, and body text where possible.
2. Create a Mix of Valuable Short- and Long-Form Content for Your Audience
In the world of legal SEO, creating high-quality content is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. If content marketing isn’t yet a part of your law firm marketing strategy, it’s time to buckle down and get to work.
When it comes to the content creation process, a mix of short-form and long-form blog content can help you target potential clients at different points in their customer journey. As a rule of thumb, short-form content is typically under 1,000 words, while long-form word counts run anywhere above that.
The goal with short-form content should be to quickly answer your target audience’s legal questions. For example, you might create an FAQ page on your website with answers to commonly asked questions in your area of practice. This not only shows your target audience that you respect their time, but it’s also ideal if you want to secure that Featured Snippet on the Google search engine results page.
While short-form content is great for answering searchers’ pressing legal questions, long-form content is where you can really begin to nurture those relationships and turn leads into faithful clients. High-quality long-form content like legal guides establish you as a subject matter expert and help you build a loyal following over time, which is ultimately one of the best ways to stand out in search engine rankings.
3. Secure High-Quality Backlinks to Build Your Firm’s Reputation
Link building is one aspect of law firm SEO that cannot be overlooked.
Securing backlinks, or external links, from authoritative websites help establish your law firm's credibility in the eyes of search engines. A great starting point is to work on acquiring links from reputable legal directories, industry publications, and other relevant legal websites.
If you’re new to link building, there are several ways to actually secure these links. These include guest blogging, link exchanges, and other PR/outreach strategies. Check out our full link building guide for more tips on how to secure high-quality backlinks.
4. Optimize Website Structure and Metadata
While creating high-quality content should be your main priority for SEO, there’s no point in creating great content if search engines can’t find it.
A website's structure and metadata play a significant role in determining its search engine ranking. Ensure that your website has a clear and organized structure, with easy-to-navigate pages and an intuitive user interface.
Additionally, optimize your website's metadata, including title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, to include relevant keywords and provide search engines with a clear understanding of your website's content. This is also critical for an overall positive user experience.
5. Leverage Social Media to Amplify Your Law Firm’s Marketing Efforts
Lawyers may not always have a reputation for being the most tech savvy. But utilizing social media can help national law firms generate greater brand awareness and reach a much wider audience.
Social media platforms these days have millions of active users. By maintaining an active presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, lawyers can expand their online reach and increase their chances of being found by people searching for legal services.
Your goal should be to develop a robust social media strategy that includes informative and engaging content, such blog articles, infographics, and videos. You can also consider investing in social media advertising to expand your reach and target specific demographics.
6. Track and Analyze SEO Performance
Analyzing your website's SEO performance is essential for identifying areas for improvement and adjusting your SEO strategy. It will allow you to see what is resonating with your target audience, and then allow you to create content that is similar to that.
Free tools like Google Analytics allow you to monitor your website's traffic, conversion rates, and other key metrics. You can regularly review that data with your team to make informed decisions about your SEO efforts.
How to Use Local SEO Campaigns to Support Your Growth Efforts
While establishing your firm’s online presence on a national scale is critical for growth, that doesn’t mean that you can neglect local SEO.
Local SEO is crucial for law firms that target specific regions. Whether you’re targeting a specific state, city, or region, incorporating the right local keywords and creating content that’s tailored to your target audience can help you attract local clients who are seeking legal services within their close vicinity.
Here SEO strategies you can use to attract more organic traffic in your local area:
- Local Keyword Research: Identifying and incorporating location-specific keywords into your website and blog content can increase your visibility in local searches. Additionally, you can tailor content to resonate with your local community by using local keywords and messaging, which helps build connection and trust.
- Google My Business (GMB) Optimization: To put your business on the map (quite literally), you’ll want to make sure you have an active Google My Business profile. Your Google Business profile should include your firm’s name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and areas of law that you practice. Not only does this help searchers contact you more easily, but it also means that your business will show up on Google Maps when people search for lawyers in their area. Updating your GMB listing regularly and engaging your audience by responding to reviews, adding photos, and publishing new posts will win you the favor of Google’s algorithm and help boost your rankings.
- Local Directories: Online legal directories provide quick information about your law firm and the legal professionals who work there. Ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information is current across online directories, legal directories, and industry-specific websites. This not only ensures your customers can connect with you more easily, it also helps search engines validate your firm’s credibility and improves your local search results.
- Local Content and Blogging: The thing about the law is that it often differs based on geographic location. This makes it confusing for the public to navigate at times, but also presents an opportunity for your content marketing. By creating blog posts and guides that help prospective clients navigate the laws in your area, you’ll be able to showcase your expertise, as well as generate more local traffic.
- Reputation Management: With service-based businesses, reputation is everything. According to research from FindLaw, approximately two-thirds of consumers said they would be more likely to hire a lawyer with online reviews. In addition to building trust, reviews also have a huge impact on local SEO rankings. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or legal review websites. Then, respond to those reviews directly to show clients that you value their business and show potential clients the level of service they can expect from you.
Ready to Take Your Law Firm’s Online Presence to the Next Level?
Implementing effective lawyer SEO strategies is the quickest path to increasing your online presence and gaining more clients. Improve your search rankings today by investing in quality content that’s optimized for search engine algorithms and helps you stay ahead of the competition.
Growth Machine’s team of expert content writers and SEO strategists can help your law firm attract the right traffic with highly targeted content that’s packed with value. This will drive more conversions each month which ultimately means more revenue for your business.
Contact us today to learn more about our law firm SEO services and let our SEO experts create content that will propel you to the top of the SERPs in no time.
Ready to get more search traffic?Contact Us Now
Webflow SEO 101: How to Rank Higher on Google
Learn how to leverage Webflow’s SEO capabilities to get higher-ranking articles. These are the three most important SEO tips for Webflow.Read more
Don’t Overthink It: These Are the Best Wordpress Plugins
These are the best Wordpress SEO plugins for anyone trying to improve their search engine rankings. Let these tools do a lot of the legwork for you.Read more
The Long Game: How Long-Form Content Can Help You Build a Loyal Following
"Short and sweet" works for some things, but when it comes to building your brand's reputation and SEO rankings, long-form content can go a long way.Read more