SEO is crucial to the success of every business today, and attorney offices are no exception. If you want to attract clients and become the top firm in your market, you need to invest in SEO.
Lawyer SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of tweaking your website and online presence to meet what search engines are looking for so that you can get the highest ranking possible on the search engine results pages, also known as SERPs. The higher you rank, the more likely you’ll get clicked on. Over 31% of people click on the first link, while your chances of getting clicked if you aren’t even on the first page are less than 1%.
Well, lawyer SEO is a method of advertising that gives you a high ROI (return on investment) compared to other advertising methods. Having content online to search for costs less because you probably pay to have it produced once, then it can be online forever with no additional charge for appearing in search results or receiving clicks.
It also helps build trust with your audience. SEO content isn’t about onboarding users to become clients; it’s about assisting them in answering a question. If you answer their question well, you will gain their trust. Then, if they need questions answered in the future, they’ll turn to you and remember you when they are looking for an attorney. Or, they’ll recommend you to someone else who needs your service.
Before we get any further into the specifics of how lawyer SEO works, it all has to come back to content. Putting content online that is interesting and helpful to your audience and customers is vital for any small business.
By providing the best answer to users’ queries, search engines aim to give them the best experience possible. If you do everything else for SEO perfectly but have poor content, users will leave your page quickly and stop going to your site. The search engine will notice your high bounce rate and decreasing number of visitors, and to give users the best experience, they will lower your page in the rankings.
For lawyer SEO strategies to work, you need to keep your audience engaged by providing helpful information that they want. Depending on the type of law you practice, your content could be listing necessary divorce documents, what to expect at your housing court date, or how to file a restraining order. If you give your audience the answers they are looking for; you will gain their trust. Soon after, you’ll earn their business.
Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO for lawyers, law firms, and businesses everywhere. Keywords are the phrases your audience is searching for, and search engines match top results with their search by relevance. Put simply, you need to include the word your audience is searching for in the article, blog, or landing page you want them to click on.
Now, to do this right, it takes more than an educated guess. First, you conduct keyword research to find what users are actually searching for, how much search volume that phrase attracts, and how much competition there is for that search.
Luckily, there are tools for that. Sites like SEMRush, Moz, and of course, Google can help you find the key phrases best for your law firm’s SEO. For example, if you practice immigration law, you’ll want to include terms such as “immigration law,” “best citizenship attorney,” or “family migration lawyer.”
The key is to include these phrases throughout the webpage without overusing them, making it look like you are “stuffing” the word into your page. Use the term enough that the search engine knows what your page is about, but not so much that it doesn’t feel natural to the reader.
SEO Tip: Include your target keyphrase in your blog or web page’s first paragraph. Search engines and readers will have an easier time knowing what your page is about, and your ranking will rise.
Showing up as local results is crucial for small business SEO. When people are looking for someone to represent their case, they need a local office with someone who can be there, in person, for their case.
46% of all Google searches< are looking for local information. People search for nearby locations they can go to or call, and local results appear on top of other organic and paid search results! Appearing at the top of these results is a massive boost to your law practice’s SEO.
Part of showing up in local results is registering your law firm with Google My Business. Setting up a profile and registering your business helps the search engine to find your website, location, hours, phone number, and other important information while helping show them you are, in fact, a legitimate business and not just a random website.
One way to boost SEO for law firms is to organize your website. Search engines love clean, organized, easy-to-follow websites with clear sections, sub-sections, and titles that reflect the content.
To map out your website and index your different pages, search engines use bots to “crawl” it. Therefore, if your website is structured and easy to navigate, both search engines and users will appreciate that, and you will bolster your law firm’s SEO.
In addition to a user-friendly layout, your website URL should include the sections and subsections where that page is located. For example, if you have a blog page about documents needed for a medical malpractice suit, the webpage should look like https://[your-law-firm’s-website].com/blogs/documents-to-prove-medical-malpractice.
This is where we get into the technical stuff. Having a fully optimized SEO for lawyers means having a fast-loading website. It doesn’t matter how good your law firm is; you will lose potential clients if your website loads slowly. On the other hand, 40% of people leave a website if it hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds, so search engines don’t recommend slow-loading websites.
To improve your website’s speed and your law firm’s SEO, one of the best things is to compress the images, videos, and other media files you use. Loading large files is a huge roadblock to quickly loading a page, so using compressed images can dramatically reduce that load time.
Lawyer SEO is boosted by others giving you credibility through backlinks. These are links on other websites that take the user to your website. For example, a list of “Top Lawyers In Seattle” could feature your practice and contain a link that takes the user to your website, boosting your law firm’s SEO.
Search engines love to see links to your website. They see them as endorsements, so the more sites link to you, the more credible they see you, and your search engine ranking will rise. However, let’s make it clear; you shouldn’t pay for random websites to link to you to get a rapid increase in search engine ranking. This is considered a blackhat SEO tactic, and search engines will push down your ranking when they catch you (because they will). No small business or law firm can afford to have their ranking compromised like this, so it’s best to produce quality content and earn the backlinks.
SEO Tip: Search engines also look for internal links throughout your website, so anytime you can link to another webpage or piece of relevant content in another part of your website, you should.
One aspect of attorney SEO that might slip through the cracks is optimizing your website for mobile use. 55% of all online searches are conducted on mobile devices, and it’s increasing every year, so search engines are considering it more and more vital that your website is optimized for mobile devices.
Website layouts are very different on desktops and mobile devices. With the different screen dimensions and sizes, your website will look and act entirely differently on a mobile device, and what looks good on a desktop may not even be legible on mobile devices. In addition, to have good law firm SEO, you need to account for the people who will search for you on mobile devices.
No matter what kind of law you practice, your clientele will conduct internet searches to find firms to help them answer their questions. If you’ve optimized your law firm’s SEO, you’ll have no trouble becoming a go-to source for industry knowledge and become top-of-mind when someone needs your services.