Is your legal site struggling to generate traffic and leads? Want to scale your law practice? Our SEO legal content writer has some important SEO tips for lawyers.
Statistics show that 96 percent of people prefer using a search engine to seek legal advice. And it is interesting to see that 74% of prospects initiating online search end up contacting a law firm and 87% of them end up hiring a lawyer.
You see the importance of online presence for an attorney that aims for success in this digital age and during tough times like the COVID-19 outbreak and well beyond the pandemic.
Optimizing your attorney website with SEO is sure to give you great results and huge success in the long-run.
In this article, I’m going to share a COMPLETE checklist you can use to make your SEO strategy successful. While this is SEO for lawyers, it can be used for other businesses too.
Before you may think of developing your SEO strategy, you first need to understand how Google handles its search results for legal queries.
Well, Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving. Currently, 5 results types with multiple subcategories are dominating Google’s top search spots. And this applies to legal searches as well.
You must know that:
Let’s suppose you search for a DUI attorney Denver. You’ll see a lot of noise:
Now think about it- of those 10 organic results, half are high authority sites (Justia, FindLaw, Expertise, etc.). So, what is the number of organic results actually available?
Merely 25% to 30%- that too with tough competition.
It means that you need to be very realistic and strategic when designing your SEO campaign. You not only want to rank but grow your organic traffic as well.
Shared below are some of the many SEO tactics that can help you increase your website’s organic exposure among the competitive spaces.
When people search for specific information using search engines like Google, they use keywords (search terms) to tell the search engine what they are looking for.
Finding these keywords is the first step towards optimizing your attorney website. You need to attract the right traffic for your practice that you can achieve by using the right keywords.
I know, your main goal is to generate leads and conversions. But it requires you to DOMINATE the top spots and rank for everything your prospects may search for. This way, you can 4x your organic growth and traffic.
For this, you need to choose highly relevant, specific, and targeted keywords.
I’ll show you how to find keywords that your qualified prospects search for.
Brainstorm all possible keywords and phrases related to your practice and make a list of them. Make sure these keywords cover all your areas of practice.
Now it’s time to do a bit of research using the search terms you have noted down. Search them all one by one.
Type a search term into Google’s search bar and don’t hit the “enter” button. Instead, look at the results Google shows you when you enter a keyword.
These are keywords that Google suggests to you, which means that people are searching for them.
Do these results align with your goals? Determine if you can use these search terms for your site’s SEO.
Pro Tip: Enter “space” before the first letter of your keyword to get more refined keywords. This is a killer tip from our legal content writer regarding SEO for lawyers.
You’ll find these additional relevant keywords at the bottom of Google’s search page. They offer more specific results that may closely align with your goals.
There are many popular keyword tools you can use to find keyword search volume, keyword difficulty, competition stats, and additional information. SEO for lawyers starts with keyword tools.
Some of the most popular and user-friendly yet FREE tools include:
People use these forums to post their queries and find answers to them that can help you identify what your customers are searching for.
GREAT content not only helps you rank but also increases the chances of a user converting into a client. This is an important SEO for Lawyers tip that is very time-consuming but super important. Skyscraper content can literally skyrocket your website to the top of Google.
But what makes great SEO content for a law firm?
It boils down to the following factors:
If someone searches for “Accident Lawyer,” are they looking for an accident lawyer to represent them? Are they looking for lawyer’s fees? For salaries? Or maybe something else you have no idea about?
So, make sure the content you create matches the user intent. For instance, instead of creating content for a broad keyword like “Accident Lawyer,” you can be more specific and focus on keywords like “Accident lawyer in [city], accident lawyers [city] cost.”
Though keywords are a huge part of your SEO game, your site’s content is NOT AT ALL about keywords stuffing. (In the coming part, I’ll show you how to naturally use keywords for content optimization).
You want to make sure that your law firm site’s content is about your target audience and it relates to the legal industry.
Google has also got smarter now and it values high-quality content that translates users’ needs.
So, create content that impresses both your readers and search engines by:
Blogging is a proven tactic when it comes to driving organic traffic to your site. Having an SEO legal content writer for blogging is even better. This is why you need to go to help improve your ranking. Blogs are the way to go.
When people search for queries like ‘How to prevent DUI’ or ‘What are chargeable accidents’, they are not looking for promotional pages but informative content that answers their questions.
So, make sure your site has a blog that communicates the topics your potential customers care about.
It is the simplest way of winning your prospects’ trust and generating more traffic and leads for your site.
Make sure your blog posts:
Many law firms make the mistake of listing all their practice areas on a single page i.e., the home page.
Create separate pages for each location that target your specific practice area and nearby geographical areas.
Having individual location pages offers two benefits. First, it provides your website visitors complete information about a specific practice area. Second, these pages help increase your ranking and visibility.
Also, consider creating keyword specific website pages for other categories like:
Though written words are the key SEO tool, do not overlook the importance of audio and visuals.
Podcasts are still popular.
People still appreciate webinars.
You may record a video or audio to explain the written content and provide people with an interesting visual appeal.
Just writing and publishing the content is not enough when it comes to SEO. Sometimes, you need to go the extra mile to get desired results.
After you publish the content, the next step is to promote it.
And not to forget, email is another great tool for content promotion.
Content optimization is more about ensuring on-page SEO than stuffing your page’s content with keywords.
I’ll tell you how to optimize your legal firm site’s content through on-page SEO techniques.
A keyword specific URL helps Google understand what the page is all about. And short URLs rank better in Google search results.
So, make sure your URLs use your target keyword. Also, keep them as short as possible.
For instance, if your target keyword for a specific page is “DUI Lawyer Denver,” make your URL something like https://xyz.com/dui-lawyer-denver.
The title tag is the tag that appears on the search results page when someone searches for a specific keyword.
The title tag tells users and search engines what exactly your specific page is about.
So, you need to use your target keyword in the title tag to help the page rank for that keyword.
Here are a few practices to follow for title tag optimization:
The meta description is the snippet that appears just below the title tag on the search result pages. It provides you an additional opportunity to include your keyword and location for SEO.
Few practices to follow for meta description:
The H1 title should include your main keyword.
For example, if your main keyword is “chargeable accidents,” the H1 tag could be “List of chargeable accidents in [city].”
You also need to make sure that the page content is relevant to the H1 title.
H2, H3, H4, etc., are the subheadings or subtopics on the page. SEO experts recommend adding a variation of your main keyword in these tags to improve rankings.
Using your main keyword in the first 100-150 words of your page’s content helps improve rankings.
So, make sure to use your keyword at least once there.
Instead of stuffing your page with the main keyword, it is a good practice to use synonyms and LSI keywords throughout the content.
For example, if your main keyword is “A guide to chargeable accidents,” you may use synonyms like:
Or LSI keywords like:
LSIGraph.com is a brilliant tool to find LSI keywords.
Alt tags are used with images to tell search engines what the image is about.
So, make sure to use alt tags on all images of a page. The tags should reflect what the image is. You may also incorporate keywords into alt tags.
It is a brilliant idea to add 2-5 internal links (leading to other pages of your site) to your new piece of content.
I recommend using keyword-rich anchor text for internal links as it tells Google what the linked page is about.
Linking out your content to authority sites tells Google that your content is trustworthy and well-referenced.
Make sure your website pages have relevant buttons and other calls to action that allow your visitors to take action and continue their relationship with you. This is a must not just for SEO for lawyers, but also to “hook” and get clients.
Link building is a key factor when it comes to SEO and ranking.
How Google determines which content is best to appear on the top spots in search results depends on the quality and quantity of backlinks.
If your law firm site gets a lot of quality links from other credible sites, it shows search engines that your popularity and credibility as an attorney are strong. However, having a few backlinks shows that your popularity is low.
However, building quality backlinks is not that easy.
So, let’s see how you can build quality links.
Below are some major factors that influence the makeup of your backlink profile:
A quality link from a high-authority website gives your webpage more boost as compared to a link from a low authority site.
The relevance of a linking site to your webpages influences your page rankings. For instance, if you are an accident lawyer, it makes sense to have a link on a car insurance blog. However, getting the same link on a bakery website makes a bad link.
Getting a link from other relevant local websites is a good idea. It gives a strong geographical signal to Google, helping your site set up as a local authority.
If your link is coming from a page that is constantly generating organic traffic, then it makes a good link as compared to the links coming from some random pages on the same site.
Podcast– become a guest on a podcast.
Influencers– mention influencer bloggers in your content and let them know about it.
Directories- quality, high-authority directories like Avvo and Justia.
Online communities- such as Quora and Reddit.
Awards- awards earned by a lawyer that may offer a link to the attorney’s website.
Sponsorships and charitable giving- a website may give you a link if you sponsor their business, such as sponsoring a scholarship, an event, or making a donation.
Resource links- they are good and trustworthy links.
Visual media- many websites promote various forms of media such as PowerPoint, Slideshare, and infographics.
Ebooks- publish an ebook covering a specific law topic online on platforms like Amazon Kindle.
Local signals- schools, colleges, non-profit organizations, media, businesses, and local directories.
Organic links- links created by people who like your content and link to it on their own.
Most people make the mistake of ignoring the technical SEO of their site. But you must know that technical SEO can make or break your SEO game.
So, make your site’s technical SEO all running by following these tips:
People find smartphones a convenient option to browse the web for various things- let it be Googling a query or making a purchase online. It means that most of the online traffic is coming from mobile.
Moreover, Google has introduced Mobile-First Index, which means that mobile-optimized sites will rank faster.
So, ensure that your site is mobile-responsive, which means it has:
You can test your site’s mobile responsiveness by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
A mobile-responsive site can also help increase leads as it allows a law firm to provide clickable phone numbers on mobile devices. This way, people can call you directly from the phone while browsing your site from mobile.
After all, the ultimate conversion for a law firm is to generate new leads and intakes.
Having a fast on-site loading speed is another big ranking factor.
Google has confirmed that they expect website pages to load in less than 2 seconds.
The longer your page takes to load, the lower your site will rank.
Moreover, visitors do not like WAITING when it comes to the page’s load time. If someone really needs to hire a lawyer but your page takes ages to load, they’ll instantly move on to your competitor’s site.
So, make sure that your site pages have a fast loading speed to satisfy both Google and people.
You can check your page’s speed with several online tools such as PageSpeed Insights.
A sitemap is a file that contains information about your site’s pages. It is a map that informs search engines about the organization of your website content, making it easy for them to find your website pages and rank them.
You must set up your Google Search Console and register your sitemap with it to inform Google about your website content.
You also need to make sure that your sitemap is clean, concise, up-to-date, and free of any errors. Google Search Console allows you to check for any sitemap errors by running a simple report.
If your page is not indexed, it will not appear in search results. This is not good for most pages of your website, such as homepage or service pages.
So, make sure to check how many pages of your site are indexed by using an online tool like Website Auditor.
Search engines do not index pages that are not being crawled. It also means that your visitors cannot continue navigating through your website, which can hurt your ranking.
You can use Website Auditor to check which pages are not being crawled and want to get it fixed ASAP.
You also need to check for “Crawl Error” using Google Search Console’s “Coverage” report. A crawl error keeps Google from viewing a page on your site, thus affecting its ranking.
With stiff competition in the law firm industry, it has become crucial for legal websites to use Markup Schema. It is a type of HTML markup that helps search engines understand your page’s content better.
It not only improves your rankings in different contexts and SERP features but also provides unique callouts to your organic listing in search results.
Law firm SEO agencies suggest having your web pages individually marked up with custom schema assigned to each page’s content.
Broken links are another big factor hurting your site’s SEO and usability.
So, you need to review all of your website’s links to check for any broken external or internal links.
Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking factor.
So, make sure that your site is secured with HTTPS.
Make sure your site has a clean and simple navigation structure.
Your site visitors should be able to find what they need in a click. All major pages, such as core service pages and practice area pages, should be accessible from your home page.
Remove all those “walking dead” pages from your site that provide no value to your visitors. This is an important tip of SEO for lawyers.
Google prefers small sites with high-quality pages and useful content.
So, remove any category pages, archives, paginations, or old press releases that are no longer useful.
Law firm search queries are usually “city” or “state” specific. As legal codes and federal levels of laws vary from state to state, people are likely to add the state as a keyword in their search queries.
Most of the time, search engines infer the location of such queries based on the location of a user even if the query does not include the location modifier. For instance, if a Toronto based user searches for “Personal Injury Lawyer,” a search engine may show them highly localized results.
Therefore, your legal website must be optimized for local SEO.
In the previous parts of this article, we have stressed enough about creating practice area-specific pages and using location keywords in your website content for local optimization.
However, below are some other ways to optimize your legal website for local search results.
It is pretty clear that your legal website needs a “Google My Business (GMB)” profile.
The profile helps you show up in “Maps” search results when someone makes local lawyer searches.
So, make sure to optimize your GMB profile to rank better for local SEO.
Here are some practical tips to optimize your Google My Business profile:
You must verify your practice with Google before you may attempt to edit and optimize your GMB profile. You can do this by clicking the “Verify Now” button on your GMB dashboard.
However, a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your name on the dashboard indicates that your profile has already been verified.
Make sure to claim the RIGHT primary business category that represents the services offered by your practice.
For instance, if you are a DUI attorney, your category should be “DUI attorney,” not “law firm.”
You can pick 3-5 categories that are most relevant to your key services.
The NAP data of your legal practice should be CONSISTENT on your GMB profile, your website, social media handles, directory listings, and other listings.
Always enter the official address of your firm and use your local phone number as your area code to ensure that your office location has been mapped locally.
Make sure that the description gives an accurate and appealing introduction to your practice.
It can include the information about services you offer, your achievements, why hire you, and your practice’s history, etc.
Use your money intent keywords in the description and try keeping it around 100-200 words long.
Images are a prominent ranking factor for local SEO. Make sure to add high-quality, sharp-focus, and right-sized images to your GMB profile.
Try adding more images than your competitors as it ensures increased prominence.
Make sure to post the accurate and uniform business operation hours throughout your online listings.
Besides optimizing your profile with Google My Business, you also need to boost your rankings with citations on other sites.
Just like GMP, citations are also a highlight of your law practice’s Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) on various online sites. Citations are ranking factors that Google counts to determine the authority of your site.
Along with local citations, optimizing your profile with legal directories not only benefits your local SEO efforts but also allows you to connect with your prospects.
So, consider submitting your profile on high authority legal directory websites to get high-quality backlinks and improve your local ranking.
Some legal directories with high domain authority include:
Google has confirmed that Google review count and score influence local search ranking.
More reviews and most positive ratings translate improved local ranking and visibility. Positive reviews may also convince your potential clients that you are reliable and trustworthy.
So, make sure to offer quality services to get positive reviews from your customers.
We recommend focusing on Google My Business reviews as they influence how you appear in Google “Maps” results.
You can request your satisfied clients to rate your services by sending them a “review request” email with a link to leave a review on your GMB page.
Apart from GMB, some other review sites for attorneys include:
Also, try replying to all reviews– either positive or negative, to create additional content for your page to strengthen your ranking and boost your overall web presence.
Finally, you want to track your results to ensure maximum returns on your SEO campaign.
You can ensure this by tracking:
Your rankings- You can use Google Search Console or other paid tools to track the overall performance and rankings of your keywords.
Traffic- You need to measure the amount of traffic being driven to your website through SEO. Google Analytics provides good insights when it comes to tracking your website’s traffic.
Conversions- Money is the real motive behind all your SEO efforts. You can track conversions on your web pages with Google Analytics.
In the end, use the tracked data to analyze results, measure success, overcome pitfalls, and scale your efforts.
We are here. We have tried covering a lot in this lawyer SEO guide. But if you still need help, do not hesitate to ask us. Especially when it comes to legal content writing. Our SEO legal content writer has been doing SEO writing for law firm blogs throughout the United States in over 30 states. We have also drafted some content for law firms outside of the United States.
Right now we mostly focus on personal injury, which is what our SEO legal content writer actually practiced (he is a licensed lawyer in New York and New Jersey). The most common areas of law include the following:
We can also help with insurance and property damage claims, including for mold, water, fire, storm, hurricane, burst pipes, and other damage claims.
When it comes to SEO for lawyers, we are the place to go. There might be other businesses that are larger and have fancier marketing, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty facts and experience, that is us. Our SEO writer has over 11 years of drafting law firm content experience. He has also been a lawyer for more than 8 years. Our business also uses a registered nurse (RN) to review matters and another editor, usually another lawyer.
Not many if any other businesses use a registered nurse or other lawyers to edit content. Thus, we not only have the SEO and writing down, but we also have the medicine and anatomy down properly.
If you have questions about your law firms SEO for lawyers, we can help. Just ask us some questions to learn how we can draft law firm content for your website using some of these best SEO for lawyers principles.
Yes, the law firm blogs and content we draft is based on SEO. We do not just draft you content, but we actually practice what we preach. We can help change your law firm’s organic SEO rankings, and we look forward to helping you by drafting content for your law firm.
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Send us your questions or contact us here and we’ll try to give you honest recommendations and solutions.
We can also draft a FREE sample to show you how we can help your law firm. If not interested, we hope that this SEO for lawyers was helpful for you and you learned at least one thing in it fro our SEO legal content writer.